I still remember the anxiety of going to the bike shop my first week of getting into mountain biking and having to ask them if they sold any SRAM X9 shifters as my cheap shifter broke and I had a group ride the next day.
How to Pronounce SRAM
Many people pronounce SRAM as “shram” because that is how they heard it. The correct way of saying SRAM is to just say SRAM as one syllable, without the “h” sound.
How to Pronounce Bontrager
Bontrager is another common bike manufacturer, therefore you’ll want to make sure that you are saying “BON-tray-ger” and not “Bont-rage-err” so little kids don’t laugh at you and throw stones.
How to Pronounce GIRO and SIDI
As you gear up for those epic rides, there is a good chance that you wear SIDI shoes and/or a GIRO helmet. While both companies will help you look cool, just make sure you say “JEER-o” and not “Jyro” otherwise stick to Fox helmets.
When strapping up those expensive shoes, say to yourself “SEE-dee” and not “sih-dee.”
Lezyne…Another Common Mispronounced Brand
Since you like to bring sexy back with your tools, you surely have some Lezyne tools, pronounced “luh-ZYNE” (rhymes with design) and not “leh-zeene.” Easy for you to say.
Truvativ is another very popular brand of bike components correctly stated as “true-VAY-tiv” and not “true-vah-tiv” as your riding buddy says.
How to Say fi’zi:k Before You Sit On It
fi’zi:k makes great seats, so show them respect by saying “fiz-EEK” and not “fiz-ick” like the class you failed in high school.
Teva and Thule Pronunciations
Two bonus companies to make up for the others you said wrong are Teva, pronounced “TEV-uh” and not “teeva” and Thule pronounced “TOO-lee” and “thoole.”
Not quit talking to yourself and go ride. Class dismissed.
Nothing takes away from a Zen-like ride more than a creaky/noisy bike. However, figuring out where that creaking sound is coming from can be a challenge. In this post we will talk about the top 12 areas that cause creaking in your bike.
To save time, the first step should be to take the bike around the neighborhood and try to determine when the noise happens. Shift your weight on the bike and notice if the noise happens when you are:
Armed with a general idea of when the creaking sound is happening, let’s now cruise through the list of possibilities.
12 Solutions to a Creaky Bike
- Quick release (QR) – This should be the first area to check as it is really common. Make sure the wheel is centered and that the QR is tight. Both can cause the bike to creak. Now might be a good time to pull the skewer out, wipe it clean, and apply a light coat of grease.
- Stem blots – Dry, crusty bolts or dirt under the face plate of your stem can cause creaking. Take all bolts out, clean them, and apply a light layer of grease. Wipe the bar and faceplate clean (don’t apply grease here) and reinstall and torque to the correct spec. Uneven bolt tension can also be a source of creaking.
- Seat rails – If you notice noise only when sitting, there is a good chance that your saddle is the culprit. Unlike stems, where the bolt is usually the guilty party, with seats it is usually contamination between the saddle rails and the clamp. Clean the rails (no grease) and reinstall your seat.
- Headset – Remove the stem and fork from the bike and pull the bearings out of the frame. Take a clean rag and wipe the bearing contact services, the bearings, and reassemble with a light coat of grease.
- Linkage bolts – If your ride is full squish, loose linkage and frame bolts can be a cause of creaking and/or cause some serious damage to your suspension system. Use a torque wrench and snug all linkage bolts to manufacturers specifications.
- Pedals – It is typically assumed (with good reason) that most noise comes from the bottom bracket area. We begin troubleshooting this area with the most overlooked area…pedals. Pull the pedals off, clean the threads of the pedals and cranks, apply a light coat of grease, and reinstall. Don’t be “that guy” that tightens the pedals too much. Pedals just need to be snug there tough guy.
- Cranks – We move to the cranks, which obviously catches a lot of dirt and crime. Depending on the type of cranks you have, you will either want to pull the spindle and clean and grease, or you will want to uninstall from the bottom bracket and clean and grease these contact points.
- Chainring Bolts – Chainring bolts are ofter overlooked in the creak troubleshooting game. Given the amount of stress the chainrings endure, it is a good idea to clean, grease, and torque these bolts as well.
- Bottom bracket – Uninstall the bottom bracket, clean the threads on the frame as well as the threads on the bottom bracket, grease and reinstall. Be sure to also grease the spindle contact area of the inboard portion of external bearings.
- Derailleur hanger – Most bike manufacturers install hangers without any grease, so this can be a sneaky area for noise. As with everything else, uninstall, clean, and grease.
- Cassette – Grab your cassette with your hands and see if you can rock the cassette at all. If you feel any play, it is time to take apart, clean the hub, grease, and reinstall/torque.
- Spokes – Spoke tension can be a cause of creaking. As spokes loosen up (especially with wheels that aren’t hand built) they can cause your bike to creak. Grab and squeeze all of the spokes, near the hub, and if you notice any loose, it is time to tighten them up or to take the wheel to your local bike shop and have them tru the wheel for you.
If none of the above work, throw the bike out and get a better one. You wanted a better bike anyway. Cheers.
Mountain bike disc brake noise can be really annoying. Luckily, it isn’t that hard to fix with just a few basic steps.
Find the Problem
The first step is to get a spray bottle of just plain water. Spray the water on the rotors, without getting any on the caliper/pads, and then ride it down the street and test the brakes. Did the noise go away? If it did, you most likely have an issue (contamination) with the pads/rotors or some glaze build-up. Disassemble the brakes, take some really fine-grit sandpaper, and do figure eights on a flat surface. You just want to rough up the pads a little, and clean any buildup on them. Next, get some brake cleaner, from the auto parts store (read the label to ensure it is OK for brake pads) and clean your rotors and spray the pads with the cleaner. Now I KNOW there is at least one person who will read this that will swear up and down that all kinds of bad stuff will happen and you may even go to hell for trying such a wicked and forbidden act, but I assure you I have done this on at least six occasions with great results every time. Your call. I know rubbing alcohol gets the nod most of the time, but it simply doesn’t work as good in my experience (if at all). You may have to lightly sand your rotors, as well, if you suspect glazing. I personally never have had to sand rotors, but I know many people do.
Water Didn’t Work
You say that when you sprayed the rotors with water, it still squealed? Very common. Most people start replacing parts at this point, but there is an easier solution. Take the pads off, and clean the pistons inside of the calipers, with a lint-free cloth moistened with that brake cleaner previously mentioned, and then clean the back of the pads as well. Most likely the noise is coming from where the pads contact the pistons.
I personally skip the second part of the above paragraph. Instead, I clean the pistons (as mentioned) and then sand off all of the paint on the back of the pads and take it down to the bare copper (or whatever). I then use a metal cleaner, such as Brasso, and I polish the pads. I had a really stubborn pair of pads, on my Formula Oro brakes, that this worked like a charm on. In an extreme case, you can put the thinnest layer of anti-brake squeal (from cars) on the back of the pads or even grease. I am talking THIN, and apply it with a razor blade. Anyone that has ever installed a CPU on a computer build will know exactly what I am talking about. Good luck!