Thursday, November 8, 2018

New Outside Column, Same Old Creaking Sound...

Firstly, here's my latest column for Outside, which is about dooring:


As you may or may not know, it's generally the publication and not the writer who comes up with the headline, and that's the case here.  Of course I'm perfectly fine with this headline (it's certainly better than "Start Hitting Cyclists With Your Car Door" ), though my original headline was something along the lines of "You Can Learn Everything You Need To Know About Americans By The Way They Open Their Car Doors," which might give you a slightly better idea of what I was going for here.  (And what I was going for, in case it's still not clear, is that Americans are selfish assholes.)

Secondly, remember how I said I was battling a creak on the SS Renovo?  Well, someone suggested replacing the current skewer with a Shimano one, which is excellent advice.  Indeed, I've silenced more than one creaky bicycle over the years by ditching crappy open cam skewers in favor of the superior Shimano/Campagnolo-style ones, but I was so busy obsessing over cracks and bottom brackets and so forth that I hadn't thought to employ that tactic here.  So this morning I swapped skewers and headed out for a ride, and guess what?

It's still creaking like a floorboard when you're trying not to wake the baby.

So I stopped next to a pair of inebriated Lime bikes and commenced futzing:


I even attempted to snug up the bolts that hold the dropouts together (and not for the first time):


But to no avail.

Next I'll just swap wheels, and the only reason I haven't already is because the Renovo is my only 11-speed bike so in order to switch wheels I also have to switch cassettes--not to mention brake pads because of the crabon rims.

Still, I can't get past those cracks, which you can see here:


And here:


And also am I crazy or is it spreading over here?


Or, who knows, it seems like there's all kinds of places where this frame could make noise:


Honestly I absolutely love the way this bike rides, but this is no way to live, and if I can't figure out what's causing the creaking soon I may have to "retire" it.

Somebody fetch me my artisanal axe...

50 comments:

Colin Wilson said...

Loudly creaking wood podium??

wishiwasmerckx said...

Slow day on the podium?

1904 Cadardi said...

I'm a metals guy where any crack is a bad crack, but it looks like those cracks in order are:
1)maybe a problem, but maybe not
2)a problem
3)continuation of problem 2
4)not a problem
5)also not a problem

At least when rear dropouts fail it's just inconvenient and not usually dangerous.

You got termites or something?

Anonymous said...

If it's any consolation, it ain't just bikes https://www.jsonline.com/story/news/local/2018/10/09/car-door-opened-into-path-milwaukee-streetcar/1580675002/

Podium???

Il Pirata est Mort said...

I usually WD-40 my knees.

Bikeboy said...

Be sure to read that Ax Book, before wielding the ax! (And I hope it doesn't have an annoying creaking sound as it finds its target!)

Schisthead said...

They could pare it down some more:
"Hey fuckwad, pay attention!"

Maybe that's a little too meta?

Mitch Kelleher said...

As someone who has built a couple of kayaks that are wood and epoxy (and fiberglass in varying thicknesses to a deck on one with no fiberglass at all), those joints at the dropout look weak—too little material outside the bolts, bolts too close together, wood too thin. I don't think the finger joints are the problem and probably not the butt joint(?) in the same photo as they look intact and, as such, should be fine. The dropout cracks are in a stressed spot and look very much like the result of those stresses, so my money's on that (plus, Occam's razor and all that). But it's wood and wood is generally easy(ish) to fix. I think a little high end epoxy would do the job (and, if the problem returns, then I'd suggest a wrap of fiberglass or—sorry!—carbon fiber cloth to reinforce the area, but the fiberglass would probably be perfectly adequate and, properly saturated with epoxy, it would be transparent). take the drop out area apart, open the cracks as much as you can, and get the epoxy in them, then clamp it. When done, fill the bolt holes with epoxy (you might want to drill the holes bigger first) by covering the backside with some tape and pouring in epoxy until it's full. Once cured, redrill to the proper size for your bolts, maybe hit it with a little clear coat or something to protect the epoxy from UV (not a major issue as it's not sitting in the sun all the time, but epoxy is susceptible to UV damage), and put it all back together. Get good marine epoxy, not hardware store crap (unless that hardware store sells it, which some do)—it's not cheap, but there's a reason it is. This can all be done indoors as it has virtually no smell or fumes.

mike w. said...

Use it to heat your house.

Drock said...

That must be quick growth wood not old world logs. Dip it in lacquer, fire it in a kiln, and put the ash in an urn. Time to find a good steel horse.

huskerdont said...

Not personally gonna do the Dutch reach since I already look using a clever method of my own clever devising, but sure, teaching it could help reduce dooring some, and every bit helps. (Will Americans in general ever adopt a more complicated way of doing something they don't already do the simple way? If so, maybe we can devise a way to indicate that we are going to turn our vehicles that's more complicated than moving your hand a tiny little bit.)

