Pinkbike Poll: Has Your Fork's Crown Ever Creaked?

Feb 4, 2021 at 2:07
by Seb Stott  
Forking

In the PB comments section there have been rumblings recently of forks creaking at the crown-steerer unit (CSU).

The CSU is made up of the steerer tube, crown and stanchion tubes in a single-crown fork. These components are all machined separately before being pressed together in the production process. But sometimes, this happy union can go the way of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie when either the stanchion tubes work loose inside the crown, or the crown starts to wobble free of the steerer tube, resulting in creaking and a phone call to the warranty department.

This is not so surprising when you think about it. Now that 29" forks with up to 180mm travel are common, the axle to crown measurement can be very long - around 595mm. The forces that act on the crown when braking come from the contact patch, which in such a fork is around 90cm from the crown, so the forces act over a very long lever, and these aren't small forces. If you pull the front brake hard on tarmac, you could generate close to 1g of deceleration. That means the rearward force at the contact patch could be equal to the weight of the bike and rider.

Because the crown is furthest away from the contact patch, it experiences the most torque of any part of the fork. Yet the distance over which the stanchions connect to the crown is only around four centimeters, while the connection between the crown and the steerer is even shorter. In contrast, with a dual-crown fork the torque is transmitted from the stanchions to the headset over the distance between the crowns.

RockShox Boxxer
Dual crown forks virtually eliminate the twisting force on each crown, along with any possibility of creaking. This allows for shallower crowns and therefore a shorter axle to crown length.

As you ride through rough sections of trail, the crown is subjected to stress in different directions very frequently. Landing to flat (as in the industry-standard Huck To Flat Test), causes the fork to flex forwards; braking or riding into large bumps causes it to flex rearward. It's easy to think how years of this repeated stress could lead to failure. When watching the Huck to Flat Test in all it's gratititous slow motion, it doesn't take much imagination to see how ever-slackening head angles can increase the load put through our CSUs.


Despite this, I've never experienced a creaking crown, and most Pinkbike staff members either never have, or haven't for a while. But the trouble with testing bikes for a living is that we rarely get to put as much ride time on one bike as a consumer would.

So it's over to you. Let us know if this is a problem you've faced. We're keen to gauge how common this is.

Have you ever had a confirmed case of creaking crown?

It's important that you only count forks which creaked while you owned them. Your cousin's buddy's dad's fork doesn't count.



If yes, how old was the fork when the problem arose?

Multiple answers are allowed for multiple fork destroyers.



Was it covered under warranty?

A receipt can be worth its weight in gold.



Which brand was it?

Again, multiple answers are allowed if necessary.




350 Comments

  • 287 7
 In my jeep, when I heard a creak, I would just turn the radio up louder. Problem solved.
  • 88 2
 Just Empty Every Pocket.
  • 107 1
 @suspended-flesh: with how much money I spent on that thing, I couldn't even afford pockets.
  • 77 1
 @topherdagopher: As an owner of a built TJ, I can confirm, the radio fixes all. Except the check engine light, but tape fixes that in a jiffy
  • 66 0
 @TimmyCheese: tape is a halfajob move mate!...remove the bulb completely solves the issue
  • 10 2
 @suspended-flesh: Just Enough Essential Parts

Actually
  • 27 1
 @topherdagopher: I'm not usually one to brag, but I've got so many pockets I had to buy a pocket calculator to keep track.
  • 2 3
 @McArdle: it's now an MOT failure as of April 2021 to havd the engine light on of not working upon ignition
  • 7 0
 I had a 1999 Cherokee named "Sometimes". She would always get me from A to B, but everything on it worked... sometimes.
  • 9 0
 Jeeps and mg’s are for folks that prefer wrenching to driving
  • 2 3
 @fungal-ashtray: depends how much u pay the MOTer haha
  • 3 0
 Junk each & every piece
  • 41 1
 Best repair Ive ever done to my jeep was buying 4runner.
  • 3 0
 We still talking Jeeps or VW’s now? Just waiting for my Q....
  • 1 0
 Same here when my MOM is talking
  • 7 0
 Can't ignore the death wobble with Slayer cranked to 11.
  • 1 0
 @TimmyCheese:

Just pull the light outta the dash and you don’t waste tape
  • 10 0
 I dont think the average rider has the tech knowhow to tell where creaks are coming from
  • 6 0
 @nsmithbmx: death wobbles deserve death metal
  • 3 0
 @artistformlyknowasdan: Ever heard of Alfa Romeo and Fiat? There's a saying that Alfa's more in the air than on the ground.
  • 1 0
 @vid1998: dont know about Alfa, but Fiat has long history with planes... Smile
  • 5 0
 @vid1998: yet somehow Italian cars are still cool even when their garbage.
  • 5 0
 @artistformlyknowasdan: It goes together. If something is faultless it's soulless. It needs some faults to have character, to be cool otherwise everyone would have them.
  • 1 0
 @commental: that comment is severely out of pocket
  • 1 0
 @pinegrove: What else could it be? brakes...
  • 1 0
 @Hockerz: Oh trust me, as a mechanic theres more places noises come from than you'd think
  • 119 4
 Idk if this helps but I've had many cases where the headset "clicks." At first u dont know what's cracking/clicking but it comes from the headset/crown area. This is different from "creakin" in that it's a snap, crackle & pop or click, many times in rapid succession as weight is shifted or suspension is working. In every case it was a bad headset: not the CSU. Posted this in case you have that symptom and are scratching your head.
  • 61 1
 That's a very good tip. And it's always a relief to find out that it's dirt / grit in the headset making the noise, not the fork.
  • 1 0
 I once had a piece of crown race chipped off on my 36 during bike park duties. That also made a cracking noise while riding and turning the bar without load.
But never had issues with the CSU.
But new 38 is in the house, so...not looking foward to it Smile
  • 2 0
 Yes I've had this on a few months old RockShox Yari. Random "clicking" from the headset/crown area. Shop re-greased the Headset for me and it's been smooth since!
  • 6 1
 Yup...Renthal cockpits are also notorious to creek...
  • 10 0
 Sometimes to verify it's not a headset issue you have remove fork from frame and carefully clamp steerer tube in vice. Then you will confirm (or not) if it's a creaky CSU. I think a significant amount of people have creaky headset issues. However there are still some of us that put the hurt on single crowns. I get creaky CSU's in about 6 months of riding on Fox, RS and Cane Creek. It's just how it goes and I'm used to it. I'm not a big person either.
  • 6 16
flag kmg0 (Feb 12, 2021 at 12:57) (Below Threshold)
 Make sure you torque your damper cap and air spring cap, as these relatively hold the stanchion together to the crown as well, and reduced torque can push it to creaking as well
  • 10 0
 I've never had a creaky CSU, but I've had a lot of noises from headsets.
  • 2 0
 conversely, an effective way to affirm CSU creak (or "click" in my experience) is to bounce the bike vertically on it's rear wheel or to do a stoppie, right? I've been pretty sure I've had a Fox fork with this issue, but "pretty sure" isn't enough for me to take the bike a part and ship the fork away.
  • 26 0
 Why is no one talking about prevention? Just ride slow and old like me and your crown will always be pristine.
  • 6 3
 @kmg0: I don't believe the fork top caps contribute at all to the connection between stanchion and crown.
  • 2 0
 Good point! To confirm creaky CSU it is best to remove the fork from the bike to keep other variables at bay.
  • 6 0
 Kinda irrelevant, either way it's new bike time
  • 2 1
 If you have two forks of identical length, and only one of them makes the noise, it's not your headset. Posted this if you have more than one fork.
  • 1 0
 Pretty sure you just solved a problem for me. Thanks homeboy
  • 1 0
 I can confirm I have had this issue too, plastic crown race on a cane creek 10 series. Upgraded to the metal, no issues after that.
  • 10 0
 I'll add this: in many of the cases I had, I was able to diagnose this by inducing "impact" on the front end w/o the bike being loaded. 1) pick your bike up and drop it ~1ft. Hear the click? 2) if not, pick the front end up only (back tire still on ground) ~ 1ft and drop it. Do it a few times. Hear a click? 3) stand by ur bike, grab the bars & lift them a bit and slam the front end into the ground a few times. Work the suspension a bit. Turn the bars each way & try again. Hear any clicks?

If so its probs the headset & not the csu as there is VERY little stress on the csu when your not on the bike, but play in the headset reacts to the rapid change in loading an u hear the click.

Probs should have put this in the tech forums, but seems right to add it here; and I'm not a tech. . . (Weekend warrior).

