Burning Question: What Causes Some Fork Crowns to Creak?

Mar 26, 2021
by Seb Stott  



We view our tech polls as a useful yet limited source of information. But even with a shovelful of salt and the knowledge that there's a ton of participation bias (you're more likely to respond to a poll about creaky CSUs if you've had a creaky CSU), we were surprised at the large number of people who said they'd owned at least one fork that started creaking at the CSU. So we ran a follow up poll which provided more context by asking how many forks PB users have owned in total, and from which brands.

It's worth bearing in mind that the Pinkbike audience in general doesn't necessarily represent the wider MTB market - if you're checking the homepage everyday you're probably more into mountain biking than the average rider. Also, as was pointed-out in the comments several times, it is possible that in many cases creaking headset, stem or axles have been misdiagnosed as creaking crown.

Digging into the data from both polls, my big-picture takeaway is that the number of reported creaking CSUs for each brand was very strongly correlated with their popularity among our audience. There weren't any especially notable outliers from the trend; no one brand has a wildly high number of creaking forks relative to the number of forks they sell, and no brand seems immune to creaking either. Nevertheless, it seems clear that a significant number of Pinkbike users have had creaking fork issues. So, to investigate further I reached out to representatives from the major suspension manufacturers and tuning companies. I asked them all the following set of questions:


• What causes forks to creak at the crown? Is it more often at the junction of the stanchions or the steerer, in your experience?
• Can you give us any idea of how common this problem is?
• What could be done to minimize the risk of creaking?






Sean Estes - Fox
Due to the nature of their design, single crown forks experience the highest loads at the CSU region (crown/steer tube/upper tubes assembly). This is especially true on modern enduro-style bikes with long-travel and slack head tube angles – both of which increase leverage and loads. CSU assemblies are press-fit, meaning the steer tube and the stanchion tubes are pressed into the crown. Over time, due to repeated forces generated while riding, under some circumstances creaking of the press-fit interfaces can begin to develop. The greater and more frequent the forces, the sooner creaking can develop. Dust and water migration from harsh climates and direct pressure washing have shown to accelerate this phenomena.

We realize this can be a frustrating issue for riders, and we want you to know that we share in that frustration. Taking care of riders is our top priority and we proudly stand behind our products – on the service side, we will gladly take care of anyone experiencing creaking crowns as quickly as we possibly can. On the product side, we’ve recently implemented some running changes to help address this and we’re close to introducing additional updates that we feel confident will provide an extremely robust long-term solution. We will have more to share on that soon.





Chris Mandell - RockShox

Chris Mandell
This is not something that we see occurring in our forks that often. But to be perfectly frank, it is something that can happen to any fork. We spend a considerable amount of time and resources in the product design process and our product assembly practices to eliminate the chance of this happening. If a rider should experience this issue they should take it to their RockShox retailer and we will work with them to correct it.





Steve Mathews - Vorsprung Suspension
Fork creaking is the result of micro slippage between parts of the press-fit interface surfaces (crown to steerer and crown to stanchions) due to the differences in surface displacement under bending loads - to visualise this, bend a paperback book and watch the pages slide over each other as it bends. It is not immediately clear why creaking does or does not happen on any given fork, nor can I give you good info on whether it's usually the steerer or the stanchions, but the fact that virtually all forks start silent and only some develop noise indicates that fretting wear and/or plastic [permanent] deformation of the press fit surfaces are the likely culprits.

Some service centres around the world press out the steerers/stanchions from the crowns, apply retaining compounds and press them back together to quiet them down.

However due to the tight tolerances involved in thin wall aluminium press fits, we decline to do that, as we do not have sufficient data on the manufacturers' tolerances and surface finish requirements for the press fit interfaces, and given the visible wear on press-fit parts that have been taken apart, it is a risk we do not wish to assume. However, anecdotally this procedure seems to have had good results for some people, at least in the short term, though I don't have any meaningful information on whether that type of fix is consistent or durable - try it at your own risk.

I don't know how common CSU creaking is as a percentage of forks out there all told, but we do see it quite frequently on long travel singlecrown forks from all the major manufacturers (some forks more commonly than others), but then again we're located in an area where people manage to destroy every single bike part ever made. There's close to a metre of leverage between the crown and the contact patch of the tyre, and any load placed on the wheel exhibits a significant bending load that is borne by a relatively small interface on a SC fork. There isn't much that a rider can do to prevent their CSU creaking, it's not a maintenance problem - the problem comes from an inanimate structural part. What's the solution? I don't have a good answer for that - I've seen many proposed "obvious" solutions online, such as anodized crowns, tighter press fits, retaining compounds etc, but my opinion is that if it was as simple as any of those, we wouldn't be having to discuss this, because it clearly isn't an easy thing to get right since so far nobody has nailed it 100% of the time. The only surefire solution I have seen is longer stanchions and a second crown, which has its own obvious drawbacks!





Cornelius Kapfinger - Intend

The reason for creaking crowns is micro movement between the two parts crown/steerer or crown/stanchion. Both joints are heavily affected for creaking noises, just because of the dimension of the joint compared to the huge leverage of modern bikes.

If you sum up all length, fork length at full travel and 29" wheel radius, you have around 1 meter of lever with a huge force down at the tire if you brake hard and hit bumps and so on. This loads come together at a 0.04m diameter steerer tube with around 25mm height. It is obvious that the joint is too small for this load. Same for the stanchions, but at least you have 2 of them, but the problem still will occur.

But this problem can be solved to 100% using a little chemical help, which connects the two partners not only by a certain pressing force, but also with chemicals. The magic thing is Loctite. Loctite has the property to connect two metals by hardening without air in between. Although it can be that there is a little micro movement somewhere, the Loctite avoids ANY creaking noise there like a grease.

At picture one you can see how a normal aluminum crown without using Loctite looks like after 1 year of riding + 1 solid run on a test bench ( 100000 cycles normal load + 12000 cycles braking load). It looks like a battlefield. This one creaked afterwards.

Four years ago I started using Loctite for all Intend forks to strengthen both the steerer/crown joint as well as the stanchion/crown joint and since then there was not a single creaking case out of 300 forks.

Cornelius claims that good old Loctite solves the creaking and damage shown in the first image.

So for me and my Intend forks I solved this problem to 100% and my customers can be really sure not to have trouble here.





Franco Fratton - EXT

2021 EXT Era fork
EXT's crown extends up the steerer tube, increasing overlap in a bid to minimize creaking.
Our experience is very limited on fork and CSU critical dimension and assembly technique, but we are trying to learn and improve our technique. Our understanding is quite simple: both steerer and stanchion get a press fit into the crown; this is the industry standard on a single crown fork.

We believe that both the steerer and stanchion can contribute to the creaking problem and we think it’s mainly the steerer that's the most suspected as it’s the most stressed area as it’s far away from the wheel axle.

Also the ratio between the steerer diameter and the press fit zone on the crown is very high and this induces a massive pressure gradient on the contact surface coupling. We also believe the problem stems from choices made to reduce weight and height. It is very difficult to maintain consistent coupling surface dimension and surface finish on the press fit area if dimensions are down to minimum wall thickness to maximize weight saving.

For this reason at EXT we have decided to introduce an innovative (patent pending) design that doubles the contact surface between the steerer and the crown in the “press fit” zone. In this way we achieve a much greater press quality and characteristic in the coupling area preventing possible creaking noise. We use very dedicated tools and press fit technique as well as dedicated glue/lube to facilitate the press fit, reducing friction and improving adhesion between the stressed surface on the CSU.





