My 2018 Trek Domane SLR that I built up from the frameset has incessant creaking from the headset. It started halfway through my second ride on the bike. I suspected the handlebars, and that led to a whole other story by itself. After waiting over a month for a replacement from Trek, I installed the new handlebars and was greeted with the same creaking within 5 minutes of test riding. I took it to a local bike shop and they opened up the headset and greased up the front IsoSpeed decoupler (as instructed by Trek). The creaking started again within a few minutes when I rode it the following day (it was completely silent when I rode it in the bike shop's parking lot, of course).
A creak comes from the slightest shift in weight on the bars, which is all the time due to small bumps or even braking. Essentially, this bike a constant creaking soundtrack with a creak every second or so. It's loud and audible even while riding in the wind (I'm sure everyone around me can hear it as well). It is very distracting and ruins the experience of an otherwise fantastic bike. The creaking is almost definitely from the headset, possibly due to the front IsoSpeed decoupler. It feels like it is coming from the front end of the frame, around the top tube.
- I've confirmed that it's not the cable (creaking was present when I removed the cables).
- I don't think it's the handlebar (the creak seems to be coming from the frame)
- It's not the saddle or the bottom bracket (the bike creaks when I'm not on it simply by putting weight on the hoods or by turning the bars sharply left or right)
- It's not the QR skewers either
- Loosening the top cap and the stem bolts stops the noise, but returns once retightened
Has anyone faced a similar issue with the bike? If so, how did you resolve it? If not, any advice would be greatly appreciated.