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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2015 3:38 am 
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Joined: Sat Apr 30, 2011 3:37 am
Posts: 58
Hi,

I have a Chorus UT crank with about 7000 miles on it. I ride it year-round in all conditions, and recently started hearing some creaking noises. I'm not 100% sure it's the crank bearings - I did remove the chain and spin the crank, and it felt fairly smooth, but that's probably not a good test. I've eliminated pretty much everything else, by using a different wheel, quick release, cleaning the chain and derailleurs, and checking the chainring bolts, but I can't seem to get rid of the noise.

As a last resort I'm wondering if the bearings can be the cause of the noise, and with this mileage should I be changing them out anyway?


Thanks for your insight!


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Posted: Tue Jun 30, 2015 3:38 am 


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2015 8:34 am 
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Joined: Sat Feb 08, 2014 4:22 pm
Posts: 24
Location: Minsk, BY
If your bike doesn't have threaded BB, then I'm pretty sure that the source of this noise is BB.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2015 9:42 am 
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Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2010 7:22 pm
Posts: 224
Location: Les Pays Bas
Campa states that the bearings and cups of your crankset need to be re-greased every 4000 miles / 6000 kilometres. For me this implies that the bearings should last more than the 7000 miles you put on them. Campa does state however the service interval is largely dependant of the conditions you ride in.

Someone correct me if I am wrong but I think it is possible to extract the loose balls and inspect them for wear and tear.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2015 9:51 am 
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Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2011 6:30 pm
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My cups wore out in about 2 months and I had a devil if a task finding the source of the creek. New cups =no creek for me.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2015 12:01 pm 
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Location: Toronto
Very much doubt that bearings would cause a creak. Bearings are sealed units - no regreasing. Have not seen loose balls since the '80's.

OP you don't say what type of BB and cups you have. If pressed-in cups then that would be suspect.

I'd be looking elsewhere for creak - like pedals and cleats.

Bearing life is totally dependent on riding conditions, and how much crud is able to get into them.

UT is one of the easiest cranks to remove and inspect. Just follow instructions carefully. Having the cranks out, it is very easy to feel if the bearings are smooth or rough.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2015 12:58 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 12, 2010 5:58 am
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My right is still running good, looks new. More than 7000 klms Though left side will be changed it has some bit of rust.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2015 1:08 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 05, 2008 8:09 pm
Posts: 1171
Location: Aix en Provence
UT bearings clearly depend on conditions, some of mine are going very strong after years of service but after PR challenge this year I had to change the SR bearings right after that ride. That crankset had less than 2K km, they got contaminated somehow and the morning after the ride I could barely turn the crank....


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2015 1:21 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 30, 2011 3:37 am
Posts: 58
Sorry, forgot to mention that I'm using a good old threaded bb. Record and SR use ceramic bearings, while chorus is steel, right? Ive been searching the forums and it sounds like the ceramic ones do better on the wet.

Either way it sounds like I should at least attempt to regrease the cups and bearings.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2015 1:31 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 05, 2008 8:09 pm
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Location: Aix en Provence
You may also look at changing the cups, I think some of the early ones were subject to some clicking.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2015 2:02 pm 
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Posts: 1963
Super Record is the only one with the "CULT" bearing system, which utilizes both ceramic bearings in specially treated (cronitect) races. They are unsealed and I have yet to ever have to replace a set in either their cranks or hubs. Record uses the "USB" bearings which have the ceramic balls but not the special races. I don't have any experience with the Record bearings other than installing them. Chorus have steel sealed bearings and in my experience do need to be replaced more often. Can't say for sure that's where your creak is originating but it's possible, depending on the conditions they were used in. You'd need a couple special tools to remove the bearings and then press them properly back onto the crank. Chorus bearings are not outrageously expensive so I think I'd just replace them rather than removing the seals, cleaning and regreasing, just to be sure. You don't mention the frame you are using but has the threaded BB been properly faced at some point, to ensure the cups sit perfectly square with each other? If they are not square, the crank may not spin as freely as it would otherwise and will certainly cause premature wear on the bearings. In any case, it would probably be a good idea to remove the cups as well and thoroughly clean and regrease the threads. I always use a copper based anti seize compound for these threads as I don't remove them often and this will help prevent them from seizing up in the threads. On one bike I worked on the cups had been installed "dry" with no grease or anything and galling was beginning to occur but I was still luckily able to remove them before too much damage had set in. Good luck as I know these mystery creaks can be so annoying sometimes to pinpoint and fix completely.

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Last edited by Calnago on Tue Jun 30, 2015 2:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2015 2:47 am 
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I see this as a chance to upgrade your BB Bearing from the steel Chorus bearing to the superb ceramic Super Record's.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2015 5:28 am 
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Posts: 158
UT is simple to service but the downside is that it isn't particularly well sealed. My first set of steel bearings rusted out fairly quickly and I've also experienced creaking issues (in a threaded BB setup) which appeared to originate from water ingress.

I now repack steel bearings from new with Sta-Lube marine grease, including a generous smear in the cups, and have had zero issues for several years. Water is still getting in (visible droplets) but isn't able to cause any trouble.

The repacking process is a bit fiddly, involving removing the plastic bearing cage, injecting grease and then repositioning the balls evenly to allow the cage to be reinstalled.

I considered ceramic but the cost vs benefit didn't appeal given that repacking works so well, albeit at the expense of a little extra bearing drag.

In addition to BB facing alignment, UT setup is also sensitive to BB shell width which can result in clicking/creaking issues so maybe add that to your list to check.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2015 2:47 am 
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So I had some time tonight to take everything apart. The clicking and creaking noises finally got to me so I decided to see what was up. I forgot to mention earlier that this is on my 2008 Scott Addict with threaded bottom bracket.

What I noticed was that the drive side seemed mostly fine. The cup and bearing seemed to be in good condition, with some grease still in there from when I originally installed it. I cleaned everything up, wiped it down, and put new grease around the bearing and in the cup.

The non drive side, however, was a different story. the Arm was stuck in the cup and was pretty hard to get out. There was some rust marks in the cup and the races of the bearings looked brown and pitted. The cup was also mostly dry without grease so I'm guessing this is where the sound was originating from. Anyway I cleaned it up as best as I could and put in a lot of grease in the cup.

Image

Image

A quick ride around the block showed that the bike was quiet once again, but I'm not sure if it'll hold up long term. I'll put in a real ride tomorrow - hope I tightened that hirth joint bolt enough :)


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2015 3:20 pm 
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Glad to hear that the noise has stopped.... Although from your description it sounds like you'll be needing new UT bearings fitted to the axle before very long, and for all that they cost, I'd get some new cups as well. Looks like quite a bit of pitting/corrosion in your ones in the pictures.

As you say that you have a Scott with threaded BB, then when next you have the cranks off, I'd recommend taking the cups out and having a look inside the bottom bracket shell. I've come across more than one Scott like yours with the alloy bottom bracket housing almost completely dissolved across the full width of the bottom bracket shell. There seemed to have been water pooling inside and no drain hole for it to drip out. Not surprisingly, there were lots of creaking clicking noises....

It's amazing what damage the road salt used in the UK, can contribute to on expensive bikes and components!


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2015 3:35 pm 
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Location: New York
Well the moral of the story is not to ride your expensive bike in wet salty conditions or change the bearing to full ceramic balls and races.

There are places like VBX that sell ceramic bearings and races at relatively cheap prices.

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Posted: Thu Jul 09, 2015 3:35 pm 


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