Phil Ott - Manitou

Creaking in a suspension fork can come from any number of interference fit parts, most of the time it is the joint between the steerer and crown, or crown and legs. We do not see (or is it hear?) many creaking CSUs from the field due to a proprietary manufacturing method we’ve developed over the years. Of the very few we do see the joint between the crown and legs is typically the culprit. Generally, the higher the press fit force the lower the risk of creaking. As the mountain bike world pursues lighter weight components the reduction in material of a press fit joint will create a trade off with the amount of force that can be applied to the press-fit joint.

The natural flex imparted by riding stresses these joints and imparts microscopic deformation of the leg and/or steerer tube. Creaking is caused by the friction between the two components of the press fit joint expanding and contracting at a microscopic level. All Manitou interference fit parts use a proprietary technique during the assembly process to virtually eliminate movement in a press fit joint.





Thomas Westfeldt - Öhlins
The CSU is a critical part of the fork both from a safety and performance perspective. The main challenge may look simple on paper; the bonding of three aluminum tubes into a crown made of the same material. When riding a lot of stress is being put on these parts and you want the stanchions to keep their alignment into the lowers for best possible performance - In this bond (stanchion to crown) we have not seen any issues even in our toughest tests.

If there is creaking sound from the fork, which is very uncommon in ours, it tends to originate from the other bond in the CSU, between the crown and the steer tube. We have put a lot of developed into our solutions to the steer/crown bond; our first fork the RXF34 did not even have a bond but a one-piece creek free design. Is was good for not creaking but complicated to manufacture / use with different headsets so we have progressed from that and developed a better design and manufacturing process. In the assembly process each step is controlled and recorded for every individual fork.

For customers that experience issues with noise from the front end of the bike it is important to check the stem, headset and axle are installed correctly. If there is still a creaking noise the rider should turn to a service center for a check.





Chris Porter - Mojo Rising
Seb, I've been an expert making forks creak but...I'm not the one that was able to make it stop!

The reason they creak is a kind of corrosion, the technical term is fretting corrosion which describes the constant tiny movements between the surfaces of the stanchion and the crown, generally one anodised and one non-anodised pressed part. Usually the two parts are pressed in with some kind of grease or assembly paste but that tends to simply move around in use and leaves sections of dry parts to create this fretting corrosion in time.

We've seen bushes binding so much they overcome the press fit when the fork twists! I can't be sure 'cos you can only see the before and after, not the during [but] we noticed shadows of the corrosion outlining the cutaway in the crown going round the stanchion in steps like corroded ghosts of former alignments, suggesting the stanchion had rotated in the crown.




Noah Sears - MRP

Crown creaking is an issue we legitimately rarely experience with our forks, but we’ve certainly dealt with it before. Our local terrain (and Moab, nearby) and environment do a great job of eliciting the types of forces that cause creaking to appear, which has been a benefit to our R&D. Locally we have a lot of square-edged hits, hucks-to-flat, and heavy-braking-required spots, coupled with pernicious moon dust that permeates every nook and cranny on your bike. Should any customer have creaking, once we establish the fork is the culprit (often it’s the headset), we take care of them 100%.

Along with just about every part interface in a fork assembly, the CSU interfaces provide opportunities for noise when you get parts moving relative to each other. The stanchion-crown and steerer-crown press-fit interfaces bear particularly high loads. By design we stiffen those interfaces with strategically located material via part shaping, maximize interface areas strategically, optimize interface interference magnitudes, utilize anodized bores in all areas, and include the use of bonding agents in the press-fit regions.

Noteworthy here is that the dual-crown configuration of the Bartlett fork substantially alters the dynamic of the interfaces at play, distributing loads across a broader configuration of contact points and surface areas, leveraging the stiffness of all parts of the system to increase overall system rigidity and allowing for the tailoring of localized loads. Riders who’ve experienced creaking frequently on other long-travel forks may want to give it a gander.



What have we learned?

Why do forks crowns still creak after nearly three decades of development? It could be that more people are riding harder than ever on single crowns. The growing popularity of long-travel 29" forks doesn't help either, because these longer forks put more leverage and stress on the crown. All this means that building forks that never creak is no easy task, and possibly harder than ever.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, no brand was willing to tell us the exact percentage of forks that come back with creaking crowns, but reading between the lines they give the impression that the warranty rate is far lower than the polls suggest. That's not surprising given the inevitable biases associated with opt-in polls discussed above.

One of the most interesting comments in my view was the assertion from Fox that fine dirt and water ingress from pressure-washing can accelerate corrosion and increase the chances of creaking. Perhaps this helps explain why some riders report many creaking crowns and others none - the dirt where you ride and how you wash the bike could have an impact on longevity. It's also very interesting to hear that they acknowledge the problem and are working on a solution.

So are dual crown downcountry forks the only way to stop creaking in the future? We hope not...


258 Comments

  • 302 3
 You might be cool. But you’ll never be “sending a photo of yourself taking a dump to Pinkbike for your profile in an article about suspension design” cool.
  • 43 1
 At first glance I was like „what kind of suspension servicing thing is that“ but then I noticed it’s a toilet paper holder. Absolute legend.
  • 32 0
 Chris Porter seems to be taking a dump too, but his food was a lot spicier.
  • 22 0
 You can take the man out of Australia, but you can never take the Australian out of the man.
  • 3 0
 @Dougal-SC: The Maydena tee?
  • 153 3
 Out of all the answers, The Rock shot representative answer was the most shallow and useless answer of all.
  • 8 3
 "Rockshox" no "shot". Oops
  • 50 0
 Yeah that guy went into some great depth with his answer. "Nope doesn't happen, dunno what you're talking about." is what he might as well have said.
  • 14 0
 Yup. I was pretty disappointed in that response compared to the time everyone else put in.
  • 25 1
 Are you surprised?
  • 33 3
 Exactly the answer I'd expect from them. Oddly, at Crankworx a few years back, I went to the Sram tent to get my CSU replaced because it was creaking like crazy. The Sram rep was pretty rude and sarcastic to my mate and I, and even said "you're gonna have to make it creak more than that if you want us to replace it" when I demo'ed the noise. Joking or not, it was pretty unprofessional, and not something I'd say to a customer.

In fairness, they did replace it there and then, which was cool, especially since I didn't have any proof of purchase with me (it would be pretty weird to carry a receipt for my bike to the Alps though). I went through another two CSUs on that bike before deciding I'd never give any more money to Sram. Hahaha. Maybe not the most relevant anecdote, but this just reminded me of it.
  • 26 0
 It was equally as useless as the podcast that pinkbike did with him a few months ago. He should go into politics.
  • 18 1
 @trouble: I heard that podcast was awful as well. @rockshox, you hearing this feedback?
  • 6 0
 @bicycleconnor: I had the opposite experience at crankworx with sram. I was having issues with a damper and they overhauled my fork and installed a new damper with a free air cartridge upgrade. I wasn't going to say no haha they were really nice to me was well.
  • 2 2
 And out of all the fork brands mentioned in the survey or interviewed here its been Rockshox that creaked more than any of the rest.
  • 7 9
 wanna take a guess what their answer is when you ask them about things like the failure rate of Reverbs or why their brakes feel like hot garbage out of the box? LOL

