Fixing that Crazy Creaky Handlebar

Loctite goes here to stop the creak.


It’s not often that I have to consult with a bike mechanic, but a creaky handlebar was driving me crazy and I ran out of ideas to fix it.

It’s been said that doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results is a sign of insanity. I greased my handlebar clamp and bolt five times. Insanity was creeping in.

Who better to ask than Dave Prion, Bicycle Outfitter manager? We’re dealing with vintage 1985 NOS Cinelli handlebars here, so someone with Dave’s wealth of experience was required.

When I posed the question to Dave, I could see his mind going through all the options. I told him I’d already overhauled the headset, greased the stem at the handlebar and headset.

When I mentioned it was a Cinelli bar he had to wipe away the cobwebs and, “Bingo!”

“You need some Loctite. Turn your bike on its side and apply it around the sleeve on the handlebar. There’s a gap there between the bar and sleeve.” I asked Dave if he was joking, being the jokester that he is. “No joke,” Dave said.

Well, 24 hours later, after letting the Loctite soak in, no more creaking. Of course, today’s quality handlebars are extruded, so this isn’t an issue anymore. But if you have creaky Cincelli bars, try this.

One final note about creaking bikes. I once had a creak that was causing fits. Couldn’t find it. Finally, I took it to Jobst Brandt and threw out the challenge. After a bit of testing he came up with the answer. “Grease your seat post!” Bingo!

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One Response to “Fixing that Crazy Creaky Handlebar”

  1. Ray Hosler Says:

    Update: The Loctite lasted three months. The handlebar is back to creaking, as a shop mechanic warned me. I will look for another solution. Stay tuned.

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