This is what worked for me. Hope it works for u. Creaks drive me corona bat sh*t crazy.
  • 8 0
 Reminds me of swearing and cursing at my pressfit BB only to discover it was the seat post creaking in the frame ????
  • 1 0
 @respect-my-authorita: This is good, I can induce the creak by standing over the bike and working the bars side to side or fore-aft. That's a good test.

Re-greasing only helps for abit. Does it need a full replacement typically or just swap the bearings? Curious as to the right move.
  • 1 0
 I can confirm as this happened to me on a bike that was quite new. Also a tick from where my dropper post enters my frame, had to hold the cable with my hand while riding to deaden the noise to figure that one out.
  • 2 0
 I've had three csu replaced with creaking issues, all fox 36. In the years 2012-2018. The last fork has been fine (2018 evol version). I've had the headset cups creak in the frame too, which filled me with fear as the fork is out of warranty now. I always took the fork off and tested the csu creak in the vice to isolate any other causes. Either fox did something different or me using a larger mud guard has made a difference
  • 2 0
 Somewhere has to give when the forces exceed the tolerances. If the fork is stiff the load is transferred to the headset bearings. Whatever the weakest link in the chain is will eventually give. I guess headsets are cheaper to replace though...
  • 1 1
 @whatsstinky: they do. They keep them pulled up against a tiny flange inside the crown. Too little torque and they loosen themselves and the tubes start "walking" out as you ride.
  • 1 0
 @MikeyMT: I've heard this (pun intended...!) but never had the issue. IDK, maybe improper torque specs and not greasing the bolts probably are the problem for most, maybe?
  • 1 0
 Headset could be a problem for sure. I also had similar noises from stem/handlebar interface. When loading hard on the bars, then pulling up.. I guess it flexes and clicks inside the stem.
  • 1 0
 @HeyBaumeister: I had this too, attempting some carpark trials on my kona ebike, however steerer actually seized. Turned out the bearings had jumped out/off of the crown race. The bearings were also completely rusty. The bike was only a few months old at this point; I think they must have completely forgotten to grease the bearings in the factory. Can't see how else this would have happened. Anyways as you say I packed it full of grease and it's been fine since. I spoke to Kona, they agreed to compensate me by means of a free mug...if I bought a new battery lock flap!!
  • 67 4
 Can you make the poll results visible without voting? I never had a creaky crown (though snapped one) so I'm not voting in the other polls and thus cant see how bad Fox is doing today.
  • 25 0
 Currently Fox is "winning" with 125 votes, followed by RS at 77, then "other" at 29.
  • 38 34
 Fox no more for me;
Awesome aftermarket company turns into OEM garbage fork company with terrible warranty and support. Kashima seems to be the only thing going for them with people buying the shiny bling.
Just my opinion...

Also;
Why can’t suspension companies put a simple key in the crown to steerer? Oh! It costs more to make and we wouldn’t want our products to last...
  • 18 34
flag kungfupanda (Feb 12, 2021 at 12:40) (Below Threshold)
 Ouch! This poll is skewed unfairly against Fox. Creaky CSU is a Fox thing, but I’ve had way less trouble overall with them. A more unbiased and informative poll would be more like, “what problem(s) have you had?” “What company have you had problems with?”
  • 15 0
 @kungfupanda: agreed. I was actually kind fo surprised to see (even though it is vast majority fox creaking) that so many other companies had large amounts of csu's creaking also. But I do wonder how many of them are "I have a creak on my bike that I can't find so it must be the fork."
  • 20 0
 That's what the "never had this problem" at the bottom option is for.
  • 56 4
 @grldm3:

I've been a full time suspension technician for a decade. I work on literally thousands of forks a year.

From my experience it's pretty much an evenly divided issue between both Fox and RS. The rider often just won't notice it on an RS as the upper crown/stanchion interface is much stiffer and won't flex as much under smaller loads, meaning less chance if hearing a creek.
To compensate it's quite obvious that RS keeps their stanchions shorter, with less space between the bushings. This gives a great parking lot feel, but under dynamic load the Fox fork will be smoother thanks to longer stanchions and greater bushing spacing.

It's always a compromise.
  • 4 0
 Is Never the same as No? Never sounds more emotional, especially compared to Yes.

Receipts aren't very heavy, esp screen shots. They could be worth more than their weight in gold.
  • 14 7
 @kungfupanda: It's probably because more people have had a Fox.
  • 12 1
 Would be interesting to compare to market share... if Fox has twice as many forks in the field as RockShox then them having twice as many creak issues makes it even stevens.
  • 9 1
 @kungfupanda: these are raw numbers and not percentages. So even though Fox is winning (really losing) in the hard numbers I would be more curious to understand the percent of Fox (or any brands) forks that have developed a creak. They are probably #1 in sales.
  • 6 0
 Well this poll neglects to highlight what percentage of people own fox forks. Of course if 2/3 ppl own fox even if they are just as likely to creak they will have higher reported cases of creaking.
  • 2 0
 @z-man: that's interesting to learn. I've ridden some rs forks but have never really been big on them. It seems like almost all of the complaining about creaking is dedicated to fox. Maybe that's just what I see because I haven't been paying too much attention to rs besides reviews and new product announcements.
  • 15 17
 @FunctionalMayhem: fox makes great components, yes they have their issues but it’s downright idiocy to say “kashima seems to be the only thing going for them with ppl buying the shiny bling.” They make great products, some of them have flaws. Stop wasting people’s time rockshox fanboy.
  • 4 0
 @mtnsnap: True. Furthermore, since the Totem went away and Marzocchi was on vacation, Fox had the vast majority of burley riders for many years. Now that there are other options I wonder if CSU creaking being known as a Fox problem will go away?
  • 5 0
 @grldm3: It's actually really easy to isolate, just turn the bike upside down and twist your wheel side to side, if it creaks its the CSU.
  • 12 17
flag ilovedust (Feb 12, 2021 at 14:05) (Below Threshold)
 Fox.....never again. Like riding an old wooden ship.
  • 2 0
 @n8dawg82: sweet, I dont think it was there when I originally commented. Maybe it was. I've been wrong before
  • 2 0
 @n8dawg82: but answering that question (doesn’t creak) without reporting brand doesn’t give us the full picture of what percentage of each brand is creaking.
  • 12 0
 It would be great if the survey results showed our responses along with how many forks are sold by brand.

I think the results suggest that there's no brand that's immune to having creaks. Also, that it's likely Fox and RockShox are at the top simply because they sell the vast majority of forks out there....right?

Therefore, I think all we can conclude is that any brand of fork may creak...but not that any individual brand is worse than another from this survey.
  • 2 0
 You can pick the option of "never had this problem"
  • 2 0
 @Veggiemoto: but not identifying the brands that don’t creak leads to a lack of data regarding % of brands’ forks (by users responding to the polls at least) that do/don’t creak. We don’t know how many people ride each brand so the number of creaks per brand is useless data.
  • 4 1
 I'm not answering in case I jinx my current fork.
  • 4 2
 @kelvo: Is this a joke? There has to be at least ten Rockshox forks out in the wild for every fox fork. For a start everyone’s bike comes with rockshox pretty much and after market you have to pay £300-£600 more for the equivalent fox fork only for it to be not quite as good and for it to start creaking after 6 month.
  • 4 0
 @thenotoriousmic: I've been told that Fox pricing on your side of the Atlantic is absurdly high. Over here in 'murica, Fox and RS pricing is pretty close for a similar spec.
  • 3 0
 It seems a good many of us don’t have problems with creaking forks, but when we do, it’s a Fox.
  • 1 0
 @OldDert: true, it is not generating the best data
  • 3 0
 @barp: Yes, you can get 2 Zeb Ultimates for the price of one 38 Factory in Europe. You can still buy a RS fork and an additional CSU online for the dealer purchase price of a Fox fork.
  • 1 0
 Putting the two polls together you find that
for ownership: 12% more riders have owned Rock Shox than Fox
for creaks: 45% more riders have creaks with Fox compared to Rock Shox
  • 58 11
 I’m gonna bet about half of the “creaking CSU’s” are actually creaking headsets
  • 8 3
 I agree, can only imagine all these groms who don’t even know where the noise comes from, if u look back at the polls look how many people who actually maintain there own bike from bottom to top, very few, so most of them prob have many dry surfaces in the headset, which leads to all sorts of creaking. Back in the marzocchi Z1 days I ran them on a couple of bikes and they where a bolt together crown steer tube Stanction set up. If u didn’t freeze them in the correct place and keep them torqued correctly they would snap crackle and pop.
  • 5 1
 Probably true. Many people in this thread don't seem to realize they should be cleaning and regreasing their headset every ~ 6 months or less.

