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Old 10-25-06, 05:25 PM   #1
Matt Gaunt
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Yet Another Mystery Noise

As some of you may know, I am quite meticulous about my bikes. It is quite perturbing to me then, to find a new noise coming from my beloved Kinesis road bike.

Let me expand. The noise is best described as a metallic 'tick' every now and then, and developed overnight after no tinkering on my part. It is seemingly random.

At first, I thought drivetrain, but now I'm not even sure it can be 'narrowed down' to this even. It almost certainly isn't the bars or stem as the sound seems to originate toward the rear of the frame, though this could just be resonance through the frame tricking me. I have noticed that the tick occurs if I 'come off the power' sometimes, but this is not exclusively when I hear it.

It is really bugging me now, and I have stripped the drivetain off completely and re-fitted it and yet it still occurs. Could it be that the cable housing carrying the rear brake cable is tapping against my frame protector transfer? This is the only lead I have, and I thought I'd ruled it out, but just don't know what else to try.

Please please help me!
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Old 10-25-06, 05:31 PM   #2
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When you say random, are you saying that it is not rhythmic, in time with the rotation of a wheel or the cranks?
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Old 10-25-06, 05:31 PM   #3
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What drivetrain parts did you remove/replace/check?

Ever heard a loose spoke in a rear wheel? It's a pretty distinctive "tick" once you've had it pointed out. I'd check the spokes on your rear wheel, you might find one (or more) obviously loose.
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Old 10-25-06, 05:39 PM   #4
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Firstly, the sound is not rhythmic at all. It is one click every 10 seconds or every minute or every 2 minutes. There is no pattern. When I pedal, when I cruise, it's there, though more when I pedal, I'd say.

Secondly, I removed and checked torque values of: cranks, pedals, BB cups, cassette, front mech, rear mech.

Thirdly, no, I know the sound of my spoke ticks - on the Ksyriums they are very distinctive. My tick is much more 'frame' sounding, if you know what I mean. It is the exact sound of the rear brake cable slapping my frame, but I can't get it to stop when I damp the housing with foam.

It's a real puzzler! Thanks for the time guys, I really appreciate it.
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Old 10-25-06, 05:45 PM   #5
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seatpost clamp? bar/stem?
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Old 10-25-06, 05:51 PM   #6
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I tried the seatpost clamp. It's solid. Checked the saddle rails too, nothing budging. I'm 99% sure the bar/stem combo aren't to blame, but there is an element of doubt in my mind about them. You can really bounce on them though, there's no noise from them even when you try to snap them (not literally)! If it makes you guys feel better, my cycling buddies and owners of the LBS are stumped too.
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Old 10-25-06, 05:55 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Gaunt
If it makes you guys feel better, my cycling buddies and owners of the LBS are stumped too.
I never felt bad

Tracking down noises can be tough. Good luck!
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Old 10-25-06, 05:56 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 'nother
I never felt bad
Glad to hear it, man, wouldn't want it getting the both of us down!!
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Old 10-25-06, 06:04 PM   #9
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Crossover points

After searching for WEEKS to find an annoying tick while on tour, I finally solved it by lubricating the crossover points on the spokes. These were weathered, plated spokes. Good stainless ones don't seem to be a problem. Worth a try?
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Old 10-25-06, 06:10 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Gaunt
Thirdly, no, I know the sound of my spoke ticks - on the Ksyriums they are very distinctive. My tick is much more 'frame' sounding, if you know what I mean. It is the exact sound of the rear brake cable slapping my frame, but I can't get it to stop when I damp the housing with foam.
What about the rear derailleur cable or housing? Have you tried damping that too? It should be under tension at all times such that it couldn't be causing this, but maybe in certain circumstances it is briefly detensioned enough to tick against the frame...maybe?
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Old 10-25-06, 06:22 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lawkd
What about the rear derailleur cable or housing? Have you tried damping that too? It should be under tension at all times such that it couldn't be causing this, but maybe in certain circumstances it is briefly detensioned enough to tick against the frame...maybe?
My rear mech cable housing is held tight against the frame by a stretchy neoprene frame protector so I know that's out. I never thought of the actual cable slapping there though. Plus, the noise is much closer to me than at the rear mech. Just had another thought - could it be the cable guide at the BB shell? Anyone ever had noise from this?

The spoke crossover thing would have been a good one, but Ksyriums' spokes don't touch each other.

I'm being a real pain in the you-know-where now amn't I?! Sorry!
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Old 10-25-06, 06:37 PM   #12
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I think this thread should become an epic. From now on, anyone who has identified a noise coming from their bike should post the noise type and cause of that noise here.