it RS/Sram is anything, it's consistent(ly bad)!
  • 6 1
 @makripper: Maybe I'm cynical, but you were at one of the largest MTB marketing events in the world where their tents exist solely to win over hearts, minds, and wallets.
  • 6 0
 @pmhobson: just comparing my and the original commenters experiences. You are right though.
  • 6 4
 My pikes creaked like a whores bed post, drove me to distraction.
  • 3 0
 My Rockshox CSU started creaking last weekend. Great to see they've got the best technical people on the case, and not just some bro with his tongue out.
  • 4 4
 To be fair. Rockshox have the most reliable press-fits of the big two. By a long-shot.
  • 1 1
 @Dougal-SC:
Agree!
  • 128 8
 everyone: "There isn't much that a rider can do to prevent their CSU creaking"
Cornelius Kapfinger: literally provides a solution
  • 27 2
 I may be misunderstanding it but it seems that Kapfinger provides a solution to the symptom (creaking) where others are trying to address the root of the issue. 99% of people aren't going to care so long as they don't hear the sound
  • 33 1
 It's worth having a look at what Steve at Vorsprung has to say about that though.
  • 43 20
 what a load of BS ! Comparing 300 forks sales that have no creaks to 1 million forks from sram or fox is simply unrealistic. Btw, I had a creaky csu on a pike, tried the green loctite hack twice and it never worked. Pretty sure if that loctite trick was magic sram and fox would be using it...
  • 12 0
 @Charlotroy: The point is to stop moisture and crap getting in there in the first place and causing corrosion. It probably also helps to reduce the galling, by acting as a sort of lubrication, or at least gap filling?
  • 6 4
 @Charlotroy: well obviously if the gaps aren’t exposed to the air then you won’t be able to put loctite in them
  • 32 0
 @Charlotroy: The locktite should be applied on the initial pressfit operation. Once plastic deformation has occurred you're probably out of luck. Besides, I don't think comparing your own experience with a makeshift fix is a fair comparison to the process of a boutique suspension manufacturer...
  • 7 4
 @kleinblake: Loctite does not require air to cure. It is designed for use in threaded applications.
  • 41 0
 @kleinblake: I'm just filling my pressure washer up with Loctite. It's got to work if the Fox comments are accurate.
  • 6 1
 @rideordie35: it requires being able to reach the space that needs loctite, which it can’t do if there is no continuous opening to the air (assuming you aren’t taking out and repressing your steerer/stanchions)
  • 7 0
 @seb-stott:
Isn't he suggesting that it's a bad idea to press out an old steerer, add loctite then press it back in? He doesn't mention the process for new forks as Intend do.
  • 3 0
 @rideordie35: I think he means if there wasn't a gap to begin with then there's no room for loctite. But yes loctite is anaerobic.

So based on Steve's / Fox's explanation there's debris, whether from the stanchions, crowns, or outside sources getting in between which either starts or comes from fretting wear. The reason the locktite works is to reduce that friction/keep junk out but not a 100% solution because it could eventually dry/crack/scrape off. I'm guessing the solution would be 1 piece stanchion/crown/steerer tube since that eliminates all gaps that would be the source of fretting wear. How you accomplish that cheaply or at all? No idea
  • 20 0
 @seb-stott: In fairness to Kapfinger, Vorsprung is discussing re-pressing previously pressed parts as an after-creak fix and Kapfinger is suggesting using Loctite on the initial press.

As noted previously, it is hard to use 300 combined units to the overall volume of Fox units alone in the wild.

100% solution: earplugs. Also makes your bike quieter.
  • 3 2
 @rideordie35: i don't think it's fair to say kapfinger found a magic trick when fox/rock shox/manitou have been producing forks before kapfinger was born
  • 2 0
 @Charlotroy: second this. Kapfinger found a good workaround but ultimately the issue is fretting wear. The creaking is just the by-product
  • 2 0
 @Charlotroy: I had a creaky xfusion sweep and used loctite prep and then the green and that silenced the noise.
  • 4 6
 @tkrug: Works for the wife too.
  • 15 2
 With how its currently done, the creaking is inevitable. Usually you would prepare the surfaces for a pressfit by either turning or even grinding them to a very close tolerance with a nice finish and then heat them differentially, to reduce interference while fitting the parts.
Meanwhile the bike industry cant even perform such a simple task done in other industries a million times a day, because spending 5 more bucks on a proper pressfit is quite unreasonable, when the end product only costs 800-1600€.
By standards of proper engineering, the bike industry is a field of f*cking amateurs.
  • 2 0
 Which Loctite product though? 609 retaining compound?

The only hint is that it's a green fluid applied to a fresh steerer before being pressed in.
  • 3 2
 @hangdogr: 2016 YT called, they are issuing a cease and desist on that boomer humor.
  • 3 0
 Everyone else is making at least 10's of thousands of forks per year on a production line. Intend is hand building a lot fewer. So he can use methods than are slower and more intensive. Loctite is classed as hazardous and doesn't bond well to anodised aluminium. Those are the two major issues with it.
  • 1 1
 @Charlotroy: I believe RS and Fox use dry press fits. Loctite-ing every fork probably cots too much in comparison to just warrantying a few CSUs.
  • 2 0
 @kleinblake: The wicking grades of locktite do just that: wick into tiny gaps.
  • 2 0
 Cane Creek applies pressfit compound to their CSU interfaces before pressing things together as well. I've owned a few Pike's, all have creaked within a year. Have owned several Helms, none have made a sound. Something to it, I think.
  • 3 1
 It’s actually pathetic. We’ve been dealing with shitty crowns since the early 90’s the amount of perfectly good forks I can’t sell because the crown creaks is ridiculous and every crown will creak within 2 years. This is absolutely unacceptable for the ridiculous amount of money they charge for forks these days. If they can’t make press fit crowns work and they quite clearly can’t they need to go back to bolt up crowns and stop over charging us for a product that’s going in the spares bin once it’s two year warranty is up oh and SRAM when I send my forks back for a new CSU I want the CSU that I payed for not a knock off replacement without the sag meters.
  • 1 0
 @Varaxis: Yeap, 609 is pretty low viscosity. You can use it on assembled press fits with some success, as it will creep into the joint. Stuff was a life saver when press fit bb's were getting worked out.
  • 4 0
 @seb-stott: the difference between Intends and Vorsprungs take is not relevant. Vorsprung declines to disassemble and reassemble CSUs, not because they don't believe in the efficacy of retaining compound, but because why would you take that risk on a customer's used fork for which you have zero knowledge of the tolerances and surface finishes used by the manufacturer? Cornelius actually makes forks, so he has found retaining compound to be an effective preventative measure.
  • 2 0
 @PullMyBrakeLever: Steve is clear that he doubts the solution is as easy as retaining compound.
  • 1 0
 @kleinblake: agreed. Steve also said that, at least anecdotally, reassembly with retaining compound works. Steve's take can't be taken as a rebuttal to Cornelius', given that he doesn't assemble CSUs at all and his comments are based on anecdotes (the procedure working) and speculation (the doubt that retaining compound solves the issue).
  • 2 0
 @rideordie35: there are types of loctite intended for the press fit of cylindrical surfaces.
  • 2 0
 @Rokcore: I'm surprised that one piece upper are not an aftermarket item already. If creaking is such an issue , a small company already doing niche market product could jump on board and manufacture 1 piece upper
  • 1 0
 @Elgaucher: You dont even need a one piece upper. extending the crown by 15mm, so the lower bearing can sit on the crown would be enough.
  • 3 0
 @PullMyBrakeLever: exactly - I don't have enough information to offer strong opinions on loctiting the press fit parts and how reliable or durable it is as a solution. From the guys I've talked to around the world who offer disassembling and repressing CSUs with loctite as a service, it seems to be capable of shutting up an existing creaky CSU, and if you're out of warranty and are willing to chance it, it's probably a decent option to try. It might even be a permanent fix, and I think most likely it's also totally safe. But as someone who used to test structural automotive parts in a lab for a living, I personally don't want to mess with interfaces like that without sufficient hard data, it's the most highly stressed part on the entire bike with the highest consequence for any failure.

