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Old 07-01-05, 06:41 PM   #1
bojangles
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Bottom bracket gone bad?

Hey guys, I need a little advice. I have a '04 Allez that's making some strange noises that seem to be coming from the bottom bracket.

It started out as a little click, about once per pedal revolution, and generally happened when my left foot was at 3 o'clock. I figured my cleat was coming loose, so I reset the cleat on my shoe. That didn't seem to do anything for the noise.

A hundred miles or so later, it progressed into a more rapid click, maybe 5-10 clicks as the left pedal traveled on its downstroke. For lack of anything better to try, I checked the front derailleur alignment, which seemed to be in good working order. So, basically I tightened every bolt and screw that I could think might make a rattle: bottle cages, seat post clamp, you name it.

It's still there, and I think it's getting worse. When I'm spinning lightly, I don't get much except a sound that resembles a chain rubbing the front derailleur. But the more load I put on either pedal, the more noise I get. It's progressed from a clicking to more of a creaking and groaning... plus the odd click for good measure. I've got a metric century coming up on Monday and I really don't want to subject myself or my riding partners to 3+ hours of creaks, groans and clicks coming from my bike.

I'm at a loss for what's going on, short of a bad bottom bracket. Any suggestions?

Thanks!
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Old 07-01-05, 07:52 PM   #2
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Good guess, most people think that it's their crank but it is usually the bottom bracket. It would be a smart idea to get it checked out.

I've had the same problem (as mentioned in other threads), with the clicking. Bottom Bracket was replaced a few weeks ago and the noise is gone! My pedaling feels like new again .... What caused it? Cheap bottom bracket and accidently knocking the pedals against poles while riding.

Get your LBS to check it out, the BB's might need replacing and the 'cap' they run in might need replacing aswell. Also check that the chainrings on the crank are all tight.

The only other explanation for this would be a worn out chain ring tooth in contact with the chain.
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Old 07-01-05, 08:03 PM   #3
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it could also be a bad bearing in your pedal. try a different set.
loose chainring bolts?

to check your BB, this is what park says:
Quote:
Originally Posted by parktools
There is a fairly simple test to determine if the bottom bracket bearing is worn out. Shift the chain to the inner most rear sprockets front and rear. Drop the chain off the smallest front ring, and arrange it so it will not strike the chainrings. Spin the crank while holding the bike with one hand. If you feel an obvious rumbling or grinding feeling, the bearing are wore out and the unit should be replaced. Very worn bottom brackets will actually make a grinding noise.
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Old 07-01-05, 10:02 PM   #4
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Thanks guys - I'll give those a go tomorrow am.
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Old 07-02-05, 01:22 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bojangles
Hey guys, I need a little advice. I have a '04 Allez that's making some strange noises that seem to be coming from the bottom bracket.

It started out as a little click, about once per pedal revolution, and generally happened when my left foot was at 3 o'clock. I figured my cleat was coming loose, so I reset the cleat on my shoe. That didn't seem to do anything for the noise.

A hundred miles or so later, it progressed into a more rapid click, maybe 5-10 clicks as the left pedal traveled on its downstroke. For lack of anything better to try, I checked the front derailleur alignment, which seemed to be in good working order. So, basically I tightened every bolt and screw that I could think might make a rattle: bottle cages, seat post clamp, you name it.

It's still there, and I think it's getting worse. When I'm spinning lightly, I don't get much except a sound that resembles a chain rubbing the front derailleur. But the more load I put on either pedal, the more noise I get. It's progressed from a clicking to more of a creaking and groaning... plus the odd click for good measure. I've got a metric century coming up on Monday and I really don't want to subject myself or my riding partners to 3+ hours of creaks, groans and clicks coming from my bike.

I'm at a loss for what's going on, short of a bad bottom bracket. Any suggestions?

Thanks!
I have a ticking noise that occurs once per crank revolution too. That doesn't automatically mean it is the bottom bracket. In my case I upgraded the Specialized house brand crankset for an Ultegra 6503 crankset. The ticking only occurs on the large chainring not the middle or granny. If it were the bottom bracket, the ticking would happen with all three chainrings.
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Old 07-02-05, 01:49 AM   #6
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A lot of time it's the interface between crank and bottom bracket in my experience. Often one side will be just worn enough that they won't mesh just right and they'll give a little bit of play on one side or another. Normally it'll only be present when you're really cranking (top rings) and putting enough pressure on the cranks to cause it to shift.

It's exactly what happened to me with specialized crankset. So I replaced the crankset (but not the bottom bracket DOH) and had the same problem crop up relatively quickly. Local shop pointed out the wear on the bottom bracket and installed a new bb and found me a new unabused left crank. I just finally managed to kill that crankset but it was definately a lesson for me. I'm pretty religious about checking the tapers/splines/etc for odd wear patterns these days when I'm swapping cranks or replacing a bb.
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Old 07-02-05, 05:01 AM   #7
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Yep, Check crank bolt and swap pedals. Then start saying it could be the.... bottom bracket.
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Old 07-02-05, 07:22 AM   #8
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Definately check first, might save you a bit of money

The main reason why I am leaning towards the bottom bracket replacement is that this is EXACTLY what happend on my bike. I could tell it waas the bottom bracket because I could hear the noise but no really feel it. If it was chain ring or tooth trouble, I would be able to feel what I was hearing while pedaling.
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Old 07-02-05, 11:13 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by operator
Yep, Check crank bolt and swap pedals. Then start saying it could be the.... bottom bracket.
You're absolutely right. The cranks weren't quite up to torque. Thanks!
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