That said, it is an issue. I have had one serious CSU issue. I over-cleared a big jump to flat and bottomed out the fork. After that it creaked, though not too badly and the noise alone wouldn't really have bothered me. The real issue was that I noticed after hard riding my bar/stem would be out of alignment with the wheel. After playing with everything I could think of I remembered the bottom out and all these CSU stories. Pulled the for and put the steerer in a vice and I could literally get the steerer to rotate in the crown with frighteningly little force. Fox did warranty it with little issue though.
  • 1 0
 100% agreement. I have had a few creaky headsets, especially in my early MTB days when I was still a bit young and dumb. My bikes definitely weren't as well assembled as they are now.
  • 11 2
 It's true. Stems, axles, headsets, even brakes can creak and could be misdiagnosed as a csu. That's why the poll asks for confirmed cases, but I'm sure there will be many votes from misdiagnosed forks.

There's also the participation bias - if you have had a (suspected or real) creaky csu, you're far more likely to bother voting.
  • 3 0
 @seb-stott: whilst I completely agree with your comment, I personally had this issue with a Bos Deville fork in 2015, the noise coming from the CSU made me loose all confidence in the fork, Bos refused to accept accountability and after holding onto the fork for 12 weeks, YT thought enough was enough and sent me a new Lyrik. Bos had a great reputation back then but gave since disappeared out of the mtb scene.
  • 1 0
 @e-p: Yep same cracking noise happened to both me and my mate, we both had Capra's. Bos we're totally shit as expected. YT eventually sent us some Lyriks which for me lasted 20 months until they had the dreaded cracking noise. Defo not the headset in both instances. Changed the uppers on the Lyriks and the noise went away.
  • 33 1
 The creaks from my back and knees drown out any fork creaking i may have.
  • 6 0
 My wallet creaks the loudest.
  • 22 0
 What doesn't creak on my bike....
  • 5 1
 the bottle cage?
  • 28 0
 @NivlacEloop: As a shop mechanic who spends a lot of time fixing creaks, I've actually had one instance where after hours and hours of taking things apart/test riding and thinking I'd had done everything pulled out the (dry) water bottle bolts and greased them to solve a creak. Not sure how or why but definitely one of those wtf moments.
  • 2 0
 @evo233: My Remedy's water bottle mounts/bosses/rivnuts actually worked themselves loose after a season of riding. I was doing some fall bike maintenance and giving everything the last grab check when I noticed my cage had movement. Sure enough it was the mounts slopping around in the frame..

It was remedied easily enough by taking a nut that's slightly larger than the cage bolt diameter, laying that on top of the mount and holding it with a wrench, passing a cage bolt through that and threading it into the mount, and then firmly but carefully tightening it to cinch the mount back down. One of the most weird problems I've ever had on my bike.
  • 15 0
 It is pretty astounding how common CSU creak is given how much time goes into designing forks and making them strong. I would think most people would be willing to take a little weight penalty for this to never be an issue.
  • 26 0
 If fox added a little loctite 609 press fit compound I would gladly pay the extra 50 cents when I purchase a new fork.
  • 7 0
 @grldm3:

Flip crown upside down and fill creaking gap with ultra low viscosity, highly penetrating locktite-like liquid.

Definitely don't use WD40 or any other lubricant, it won't work and will make fixing it with loctite later impossible, because nothing sticks to oil-based products.

You can "water down" locktite with acetone to make it thinner and more penetrative, load it in a syringe and apply droplet by droplet.

We had Rock Shox fork fixed with epoxy, but I would not advise doing it: if you have enough play in there to use epoxy, you're safer getting a proper warranty for it.
  • 3 0
 SR Suntour CSU is known for not creaking. The forks are typically 100 grams heavier than Fox and Rock Shox comparable models.

Andrew at NSMB has put the most miles into a SR Suntour fork that I know of. He knows rider on the North Shore that are riding forks for years after pro riders used them that they bought from them that still do not creak years later.

nsmb.com/articles/sr-suntour-durolux-eq
  • 3 0
 @sprockets: got one srsuntour fork myself for a year now; rock gardens is all we have mostly here, no problems yet
  • 19 0
 *laughs in dual crown*
  • 1 13
flag rip8569 (Feb 12, 2021 at 13:27) (Below Threshold)
 dual crowns creak all the time too
  • 6 0
 @rip8569: I guess I’ve been lucky then. I’ve had two sets of fox 40s, two marz 888s and one cheap Amazon one (wanted to see if it would fold (it did)) and not even the $100 Amazon fork creaked
  • 4 1
 If the bolts are tightened to the correct spec and there is lube on the contact points with the headset, they should not creak. They do need a little love from time to time.
  • 4 4
 *laughs in sub-30lb weight for an XL bike*
  • 12 0
 @nickfranko: *laughs in weight doesn’t matter because I’m fat* also cries inside
  • 2 7
flag rip8569 (Feb 12, 2021 at 15:54) (Below Threshold)
 @BCtrailrider: 2x sets of Fox 40s and a Boxxer...all sounded like rice crispies in milk by the time I was done with them. The steerer is pressfit on lower crowns just like stanchions are pressed into CSU's. Believe me, they creak.
  • 1 0
 @BCtrailrider: I will say they are far less prone to developing the creak, probaby since there is only a single pressfit to fail as opposed to 3 and the more stable dual crown structure. the 3 forks I mentioned are about half the dual crown forks I have owned, whereas every single crown has blown the CSU on me...Fox, RS, doesn't matter. I break them all lol
  • 14 2
 As a bike mechanic of 10 years i can say that ive seen creaky fox crowns outnumber rockshox 2to1. I haven’t seen the problem as much in other brands, but to be fair other brands have less of a share of the market. Most of the time the fork is out of warranty. Or the company offers a less than stellar discounted replacement
  • 15 3
 This poll could also be titled "how many people bought a Fox 38 this year?"
  • 4 1
 Mine doesn’t creek a bit
  • 2 0
 @onemanarmy: got my warrantied after 3 months of riding
  • 2 0
 Mine creaked after a week.
  • 1 0
 @onemanarmy: did you ride it already?
  • 2 1
 @Mr-Gilsch: yeah. I’ve got like 550 miles on it. My 36 probably has 150. Neither creek.
  • 1 0
 And 36, 3 months in.
  • 6 0
 Would be interesting to know whether (if confirmed) it creaked from the crown steerer interface or stanchion crown interface.

2 forks out of 5 in the last year have NOT had this issue after a year or less: Marzocchi Z1 and Rock Shox Lyrik Ultimate. To be fair the Lyrik wasn't ridden very long.

Currently running a Pike with the Loctite fix that seems to have worked (*knocks on wood)
Replaced a Pike (seamless warranty)
Replaced a Fox 36 (relatively seamless warranty)