My main point was that loctite is extremely cheap and easy to add to an assembly process - every fork and shocks already has a number of loctited interfaces already, it's certainly not cost that prevents anyone doing that. I'm not privy to what Fox and Rockshox have or have not tested, but given the amount of money that warranty claims on creaking CSUs must be costing them, it seems extremely improbable to me that they haven't tried it already, since it's literally the cheapest, easiest possible solution they could hope for. It's easy to sit on the internet and say "well obviously the solution is ____" or write the entire bike industry off as a joke, but crowns and stanchions in particular are actually legitimately precise parts by almost any industry's standard, and it is no exaggeration to say fork structures (CSUs in particularly) are the most robustly lab-tested part of any mountain bike. I can't recall ever seeing anyone actually snap or bend a modern SC fork at the crown, which is quite incredible, because I've seen people break just about everything else.

One piece crown/steerers might be a partial solution (X-Fusion, Ohlins and Fox have all tried this in the past and subsequently abandoned it), but they still don't solve any problems at the stanchion/crown interface, plus they're hard/expensive to make.
  • 1 0
 @VorsprungSuspension: Is there anything physically holding a company back from creating a one piece stanchion/crown/steerer unit? I'm assuming this is much more difficult than just a once piece crown/steerer and very cost prohibitive just to solve a creaking issue.
  • 1 0
 @Rokcore: it is possible, but just would be bloody expensive. I’m not sure how you would make the crown hollow with a single piece setup.
  • 50 1
 "So are dual crown downcountry forks the only way to stop creaking in the future? We hope not..."

Certainly a bit of an extreme solution for a downcountry fork, but I'm not sure why there's this general aversion to dual-crown forks. Obviously they benefit this common issue, are inherently stiffer, allow for more travel in less axle-to-crown length, give you flexibility on axle-to-crown length (and thus bike geometry), let you use ever-perfectly-straight DM stems, give you more volume for spring tuning (and damper guts), and a myriad of other advantages.
  • 26 0
 I've been saying this for years... make it lighter than a Zeb/38 and get Sam Hill to race it. It will hottest new part ever.
  • 9 1
 when is dual crown down-gravel coming
  • 6 0
 @NoahColorado I'll swing by the MRP office later for my dual crown downcountry fork later today. Wink
  • 6 0
 @adrennan: it's actually already come and gone, look at the Cannondale Slate from a few years ago. Smile
  • 3 0
 the Cannondale lefty used to be a half of a dual crown, I know there were a lot of haters but I personally loved it
  • 7 0
 People are against dual crowns because they are a tad heavier. Most people would rather have a light bike than actually get stronger. I will never go back to flexy single crown forks!
  • 7 0
 In the freeride days 160mm and 170mm dual crown forks were the norm on everyday bikes- and they were awesome. Stiff, accurate, quiet and barely heavier. Turning radius was an absolute non-issue with most of them. When the industry went to single crown forks they felt like wet noodles in comparison to what we were used to.
  • 3 0
 But my grams!
  • 4 1
 yada yada.....Bring back the TOTEM!
  • 3 0
 @50percentsure: the zeb is a massive improvement in terms of stiffness compared to every other single crown fork I’ve ridden bot it still don’t see how they couldn’t have made a boxxer / lyrik hybrid at this weight that would have been even better.
  • 2 0
 @thenotoriousmic: The boxxer will be stiffer under braking as well as laterally which can not be achieved with a single crown. You could have 50mm sliders and it still wouldn't be as stiff as a dual crown fork because the problem is always the crown and steerer tube. As for weight, I fail to see how having a fork 200-300g lighter is better if its performance is vastly inferior eg more binding, more flex under braking and less precision.
  • 1 0
 @NoahColorado: Yup. And the Specialized Enduro. Man that fork was a piece of crap. I bought it used, my first true mountain bike. First ride out, I didn’t realize it needed bump stops, fork turned and immediately dented the frame.

Spent more time being sent back to Specialized for repair than being on the bike itself.
  • 2 0
 The sid dc pioneered the dual crown, long travel xc fork over 20 years ago. Its time will come again
  • 1 0
 @hughlunnon: the time is just around the corner... it will happen and it will be great... we will see 170 - 190mm DC forks lighter and stiffer than the Zebb or 38 ...
  • 33 5
 I have endless respect for Steve but the idea that “if it was an easy fix then it would be fixed” is putting a LOT of faith in the bike industry that it just hasn’t earned. This is an industry that took like 2 decades to try making bikes longer
  • 17 2
 a bike is just 2 triangles. Is it that hard to get geometry dialed?
  • 8 0
 It also took them 2 decades to make damping cartridges that didn't blow out at least once a season.
  • 5 0
 @SlodownU: Avalanche has been making great damping cartridges for at least 15 years. The major player are just micro-adjusting every cycle.
  • 1 0
 @jaydawg69: bikes that are actually only 2 triangles (road) did already dial that a while ago. that pesky suspension!
  • 1 0
 @mariomtblt: only 2 triangles to get the basic geometry.... suspension is another story.
  • 1 0
 @mariomtblt: No road didn't dial geo at all! What they did is dial bikes within the limits of the UCI! To think a short, steep, slack seat angle bike is ideal for high speed road racing is ridiculous!
  • 1 0
 Why make long bikes at the time if:
- short bikes sold well
- there wasn't not much incentive to risk it

The bike industry isn't unfortunately running a mission for progress and civilization enlightenment, it's a business like any other. Any business adapts over time according the environment aka the demand, the trends and the competition.

The fact that the more recent MTB world inherited the Road trends (like weight, bike geometry etc) definitely didn't help,that's for sure.
  • 1 1
 @SlodownU: Sram just recently has regressed in this area.... those new Charger 2.1 dampers will piss right out of the top and you can't fix them! Love the design sram NAHT
  • 31 4
 Dual crowns are stiffer at csu and at handlebar, have lower axle to crown, adjustable axle to crown and room for bigger damper and spring. The only way they are not better is weight and turning radius, which can be totally sufficient. The hierarchy of functionally desirable traits goes something like this: Durability, performance, THEN weight, then cost, then looks. There are better ways to save weight near the headtube then having a meter long lever attached to a 1” press fit, attached to a 1 1/8” tube, attached to a 30” wise lebever that you reef on, which your life and steering accuracy depends on. You can save significant weight on handlebar by running lighter headset clamp, carbon bar, single clamp or glue on grips, cutting steer tube down, no Garmin mount, lighter weight brake master cylinders, lighter saddle, lighter dropper....all that would add up to way more weight savings up high than a dual crown adds. 38’s are by mo means ligjt anyway. single crown forks are not the answer.

Pretty silly imo single crowns are still standard on 580-610mm axle to crown forks with 370mm radius wheels and 9” brake rotors. The zeb and 38 should have been dual crown forks.

These people should have mentioned the answer IS dual crown forks.
  • 3 1
 Bingo. I had three months on a 38 before I switched my dorado onto it. The weight difference is totally worth it to me and I do about 75km a week on that bike. If I hadn’t been spoiled by the dorado, I would have bought a boxxer as the weight on those is really low. It wouldn’t take much work to get 160-190mm dual crown forks just about as light as zeb and 38’s.
  • 12 0
 But then I couldn't do x-ups! I can't now, but still!
  • 2 0
 "These people should have mentioned the answer IS dual crown forks."

