Break Away making BAD sounds
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  1. #1
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Break Away making BAD sounds

    I have a 1.2 yr old Break Away road bike that I've ridden about a couple of dozen times or so. This spring when I took it out for a ride up some hills near San Jose, CA I started hearing a terrible creak+thunk when I was climbing out of the saddle. When I rtn'ed home, i took it to the LBS that sold it and built it and they checked the BB and everything was fine. They re-torqued the down tube coupler, but that helped for 5 min before the symptom started again -- it only happens when I'm out of the saddle (= more torque). I did notice that the rear brake cable boss on the seat tube presses against the top tube. I wonder if the boss is causing an alignment issue that may be creating a torque stess on the down tube coupler resulting in the terrible noise (frankly i'm in fear that it may fail it's such an unsettling sound)?

    I have friend who reported a similar issue but he sold the bike before fixing it. I want to keep mine, but my LBS is at a loss, what can I do to resolve this issue?

  2. #2
    Cathedral City, CA
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    Until someone else responds...

    I've got about 4000 miles on may BreakAway and have not experienced any odd noises. One point: The coupling doesn't get torqued. Check the instructions. There is supposed to be a gap between the halves of the coupler where the screw goes through when it is tightened. If the coupler is overtightened, I suspect the coupler will be deformed and won't hold the frame sections together as well as it should. This has not happened to me so far, but I assume that is the reason that the Ritchey folks say to leave a gap.
    2016 Ritchey BreakAway (carbon)
    Full Campagnolo drivetrain - Chorus 11sp (50, 34 & 12-29)
    Zonda wheels
    Lezyne Super GPS w/Cateye speed/cadence & HR sensors
    Ritchey fork, stem, headset, bars and seatpost
    Fizik Arione VSX saddle
    Cinelli bar tape

    BeBop Pedals

    Previous:
    2001 Fisher Tassahara, Shimano 3x9 (given away)
    2004 Giant TCR-2, Shimano 105 2x9 (sold)
    2005 Ritchey BreakAway, Campagnolo Centaur 2x10 > 3x10 (stolen)

  3. #3
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by flatlander_48 View Post
    Until someone else responds...

    I've got about 4000 miles on may BreakAway and have not experienced any odd noises. One point: The coupling doesn't get torqued. Check the instructions. There is supposed to be a gap between the halves of the coupler where the screw goes through when it is tightened. If the coupler is overtightened, I suspect the coupler will be deformed and won't hold the frame sections together as well as it should. This has not happened to me so far, but I assume that is the reason that the Ritchey folks say to leave a gap.
    Ritchey sells a torque key for the coupler that tightens it to the recommended 4 Nm. I got one made by Giant that is exactly the same. It's about $15 and well worth it. Takes the guesswork out of it.

  4. #4
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Thanks, but...

    I have followed the helpful Ritchey videos for dis/re-assembly and have always used a Ritchey torque key. And there is always a gap between the coupler ends after tightening. I bought the bike on the recommendation of another friend who has had no problems with his break away.

    Thanks for your comments... Still looking for a solution.

  5. #5
    Cathedral City, CA
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    Quote Originally Posted by burgrat View Post
    Ritchey sells a torque key for the coupler that tightens it to the recommended 4 Nm. I got one made by Giant that is exactly the same. It's about $15 and well worth it. Takes the guesswork out of it.
    The purchase of my bike predates the pre-set key...
    2016 Ritchey BreakAway (carbon)
    Full Campagnolo drivetrain - Chorus 11sp (50, 34 & 12-29)
    Zonda wheels
    Lezyne Super GPS w/Cateye speed/cadence & HR sensors
    Ritchey fork, stem, headset, bars and seatpost
    Fizik Arione VSX saddle
    Cinelli bar tape

    BeBop Pedals

    Previous:
    2001 Fisher Tassahara, Shimano 3x9 (given away)
    2004 Giant TCR-2, Shimano 105 2x9 (sold)
    2005 Ritchey BreakAway, Campagnolo Centaur 2x10 > 3x10 (stolen)

  6. #6
    Ritchey Design Rep
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    Try thoroughly cleaning the downtube junction. Use a degreaser like WD-40 and make sure both the clamp and the frame are spotless. Do not grease or lubricate the downtube junction at all and reassemble. You'd be surprised how even a small piece of dirt can cause problems. This solves the problem 99% of the time.

    If you're using an alloy seatpost you can also try applying more grease to the seatpost and seat tube junction. Adequate grease on Breakaway seatposts can sometimes get neglected due to it being removed so often. Normal flex in the seat tube can cause the post inside to rub or bump up against the inner walls of the tube.

    So, no grease or dirt around the downtube junction, and more grease in the seat tube junction. Hope this helps and feel free to PM me with any further questions you might have.
    Dave Law
    Ritchey Design Representative

  7. #7
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Thanks for the suggestions

    Thank you very much for the reply! I just got back from a trip and need to re-assemble the Ritchey so I will follow your suggestions and let you know how it goes.

  8. #8
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    No sound... so far, so good

    Ritchey_Dave -- using your recommendations I built-up my Break-Away this evening (using liberal amouts of Phil Wood's grease on the Alu seat post and used Park Tool degreaser to clean the down tube ends and coupling).

    After a very short ride w/ a couple of hills that normally generate the aforementioned sounds I am happy to report NO NOISE. While I would like to take it out for a longer ride before pronoucing the problem solved, I am very encouraged and will report back after a more extensive test.

    I think the trick was cleaning the tube ends. I had asked the LBS to spray "Frame Saver" prior to the built and it looks like some of it made its way to the tube ends (gravity?) -- not much but some. I really worked to remove the coating so there was just metal.

    I'm hopeful that was the problem and will report back after I log a few more miles.

    Thanks again for the helpful suggestions!

  9. #9
    Ritchey Design Rep
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    My pleasure, happy to help. Thanks for choosing a Ritchey!
    Dave Law
    Ritchey Design Representative

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