All creaked from the stanchion crown interface and accordingly I currently expect any fork I get to creak at some point, but I'm a bigger guy.
  • 1 0
 last yearS...I don't go through that many forks in a year Smile
  • 2 0
 Loctite fix, as in dripping some (63Cool bearing retainer in there? Sorted my Pikes out nicely and I’ll try the same again if my Lyriks start creaking too
  • 1 0
 @mashrv1: Exactly. I'm hoping this works out, as I'm afraid to send back forks given the pandemic situation.
  • 1 0
 I was under the impression that the fox/marz crowns were pitted on the inside whereas RS were a smooth finish and the pitted finish was the course of the creak ! I’ve owned all 3 brands and the 160 pike , 170 lyrics and 180 zeb haven’t creaked whereas the 180 fox and especially the 180 marz z1 creak like mad . Didn’t affect the performance though !
  • 1 0
 Also tried the loctite trick , it worked but not for long
  • 4 0
 I fixed my lyrik by pressing the steerer out with a hydraulic press, put some 620 green Loctite on, and pressed the same steerer back in. It is silent for a year now. FYI, it is pressed in there pretty hard..
  • 1 1
 @Majstr: I tried loctite xyz (can't recal # but for pressfit shafts borrowed from millwright coworker) it did not work. I see lots of different product #'s mentioned here so i checked their site- which has a good info that makes we want to try again with 648 (high strength/ low viscosity) that might penetrate better than what i might have used previously. 609 might be better w/ lower viscosity but lower strength. if penetrating loctite doesn't work then pressing it out with the threaded rod like Kanioni with 638 (triple strenght but very high visc). btw, anyone try dry-ice in the steer tube w/ heat gun on the crown for easier separation??
sorry...TLDNR: sounds liek loctite works. they have lots of products. website is good. choose based on together or apart
  • 1 0
 @heckler999: I used 638, I've tested it once before but did not work but it seems to have done the trick now. We will see when the snow melts whether it holds up.
  • 6 1
 Thanks for using your platform to collect data on this. There's lots of anecdotal data out there. BTW, you probably want to collect the type of fork from both people who have had the issue, and those that haven't. Otherwise if you try to deduce if there's a specific brand that has it more often, you won't really know.
  • 5 0
 I have an Ohlins that came on my 2017 Specialized Enduro Coil Ed., it's one of the earlier production ones with the one-piece crown and steer tube. I will keep this fork until I die. I sold my enduro with a factory 36 (brand new) so I could keep the ohlins. It's the first fork in a long time that didn't creak, still doesn't ridden and abused for 4 seasons.
  • 3 0
 I thought that was slick when they introduce the fork- it’s a shame it got binned with the redesign. Production costs, no doubt.
  • 6 0
 My Fox 38 creaked since day #1. It was warranty, but I lost the fork for 2 weeks in mid season which is really unfortunate for a brand new part paid full price
  • 8 1
 I live and ride on the North Shore in BC, I don't know of anyone whose Fox 36 hasn't developed a creak.
  • 5 1
 BOS fork..never again. Tried to warranty but nobody there seemed to speak english. The bike eventually was stolen which was a bummer, but my renters insurance covered it and I got a new bike with a 36 so in a way...I was stoked my bike was stolen!
  • 7 3
 FOX designers can't design a simple pressfit to save their lives. Just put some damn adhesive into the thing. They do literally nothing to keep moisture out or prevent movement. Not rocket science. Just cheap manufacturing for expensive products.
  • 1 0
 Yeah, I didn't see any adheseve (or anything) used in that MRP video in a article: just a dry press. Ouch...
  • 7 0
 No creaking but I have a RS that Croaked.
  • 6 2
 Fox CSUs have been seriously disappointing in my experience. Went through five of them in less than two years before switching to DVO. DVO had one creaking crown over the last two years.
  • 4 1
 My Deluxe RT blew a couple of weeks ago so I sent it and my Lyrik RC2 in for a full service. Deluxe was easily repaired by the service. The Lyrik on the other hand turned out to have a slightly leaking damper, which I hadn’t noticed. It’s 2 years 2 months old. SRAMtech agreed to replace the damper under warranty despite it being outside warranty by a couple of months. However, they then told me that the CSU was creaking and needed replacing - and that that wouldn’t be done under warranty.

This happened yesterday, so this is a timely poll! I’m really confused because I’m awful for noticing problems with my bike and find it really unlikely I wouldn’t notice the CSU creaking, if it’s as loud as people say. But they won’t do the damper under warranty without the CSU being replaced. I guess I should look at it as these two items being replaced at half price - but at full price the damper and CSU as parts add up to almost the full price of the fork, and it’s a bloody expensive fork.

I’ve had two Pikes before this Lyrik and didn’t have a problem with them, still have one of them. The Lyrik is a 160mm 29” and it’s on a Levo so under fairly heavy loads but I’m really not that gnarly a rider and it’s had a pretty easy life. Weird. And expensive.
  • 3 0
 How about can't hear it over my sucking wind on the climbs and squeals/yelps of fear on the downs?

Would be interesting to see breakdown by travel...as mentioned my guess is not many 120-140s are having this problem thus the high % NO troubles.
  • 3 0
 No creaks on my 26", 160mm Fox 36, but 170mm 29" 36's inevitally develop it. All three of the CSU's I rode from new (or almost) started creaking within a year or less. It's also easy to exclude the headset possibility for the origin of the creak. If you brake hard, it won't creak again until after you do a little jump or hit the front against the ground. Then it won't creak until you brake with the front again. A creaky headset will just creak regardless.
  • 4 1
 It would be very interesting to see the geographic correlation of these creaking issues. It seems to me that most of the riders experiencing this problem ride in a wet climate. The ingress of any combination of water, sand, or fine silt will ruin any rotational interface fairly quickly. Not saying that fork manufacturing couldn't be better, but a certain amount of precaution and maintenance must happen in these environments, or your equipment - whether in the field of mining, photography, bike riding, or many others - will not last long.
  • 5 0
 So, you think a creaky csu is the result of neglect in wet climates? What kind of csu maintenance regimen would you recommend to prevent silt ingress?

I guess you actually have a point in a way, since most "creaking csu" are actually neglected headsets.
  • 2 1
 @thegoodflow: I wouldn't necessarily call it neglect. I know all of us just want our bikes to work, but sometimes we forget that little things we do to prepare our bikes for the conditions we ride in can make a huge difference. Things I would do if I consistently rode in a wet climate:
- always run a full-coverage fender ( it would be in their best interest if every manufacturer included a quality fender with their fork)
- as you mentioned, make sure you are running your headset at correct torques and re-check it often
- run a bead of silicone gasket maker around the steerer/crown interface both on the underside and on the topside (under the bearing race) of the fork
- be prepared to disassemble the front end and clean after particularly sloppy days

Again, I do believe there is room for improvement in fork manufacturing, but we can't complain too much considering the conditions we slam our bikes through with only minimum maintenance.
  • 1 1
 @grizzlyatom: If the tolerances are so sloppy that sand/silt or even water are getting in, there's a much bigger problem.
  • 1 1
 @Eatsdirt: I'm not implying that water or sand particles get into the actual press-fit steerer-crown interface. What I have seen is that water carries small, solid contaminates into the gaps around the lower headset bearing and race. Those gaps are present on all bikes, and can be several mm on some frames. Once the particulates are in there, they cause local abrasive damage to the material surfaces, but more importantly once they build up they act as angry little fulcrums through which bending strain can be amplified around the steerer. This eventually causes material fatigue and slippage in the interface, accompanied by the dreaded creak.
  • 1 0
 @grizzlyatom: From what I understand (and have experienced), it's not rare for stanchions to have fretting/creaking issues where your theory might not apply. Also, the bottom race/csu union in all the forks I've had that have creaked have had a fair amount of grease there preventing any substantial contamination (race installed with grease) and I ride in bone dry conditions. I'm pretty sure the fretting/noise is due to poor surface prep, tolerances, etc but I'm not an engineer... I did stay at a Holiday Inn once though.
  • 3 0
 There are a lot of specialty workshops worldwide that can stop the creak. You just need the right tools and know-how. In short you press out the steerer and stanchions from the csu, treat them, and reinstall them with an adhesive. If you are located around Whistler, check out whistlersw.ca - they can fix it.
  • 1 0
 I don't have access to a hydraulic press, so this question is purely academic for me, but I'm curious: What do you mean by "treat them"?
  • 3 0
 @barp: The creaking comes from the build up of materials between the stanchions and the csu, and the steerer tube and the csu. (Often the stanchions cause more creaking that the steerer tube.) This material needs to be removed without damaging anything. The material produces pitting on the csu. The more pitted it is, the more the adhesive will bond the two surfaces once reinstalled. Manufacturer do try to use adhesive at the factory but the smooth surfaces and tight squeeze just push it out when the tubes are pressed in. Repeating myself to some degree, a treated csu assembly will actually perform better over the long term (in terms of creaking) than a new one, because of the rougher surfaces.
  • 1 0
 @rfchambers: So you scuff up the interference fit surfaces with sandpaper, to create some roughness where the adhesive can better do its job?
  • 2 0
 @barp: Not intentionally. The pitting created by the movement of the material between the two surfaces is enough.
  • 1 0
 @rfchambers: Good to know.
Here is a shop RBC (Robbie's) South Africa using ND Tuned replacement steerers/stanchions if necessary.
The video is worth watching www.youtube.com/watch?v=3U5okPm9Sn8
  • 4 1
 My Fox Forks creaked, maybe 3 of the 6 different ones I’ve owned over the yearsa. DVO has been solid and quiet over a couple of different forks, a couple carbon forks have been fine too (rigid ENVE, and Trust Message)
  • 3 1
 Surprised in the years of producing suspension forks that someone hasn't come up with a better engineered design to eliminate this, short of machining the entire CSU out of one piece of metal. Maybe the amount of press fit makes a difference and some forks have looser press than others? My DVO Diamond has been solid after a year of abuse.

