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  1. #1
    Neither rain, snow... dsm iv tr's Avatar
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    Completely stumped -- BB noise (click).

    Hey.

    So I've got a hybrid with a cup-and-cone BB that makes a click noise every revolution, generally when my drive-side foot is at the bottom of the pedal rotation. Took off the crankset to eliminate any issues there; it's in perfect shape. I've just recently replaced the 9-ball retainers with 11 loose ball bearings on each side in hopes of eliminating this annoying noise. The bearings are new, and show no wear at all. Greased OK, and no bearings are out of place. When I spin just the BB spindle by hand, either w/ my wrist or by rolling my thumb/fingers over it, there's no play, and it still clicks.

    So, where the heck is the noise coming from? It was there before I replaced the retainers w/ loose bearings, and seems to have actually gotten worse since then! I'm completely and utterly stumped. I've checked everything. Seat post, pedals, derailers. The only thing I haven't done is to tighten the fixed cup, but it seems to be in there as far as it can go.

    Thoughts?
    Shot spindle? Shot cups?

    Thanks for your time.
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  2. #2
    Faith-Vigilance-Service Patriot's Avatar
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    You sure it's not your pedal?

    I had the same thing happen to my newer Ti bike, and at first thought it was the BB. Oh, I removed it, applied tape, retorqued, torqued the crank again, and everything else I could think of, until I finally realized it was the pedal that creaked at the top of every revolution.

    Knowing this, there wasn't really anything I could do, so I left it, and it eventually went away after a few rides.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member iNewton's Avatar
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    If it's the pedal, it would have a more plasticky sound and that's rather obvious to me, I have the same problem as the OP. The wrenches at my LBS never seem to fix it either.

    Whenever they tighten the BB, it fixes it (barely) for a ride or two and then the noise comes right back as it was.

    My noise is more of a metalic 'tic tik' dans a toc I'd expect from my keo classics. (which are made of hard plastic)

  4. #4
    Scott n4zou's Avatar
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    If the BB is old with lots of miles one of the cones may have a bad spot. Bikes that sit around for years with no movement can develop bad spots as well. If you have not removed and inspected the fixed cup I would do that. If it's an old bike its common to have had moisture collect in the cup and make a rust spot that will make noise. Typically, when a cup develops a worn spot it will make noise at the 90 degree point of rotation which is the point where your able to put full pressure on the pedal and full stress on the BB on that side.

  5. #5
    Chairman of the Bored catatonic's Avatar
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    First thing i would do is get my hands on a torwue wrench, some degreaser, some cloths, and some new grease (I like teflon grease myself).

    Remove everything down there, dgrease it all, make sure the areas are grit free, grease up the threads as reccomended in your part mauals (some brands tell you to grease, some tell you not to), and then tighten them all down to manufacturer torque settings.

    I found the majority of BB clicking issues are from not torquing it down properly.
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  6. #6
    Mostly riding...mostly NM-NewRoadie's Avatar
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    i had a problem that sounds like this....i monkeyed with it for a while and finally took it to a trusted shop, mechanic said it was not enough greas on my BB threads, and also found my pedals were not properly torqued (too loose) hasn't made a peep since he changed those things...

  7. #7
    Making a kilometer blurry waterrockets's Avatar
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    I saw a bike once where the BB shell cable guide was attached with too long of a screw (the owner had replace the original, which had fallne off). The plastic insert inside the BB was being bent by the cable guide screw, such that it creased into the BB spindle. The BB spindle had an aluminum sticker on it that was clicking once with each revolution as it rubbed on the plastic cover.

    So check to be sure that the cable guide screw is a stubby little thing.

  8. #8
    fmw
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    Hoosier Pedaler fmw's Avatar
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    The last time I had this noise it was the unused SPD connectors sliding back and forth inside the soles of the shoes. I sqeezed a little glue into them to fix the problem.

  9. #9
    My bikes became Vintage OLDYELLR's Avatar
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    Do you know for sure that the BB is adjusted so there is absolutely no free play? That's what I found when getting exactly that kind of click when getting out of the saddle on hills. Line up the crank with the downtube and see if you can feel any play at all when trying to move if side to side.
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  10. #10
    Neither rain, snow... dsm iv tr's Avatar
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    ~

    You guys are awesome, thanks for the replies!