I think it wasn't really the question they were asked though. It is pretty obvious that Chris porter is very pro dual crown or else he would not have gone to all the trouble of doing a dual crown conversion kit for the 36.
  • 1 0
 Couldn't have said it better myself!
  • 7 0
 Vorsprung did say dual crowns are the answer; "The only surefire solution I have seen is longer stanchions and a second crown..."
  • 1 1
 but like, how I am I going to get that sick bar spin in???
  • 1 0
 @moduwave:
Exactly, just the excuse you needed. A buddy used to throw bar whacks like a baspin but the fork just bounces side to side a few times.

I pedal my 180mm 37lb nicolai g19 with a formula nero r all the time. Its seat post insertion and applicable chainring size that keeps dh and lots of bikes from being good for pedaling, not the dual crown. My fork only weighs a couple hundred grams more than a single crown..

@mixmastamikal

The questions whatcauses fork crowns to creak and what can be done about it... the answer to both IS dual crown.
  • 1 0
 Bolt up crowns would work. Doesn’t have to be duel crowns.
  • 1 0
 This sprung to life a while ago... 1,5-crown fork:
www.pinkbike.com/news/intend-bandit-one-and-a-half-crowns-downduro.html
  • 1 0
 @Afterschoolsports: I believe we will see 170 - 190mm dual crown forks lighter and stiffer than the Zeb/38 (or al least on par) released hopefully within this season... I have a feeling something good is coming...
  • 24 2
 'What Does The Fox Say?'
  • 37 1
 creak...creak...creak...?
  • 14 0
 Phil Ott - Manitou: "We do not see (or is it hear?) many creaking CSUs from the field due to a proprietary manufacturing method we’ve developed over the years"

Well, "over the years" must not include the Mattocs from around '17-'18. I went through 3 of those CSU's in 3 years, and I'm not even known for making crowns creak. A buddy of mine can literally make any single crown fork creak.
  • 38 2
 you never hear Manitous creaking out in the field because you never see Manitous out in the field.
  • 5 6
 @hamncheez: No, "you" never hear them. I do.
  • 3 0
 The 2018 boost mattocs were a design change issue. They reduced the metal around the steerer socket (compared to the non boost Mattoc) and that softened the press-fit enough for the steerer to move and creak.
They fixed it for 2019+.
  • 1 0
 @Dougal-SC: Mine were all non-boost, so it also affected the pre-boost production as well.
  • 1 0
 It's al relative. That generation was very prone to creaking apparently. Compare that to Fox that had more generations with creaking issues than generations without, and you might say 'they hardly ever creak'. Not completely honest though, but do you know many companies that are?
  • 16 0
 A set of decent headphones will fix any fork creak...
  • 5 1
 seriously any noise your bike makes can be fixed with a good pair of headphones.
  • 5 0
 I have a riding buddy that is deaf. Man, his bike creaks, his gears are always out of wack, brakes are noisy as hell, he doesn't mind a single bit. I'll readjust his gears since I can't stand listening to that shit, but otherwise if he's happy, I'm happy.
  • 2 0
 @BikesBoatsNJeeps: same, I will lube his chain and check his brakes before a ride sometimes. His bike always sounds like a shopping cart towing a crappier shopping cart.
  • 15 1
 I've always just taken fork creaks as evidence that I'm a bad ass biker who shred's harder than most. But alas, my forks don't creak...
  • 16 2
 That profile photo is further proof that Steve at Vorsprung is a legend.
  • 2 0
 truth.
  • 12 3
 Wait? What is wrong with a down-country dual crown? It is the superior engineering solution. You spread the loads out over two crowns so that the lower isn't loaded in torsion. Think of it this way. Do you hold a fishing rod with one hand or two when fighting a fish?

Why the bicycle world has persisted with this outdated and compromised solution is beyond me. Single crown forks need to go as we march towards more progressive and capable bicycles that require front end stiffness levels approaching those of motorcycles.
  • 1 0
 The issue is the increase in stresses on the headtube area of the frame. And in a world where weight savings is the aim, that ain't happening anytime soon. Though I do agree, DC forks are the best. Scratch one stansion? Replace it without having to do a whole CSU! Best for keeping old stuff rolling long term
  • 1 0
 @noone1223: The same forces still have to get reacted through the headset cups regardless of how they are transmitted. Given, the load distribution will change due to fore-aft fork deflection, but not enough to make the difference.

I'd argue that the opposite is actually true since axle to crown distance decreases when going from a single to dual crown configuration by about 10mm. The shorter overall fork decreases the moment arm that acts on the head tube.
  • 1 0
 Turning radius at really slow XC climbing speeds may be an issue. Also weight, although you could probably go back to 30 or 32mm stanchions with a dual crown to offset that somewhat.
  • 1 0
 @MaplePanda: Putting the offset in the crown rather than near the axle would increase turning radius.
  • 1 0
 @SintraFreeride: That would be at the cost of axle-to-crown, no? Currently, the location of the offset allows the axle to be “in front” of the stanchions.
  • 1 0
 @MaplePanda: Nah. The old Shiver DC had 50mm offset of which 25mm was in the crowns.
  • 3 1
 @justinc5716: strength to weight, SC forks win, because in order to cut down the weight of a DC fork to match an equivalent SC fork, the tubes get so thin that they're too easy to dent or fold - they need to maintain enough hoop stiffness as well as 2nd moment of area. Even the heaviest SC fork currently available (Fox 38 ) is 200-300g lighter than a Boxxer. When your criteria is "it needs to be ____ strong and as light and cheap as possible" then for the realistic strength standards demanded of a bicycle fork, the SC fork can usually be done lighter. Only Maverick's old DUC32 really competed with equivalent travel SC forks weight wise, and that had some other issues of its own, particularly alignment since the crown was welded to the upper tubes.

Also, to be frank I think people are afraid of the looks. Bike companies don't really want prospective customers to think that their 150mm trailbike is as heavy as a DH bike based on looks alone.
  • 2 0
 @VorsprungSuspension: Thank you for your reply! I'm glad to discuss this with someone in the industry.

I get what you are saying about there being a strength-to-weight advantage, however what about in terms of stiffness-to-weight? I agree that modern forks meet the strength requirements of even the harshest riding as catastrophic failures seem to be almost non-existent. However, bicycle forks flex much more than their motorcycle counterparts, and single-crown forks are downright laughable at times. The difference in stability is something that I've noticed many times going from a dual crowned, to a single crowned bicycle. This is backed up by the immense amount of fore-aft deflection and torsional deflection captured in slo-mo footage (thanks PB and Sam Pilgrim).

As for looks...mountain bikes keep looking more like dirt-bikes. Axle pivots being the latest thing to creep upwards, closer to the relative locations of their powered brethren. Why not just embrace the change wholesale? No one ever said a KX450F or YZF450 looked bad.
  • 2 0
 good point. I'm still waiting for the lightweight DC fork from a major player (RS or Fox),
  • 4 0
 @jaydawg69: Thomas Westfeldt from Öhlins mentions they used a one-piece design for the RXF34, which suggests it was made by X-Fusion. He says it was complicated to manufacture (probably translates to "expensive", despite the prices Öhlins charges) and it would certainly add tooling costs if Öhlins wanted to change the offset.

The EXT uses X-Fusion lowers, so it's probably also made by X-Fusion. Sounds like X-Fusion would've been a good source to contact. SR Suntour, too. I'd be more interested to hear from factories than their clients, especially when some clients aren't experts. For example, "Our experience is very limited on fork and CSU critical dimension and assembly technique, but we are trying to learn and improve our technique." Credit to Franco Fratton for giving an honest answer and not brushing it off like some other respondents, so the responsibility falls on Seb Stott to dig deeper.