Still wonder if something like a wicking grade Loctite would quiet the noisy ones...
  • 12 2
 They did, look at the EXT Era
  • 5 1
 There is a company (ND tuned) that sells/replaces replacement steer tubes for Fox forks and they use loctite (609 compound or something similar from what I gather) to eliminate creaks.
  • 1 0
 If I recall, someone from DVO had said that they've been working with the factory to try and completely eradicate creaky CSU's from their forks! And I've yet to ride my Diamond as it's winter, and I don't expect the creak to start at all this year since it's brand new.
  • 1 0
 They do,but that is not selling new stuff. "Hey this is our new stuff,it is 30% less crack noisy that before" is not a cool argument to sell forks sadly. Then it would cost 10 bucks more to do all of that,so in a 1000 bucks products is a no no.
  • 2 0
 From what I have seen it's more likely an issue coming on completely new forks, not something which come by time after years of abuse. On my Fox 32 it was straight out of the box few years ago. Loctite
  • 1 0
 @bok-CZ: Where do you put the Loctite exactly?
  • 1 0
 @Svinyard: they should put loctite on when the steer tube is pressed in place.
  • 1 0
 @Arierep: two months in of beating that fork and not a single unpleasant sound Smile
  • 3 0
 My 2012 Fox 36 never creaked, had the fork for 5 years. My 2018 Fox 36 has been warranted twice now for a creaking CSU. Not looking forward to it happening again, it will cost me money next time.
  • 3 1
 Was your 2012 fox 36 a 11/8th steerer? If so they had a very thick walled steerer that was also heat treated harder then the new ones. I use the steerer for other things and cut them down on the lathe so I know how hard they were.
  • 1 0
 The solution for my 2018 fox 36 which was out of guarantee : loctite 648. 4 rides after no creak at all. I will see in long terms...
  • 2 0
 @xtcphil: what you use them for? I've got an old 1 1/8th 36 that I've rebuilt and saved for a baller DJ build. It's SOLID.
  • 4 0
 I like my CSU creaking,it goes with my creaky bottom bracket,creaky seatpost,creaky frame pivots ,squealing brakes and swooshing suspension
  • 2 0
 @seb-stott Ok, I realize this is difficult and requires some work, but could we present the fork brand results with some kind of indication on how many riders are on each brand? I feel like Fox/RS look to have a larger problem than they actually do given the massive number of riders on each.
  • 1 0
 It's a good point. Obviously you'd expect Fox and RS to have more problems because they have far more forks in the wild, but I'm not sure how to compare the total numbers. You'd also want to know how many forks were long-travel 29ers, as they're probably more susceptible. It's interesting that there are at least a few people who have reported creaking with every brand mentioned, so it seems none are immune.
  • 2 0
 Most of the Fox 36 equipped bikes made the exactly same "CSU" noise,no matter what brand of bike or headset. Some you touch the bars and it cracks,others need a big force to do it,but almost any bike I test ride equipped with the 36 was noisy. Mine was only present while braking really hard in very steep trails.
Never had to replace a headsets in my older bikes,they were fine (Tange Seiki both stock in Cannondale bikes)
My 2020 RS Lyric is quiet but you can see it flexing a lot front and back,even a little twist.
  • 2 0
 One more useful poll question would be:: regardless of creak or not, what fork are you running? That would help us better understand percents reported on the last question and get a better idea of what brand creaks the most. Or ask, what brand are you running that does not creak?
  • 3 0
 Its a good thing E13 does not make forks; if they did there would need to be an option in the list: "they wore me down with the warranty process so I just gave up and bought something else"
  • 2 0
 Fox 36 170mm, Grip2. started creaking under heavy load within a year. sent it off to Fox and they fixed it somehow. not sure what exactly they did but it came back with the same steerer tube and everything. been rock solid ever since (1.5+ years)
  • 2 0
 Switched from my Ohlins to Fox, rode for awhile, cracking noises happened, swapped back to Ohlins with the same bearings and the problem was gone. So, back went the Fox.

Sad, because that Fox was way more plush on the rough stuff than the Ohlins, but I don't like death creaks/cracks.
  • 3 1
 Of all the components on a modern MTB, fork CSUs are by far the non-wear component that failed the quickest. The most objectionable things is, having had forks from both Fox & Rock Shox fail & repaired within the warranty period, when the problem has reoccured on the replacement CSU within what works have been a further warranty period from the date of replacement, the response from both companies has been a suggestion to pound sand. These components are simply not fit for purpose, & once you're past the 12 month warranty period you're on your own.
  • 2 0
 I still have a marzocchi bomber in blue on my Rocky Mountain Soul. Used it for countless XC and DH races in high school. Creaks like my grandmothers hips but it still delivers 20 years later. I wish they made stuff that last that long in this day and age
  • 3 1
 Hello Pinkbike Staff, how about calling around to the local Suspension service companies in the Sea to Sky Region to get a snapshot of how many creaky CSUs they see every year. Spoiler alert, a shite tonne. You know it, we all know it, no need to coddle Wink
  • 2 0
 Yup. Mine is at suspensionworkz (sp?) right now for custom tune and guess what.
  • 2 0
 I had a really bad creak in my last gen 36 (2nd hand buy). Well I got some threaded rod and hardware and pressed the steerer out. Came out pretty easily. Then I pressed that turd back in with some loctite bearing lock and never had issues since
  • 2 0
 Guess what’s happening to my fork right now. Started creaking whilst it was in warranty and I forgot to mention it. Now it’s in for service they won’t work on it without changing the CSU. Irritatingly Fox won’t take the tuner’s word for it so it has to be sent to them. I’m waiting on the “50%” price from Fox.
  • 2 0
 My Fox Float from a 2014 Giant Trance (stock) started creaking last year. I flipped my bike upside down and put some green locktite at the top of the stancions and let it sit and soak in for about a week. Stopped the creaking. Creaking has been gone since, even after a full summer of hard riding. We'll see how it holds up this year...
  • 1 0
 Watching all the bikes land, looked like all of the Rock Shox forks went through multiple stages of resistance in their travel. The Fox forks all seemed to go through their travel in a much smoother way. So does the resistance increase the stress on a fork and it's chances of creaking?
  • 1 0
 While I was working in a shop this problem came in a few different times, from all kinds of manufacturers. Definitely a problem that arises with bigger senders, but maybe it has something to do with washing/maintenance too? Some tri-flow on the joints can help for a short time, though it just cures the noise and likely makes the problem worse with time, as the lube allows things to shift more with time.

On my own fork that creaks, which is a thoroughly battered X-Fusion Revel, I lube it once in a while when it acts up. I don't consider it a huge issue, annoying as it is.
  • 3 0
 Over 20 years riding never had a creaking fork till the fox 36 people also say the bushings are too tight and ruin the stanchion tubes
  • 2 1
 I guess you pinkbike testers don't get to keep your bikes long enough to develop the creaks. I've had two 2012 Marzocchi 66 creak at the CSU after only 2-3 months, and 2 DVO CSUs that started to creak lightly after 5-6 months. Apparently they have fixed that on newer versions and they were super kind with the easy warranty process. There are several suspension centers who show (and fix) creaky crowns on Instagram almost daily, it's a real thing. Mostly FOX but some RockShox and less of other brands. Those creaky crowns should be covered by 3-5 years warranties because most of the time the forks are still fine outside of the annoying and potentially dangerous creak! That would get manufacturers to make this interface more reliable and durable.
  • 4 0
 "I guess you pinkbike testers don't get to keep your bikes long enough to develop the creaks".

That's what they said...
  • 2 0
 I really hope DVO have worked it out.

I just took my DVO Diamond in for a full service (just over the 2 year warranty) and I got a call that they found a creak and that they will not service it or tell me how bad it is. My only options were to fix or replace with a "crash replacement" (even though, no crash be had). Replacement was only a hundred dollars more (ouch) than the fix and service, but comes with a warranty at least.