    Patriot -- Yeah, I'm sure it's not my pedals. As I said in the parent post, I took off the whole crankset and the spindle still ticks. Sorry about your pedal noise. though, that is probably mighty annoying on a long ride.

    iNewton -- We appear to have exactly the same issue. I've brought it in twice to the local co-op LBS, wherein they greased the BB threads and tightened it, but the exact same tick comes back a few days later.

    waterrocket -- That's nuts, sounds like careless assembly to me. Meanwhile, my screw is quite short -- appears to have plenty of clearance, and the tick still occurred when I removed the screw.

    OLDYELLR -- Yeah, there's no play in the cranks at all. It took me a few minutes to adjust it during the rebuild, but it's as close to perfect as it's going to get.

    I'll try looking at the fixed cup up close once I get my hands on a wrench large enough for the flats on it -- my best guess is that the spindle is worn, but when I cleaned out everything in prep for new bearings, there was only minimal wear on all parts. The bike itself isn't that old, it's only been used for a couple months last summer until winter, then I switched to my winter beater.
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  11. #11
    Senior Member
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    I had one like that, turned out to be the saddle at the front of the rails where they enter a plastic block.
    If you pedal while standing does the click continue?

    Al

  12. #12
    Senior Member iNewton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Al1943
    I had one like that, turned out to be the saddle at the front of the rails where they enter a plastic block.
    If you pedal while standing does the click continue?

    Al
    Since me and the OP seem to have the same problem, I'll answer as well; the tiking happens when out or on the saddle, there's no difference either way.

    Also it only happen when i force on the pedal, since the sound is dimmed out a little when it's tightened makes me think there's a problem with the BB.

    I don't have the tools to take a BB apart though, I don't think.

  13. #13
    hello roadfix's Avatar
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    Check to see if the front derailleur cable end is not hitting the crank....
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  14. #14
    Robosapien substructure's Avatar
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    Same type of issue here.
    But the noise is random. It's not at any specific spot during a revolution. I've had my BB looked at and worked on several times by two different shops. It seems to help for about a mile, then - click .... click click ..... clack ..... click clack.

    Fourth times a charm I hope. Because tomorrow it goes back, again.

  15. #15
    Senior Member iNewton's Avatar
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    Going to the LBS soon, hopefully he will figure it out this time.

  16. #16
    Robosapien substructure's Avatar
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    I just glued my SPD connectors in my Sidis today. They were loose!!!! Hopefully I figured my problem out. I'll know tonight and let you guys know.

  17. #17
    Robosapien substructure's Avatar
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    The Good and Bad of last nights ride with the SPD connectors glued down:
    It took care of the majority of the clicking. But not all. There's still a small sound that I think is a chain problem.

    I think I need a new bike.

  18. #18
    Senior Member iNewton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by substructure
    I think I need a new bike.
    It's a good a reason as any.

    My problem was my left pedal, it wasn't tightened enough. I had all the wrenches in the LBS on it for half an hour trying to find the noise.

    But now I can hear the frame creaking when I hammer.

  19. #19
    Robosapien substructure's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iNewton
    It's a good a reason as any.

    My problem was my left pedal, it wasn't tightened enough. I had all the wrenches in the LBS on it for half an hour trying to find the noise.

    But now I can hear the frame creaking when I hammer.
    Big Mr. Muscle Legs, huh?

    You need a new bike as well with a strong "lighter" frame.

  20. #20
    Senior Member iNewton's Avatar
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    Could you run that by my wallet really fast? I don't think he agree.

  21. #21
    Scott n4zou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by substructure
    Same type of issue here.
    But the noise is random. It's not at any specific spot during a revolution. I've had my BB looked at and worked on several times by two different shops. It seems to help for about a mile, then - click .... click click ..... clack ..... click clack.

    Fourth times a charm I hope. Because tomorrow it goes back, again.
    You have a bad ball! The flat spot will always line up with the race making the click noise. When you pull it down it will be fine until the ball with the bad spot "finds" the race and then that flat spot will keep the ball lined up with it. As the balls turn at a different RPM the flat spot making the noise will appear at different pedal points except when the ball and it's flat spot is where there is no pressure applied so no click will be produced making the clinking noise appear random. The fix is to replace all the balls in both sides. It's not expensive to do that.

  22. #22
    Senior Member mtbikerinpa's Avatar
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    I second the ball theory as well as be double sure to torque wrench the crankarms to 35-40 ft lbs(for most anyway). I have had way too many cases of 'pedal' creaks from undertorqued cranks. It does not take very much.
    Aviation Mechanic, Bike racer, Fitness Equipment Restorer

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