Hollowgram SISL Loose/Creaking Pedal Thread

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
User avatar
Posts: 493
Joined: Thu Oct 26, 2006 8:54 pm
Location: USA

by dwaharvey

I have a set of 2012 Cannondale Hollowgram SISL cranks on my 29er Hardtail. There's a creak that occurs in the downstroke of the drive side arm. Getting my (patient) wife to put her ear to things while I sit on the bike and put force on the crank arm, she can tell that the noise is coming from the pedal area and definitely not the BB. I've tried the following with no affect at all: 1) remove pedal, add teflon tape, tons of grease... reinstall (in case it was movement between the pedal and crank); 2) Swap pedal to my wife's eggbeater SL (in case it was the pedal body); 3) Swap shoes to my other pair (in case it was the cleats). I feel like the only remaining possibility is either the crank's pedal thread moving within the arm (they are hollow after all, and two sides bonded together) or the two bonded pieces of the arm moving at that outer edge of the arm. Anyone else experienced anything like this? I did a google search and it turned up nothing. Any help much appreciated!

User avatar
Resident Pro
Posts: 1784
Joined: Mon Apr 18, 2005 9:34 am

by simon

i had a similar problem and in the ent it turned out to be the xtralite chainring bolts.several attempts to take everything apart,grease,rebuild ended without a result(or creaking after 2 rides).using sram steel bolts now and it's quiet.
it may be worth to try molykote compound.it's a very thick kind of grease that sticks better to where you apply it and is very good for stopping creaking and rattling.

User avatar
Posts: 493
Joined: Thu Oct 26, 2006 8:54 pm
Location: USA

by dwaharvey

I'd feel less sure, but having had my wife put her ear next to various parts while I sat on the bike, and her being 100% sure that the noise originates from the pedal spindle / crank intersection... that seems pretty definitive. If there was movement between the pedal spindle and crank arm thread, I think 2 wraps of teflon tape plus grease ought to have at least _changed_ the noise a bit in tone or volume. But it didn't affect it at all.

User avatar
Posts: 5433
Joined: Thu May 04, 2006 4:43 pm
Location: Wherever there's a mountain beckoning to be climbed

by HammerTime2

dwaharvey wrote:Getting my (patient) wife to put her ear to things while I sit on the bike and put force on the crank arm, she can tell that the noise is coming from the pedal area and definitely not the BB.
With all due respect for your wife, are you sure she can definitively determine that?

User avatar
Posts: 493
Joined: Thu Oct 26, 2006 8:54 pm
Location: USA

by dwaharvey

Ha, fair question :) She's pretty good with this sort of thing so I think so. I've also been able to make the noise with one foot clipped in and reaching down and the click feels very distinct with my finger at the pedal spindle and hardly noticeable at all with it at the BB. On these cranks the chainrings are direct mounted to the base of the DS arm, so if there was movement from BB or chainrings etc, I'd expect to feel the vibration strongest there.

Posts: 644
Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2009 5:52 am

by spud

doubt it is the crank - the pedal threads are part of the inner crank half, and tensioning the spindle draws the two halves together. However, I would check the crank for cracking, as I cracked an old one (Si, not an SiSL). I would also check the spider lockring on the back of the crank, as well as the chain ring bolts. Finally, you can also check the BB spindle for wear on the bearing surface.

Re your wife's hearing, I doubt she can tell - the shock wave/sound propagates so quickly through the aluminum, she would not be able to differentiate one end of the crank from the other.

I once chased a noise in the BB for ages, only to figure out later that it was my front skewer.

User avatar
Posts: 493
Joined: Thu Oct 26, 2006 8:54 pm
Location: USA

by dwaharvey

With regards to the front skewer, etc... I feel like this isn't just a case of a noise when riding. I can sit on the bike, stationary, and create the noise. I can do it wearing flat sneakers or my bike shoes. I can only make the noise with the DS arm between 1 o'clock and 5 o'clock. I can't make the noise from the NDS arm in any position. And I can get my wife to hold her finger to various locations and ask her when she can feel the click, and she can't feel it when she touches the BB axle, or the chainrings... only when she touches the tip of the DS crank at the pedal spindle. I guess I'll take it over to the local cannondale dealer and see what they say.

User avatar
Posts: 283
Joined: Tue Aug 17, 2010 4:20 pm
Location: Pittsburgh, PA

by G6612

The only thing I can tell you is that the sound will travel thru the frame etc. The creak may sound like it is coming from a certain area such as your crank/pedal but maybe not where it is originating from. I have solved these issues in the past with process of elimination. I had a creak that I was so sure it was the cranks pulled them off regreased reinstalled still there. Checked my rear skewer was loose tightened fixed the problem. Second issue thought the cranks started creaking again checked skewers were tight then I check my seat was a little loose tightened it creak went away. Bottom line it could be anything on the bike not always the best to focus on one particular area.

Posts: 103
Joined: Wed Oct 28, 2009 7:13 pm

by Cleaner

I had a click with a Hollowgram set up in a CAAD9 and a CAAD10, both times it was the BB30 bearing outer race moving relative to the bottom bracket shell. In both cases I could induce the click by pressing on one spindle or the other with the bike stationary. The easy fix for me was to remove the crank arm and bearing shield and apply some Breakfree CLP at the shell/race interface; click gone. I did grease the shell when installing the bearings but after more than a year some surface corrosion from fretting was present on the bearing outer cage in a small spot.

Posts: 815
Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2009 2:35 am

by topflightpro

This sounds like the pretty common BB30 creak. Reinstall the bearings using some light loctite and everything will be fine.

Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Sep 17, 2014 5:45 pm

by jcsimko

dwaharvey - Did you ever get an answer to your problem? I am currently experiencing the exact same thing with my Hollowgram SISL. I took it to my LBS and they came to the same conclusion. Any advice on next steps would be appreciated.

Posts: 1129
Joined: Sat May 26, 2012 11:26 pm

by NiFTY

I would check all the small things first. I had a clicking sound on my SISLs and I checked everything. Cranks out, new bearings, regrease everything - bolts, spindle, lockring, pedals, new chain. It was the cassette lockring. Anything attached to the drivetrain can be the source, the noise will travel greater than twenty times the speed of sound through aluminium, and it has less than a metre to travel, you cannot localise it with your ear.
Evo 5.02kg SL3 6.77 Slice RS 8.89 viewtopic.php?f=10&t=110579" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Posts: 65
Joined: Tue Dec 14, 2010 9:18 pm

by CrossRob

Check for the noise between each stage of the following:
1) Swap out your pedals, shoes, both wheels, chain and ideally rear derailleur.
2) Clean, grease and retorque your chainring bolts.
3) Clean, Loctite and retorque your spider lockring.
4) Remove cranks, clean, grease (including those little steel washers) and retorque.
5) Remove bearings and circlips. Clean, grease and install new bearings.

Still clicking?

Buy a new frame.

User avatar
Posts: 493
Joined: Thu Oct 26, 2006 8:54 pm
Location: USA

by dwaharvey

Not definitively in terms of it's cause, but I think I did get rid of it (bike was later sold in parts). I took the whole crank apart, including removing chainring from spider, removing spider from crank, cranks from axle.... and reassembled. My suspicion is that the noise was from the spider/crank interface, and that what was happening was a tiny amount of movement there wasn't noticeable until you got out to the end of the crank where you could feel the movement (the amount amplified by the distance multiplier)

Posts: 86
Joined: Thu Jul 21, 2011 9:56 pm

by roadhog44

Try lockring holding spider on, my creak was the lockring had snapped...new lockring and issue solved

Post Reply
  • Similar Topics
    Last post