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Old 08-09-05, 06:46 AM   #1
Bianchiriderlon
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Tick in the head tube

Hi,

I've got an 85 or 86 Bianchi with a campy headset. I have noticed a bit of a "tick" in the headset while pedalling. It seems to increase with the degree of pedal pressure applied. I wonder if anyone else has experienced this and if it may indicate a need to service the headset. I don't want to over-react and pull it all apart if this is indicative of nothing. However, if there is a problem, I will want to get in there and fix it. Any ideas?

Thanks

Charles
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Old 08-09-05, 06:56 AM   #2
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Is it in fact your headset or your handlebar clamps? To be certain, slide the bar over(or remove the clamp face if possible) and wipe it clean with a clean rag. Reassemble and test. If it persists, rotate the front end slowly, feeling for notches. If there is only a minor one, or you do not find one, spin the bearing a couple times to reset the balls away from the notch.
If there was no roughness, then you probbably have a crank issue. Just like the bar clamps, remove the arms and clean the spindle. Reinstall, and torque to 35 ft-lbs (for most cranks, specifics are on www.parktool.com) with a torque wrench. Hopefully that will do it.
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Old 08-09-05, 07:04 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by mtbikerinpa
.... rotate the front end slowly, feeling for notches. If there is only a minor one, or you do not find one, spin the bearing a couple times to reset the balls away from the notch.
Actually, that will not accomplish a thing. However, if a HS is indexed in say the straight ahead position, the indexed race can be rotated to cause the indexing notchiness to occur at a different position.The real fix is to replace the indexed part.
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Old 08-09-05, 07:11 AM   #4
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Ticking noises on bicycles are often difficult to diagnose. The steel frame can act like a pipe organ and may transfer the sound away from its true source.

I had difficulty with a ticking noise on my Voyageur recently. It seemed to increase with the RPM of my cranks and would go silent at low RPMs. First I thought it was the bottom bracket; however, careful inspection showed no problems. Next I thought it was the seat rails creaking. I snugged up the micro adjuster and the ticking went away, but only for one ride.

Then on an early morning Sunday ride I discovered the source of my mysterious ticking noise. This is an embarrassing discovery. I found that the hard shoelace tip on the inboard side of my left shoe was slapping my down tube at high RPMs! A simple re-routing of my shoelace solved the problem.

Jason
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Old 08-09-05, 07:37 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Jason Curtiss
Then on an early morning Sunday ride I discovered the source of my mysterious ticking noise. This is an embarrassing discovery. I found that the hard shoelace tip on the inboard side of my left shoe was slapping my down tube at high RPMs! A simple re-routing of my shoelace solved the problem.

Jason
That's a good one.
I was going crazy trying to pinpoint a rattle on my bike; turned out it was the ice in my waterbottle.
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Old 08-09-05, 07:41 AM   #6
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A little bugspray ought to take care of that tick.
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Old 08-09-05, 07:52 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sydney
Actually, that will not accomplish a thing. However, if a HS is indexed in say the straight ahead position, the indexed race can be rotated to cause the indexing notchiness to occur at a different position.The real fix is to replace the indexed part.
Of course replacement is the ultimate fix. Rotation displaces the ovalized balls that otherwise only get a limited and repetitive range of motion. Look in Bicycling's Manual for the full explanation of the method.
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Old 08-09-05, 07:54 AM   #8
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A little bugspray ought to take care of that tick.
In my waterbottle? I think not!

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Old 08-09-05, 07:56 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtbikerinpa
Of course replacement is the ultimate fix. Rotation displaces the ovalized balls that otherwise only get a limited and repetitive range of motion. Look in Bicycling's Manual for the full explanation of the method.
Now you are talking something entirely different,and the balls will just rotate back to their preferred position if they are out of round. FWIW, I'd give it up before using 'bicycling' as a reference.
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Old 08-09-05, 08:44 AM   #10
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Thanks forr the tips. I do think it is in the head tube. I have re-set the handlebar, and the sound persists. I'll try cleaning the handlebar/stem connection. (It didn't appear dirty, but who knows?) The sound is not so much associated with turning as it is with loading the pedals (riding in a higher gear, riding out of seat, climbing, etc.) I don't think it is in the BB; I do think it occurs when force is applied to the handlebar. The headset does appear to be indexed. I guess I'll have to pull the headset apart and inspect the bearings and races. I recently acquired the bike and I have no idea how recently the headset has been serviced. Turning seems smooth, it is just that I get this little "tick" when I power the pedals or lean down on the handlebar. I first noticed the sound when I installed an areo-bar. It seems to amplify the noise. With the bar off, the sound is almost inperceptable, but there. I wouldn't care about a little noise. I just want to assure myself that there is no chance the fork would fail when going downhill at 50 MPH. VA Cyclist suggested a "little bugspray." What means that? A shot of spray lube? Applied where? Wouldn't I be better off repacking with grease?

Thx Agn

Charles

Last edited by Bianchiriderlon; 08-09-05 at 08:51 AM.
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Old 08-09-05, 08:51 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bianchiriderlon
VA Cyclist suggested a "little bugspray." What means that? A shot of spray lube? Applied where?

Thx Agn

Charles
You need to realize when the muppets are playing head games.
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Old 08-09-05, 08:52 AM   #12
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I GET it! Bugspray to "kill the bug" in the headset.

Thx

Charles
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Old 08-09-05, 08:58 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bianchiriderlon
I just want to assure myself that there is no chance the fork would fail when going downhill at 50 MPH.
The tic could also be the stem/steerer interface or the quill to HS or steerer, assuming it isn't in the HS itself. Check out http://www.sheldonbrown.com/brandt/i...-steering.html The link is supposed to be brandt/indexed. Duno why it won't come up right. It's ok till clicking 'submit'. Seems to work ok tho.

Last edited by sydney; 08-09-05 at 09:06 AM.
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Old 08-09-05, 10:03 AM   #14
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Sydney,

Thanks for the link. If I am reading it right, it would not be the case that the manufacturer built any sort of "indexing" into the HS. It would be more the case that the bearings are worn and have "dimpled" the races. This would come as no surprise considering the age of the bike. There is a very good chance that this is original equipment. So, I don't have to wory about HS integrity, the darn thing is not about to fall apart on me. It would seem to be more the case that the noise will persist until I get the HS serviced. This will likely occur in November when the season ends. I'll put up with the "tick" until then.

Thanks again for your sage advice.

Cheers

Charles
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Old 08-09-05, 12:51 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bianchiriderlon
Hi,

I've got an 85 or 86 Bianchi with a campy headset. I have noticed a bit of a "tick" in the headset while pedalling. It seems to increase with the degree of pedal pressure applied.
I had a similar problem...a slight squeak in the handlebar/headset area when I was pumping really hard on the pedals (which also causes greater force by the arms on the handlebars). It turned out to be the alloy handlebar stem moving imperceptibly in the steerer tube. I removed the handlbar stem, took off the wedge and stem bolt, and cleaned everything. Also cleaned the inside of the steerer tube. Greased the stem bolt,wedge and outside of the stem and reinstalled. Squeak gone.

The bottom of the steerer tube on this fork was open to the elements and evidently some water had slung up into the opening and kind of gunked things up--the outside of the stem and the inside of the steerer tube had some rusty looking sludge on them. I put a plastic plug in the bottom of the hole to help keep water out--drilled a 1/16" weep hole in the plug first so any moisture that may get in can also get out.
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Old 08-09-05, 01:36 PM   #16
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Yeah, I am meaning to pull it apart and take a look. I'm still getting the bike set up and want to move the stem anyway. Thanks for the feedback.

Charles
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