Bicycle Mechanics - Clicking noise while pedaling down
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11-18-09, 11:48 AM
I have a 2002 Kestrel road bike that makes a clicking noise while pendaling down. The sound comes from bottom bracket/front derailleur area. And it only happens when the right crank is pointing straight up to when it's pointing down (about 180 degrees). Perhaps because that's when most of the force is put on to the crank. All crank bolts and crankarm attachment to the bottom bracket is secure. I don't hear the sound when I'm riding gently, only when I'm pushing the right crank arm really hard (i.e. when accelerating after stop or to speed up while moving). When I do the same to the left crank arm it doesn't make this noise.
I took it to my LBS and first they made sure all the nuts and bolts were tight. Then the sound was still there. The mechanic concluded that since it's an old Kestrel carbon frame bike the frame is flexing and causing the chain to rub the front derailleur when I put a lot of force on it. I'm not 100% convinced that this is the case. I guess one way to find out if this is the case is for me to take off the front derailleur entirely and see if the sound is still there? Has anyone else experienced a similar condition? Please help.
11-18-09, 01:12 PM
I suppose you could put cranking noises into 5 categories: Click, scrape, and Snap, pop, and grind.
Anyway, start with the pedals. One thing to try is lubing the springs/mechanism that holds your cleat in the pedal. That usually is a click. Lube the springs and sort of work it in by flexing the pedals.
Next, make sure that the pedals are tight to the crank.
A Snap is usually caused by the skewers. You can wrench on the bike so hard that you can be moving the rear wheel slightly in the stays. Make sure those skewers are nice and tight.
Now, if it doesn't make that noise when you're cranking hard and standing, but does when you're sitting. Tighten up the seat and seat post collar.
A pop & grind can be caused by the Bottom bracket. I'd replace the BB as a last resort, but generally a lot of shops take it off the bike, clean the threads, lube it up real good and put it back it. If you turn the cranks with your hands and feel some grinding or hitching in the motion, it may be a bad BB.
Anyway, go with the easy stuff first. Pedals, Skewers, and Seat/Seat Post.
11-18-09, 10:39 PM
Looks like my reply from before got chopped by the upgrade....
If you trim your FD or switch gears in the rear and it really is the chain rubbing on the cage then the to amount and intensity of rubbing should change. If it doesn't then it's not the chain on the cage.
One possibility is the bearings in one of your pedals. Loose or worn cones can allow the balls to snap around as they clear the pinch zone. Look for play in the pedal which is on the downstroke when you hear the noise. The sound can be mistaken for the chain rubbing but it's often a sharper sound if the one time I had this happen is any indication.
If it's more a creak then it may be your crank to BB joint is coming loose or has gotten dry and rusty or if it's a spline style it may have gotten just loose enough to allow some grit into the joint.
It may be the first signs of your BB beginning the death process. It's hard to feel for roughness with cranks on but check for any sign of play at the pedals when you push hard side to side.
Oddly enough it may just be your cleat if you run some form of clipless pedals. Try some PAM on the pedal. If it goes away then lube them with something like White LIghtning. Coming from a wet part of the country this is the one use I've found for WL. But for this app it works fantastic. Your shoe will slip in and out smoother and if it is creaking then it'll be quiet now.
Odd as it sounds when was the last time you cleaned and greased your seat post? Or since this is a carbon frame when was the last time you cleaned and treated your seat post with the proper carbon to aluminium elixir? I had a creak that I was sure came from a pedal, BB or maybe even my clipless pedal cleat but in the end it turned out to be the seat post in the frame and the sound was conducting down and sounding for all the world like it was in the BB or pedals. Downright freaky it was.... but a humble reminder of just how hard it is to diagnose unwanted sounds on a bike.
EDIT- Well..... maybe not so short version... :D
I had a clicking noise on my bike, I took the pedals off greased the threads on the pedal put the pedals back on tightened them. no more clicking sound
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