No need to wait for a light dual-crown: a 1760 g dual-crown has been around since 1999!
  • 1 0
 @R-M-R: the X-Fusion design addresses the crown-steerer interface but not crown-stanchion. Given that some forks will creak from the crown-stanchion, going with the one-piece crown-steerer assembly probably increases the cost of each warranty. The consumer certainly benefits from that one-piece design, but the increased warranty costs may have reduced viability since that it isn't fully able to solve the press fit interface problem.

A one-piece crown-steerer-stanchion assembly would be really cool but probably difficult to implement.
  • 1 0
 @DMal: Yes, it clearly addresses only one of the three press-fit junctions. Westfeldt indicates the crown-steerer junction is the most vulnerable, while Ott says it's the crown-leg junction.

It's possible the one-piece design would increase the cost of each warranty. It's also possible it would reduce the number of warranties, possibly saving money. If it was a clearly superior choice, surely it would be common on forks made by X-Fusion, so there must be some reason it's not used more frequently. Tooling costs would be my guess. Changing stanchion sizes, steerer sizes, fork lengths (strength and stiffness requirements), headset interfaces, offsets ... If the tooling for the one-piece crown-steerer is a lot more expensive, that's a lot of capital.
  • 1 0
 @R-M-R: I would like the stiffness of a DC for an enduro bike. Just makes sense on many levels. It'll happen some day.
  • 1 0
 @jaydawg69: reduce the travel on a DC and build a frame based on Enduro geo?
  • 1 0
 @R-M-R: The EXT ERA is definitely not made by X-Fusion. The lowers are outsourced but that is it. I do agree that as one of the biggest manufacturers in the game Suntour would have been a good resource for this piece but for all we know they were contacted and didn't respond.
  • 1 0
 @mixmastamikal: There we go, then; thank you for the additional information. EXT does like to do things in-house, which surely applied to the internals, but the crown was always uncertain.
  • 1 0
 A Kowa fork I had for a bit had a 1-piece fully cnc-ed crown and steerer. Piece of art! Rest of the fork wasn't that good though, and could never make it work properly Frown

Kind of regret selling it now.
  • 2 0
 How do you make links like that?
  • 1 0
 @MaplePanda: The same code works in the comments as in the forums. It looks like this, but without the spaces:

[ L= address.com ] Text [ /L ]
  • 1 0
 @MaplePanda: ... Weird, the site software auto-linked my example address after the editable period ended, which removed the "http://". Anyway, I'm sure you get the idea.
  • 1 0
 @R-M-R: Sweet, thanks!!
  • 1 0
 @Ploutre:

I had a Kowa triple crown fork and it worked pretty good for a very short time. One weekend at Whistler and the fork tubes bent! I weighed 150 kitted at the time and THE, who was importing them, and I got it from, told me I was doing something stupid and declined replacing the stantions! Wasn’t doing anything more than typical dh runs.
  • 1 0
 @noone1223: too many troubles. I'll wait for OEM.
  • 6 0
 I would bet that they could chemically bond(not just stick some loctite in there) the parts, but then they'd be put together forever and if either part failed the whole thing would have to be replaced. Oh wait, that's what they already have to do.

Hmmm. If you can get loctite in the joint you can get something else to chemically bond the two aluminum surfaces in there as well.
  • 1 0
 Sounds like the perfect job for an anaerobic adhesive! They form chemically strong bonds in the absence of air. What do you think?
  • 2 0
 @Afterschoolsports: Seems reasonable, but the specifics of what would work for this case depends on more details than I have available.
  • 1 0
 @Afterschoolsports: maybe one that locks things tightly?? Some sort of tight locking adhesive which will lock it in... but tightly?
  • 1 0
 I tried the loctite penetrating threadlocker on a creaky RS Pike. Worked quite good, the penetrating compound is actually amazing, you can see it infiltrate the CSU.
  • 3 0
 My 2017 Pike was one month out of warranty period when this drama started. It got bad to the point it was clearly noticiable on Gopro footage. After a few months and a few DIY failed solutions, I had the perfect excuse to go for a new bike (I know, right?). So, here I am now, riding a ZEB since September with no issues. Hopping the much bulkier chassis on this one might help on the long run though...
  • 1 0
 I’ve had good luck warrantying a couple pikes out of warranty, all around that 2016-2017 timeframe that’d been thrashed. It’s worth a shot.
  • 1 0
 @parkourfan: The RockShox customer service here serves both Portugal and Spain. Trying the warranty route would make send the fork and wait, at least, a month or two (as told by my LBS). Between a month or two without a ride, without even knowing if they would replace the CSU, or keep on riding with that annoying creaking, I went with the later.
  • 1 0
 @sadfusde: definitely worse than over here...they’ll send out a set of uppers and I’d install it at the shop. Not sure if that’s an option for your LBS, but that’s the way it works here - no need to send it back to them unless something super weird is going on.
  • 3 0
 IIRC, fork legs bonded (or bolted) into aluminum crowns were originally devised (Bontrager, IRD, Brodie, etc) to INCREASE flex and improve the ride of rigid forks. This was adopted in the first RS and Manitou forks as it makes for accurate alignment, easy assembly and followed proven moto technology (except that motos use dual crowns). Do I recall correctly? Did the crown on a Scott Uni-shock or Tange Pro-strut ever creak? Could a welded or one piece CSU be manufactured affordably?

also, @VorsprungSuspension your photo is outstanding, even though you're sitting.
  • 5 0
 That was "corroded ghosts of former alignments", the latest single from Mojo Rising, and now here's something new from The Fall.
  • 2 0
 I see you @chakaping. Thanks for the deep cut there.
  • 2 0
 Most single crown forks I've owned longer than a year developed the creak. As of late, they have gotten far better. The last two I've had (Lyrik, Z1) have been flawless in this regard despite bigger wheels and harder riding. I would still prefer a dual crown fork though, at 170mm travel. It just feels safer to have the extra security, and the ability to tune ride height is super helpful.
  • 2 0
 I shit on Fox for their CSU's constantly but I will give them this: They will turn that fork around to you in no time flat. Just got my 38 back in under 2 weeks, completely covered with a servicing to boot. Excellent customer service there. But FFS, just put some adhesive in your pressfit. It will eliminate the galling that causes the snap-crackle-pop blown CSU sound.
  • 2 0
 It's simple . A press fit tolerance is in the ten thousands of an inch. The bike industry does not need such tight tolerances in almost every case. And the quality control in the bike industry is rather poor. There are solutions . Longer overlap of crown to steer tube overlap. Or a one piece carbon fiber crown steer tube. Shame we can't buy a piece of equipment that cost well over a 1000 $ that we can truly rely on for a couple of years. Well there is my Durolux fork. Any one have a creaky Suntour Durolux fork?
  • 1 0
 Longer crown-steerer overlap increases axle-to-crown height. Manufacturers keep shaving millimeters off that joint to get a low ATC.
  • 2 0
 I can't hear the creak over the sound of the damper Frown
  • 1 1
 @davidrobinsonphoto: my damper makes squishy noises but it's just the damper doing it's job. When I can hear it over the negative spring making strange noises.
  • 1 0
 @MaplePanda: marketing department is to blame. Engineer s design the perfect part then the marketing guy says. Can you make it lighter. ? I heard everyone is doing this now so we should too.
  • 2 0
 My 2011 lyriks started creaking early last year. I love the forks so I thoroughly washed the joint out with car brake cleaner, left it a few days then used a super thin loctite and again left them for gravity to work on it for a couple of weeks and to my surprise I’ve been riding them hard for about 9 months now without a single creak !
  • 5 0
 That's it, I'm only ever buying Intend components from now on!
  • 1 0
 You know people, it's just a bicycle! I'm sure most of us have wadded up a modern dirt bike, and no matter how massive your upper tubes are or how tight your pinch bolts are, that front wheel is still a huge lever and can twist your forks completely out of whack. Friday fails is the prime example of why PB riders forks creaks! It's just a bicycle.
  • 1 0
 So why has no one suggested a one-piece crown+steerer? The SID Ultimate carbon has a one piece CSU, so why can't these companies just build a burlier carbon crown and steerer for enduro/AM forks? The SID carbon is already in the same price range as a 38, so maybe that's something they should be looking at.
  • 1 0
 @mixmastamikal: Again, the SID ultimate carbon is already similarly priced to other top end forks.
  • 1 0
 and Suntour's Axon Werx with the carbon CSU is less expensive than the equivalent Fox or Rock Shox
  • 1 0
 The SID carbon crown/steerers caused corrosion of the stanchions that was invisible but bad enough to cause internal air-leaks.