The most stealthy attempt at dooring I've observed occurred when a car was sitting in the general travel lane at a light about 4 deep while I was about to pass in the bike lane. Suddenly the passenger door was flung open, filling maybe 60% of the bike lane. I really didn't see that one coming.

I wonder what's next---maybe some sort of joint dooring attempt from both sides where the two doors meet in the middle.

pbateman wears a derby when tying his windsor knots said...

Snob, the problem is obvious bro.

You have a DA Di2 equipped douche land canoe, yet you are running Ultegra skewers?

That groaning is the tree sighing in embarrassment.

Everyone knows Ultegra is just 105 painted a shade of grey that doesnt match a single frame ever made.

That poor tree. In its mind it replays this song over and over and over....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B2Jr0Yrox-M

BikeSnobNYC said...

pbateman,

It's Ultegree Di2!

--Tan Tenovo

bad boy of the south said...

Hmmm.time for a renovotion...ahem,renovation.
Can you call renovo?oh,that's right. currently OOB.
Yep,winter is a'comin'.

Suwannee Dave said...

Bike frames should be made of metal. (period)

BikeSnobNYC said...

Suwannee Dave,

Yeah, with you on that.

--Tan Tenovo

bad boy of the south said...

What's up with my editorial spacing?
Eff it,I'm gonna lease a Hyundai.

Anonymous said...

You protesting the squashing of the Mueller investigation today?

Anonymous said...

Build up the pink FAGGIN with the Di2! Do it, you won't!

Anonymous said...

those cracks may not be more than skin [or layer] deep.

just live dangerously - you're already riding a bike, what's one more risk?

wle

Matthew said...

I would say flame is the right way to send it off when the time comes (save it for your viking funeral?) But in this case, for this bike, I think you'll need to refer to it as the "Bonfire of the Vanities"

pbateman dutch reaches for the bottom of the joke barrel said...



also, not one Dutch Reach Around comment? Nothing about waiting on balls...fingers hovering...pounding indiscriminately?

nothing about that time i saw a dolphin give another dolphin the dutch reach around and how flippers were flailing about wildly?

the comments section is approaching Ultegra 600 tri-color levels of maturity.

Anonymous said...

i say, look for hairline cracks on the rear drive side rim eyelets.
a bus went by the other day with an engine door open and flapping about hitting what it could along the side of the road, rather funny as no cyclists were involved.

HDEB said...

Broke my non-artisinal hickory handled axe last winter while working on a ski jump in the woods of Lung Guyland and am in the market for a new axe. If you are on-point it is possible and fun to slam the door on someone if they get close to dooring you.

Jean-Francois Caron said...

I don't like the standard argument for putting the toilet seat down. I mean if there is a seat and a lid, put both down before you flush (to avoid splashing particles of poo water from the flushing). If it's a public toilet and there is no lid however, leave the seat up! Anyone who is unwilling to touch it to bring it down is also the kind of weird phobe who will piss all over the seat in an attempt to hover, or will piss all over the seat while standing because they can't be bothered to bring it up.

All the way up or all the way down, none of this in-between stuff.

Great Uncle Joe said...

Ve are too soon olde und too late smart.


Skidmark said...

Are the drop-outs removable from the frame by merely removing those bolts&sleeve nuts? Or are the drop-outs also bonded/glued to the frame?

N/A said...

You can try a little bit of the old super glue on those cracks. Not a permanate fix, but if it has any effect on the squeaking, then you've found the culprit. You can then go for the better epoxy repair job.

Die free said...

Triple Snob helping today.

First you post up here and then Outside threw down a double. The Dutch Reach is dated the 6th (which I'd totally missed), they also published "Riding Bikes Because They're Green Misses the Point" today.

Maybe you should take tomorrow off? We can't have you burn out.

Anonymous said...

Snobby, if you haven't already, try cleaning the hell out of the dropouts and the mating surfaces on the hubs. Front and rear. Then a super light coat of lube. Then crank the crap out of the skewers. That's fixed most of my creaks through the years. I'll take an IPA next time I'm up there.

Grump said...

Could it be your knees??? (since you are approaching senior citizenship)

tt said...

Even if you do find the source of the creaking, how do you eliminate it?

I was gonna suggest you tape a lapel-mic or some such to various parts of the frame and review those waveform things from the recordings to see where it's loudest, determining where the offending creaks are originating.

But then my original question remains: how do you fix it? Say it is a crack somewhere, what do you do; flood it with epoxy or wood glue or fill it with something or clamp it tight with dowels or loosen it by somehow expanding the crack etc etc etc...?

Please do persist with the investigations and keep us informed of your progress — in fact, make it a multipart blog epic. You could even wear a lab coat and carry a clipboard, too.

