Cannondale F-Si Creak problem with details (updated with partial fix)

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Cannondale F-Si Creak problem with details (updated with partial fix)
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Posted: Jun 11, 2018 at 22:37 Quote
Update June 17: a colleague of mine was able to reproduce the creak quickly without riding -- basically pedaling against the wall. Being able to replicate it is always the crucial part of troubleshooting anything. Then we put our fingers on different parts and nailed it down to the cassette. The cassette was the source of clicks and the frame simply passed the noise to the front. I asked my LBS to lube the pins of the biggest cog and to torque the cassette itself. Now I would say it's 99.99% creak-free on trails. TBH I'll go back to LBS again to completely clean, lube and torque the cassette but it's already mostly silent. f*ck yeah! Thank you guys. For the record, here is another helpful link on XX1 cassette installation: https://www.pinkbike.com/u/Nate-at-BikeCo-com/blog/xx1-cassette-install--creak-check.html.


Hello, starting my first thread on Pinkbike. What I'm going to post here is my rather painful experience with a creak problem on my hardtail. I'll probably inspect the frame once more or get a new frame. But before that my buddy told me to post it here so maybe someone experienced has a better idea.


TL;DR

Something near the BB creaks along with every (heavy) pedal. Different bike shops claimed different causes (BB, pedal, chain stay) but no one has fixed it.

The bike and relevant parts

- 2015 Cannondale F-Si
- BB: default is PF30 -> threaded PF30 -> now PF30
- crankset: Cannondale Hollowgram Si crank and Spidering
- pedals: eggbeater

What happened

- Crash: when the bike was almost new, it fell off my car from the top rack -- possibly secured poorly by me and because of strong headwind. The front rim and the handlebar were damaged. Someone from Spyder scanned the frame and fixed a spider crack in the non-driveside chain stay. I have no idea whether or not the bottom shell was in a good shape -- we'll bring it up later.
- Creak: about four months into the bike the creak became apparent. My friend told me to use ceramic bearings. GoRide in RWC installed some ceramic bearings. It went silent for 3 months.
- Threaded BB: The second time there's creak, Summit Bicycle took a look and said threaded BB will for sure eliminate the creaks. Installed and still creaks.
- Was it the Pedals? There were some tiny noise from the Eggbeaters so we refreshed the pedals too. Still creaks. Replaced them with a good pair of Eggbeaters from my gravel bike. Same creaks. So not from the pedals.
- What else? I took it to Bike Connection in Palo Alto and told them everything I experienced. They think the creak comes from the chainstay and recommend an inspection of the frame.

Riding conditions
- Have 1k~2k miles on it. Did not do too many jumps but I ride aggressive trails and like to climb a lot. I'm a little on the slim side so the creak is probably not because of overweight.
- The trail conditions are mostly dry dirt with mud only occasionally. So it's unlikely that the BB got shit ton of mud.

At this point the only things that are not checked are the crankset, the bottom shell, the chainstay, rear axle, and the XD driver. I don't think I will buy another frame unless this frame is beyond repairable -- bottom shell deformed? Whatever it is, all I want is to get back on trails without any god damn creak. But I don't know what it takes between now and then. Thank you for looking into this problem this far. I hope you could all enjoy riding as much as you want.

Posted: Jun 11, 2018 at 22:55 Quote
How did the shop install the threaded BB? Is the frame press fit? If the creaking comes and goes I highly doubt it's frame related. Sounds BB related for sure, or something in the drivetrain. Does it only Creak when pedaling under load?

Posted: Jun 11, 2018 at 23:18 Quote
Davec85 wrote:
How did the shop install the threaded BB? Is the frame press fit? If the creaking comes and goes I highly doubt it's frame related. Sounds BB related for sure, or something in the drivetrain. Does it only Creak when pedaling under load?

Forgot to mention but the frame is FP30A on cdale’s website. I’m not familar with the installation though. The creak happens mostly under load when I’m producing some watts. If it’s the drivetrain I heard some people talking about creaks from the cassette. Again, appreciate your help!

Posted: Jun 12, 2018 at 4:31 Quote
So the frame is designed for a press fit BB, and you say a shop has fitted a threaded BB. If they have then they will have also fitted a press fit to threaded adaptor. This could well be the source of the creaking. Do you know if this is the case?

Posted: Jun 12, 2018 at 13:36 Quote
Davec85 wrote:
So the frame is designed for a press fit BB, and you say a shop has fitted a threaded BB. If they have then they will have also fitted a press fit to threaded adaptor. This could well be the source of the creaking. Do you know if this is the case?

It was a threaded press fit BB thingy Frown -- I'm not sure how that works. Anyhow it's been removed and now it's just a PF30 BB on my bike.

Posted: Jun 17, 2018 at 10:44 Quote
Updated in the OP with a partial fix. Thanks everyone who has offered their help.

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