I know there are about a million questions on here about creaking while pedaling, but I haven't seen one that relates...apologies if I missed one. I bought a 2011 BMC Streetracer SR02 last year; shortly after I got it I removed the Shimano 105 it had previously, and replaced them with a mix of SRAM Rival and Red (Rival shifters and derailleurs, 2012 Red GXP crank). Since I got the bike last February, I've put about 6k miles on it (both the chain and cassette were replaced ~2 weeks ago).
A little over a month ago, I started noticing a creaking/clicking when pedaling, typically beginning when I was about 3 miles into a ride. Nothing was changed on the bike before it started. The creaking occurs about once per pedal revolution (around 6 o'clock on both sides) and stops when I get out of the saddle. It occurs regardless whether my hands are on the bars. I've worked on the bike myself and taken it to my LBS, but we're both running low on ideas.
- All the chainring bolts were replaced.
- BB was swapped out with a new one.
- Red crankset was removed, regreased and re-installed.
- Red crankset was swapped out for a non-creaky 105 crankset.
- Pedals were swapped out.
- Chain and cassette were replaced.
- Saddle was swapped out.
- Seatpost was cleaned/greased.
- Seatpost was swapped out.
- Wheelset was swapped out for a newer one.
- Headset was removed, inspected and cleaned.
- Bottle cage bolts tightened.
- Front derailleur braze-on bolt checked/torqued.
- Rear derailleur hanger screws checked/torqued.
- Wheel skewers swapped out.
- Replaced the headset cartridges.
And yet, the creaking continues. At this point, I feel like I'm pretty much out of ideas (short of calling a priest...). I'm almost positive it's coming from the BB area, but I also know the sound could be coming from anywhere in the bike, given all the tubes.
Is it the frame? How would I check to see if it's the frame, rather than one of the components? Any thing else I could be missing?
Update: I had a chance to play around with the creakiness when I rode last night (with different skewers in the wheels). It seems like the source of the issue is somewhere in the cockpit area. If I don't have my hands on the bars, the creaking is no different than when I have both hands on the bars. However, it seems that if I put one hand on the bars and shift my weight to that side, the creaking seems shift to that side as well. When I got back from the ride, I put a layer of grease on the part of the stem that attaches to the bars, and I'll check if that made a difference on a ride later today. I'm not sure that will be it, but that would make it easier.
Update: Finally fixed! Following a group ride last week, we looked over the bike in a last ditch effort to solve the creaking. Things seemed in order, but the mechanic greased the seatpost clamp and the bolt attaching the front brake to the frame. He also noticed that the stem bolts (where it attaches to the fork) were stripped. Following the greasing, I briefly rode the bike, with no change in creaking. The next day I replaced the stem with a newer one and went for a ride. The creaking persisted at the beginning of the ride, but disappeared partway through the ride after an extended climb out of the saddle. >170 miles later and the creaking hasn't returned. I'm not sure which of the last three solutions finally did it (greasing the seatpost clamp, the front brake bolt or the stem) or whether the grease just needed more time to filter in, but I'll take it.
Hopefully no one runs into this issue in the future, but if they do, I hope this saves them the trip down the rabbit hole.