Matt said...

Snobby, I think your axe is a bit low on air...would you like me to take care of that for you while you creak away on the Creakovo? (I'm from the government and I'm here to help!) OK, I have to fess up, I'm not really w/ the gov. It just sounded good.

JLRB said...

It's almost like wood should be reserved for furniture.

The Renovo will make nice wall art. Or maybe Classic Cycles will trade you a 60 year steel frame for it.

WeepySidewalls said...

@tt 10:37pm— “Even if you find the creak, how do you fix it”. —As always, study the item, think, and click on your answer. If you're right you'll know, and if you're wrong you'll see...Just like a FridayFunQuiz.

Bort said...

At first glance, the cracks you're pointing to don't seem to run with the grain. If the wood was fracturing, I would imagine it would follow the grain, rather than run immediate across it. Could you post most pictures of the cracks from the front and back that show the end grain of the parts you're concerned about?

Bort said...

The line at the bottom bracket appears to be just a seam in the lacquer dealing with the wood's normal expansion and contraction. There are three pieces joining at angles, so they're all expanding and contracting in different directions. Lacquer is only so flexible, so perhaps the manufacturer simply scored a seam in it? I imagine the wood joints are epoxied and won't be affected by a break in the surface finish.

Anonymous said...

Along the lines of N/A's advice, see if a little lube quiets your creak. I would not try superglue. Put a drop or two of Tri-Flow in each crack, one by one, and test it. This not intended as a solution, but rather to determine (or rule out) the culprit(s).

Anonymous said...

Hi TT. Do you notice that the creaking goes away when you stand up and pedal? If so, and it's going to sound odd, remove and re-grease the seatpost. Happened to me a few years back and it took a mechanics' group conference to figure out the problem.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 2:49pm,

Not really a "seatpost" on this bike per se; it's a fairing over a non-removable aluminum shaft and seatpost itself is short and contains Di2 battery...but I have checked the seatmast which has creaked in the past.

--Tan Tenovo

Haywood Jablome said...

I bent some drunks car door straight out,to the point it wouldn't shut. Clydesdale on a surly 1x1, (the tank, named by my LBS) cops were called, drunk went to jail, I got paid by his insurance company. Bike wasn't harmed, I wasn't hurt,didn't even crash,just stopped when the car door quit bending. It was a glorious day!!

Anonymous said...

This "Dutch reach" thing is all well and good, but anybody I talk to from the Netherlands has no idea what I'm talking about. They've never heard of it and weren't taught it. History will of course forget this, just like it did with French fries.

Robert Woudenberg said...

I can fix the cracks with small post stamp size crabon patches. will be stronger than original but a little unsightly.

Sammy said...

As a regular automobile commuter, I have to say that since starting to read this blog, I've become extra-aware of my right turns, my intersection entrances, and yes, the way I open car doors. I don't live in a big bike commuting region (bad infrasture, suburban sprawl, icy winters), but we still have enough bicyclists and pedestrians for it to matter.

Miha Glockenspiel said...

I would love a column from you about good options, help(s), advise on low end bikes which are affordable, repairable- even a creaking might be then OK. As a daily b-commuter in NYC I can't imagine riding anything upwards of $500/600 or so and find it still locked to where I left it after a week ...

JLRB is reading back issues of Outsider said...

As a man who long ago succumbed to the bullshit calling of his bride I put the seat down but don’t think it’s logical, especially with male offspring of a certain age in the dwelling.

Serial Retrogrouch said...

...I was away for a couple of weeks from NYC, and then... bang, on my commute this morning I get doored by a middle-schooler getting out of a livery car right into the bike lane while stuck in traffic. Luckily it was only slapstick for me, but the bike took some damage.

...The last time I was doored was years ago, but it was the EXACT scenario: a taxi was dropping off a mom/kid combo in the morning for school (this was a different location). That time I was badly damaged, and bike was ok.

...The time before that was a similar scenario: college kid getting out near LIU in Brooklyn.

...I hope that these younger generations grow up with scars in their memories of having doored cyclists so they are more careful opening doors in the future.

...I hate being doored! I HATE IT!!!

Victim Blaming Society said...

Dear Serial - When will you learn.

Unknown said...

I fully admit to reading exactly none of the comments above. Last time I had an annoying creaking I googled "most common bicycle creaking" and found out that the crank is often the culprit, and it sounded like it was coming from elsewhere. Tightened the Allen bolts and the issue went away. If that helps, great. If not, enjoy the insanity that will inevitably continue.

Principled Pragmatist said...

Many years ago I had a close call and read a bunch of books that gave me a bunch of really obvious advice that I had only kind of sort-of followed. So I started following the advice more closely and stopped getting close calls. Among that advice?

Don't ride in door zones.

Duh.