Assuming that once it starts creaking you shouldn't be riding anymore. It also seems like such a waste because the rest of the fork was working well (like butter). I hate that it is causing so much garbage.
  • 2 0
 Is this an issue for the integrity of the fork? Last time I brought my bike into the shop, they traced the creaking to the CSU but said it wasn't an issue. Now I'm kind of worried.
  • 2 0
 I think it depends. The only time I've had a creaking CSU was after a harsh overclear and bottom out. After a few more weeks of riding I started noticing my bar/stem would be out of alignment after a rowdy trail. Eventually pulled the fork and put the steerer in a vice and I was able to grab the legs and get the crown to spin around the steerer. Took some force, but not that much. Super scary to ride like that.
  • 2 1
 I thought I had a creaky Fox 36, but after replacing my bottom bracket (pf41) with a well greased replacement the creaking stopped. The creaking must have been pinging up the down tube because it sounded like it was coming right from the headtube/csu area.
  • 2 0
 I think there are going to be a lot of people with similar issues. Surprises me how many people don't seem to be cleaning / regreasing headset, bb, and cassette at least every 6 months.
  • 2 0
 I've never had a creaking crown. I had a lightweight marzocchi air fork bend in a U and blow oil all over me and the forest, but that was more an agonized shriek followed by an explosion. No creaking.
  • 1 0
 I’ve also snapped a steel steer tube off on a Marzocchi XC 100. My fault. I had over tightened the crown bolts. I also had the uppers fall out of the crown of a Hanson inversion fork. Since forks went with larger bottomed tapered steer tubes I’ve not had a creek. I think also because I’ve been on bigger forks like a 36 or Pike it’s less likely to happen at the crown stanchion interface, plus I’m just over 140 pounds, old and wimpy.
  • 1 0
 I had an OG Fox Vanilla 32, 1.125 steerer and 120mm of basically undamped travel for all your early 2000s New England hucking pleasure. Literally every one of these creaked like an old house. If it didn't creak you weren't riding it. I went though two CSUs before the gen 2 came out and was better. I had a 2014 Pike that creaked. Sold it. I had a 2018 Yari that the stanchion failed at the damper side circlip, dropping the damper and a chunk of the stanchion into the lower. That didn't creak, but it didn't sound good, and it was a warranty issue but it took two months to get back on it. Current Lyrik and Yari are fine and quiet.
  • 1 0
 Really surprised at how many answered never had this problem. All of my single crowns creak eventually. I do live in the PNW though which matters. Gonna buy the BlueLiquidLabs press out parts and fix my own, total cost with cheap hydraulic press is $500, a new CSU starts at $350. Once you press it apart the loctite trick will supposedly fix it for good, so you fix yours and a few friend's your ahead of the game and no need for the warranty can't ride your bike dance.
  • 1 0
 In case any was wondering,

blueliquidlabs.com/tag/creaking-fork-creaking-csu


Looking at the poll results, I have to assume all the major fork vendors noticed this poll was up and then used a botnet to spam "never had a creaking CSU" submission.
  • 1 0
 @WinoBot: ya, I sent my fox crowns to this guy a few years ago and it was problem free for years after that.

Pressing out the stantions sounds crazy but it did the trick with no issues at all. Not sure I’d do it myself tho.
  • 1 0
 @saskatoonbikeguy: Having the right fixtures and press makes all the difference. They are pressed together in the factory when being assembled in the factory.

Looks like he has a video now describing the process:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=LFvPNWAH6Kg

I vote for DC forks for Enduro bikes. Give them 150mm front hub and then you can have the stanchions far enough apart to get a reasonable-enough turning radius for all but the tightest switchbacks. No more CSU creak, easier to maintain, no more stems slipping in crashes, etc.
  • 1 0
 Back in 2011 I was going through a Fox 36 about every 4 weeks, that's how bad and quick the CSU creaking would happen. I was on a first name basis with Fox's Marketing manager and had his direct line number. I'd call him up, send back my previous fork and at the same time they'd ship me a new one. I believe I went through 8 forks before selling my Trek Scratch.
  • 1 0
 Wow. I'm shocked at the number of "Never" answers. Considering how bad my forks, and buddy's forks, my girlfriends, cousin's, uncles' former roommate's forks all creak I would assume every single fork ever made f*cking creaked
  • 1 0
 I had lots of creaking forks. It were always the stanchions in the crown. On a 2014 pike i pressed the stanchions out and in again with loctite 643. Never creaked again. My two 2014 pikes started creaking shortly after a couple days of rough alpine riding or a nose heavy landing after a big jump.
  • 1 0
 Sent my nearly 2 years old pike for warranty You could clearly hear the creaking when I removed the fork in every pressfit. It took 10 weeks in the Summer to get my fork in the same condition as before back. Still creaking. Looktite fix only works fit a couple of Rides. A good Test to Check If the creaking issue ist the steering tube is to lay the fork in 2 chairs and press the crown down to get eine force in the steering Tube. For stanchions remove Front wheel and push, pull the casting. My fork creaked in both tests but sounds different
  • 1 0
 I had this issue in my old not so old fox 36 2018 fork for three times under warranty.. the first time the crack was so anoying when i ride.. on every single rock and jump the bike sounds like it was snap in 2 parts not a good feeling to ride with confidence.. at this time i dont even know that i can ask for warranty on this creaking noise until i see some pinkbike forum post with the same issue.. sent to fox and was diagnosis with creacking crown.. Fox made the replacement very fast with no problem, the creack stop for like 3/4 months and start again.. back to fox new crown again and more 3/4 months same issue.. Fox again solve my issue however like me in the first time a lot of people just think that the creacking noise is normal and dont ask for warranty..
Facts fox know well the issue and works weel with warranty , i thinks this is just a noise and does not compromise the safety of the rider
  • 1 0
 I once had a creaky CSU and I thought "well that's probably my pos 20$ headset whining for an upgrade" and so I ignored it. Then not far from that I ended up in the hospital for a week with broken jaw and three missing tooth... not saying that all the creaky forks are gonna end up that way but creaking is a thing for quite some riders to judge if their bikes are still in mint condition, and if manufacturers can find a way to eliminate the "healthy" or "not gonna turn bad it's just gonna stay like that forever" creaks will really help those riders to pinpoint the actual issues they have on their bikes.
  • 1 0
 It took rockshox nearly 4 months to replace my CSU. It's not just long travel forks on slack bikes that have the problem. Mine was on a 100mm Sid on a xc hard tail.

Most my friends with 2019/20 fox 36 have now had there CSU replaced. Looks to be coming a more common problem.
  • 1 0
 Tip:
Put your bike upside down. Spray fork deo or silicon spray into the bottom of the csu. Especially in the edges where the two pieces meet. Let the bike sit there for 1 night and the creaking should be gone for a while the next day. My experience is that the creaking starts after your bike isn’t used very often and the weather is quite humid. My theory is that the creaking comes from al little corrosion between the two pieces. It even worked on a rigid (Kona rove) fork once Smile
  • 1 0
 Easy to check :

Tutn your bike over on a sidt surface as a thick blanket or so to not scratch your bar, get tge wheel out stand on the bars and now turn the fork s lowers forth and back, also the ride and left leg in opposite directions. This will show it it is tge steerer or even the stanchions in the crown.

Some companys offer exchange steerers that are put in place with screw tight or similar stuff which makes the fork calmer and the steerers are stiffer than the regular stuff
  • 1 0
 Had two forks creak over the years:

First was a RS Pike, one of the first of the newer generation that came out. Was fine for a few weeks but after I'd given it a beating on an uplift day twice it creaked all the time, was replaced under warranty and was fine until the day I sold it on.
The second is a Fox 32 that I've owned for 6 years now, started creaking early last year. Had the steerer tube pressed out and re-inserted with some Loctite glue applied and it's back to being silent, still in use now.

It can be really annoying when it happens and you shouldn't ignore it but it's an easy fix so nothing major to worry about.
  • 1 0
 Loctite 638 solved horrible creaking/snapping sound coming from the CSU and stanchions on my 2019 Fox 36. It was so bad I was seriously considering a new fork. I bought the fork used and the csu had already been replaced under warranty for the same reason. the original was performance elite, and Fox upgraded it to Kashima. It was creak free when running it at 160mm, but after increasing it to 180mm it started creaking about a month in. I watched a youtube video from "JED MTB" (www.youtube.com/watch?v=_FsYV9Q03uc) followed his process and the fork hasn't creaked since. I've given the Loctite to another friend with 2019 36 who had the same problem, and it solved his issue too.
  • 1 0
 Makes you wonder why there isn't more use for dual crown enduro forks, given the travel length and the design being so much more fundamentally solid. Surely we don't all do X-ups and bar spins! Wink