It was a terrible idea.
  • 1 0
 @Dougal-SC: Ah this is bring back memories of troubleshooting one of those when I worked in a bike shop...
  • 1 0
 Sounds like the engineers are working to solve the problem. Manufactures are keeping it quiet to the best of their ability. Riders are complaining, not new. The reality is that most purchasers will never know if their bike would as they are way over biked or what I meant to say was not a good enough rider to push the equipment to this point.
  • 1 0
 Knowing that this is a problem, and water and dirt, as well as washing a bike is as sure as shit, then your fork is going to creak. Manufacturing forks for years and selling the newest shade of Orange to people for $1500+ dollars, knowing the problem will still happen, why is the warranty still 1 year?
Fox Factory level product, where's the Factory level support?
I would like to know what "Taking care of riders is our top priority and we proudly stand behind our products – on the service side, we will gladly take care of anyone experiencing creaking crowns as quickly as we possibly can." means. Does that mean, "oh you've had this fork for 14 months and this is the second time you're CSU is creaking? Sorry, your warranty is up. Please give us $400 for a new CSU that will creak again."
  • 1 0
 Feel the same way about that with Fox. Gotta be full warranty for at least 2 years at the price we are paying. 1 year is kinda a cop out on Fox’s part if you ask me.
  • 1 0
 To be honest most riders aren't coming close to their suspension service recommendations. So the warranty would end after maybe 50hrs. And to have them going a year might be seen as a positive considering the fine print.
  • 2 1
 Thanks @Bommelmaster for being the only manufacturer to provide a comprehensive, non-corporate answer to the question at hand.

Everyone who represents a manufacturer (except for Mr. Kapfinger and Mr. Fratton) was so busy claiming that it doesn't happen on their products, that they forgot to give a straight answer.
  • 1 0
 I'm genuinely curious if the Trust Linkage forks are as susceptible to CSU creaking as a traditional double stanchion..
I haven't ridden one, nor studied them in detail but in my mind i'm visualising that the unique design limits leverage on the CSU?
  • 1 0
 The CSU on a Trust cannot creak. The whole "CSU" is a one-piece construction, if it starts creaking you have some serious issues (as in structural damage). That's not to say other parts of the fork can't be making noises, but it won't be the CSU.
  • 1 0
 @Crossmaxx: ah cool, so similar to the one-piece XFusion CSU then.
I haven’t seen one that hasn’t been fitted to a bike, so wasn’t aware that it wasn’t an interference fit upper/steerer like 95% of the fork market.

Thanks!
  • 1 0
 The stiffness of the 1.5 steerer is only ~equivalent to the 1 1/8 steel steerers of yesteryear, additionalythe interface between crown and steerer moves more due to the extra diameter of the 1.5" standard which increases the likelihood of fretting given the same loading/deflection.

There is a mob which makes a press fit plug which inserts into the bottom of the steerer, stiffens the steerer preventing it from buckling/pressing in under high fork loads. I knocked one up on a lathe for my creaking pike and have never looked back.
  • 1 0
 it doesn't surprise me that the manufacturers underestimate the CSU creak. I have had at least 3 CSU's creak over the past 10 years and every time it was in between years one and two of use. when you put a 1-year warranty on it, I shop for a new one at the time of creak. That probably doesn't add to their motivation to fix the problem??
  • 1 0
 Fox: "Taking care of riders is our top priority and we proudly stand behind our products – on the service side, we will gladly take care of anyone experiencing creaking crowns as quickly as we possibly can."

Absolute crap talk that is. The 36 RC2 Factory I purchased for my old bike, Fox replaced the uppers once under warranty for the Kashima coating flaking off. Just outside of warranty (2 years...) the coating started flaking off again, and the CSU was creaking. Fox wouldn't do a thing... Fox NZ support was / is rubbish. Never again.
  • 1 0
 I previously worked for a bicycle manufacturer and over 10 years ago we discussed if fine grit could cause creaking. I've experimented with using silicone sealant to fully seal the bottom of the CSU join and it hasn't worked. I've had over 8 forks develop creaks in the last 15 years. Amusingly the old Fox 32 xc forks on my jump bike are creak free despite huge abuse outside their intended use.
  • 4 0
 Steve on the john made me lol lol
  • 4 0
 Whatever Steve from Vorsprung says
  • 5 5
 Real answer that wasn't hidden in the responses: most forks don't creak, it's a blown-out-of-proportion problem that is amplified on the internet. Now if someone could tell all these expert home mechanics how to properly preload their headset and install their bars n stem I would guess this issue would be even more minuscule.
  • 3 0
 Nah I've had 3 confirmed creaky CSUs out of 4
  • 2 0
 Depends where you ride, I think. Creaky CSUs are an epidemic around here. Between sloppy seasonal conditions and heavy, technical downhill terrain, it ends up taking a toll.
  • 2 0
 @jayacheess: Yup. I find that Sean from FOX/Marzocchi was pretty on point and honest with his response. Generally speaking the wetter the area and the muddier conditions ridden regularly the more often creak happens and the quicker it happens.

I don't make a habit of riding in the mud. My forks haven't had creaking problems. I don't pressure wash the base of my fork directly. I've never had creaking problems. I have ridden my 38 equipped bike in the mud a few times this year so we'll see if that changes. But generally.. if there's standing water I don't ride. I don't like to screw up trails. I'll ride somewhere that drains better until the places that don't dry up.

Every fork manufacturer is working on their own solution to this. RS solution is pretty simple. That's probably why they answered the way they did. LOL!
  • 1 0
 That's rubbish. Almost all hard ridden forks with a tail from the last decade will creak if ridden hard. It's about press-fit of stanchions into the crown being too loose. They even greased a lot of them to keep them quiet through warranty. But once the grease gets squished out it starts fretting and clicking.
  • 4 0
 I like how Steve Mathews (vorsprung) has his picture of him taking a shit.
  • 5 0
 thread that shit
  • 2 0
 I think that actually might work!
  • 1 0
 all it took was one bad OTB a year ago and my 2014 pike started creaking.. I thought i got lucky and would be spared this issue, guess not. waiting on some loc-tite 290 to try that hack and wick some of that into the CSU
  • 1 0
 My MRP Ribbon Coil was ridden for 3 years and zero creaks. XFusion Metric - no creaks in over a year of riding and racing. Manitou Mattoc - creaked in the first week. Clearly some brands can figure it out.
  • 5 1
 What loctite do I use??
  • 5 1
 The JB Weld kind

