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The Tell-Tale Tongue

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  • Phil Good-Elliott
    I was riding home this afternoon (beautiful sunny day, light breeze, 64 F) when I noticed a squeak from the bottom bracket area of my X. The squeak sounded a
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 16, 2009
      I was riding home this afternoon (beautiful sunny day, light breeze, 64 F) when I noticed a squeak from the bottom bracket area of my X. The squeak sounded a bit familiar. I'd heard it on rare occasion before. I thought it was something to do with my pedal when under load. The sound occurred only on the left side when pedaling at any rate of speed over a few miles an hour. Upon close examination, I found the bolts for my Powergrips were loose on the left side.

      I thought, "Ah, so that's it! That's why it sounds familiar - it sounds like when my old pedal cage failed." So, I tightened the bolts and took it for a test ride, confident the trouble was gone.

      Wrong.

      Squeak, squeak, squeak... the sound continued with no change.

      Hmmm... I took a closer look at the bottom bracket and manhandled the cranks and pedals, trying to reproduce the sound. That's when I glanced at the FreeRadical tongue.

      "I wonder..." Maybe the sound was familiar because I'd heard it before when the bike was very heavily loaded and there was some significant sway going on.

      I grabbed the chain stays, grabbed the FR Top Stay, and yanked!

      SQUEAK! SQUEAK!

      A minute later after a wee bit of wrenching and the sound is now gone. This is a good reminder for me to check all bolts and fasteners on my X periodically, given the regular riding and pounding the rig takes. Thought I'd pass this along as an amusing story with a helpful resolution. I'm simply glad I paid attention to it early on. The consequences of not tightening the bolt could've been disastrous.

      -Phil
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