Looking at the vid, a lot of the flex (at the initial impact anyway) seems to be coming from the bushing area. And as someone said, some of the forks appear to hit resistance as they go through the travel - bushings binding? The bushing overlap is so short on long travel forks while also dealing with increased forces. Bring on the inverted forks or extended lower legs ala the Sherman or Super Monster!
  • 1 0
 Can’t tell much from these numbers. What if it’s just most of the respondents are running fox. Impossible to disentangle. Need a question: If you’ve never heard creek what brand do you run? Then these data have meaning. If you gonna do consumer data science do it right!
  • 1 0
 140 mm Fox 34 — creaked first year I owned it. Crown was replaced under warranty. Couple years later it creaked again. Sent the crown to a guy who calls himself Blue Liquid Labs in Vancouver. He pressed out the stantions, applied some type of loctite, and the fork was good for years. I still have it in a box.
  • 1 0
 Would be well interesting if you could record some old school forks, some triple crown's, Cannondale Lefty's and some OOTW linkage designs for good measure! It would be interesting to compare the flex and binding seen between all the different models.
  • 1 0
 Brought my creaky RockShox to the SRAM booth at Crankworks back in the early days of the event, and BOOM! Instant free warranty service on my 3-year old fork. Had enough time to snag a demo bike for a lap of Comfortably numb, and I came back to a spanky new fork. Thanks folks!
  • 1 0
 Being around a pretty big enduro/DH race circuit every season I’ve seen so many Fox 36 forks develop the infamous CSU crack. I’ve personally had 2 36’s develop the crack within several rides. Pretty disappointing for “such a high end fork” hoping the new versions are a lot better!
  • 1 0
 Year 2000 Marzocchi Z1CR... Creaky MF from new. Replaced with a 2002 Rockshox Psylo Race which creaked for a while, but when it finally stopped I noticed the steerer gradually turned in the crown...
I thought I was cursed! Have had nine pairs of forks since from every big brand (and some small ones)and they have been flawless
  • 6 3
 Supermonsters don't creak - but I groan when I have to pedal the bike around...
  • 8 5
 isnt fox going to have the most votes pretty much no matter what because its the most popular brand.
  • 7 0
 And it creaks the most. I love fox but it's a well known issue.
  • 4 0
 Who stated that Fox is more popular than RockShox? I see more RockShox coming on most bikes since 2014 really
  • 2 0
 @Edendino: I see the same. Maybe on the top of the line XX1/XTR models fox is more popular but most people aren't buying those builds. The GX/SLX builds outnumber those by far and I think RS holds the oem market share in those builds.
  • 1 0
 I've always been relatively light on my gear, despite riding moderately hard, as I'm only around 165lbs. I've got a buddy who can literally make any single crown fork creak in less than a year.
  • 3 3
 Fox has got to fix this problem, their warranty is solid, but man I can't use one of their forks more then 2 months without developing ridiculous creaking. New bikes with slackened head tubes have made this even more apparent. My 62 ht angle doctahawk was designed to dismiss forks within a few rides.

I appreciate that RS is ahead of the curve on this one, and don't see nearly as many with creaks, the OG pike and Argyle even in the 1 1/8th steerer didn't make a peep. But simply not an RS fan because leaky Moco dampers and excessive plastic internals have left me with bad memories of shit quality. (Im sure the new stuff is more refined, but can't jump on the bandwagon). Also SRAM trying to do everything and can't make brakes or carbon cranks makes we not want to sign up to a mix match build. I love when things flow and you can pick niche parts from each group. RF cranks bar and stem / Hope Brakes / Fox suspension & Dopper / king hubs
  • 3 0
 My Fox 36 is great and so far the warranty is as well. The creak comes back like clockwork.
  • 3 1
 I just had my fox 36 in to get the CSU replaced. Only a month out of warranty coverage. As a bonus the airshaft was broken too. Nice work Fox!
  • 1 1
 (When I say I’m awful for noticing problems, I mean I notice the tiniest things and am really bad at ignoring things, which I find quite annoying! I’ll notice silly things like sag or tyre pressure being out by about 10%!)
  • 1 0
 My first creaking CSU was in 2010 Rockshox Rekon, second one was in 2011 Rockshox Lyrik. Last one was on 2015 Rockshox Pike. I'm now on 2020 Rockshox Lyrik for over a year and fortunately it's flawless.
  • 1 0
 Question: "if yes,..."
Answer option: "no"

Who did check these polls, spoiler alert, you forgot something.

Anyways, both forks I owned creaked after about 1,5 years. Still work perfectly fine though.
  • 4 4
 I've often found that the creaking that is often suspected from the CSU turns out to be dirty or worn out headset bearings. Also, the lowers can cause creaking that is often mistaken for a creaking CSU and a lower-leg service resolves the noise. Not to say a creaking CSU isn't a real thing, but, can easily be misdiagnosed.
  • 2 1
 Pinch bolts & clamps a little bit of extra weight & machining if you need to replace stanchions or a steerer individually great & not a whole CSU. Early 90s RS, Marzocchi & Manitou had it.
  • 1 0
 There is a reason forks had it 'then and not now'..
  • 1 1
 The most annoying suspension creak I had was a brand new Pike (when they were first re-released with 35mm stanchions) that occasionally make a sound like an aluminum bat hitting a chain link fence post. It was maybe once or twice per ride but unnerving for sure. I replaced the headset with a King but still the noise persisted. A year after getting the fork, the bike was stolen off the top of my car in Eugene, OR and the noise went away.
  • 1 0
 Ok here is my question.. Does it cost more to build a one piece Crown and steer than to warranty the press fit. Obviously it can be done but only a few do it. Nothing worse than being fork-less mid season.
  • 1 0
 I had a steerer loosen in the CSU, the bars would turn with the wheel staying straight, super sketchy, fork was replaced. Had some headset creaking, creaky cranks, but the elusive creaking CSU has not been an issue.
  • 2 0
 Has anybodyhere tried the locktite 290 fix on a creaky CSU? I’ve seen it posted somewhere else online. Seems like it would work in theory
  • 1 0
 This should be researched. I also found other articles saying that if the insertion grease is removed (washing/drying etc) the tiny amount of corrosion in the interface makes the creak.
  • 1 0
 I've used green locktite on my stancion uppers last year. Stopped creaking ever since
  • 1 0
 Manitou Mattoc creaked in me but it’s done 6 years of service and I’m somewhat of a unit so I’ll forgive them. New csu only cost 120 quid so not an issue knowing I’ve got another 5 years in them again.
  • 1 0
 I’ve had to have my c/s replaced on my fox, dvo and rockshox.
Just missed the warranty on my dvo.
My friend in the suspension industry said ohlins are the only fork he has seen that’s not having this issue
  • 3 2
 I,have a few pike dj under my belt, my friend broke 2 sets of 36(180mm) and recently bent his Zeb, seems like tou can’t ride hard anymore
  • 8 2
 Does your friend case/crash everything? Broke 2 36's and bent a new Zeb? Is he 155kgs +? Does he run Val di Sole all weekend on them? Def need some context. Hard to believe 'just riding along' with that type of damage
  • 5 2
 @bman33: him and his buddies are prob the ones that submit to the Friday fails, I bet a lot of those bikes creak!
  • 3 0
 @bman33: check his pictures, it seems they do dj mostly.
I guess his friend is guinea pigging their jumps a bit too much
  • 2 1
 Cant imagine spending the price of my whole bike on a new creaky fork when my 2013 RS one has been buttery with no maintenance
  • 1 2
 I'm not a small rider (yeah yeah, far side of 250). Ive got an old fox fork, vanilla RLC, and a Rock shox Relevation, and have beaten them like step headed red children. Not one issue.
I've just ordered (and will get this year) a new bike, with a Lyric ultimate on the front. I'm a little worried that I'll be heading into a replacement rodeo for it.
It would seem that the quality of bike parts kinda goes up and down. I've been lucky. I also spec/upgrade to burly.
I'd be of the opinion that most bikes, eventually, are going to creak. Be it the CSU, bottom bracket, headset itself, whatever, its gonna make noise.
  • 4 0
 BB, headset, cassette, freewheel, or literally any other serviceable and designated wear part is fine. People should be cleaning and regreasing these interfaces way more often than they do and at the first sign of a creak. A CSU is a whole different story. I can't be expected to fix that and it's absurd to think we should have to replace uppers every yearish just because the pressfit fails.
  • 3 0
 Dual crowns exist for a reason Smile
  • 1 2
 I snapped multiple forks Marzocchi , SunTour, X-fusion within several years of ownership however that was like 5 years ago, never happened with NEW RS forks pike/Yari / Lyrik/ zeb platform actually solid and held the abuse quite nice;
and in terms of creak I mean not the sound however structural failure of the fork crown;

luckily I walked away after few of those catastrophic failures of the fork
  • 2 3
 Anyone saying they didn't is lying, having worked as a suspension tech, good 75% of forks that passed though creaked. It was a question of how bad, and on a sliding scale of "it'll be reet" to "dont ride that off a kurb" was the real question.
  • 3 1
 I bet every creaky CSU is from riding like we see in the Friday fails... come on guys fess up...
  • 1 0
 Never had a creak but had the steerer tube twist on an ohlins 36mm fork once. And had 2 ohlins forks with stanchion wear after around 6 months. Fun times..
  • 2 0
 78 x fusion is not a good sign, maybe intend has more forks in the wild than them
  • 2 0
 Every single fork I've ever had develops this. Multiple fox, rockshox, xfusion, manitou. All of them.
  • 1 0
 Any time I've ever thought I had a creaky CSU I took the fork off, cleaned and regreased the crown race and it went silent.

