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PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2012 2:50 pm 
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Joined: Mon Sep 25, 2006 1:16 pm
Posts: 75
I need a light weight crankset for a standard BSA bottom bracket with a removable spider. The THM M3 and the Lightning both meet this requirement. The Lightning is cheaper, however, it seems that everyone has a problem with unresolvable creaking sounds. Has Lightning addressed this problem?


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2012 4:11 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jul 30, 2011 6:38 pm
Posts: 368
I had one but broke it in a crash after a year and a half. Never a creak from it. I bought the ceramic BB if that makes any difference. Rode it in all weather, though not a lot of rain which I imagine would bring out the creaking quicker. I also had it on two different bikes if that makes any difference.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2012 5:46 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 13, 2008 12:21 am
Posts: 376
Location: Montgomery Village, MD
mca56 wrote:
I need a light weight crankset for a standard BSA bottom bracket with a removable spider. The THM M3 and the Lightning both meet this requirement. The Lightning is cheaper, however, it seems that everyone has a problem with unresolvable creaking sounds. Has Lightning addressed this problem?



****Nope. I own 3 sets, both compact and standard - my latest set was purchased in December 2011. All 3 creak - not badly, but they creak. I am very fastidious about my gear and have tried cleaning them up, used teflon tape on the BB, grease, anti-seize, Phil Wood grease, replaced the BB bearings, etc... The creak goes away for a while but then comes back. It only creaks when I stand on the pedals, but it still creaks.

I torque everything with a good torque wrench with all threads lubed, etc.. and the creak goes away for awhile, and then comes back. I don't generally ride in the rain, etc..

I still like the cranks a lot though. Ironically, my Extralight cranks don't creak at all even though I must have 5x the miles on them by now over the Lightning cranks. I have had issues with their chainrings (see other threads..) but the cranks have been great.

It's not like the creaking is so loud that everyone is looking at your bike and thinking what a POS it is. It's tough to describe the creak.

Personally, I think it sounds like an expensive creak, which is better than the typical cheap creak you get on less expensive cranks (on the rare occasion they creak at all...) :beerchug:


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2012 5:46 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jan 26, 2008 10:25 am
Posts: 392
Location: Cantabria
Lightning cranks take a bit of extra care when assemblied so they don't creak, but if that care is taken they're a good choice in weight/stiffness/price terms.

It is very important to properly lube the spder-right arm interface, and to use some thread lock on the spider nut. I would suggest Loctite 270. Same goo works fine on the bolt that holds both cranks together, otherwise there are chances that it will come loose from time to time, eventually causing wear on the spindle interface.

Carefully bearing preoad via the left nut with pinch bolt is highly advisable, again some Loctite 270 here will help in terms of reliability of the build.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2012 8:33 pm 
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Posts: 7882
Location: San Francisco, CA
Mine's creaking is so loud that everyone is looking at your bike and thinking what a POS it is.

I've never touched the spider bolt. It's as shipped. Should I?

Lightning recommended sending it back to check for spindle wear, but I saw none when measuring with calipers.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2012 9:58 pm 
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Joined: Tue Apr 12, 2011 8:08 am
Posts: 2251
Location: Pedal Square
Hmm I was about to pull the trigger on a Lightning, but the creaking issue keeps coming up ... probably looking elsewhere -- Engage Pelton possibly?

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2012 10:20 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 12, 2005 6:04 am
Posts: 558
Location: USA
Years ago with another bottom bracket I tried copper grease anti seize and it did the job of quieting the creaks.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2012 11:10 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2008 9:16 pm
Posts: 162
Location: Las Vegas, NV
I got a buddy who has a quarq lightning crankset and it has creaked since day one. After several attempts to address it he just gave up and learned to accept it :o


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2012 3:01 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2003 9:47 pm
Posts: 2154
Location: Santa Cruz, California, USA
djconnel wrote:

Lightning recommended sending it back to check for spindle wear, but I saw none when measuring with calipers.


Calipers are not accurate enough to measure the spindle for a light push fit. You need a micrometer to measure the shaft accurately enough.

For the creaking check that the nut holding the spider on hasn't backed off. If the creaking stops temporarily when you lube the joint between the spider and the crank then the nut may be loose.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2012 4:22 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2004 4:17 am
Posts: 596
are the specialized crankarms as bad as teh lightnings or the specialized are better and do not creak?¿¿¿?

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2012 11:45 am 
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Joined: Fri May 06, 2011 6:31 am
Posts: 76
My lightning crank also creaked but once I tightened the lockring on the spyder it went away.I noticed that the spyder and the crank has some play when not tightened.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2012 10:16 pm 
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Location: San Francisco, CA
I didn't have the tool but took it to my new favorite local shop and indeed the Spider loosening was exactly the problem. No more creak.

You saved me sending the crank to Lompoc...

Big clue was dumping oil along the spider interface temporarily helped.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2012 11:16 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 16, 2004 9:53 pm
Posts: 144
Hmm. Maybe I should try that too. I can make my creak go away for a few months at a time by taking it apart and greasing it etc but maybe the grease is working its way onto the spider interface.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 3:39 am 
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Joined: Tue Dec 15, 2009 3:09 pm
Posts: 142
djconnel wrote:
I didn't have the tool but took it to my new favorite local shop and indeed the Spider loosening was exactly the problem. No more creak.

You saved me sending the crank to Lompoc...

Big clue was dumping oil along the spider interface temporarily helped.


Hey that's great! Glad to see that got figured out. My Lightnings are back at Quarq getting new chainrings fit and recalibrated. Haven't actually used the Zipp BB yet. Hopefully get the cranks back next week.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 4:16 am 
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Joined: Fri May 06, 2011 6:31 am
Posts: 76
I removed the oil on the threads of the lockring and spindle and put some threadlock.Seems to be holding. :thumbup:

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Cervelo P2c
Cervelo R3
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