Edit: I just finished reading the article. I thought you were joking, but apparently it's a viable solution? haha!
  • 1 0
 For ordinary press fit interfaces you use green loctite "retaining compound" 680. But for crowns, I don't know, one of the specialty numbers might be better. Anyone have personal experience with crowns?
  • 1 0
 I believe they usually use the bearing compound (green) kind, as that is better for filling gaps.
  • 4 0
 Loctite 680 retaining compound. Specifically designed to join fitted cylindrical parts.
  • 2 0
 @crazyXCsquirrel: JB weld wouldn't work. It's low viscosity, which means it would likely not bond to any micro pores, or capillaries. Green loctite is specifically designed to absorb into these areas and harden, essentially adhering to each component and bonding the two parts.
Specifically loctite 680 for this application would have an advertised sheer strength of 4000psi.
  • 1 0
 638 if your fork is already assembled, its a thinner wicking version that finds its way in to the tiny gaps. Didn't work for me.
  • 1 0
 @pbuser2299: 680 should be slightly less viscous. Maybe try that
  • 1 0
 @pbuser2299: I tried 638 as well. Didn't work for me, but there are enough people who've had success with it that it's probably worth a shot...if you can find the stuff.
  • 1 0
 [Nerd] I'm glad someone else thought to ask this, and someone already commented with the right answer: Henkel Loctite 638. This is for cylindrical press-fit interfaces, but needs to be applied with the parts disassembled. 680 is for slip-fit interfaces which is not what we are talking about with forks (slip-fit = no press required). In theory one could try using a wicking product like Loctite 290 on an already assembled creaking fork, but I'm not sure how well that would work. It could be worth a try though! [/Nerd]
  • 1 0
 @pnwpedal: not gonna do hack if you do it after it starts. Goal is to keep stuff out do it doesn’t start.
  • 1 0
 It ain't that simply unfortunately. Loctite doesn't cure well on anodised aluminium.
  • 1 0
 I went for the 270 penetrating threadlocker, it's so fluid it infiltrates in the CSU.
  • 2 0
 Green Loctite. Penetrating loctite 290.
It’s meant to be used after parts are assembled.
  • 3 0
 Just make the steerer tube out of uncreakium Problem solved
  • 2 1
 ALOT of times we think its a creaky CSU when its just your pressed in head set! id say always pull and regrease your head set. This has helped me a number of times.
  • 1 0
 You can check it easily. Put steerer of fork in a vice on a sturdy workbench. Apply load (full body weight) to end of forks while placing one hand on either interface of steerer/crown or crown/stanchions, and you will feel the micromovement as you hear the creak if it is the CSU.
  • 3 0
 it has Covid
  • 3 3
 I have a 2014 Pike no creak. I also have a 2016 Fox 36 no creak. I use to have a 2012 Fox 36 no creak. I also use to have 2006 Pike 454 no creak. I must be lucky.
  • 3 3
 Let me guess, you regularly clean and maintain your equipment, like some crazy person.
  • 5 1
 @pcledrew: Cleanliness and maintenance have zero effect on whether a CSU will creak.
  • 3 0
 @pcledrew: or maybe they don't weigh a ton and slam their bikes into stuff at mach chicken? I am fanatical about keeping up with my bike maintenance and almost every single one of my forks I've ever owned crack and pop after a few months of use.
  • 2 3
 "So are dual crown downcountry forks the only way to stop creaking in the future? We hope not..."

no don't buy a fox or RS if you don't want a creek. That ERA had creaking as well when they first released it.
  • 1 0
 DC downcountry forks are the future and they are coming...
  • 1 0
 Steve looks like he’s got himself a creak free toilet seat there! Thumbs up!
  • 1 0
 Was the picture of Steven taken in a bathroom?LOL. Thumbs up for tackling the demons!
  • 2 1
 I never would have known creaky forks were an issue except PB keeps making articles about it.
  • 5 0
 Neither would I.

Instead I would have just kept futilely swapping/re-greasing every component on the front end of the bike trying to make that damn clicking noise stop.

Thanks pinkbike!
  • 2 0
 Enter relatively low weight "enduro" dual crown...
  • 1 0
 the rockshox answer just gave me whole lot of faith in my new zeb while i'm waiting for the frame.
  • 1 0
 I don't have time to read this article but mi Pike creaks like fucking hell and I still ride believing in it!
  • 1 0
 Bike industry / product engineers struggling with executing press fits properly? Colour me shocked
  • 1 0
 LoL RockShox "we don't have this problem with our products, but if you experience it we will help" LoL
  • 1 0
 Guess I will just stay with my 27.5 wheels, 130 mm single crown and reduce the leverage that my CSU experiences.
  • 4 7
 I don’t understand how all these companies go on with the “pressures, bonding, interface, bla bla bla”?
Can’t a simple key in the design solve this? A round surface inside a round surface is bound to slip. Disrupt the round with a key or several notches...wow, I solved it!!! I’ll take your money now Smile
  • 4 0
 Sounds like a stress concentration point introduced in the most heavily loaded part of the fork!
  • 3 0
 It's not rotational slippage, it's axial. Your fork wants to swing upwards when you hit an impact, not to the side.
  • 2 4
 No one reached out to DVO? Seems some bias against DVO from PB. Do they not contribute enough advertising dollars to your site that you constantly exclude them from almost every article?
  • 5 0
 I bet they're gutted they never got invited to get grilled about how how poor the general standard of fork crowns is
  • 4 0
 Bit of a reach there pal. It would actually have been more interesting to hear from Suntour - who I'm guessing make more suspension forks (including DVOs) than anyone else.
  • 1 0
 @chakaping: Yeah, I've been giving my Aion hell, and it's yet to develop a creak. And it's not even their highest quality fork.
  • 1 0
 Maybe they didn't respond?
  • 1 0
 @onemanarmy: DVO seems very responsive to the average person. I would imagine that would also carry over to PB.
  • 1 0
 I wonder the same about Formula...
  • 1 0
 Come on rock shox!! Lets talk about pikes some years ago !!
  • 1 0
 MIL-DTL-5541 on the un anodized part.
  • 3 2
 Bigger wheels on longer forks creating extra leverage You're welcome
  • 1 0
 Now i'll read the article....
  • 1 0
 I ordered my new bike Christmas of 2020 receiving it Christmas 2021
  • 1 0
 No mention of tig welding the shit out of your csu?
  • 1 0
 put crown screws back problem solved
  • 1 0
 How about threaded headsets?
  • 1 0
 LOL at the RockShox answer!
  • 2 0
 By a double crown
  • 1 0
 I have a fork in my creek but no creak in my fork Frown
Hahahaha!
  • 3 2
 *bike creaks*
WD40
  • 5 0
 WD40
*bike creaks*
  • 1 0
 WD-40 doesn't have a place on bikes. Unless it is used on anodised external surfaces only to bring back their shine...
  • 3 3
 Are there actually people who pressure wash their bikes still?
  • 3 1
 I do, but only when I can hardly tell what color the bike was after an heavy winter ride. Still, I make sure to keep a safety distance
  • 4 0
 If you know how to use a pressure washer, it's fine.
  • 4 0
 MucOff sells a pressure water directed at the bike industry to wash your bike. So yes... people do it. I just washed mine. I've seen pressure washers set up at the back of just about every mountain bike industry company for it's employees to use. It's common. Just don't be a dumbass and blast your bearings.
  • 2 0
 Seth bikes hacks tested it, it's okay.
  • 9 9
 eat shit fox my 36 creaked the first day i rode it
  • 6 3
 anyone that neg propped me is hating and rides green trails on 7000$ bike
  • 1 0
 @PRETENDERS: What are you saying about PB readers!
  • 1 1
 @PRETENDERS: 30+ an boomers on £7k mobilitE bikes :'D
  • 1 0
 Sorry that was supposed to be 40+ but my shite phone
  • 1 0
 being rad....
  • 1 0
 what about DVO???

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