Wonder hoe many "creaky CSUs" are just dirty.
  • 1 0
 I've killed a 2012 170mm RS domain and a 2018 170mm lyrik. Steerer walked out of the crown. Too much (unsmooth) shred. Gas to flat!
  • 1 0
 Had incredibly creaky 2018 and 2019 Fox 36s. Creaked like crazy the whole time I owned them. New 38 on the Enduro is glorious, however. Smooth and quiet.
  • 1 0
 I just got a new Status with the Fox 36 Rhythm, it’s my first time with Fox suspension. Am I doomed to creaky CSU life too?
  • 2 0
 Less likely as that fork is much beefier in the csu same I believe as marzo z1
  • 2 0
 What about my CSU creaks but I don't care so I didn't try to use the warranty service ?
  • 3 0
 The moment my bike stops creaking I'll file a warranty claim.
  • 1 0
 Every fork I have every owned has creaked. I am under 90kg and ride hard now but even when I was a 70kg grom, my brand new forks would creek after a couple months.
  • 1 0
 Missing from the poll. What year was the creak. I haven’t had a creak in over a decade. Not since the lower HT size changed.
  • 1 0
 I've been riding since before suspension and worked for a decade plus in various bike shops, and I haven't seen or heard of this anywhere but on @pinkbike lol!
  • 1 0
 Who are these riders who have never had a creaky CSU?

Actually, I never had problems with my old 32's. Maybe the 32s flex lower and don't focus all the stress onto the CSU?
  • 1 0
 on the warranty coverage question, i'm missing the options "didn't give damn and rode it" and "sold the fork to random moron"
  • 1 0
 I rode a recon doing freeride for like a year with no service, it felt terrible and wanted to die, but not one creak, leak, or bump. them things bulletproof
  • 1 0
 once but warrantied. thats why fox and rockshox have "reinforced steerer tube for stiffness" lol
  • 2 0
 Is it possible to see results if you don’t have answers to give?
  • 1 0
 Really, you list BOS and Formula but not MRP? Maybe cause they never creak?
  • 6 0
 My MRP Ribbon has been solid!
  • 1 0
 @brandaneisma: I've seen a few MRPs that creak at my shop, not tons but several
  • 1 0
 @aharms: do you guys work on MRP's? I feel like most shops wont do anything more than a lower leg service...
  • 1 0
 @brandaneisma: Pretty sure we do, yeah. It's been a while since I've done suspension since I started a new job recently. Worth calling though. Pedal Pushers Cyclery in Golden CO
  • 1 0
 Add to the poll:
-Fork creaks but I have not noticed it.
-Something creaks but I say its the fork to sound more gnarly.
  • 1 0
 Got so over creaking forks I now just dump loctite into the crown every few months. Seems to work.
  • 2 0
 Yes. Fox. They didn’t cover it. New bike doesn’t have Fox.
  • 2 0
 My brand new 38 is doing this....after 2.5 months of ownership
  • 2 0
 Fox engineers damn you beat my record of 4 months lol
  • 1 0
 @rip8569:
Might be zebs
  • 2 0
 I work at a shop this happens all the freaking time
  • 2 0
 haha! Fox getting put on blast! Every fox i’ve owned creaks.
  • 1 3
 3 total - Nothing in the last decade...

One on a red fork ( Hint came on a green specialized stumpy pre 2000 ). It didn't owe me anything.

Two on a black fork ( Hint came on a black Giant AC somewhere between 2002 and 2004 ) . It was a lemon for sure and pretty much the only such product I have even owned. It still owes me.

Three - Used XC hardtail bike for Wednesday beer race series. If you creep my photos its the 1 year bike experiment we have all went through. Noodle to the extreme. Oddly enough carbon steerer ! so creaking coming from somewhere else but certainly in the region. E.g. stanchions, cups/headset/bearings, stanchions ...

Everything since has been solid without a second thought. Like others my service schedule has increased as my experience/skills have to the point where I have reached poserville and now fiddle about as much as I probably ride.
  • 2 0
 You cant destroy minster t forks at all lol
  • 2 0
 I pity the foil
  • 2 0
 All the new 2021 forks creak for me and the people I ride with.
  • 2 0
 even though I had the creak on my fox fork, still love it after warranty
  • 2 0
 Recently there have been rumblings about creaking CSUs? You new here?
  • 1 0
 Ah yes, my first suspension. Used bikes are a gamble. My Giant had a crack in the lowers
  • 4 3
 Judging by the pole numbers it confirms my suspicion...Hardly any Pinkbikers actually ride bikes.
  • 1 0
 I fricking laughed. I've thought the same thing before, a number of times.
  • 1 0
 Good one! Smile
  • 1 0
 Funny that they have the EXT fork in the thumbnail. Are they inviting drama haha
  • 1 0
 Maybe the wheel size and travel of the creaky culprits should be part of the survey.....?
  • 2 0
 Maverick forks are lovely
  • 1 0
 I've never had this problem, but the 29 with a 150 fork has only been around for 6 months
  • 1 0
 Mine was a set of Fox 36s back 2008. To be fair to Mojo they sorted it in no time at all.
  • 1 0
 My fork has never creaked but my legs creak every time i get out of bed . fortunately thats not often .
  • 1 0
 Last 4 Fox forks (2012-2020) all creaked with no way to fix it, its a flawed CSU design
  • 1 0
 I’ve had a Reba, two Pikes and a sektor creak. Plus a Fox rhythm. Just lucky I guess.
  • 1 0
 pretty sure most people who think their fork is creaking have it wrong, its most likely the headset
  • 1 0
 Never had a creaking fork but that Angleset from Canecreek sure creaked louder than a bed in a cheap motel!
  • 1 0
 So many other potential creaks...
  • 1 1
 Every pike I had creaked. The lyrik was much better. So far so good on my fox 36
  • 2 0
 Pike 2016 disease ????
  • 1 1
 This is why i just love riding a rigid bike. Whenever i hear a creak, it is probably coming from my wrists or elbows.
  • 1 0
 Yes. About ten trillion times . Minus 1 Smile ))))))
  • 1 0
 Shining the light into the dark.
  • 1 0
 Did your balls ever itch?
  • 1 0
 Yes, A Fox 36 in 2007 like they all did!!
  • 1 0
 Mine creaks when I do a endo...;(
  • 1 0
 How much do you weigh? Im around 105kg & feel like the bike is going to snap doing a stoppie
  • 1 0
 Those raw crowns look awesome. They should do a run of them like that.
  • 1 0
 Just bought a new Fox 36 and it creaks out of the box...
  • 1 0
 People selling bikes and parts on "buy and sell" be like: "Yeah Narh".
  • 1 0
 Funny, mine (just over two years old) started to creak today...
  • 1 0
 If it does, I'm unlikely to hear it Iver my creaking f*****d knees
  • 1 1
 I ride solid forks; lefty, durolux, selva, and intend.

Creaking CSUs is a weightweenie problem
  • 1 0
 Who didn’t crack the crown of his 2003 DJ3?
  • 2 1
 What’s with the Fox hate? That math does work out people.
  • 1 0
 It isn't hate. Fox have had lots of issues with creaking CSU. The 38 isn't immune either.
  • 1 0
 @mtb-scotland: For no other reason then cost of Fox I have been running RS for years with no issues. Most people I ride with are on Fox and I have never heard the issue before. It would drive me nuts if my front end did this.
  • 2 0
 @airtym: for no other reason than being a better product I've been on manitou lol
  • 1 0
 fork is so expensive they have creak build in
  • 1 0
 You all need louder free hubs, problem solved.
  • 1 0
 Thought it was my forks once...turned out to be the angleset misaligned.
  • 1 0
 Do you creak under pressure?
  • 1 0
 this is the most idiotic poll ever
  • 1 0
 Manitou Mach 5, that thing was a disaster!
  • 1 0
 I'm missing "less than a month" option
  • 1 0
 had it once, not sure if it was my fork or different lower headset cup
  • 1 0
 Most of the creaking comes from lose headsets
  • 1 0
 I never had this problem because I have a Sr Suntour Durolux
  • 1 0
 I did not dare vote, for fear of jinxing my fork.
  • 1 1
 just with the title... TROLL of the year nominee...
  • 1 0
 What the HTA to XC fork?
  • 1 0
 What the HAT limit to XC fork?
  • 1 0
 I don't give a fork
  • 1 1
 Headphones
  • 2 5
 Fun fact, I've never ridden a fox fork. Maverick SC32->Mav. DUC32->Marzocchi 55CR->Manitou Mattoc
  • 1 3
 All the fox guys voting for rockshox too to even the polls lol
  • 1 4
 My rigid fork creeks sometimes... when I roll over snails.
  • 2 5
 Don't get shit fork Problem solved
  • 1 0
 The CSU creaked on my old Peugeot U0-9 from the early 80's. I couldn't get a warranty because apparently they don't even make bikes anymore
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