An annoying noise encyclopaedia if you will!
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Old 10-25-06, 06:40 PM   #13
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A couple of things come to mind

Cable ferrules where the shift housings meet the barrel adjusters near the headtube (if you have bar mounted shifters of course). I once used metal cable housing ferrules, they eventually wore away in the barrel adjusters and made a terrible clicking noise.

Quick release / axle / droput interface - often mentioned as a noise spot.

Saddle mounting (or the saddle itself)

Best of luck with fonding the problem - I know how you feel about new noises, the're a bugbear until the cause is found.

Cheers,

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Old 10-25-06, 06:46 PM   #14
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^^ Great suggestions. Thanks Ed, I'll give them a try. The ferrules I briefly checked but they could be the cause as I haven't ridden with the cables damped at this point yet.
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Old 10-25-06, 07:50 PM   #15
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These "What is that sound" threads are always a hoot. The guy who suggests that you have a chipmunk living inside your frame is usually correct.

A couple of weeks ago, I had a strange ticking noise too. It drove me nuts trying to figure out where it was coming from. Guess what - it was the bike lock and cable fixed to my saddle rail that was swinging and clunking against the seat post. Absolutely madening, but I remember having the experience before, so at least I got a chuckle out of it when I realized the culprit.
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Old 10-26-06, 05:29 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike
These "What is that sound" threads are always a hoot. The guy who suggests that you have a chipmunk living inside your frame is usually correct.

A couple of weeks ago, I had a strange ticking noise too. It drove me nuts trying to figure out where it was coming from. Guess what - it was the bike lock and cable fixed to my saddle rail that was swinging and clunking against the seat post. Absolutely madening, but I remember having the experience before, so at least I got a chuckle out of it when I realized the culprit.
Nice! Yeah, you always laugh when you find the culprit, it's just so hard to do find it! And yeah, I've already anticipated the chipmunk-in-frame style responses too! This thread should be fun now, as I've tried everything sensible that I can think of. That reminds me, I must go and check the ferrules on the downtube as was earlier suggested.

Keep posting the wackiness BF-ers, I'll be sure to try anything you suggest and report back very regularly!
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Old 10-26-06, 07:08 AM   #17
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pedals/cleats? check tightness and lube of both-maybe??
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Old 10-26-06, 07:10 AM   #18
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Matt, I have the same type metallic sound. It's coming from the cassette. Big ring in front, third from top in back only. Sounds like tink, tink. Happens a little more than 3/4's of full pedal revolution. Chain's been cleaned, cassette cleaned, etc. Any thoughts?
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Old 10-26-06, 09:36 AM   #19
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^^^In this case, I'd recommend checking your lockring to be sure it's torqued down pretty good. If any of the cogs are loose enough to be moving against the freehub body, they'll do some harm eventually. The tinking sound might indicate a cog that's able to move, when it shouldn't. The other possibility is that the freehub body itself can make a noise, but it's typically more of a clicking or knocking sound, not a tink. Not out of the question though.

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Old 10-26-06, 09:46 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Gaunt
I'm being a real pain in the you-know-where now amn't I?! Sorry!
Not at all! We love stuff like this!! We live for this!

Here's another question--although, I see that you are an OCP-er, so undoubtedly the answer is no--but I'll ask anyway. Do you have any sort of frame pump or other attachment to the frame?

I guess we also don't have to have you check your valve stem caps, 'cause I'm sure you don't have any.
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Old 10-26-06, 11:02 AM   #21
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I to am anal about noises, some that have puzzled me in the past were caused by:

1) crached seatpost ( at the clamp I'm a clyde!)
2) " mung" between the steerer and fork
3) jacket zipper fob whacking into the zipper ( won't admit to how long this one took to resolve!!!!!)
4) FD cage hitting the crank arm

Good luck
John
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Old 10-26-06, 04:07 PM   #22
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I had a past problem with my saddle/seatpost that I couldn't find for a while (thought it was the bb, headset, etc.). it made a noise when I went over bumps in the road, def didn't sound like it was coming from under my butt tho. noise on the bike can def be deceiving
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Old 10-26-06, 07:08 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baldy
Matt, I have the same type metallic sound. It's coming from the cassette. Big ring in front, third from top in back only. Sounds like tink, tink. Happens a little more than 3/4's of full pedal revolution. Chain's been cleaned, cassette cleaned, etc. Any thoughts?
Possible wear on the cassette ring, otherwise, this is typically a torque-cured problem. Shimano recommend something like 35-50Nm for the lockring, I personally use 50Nm dead, you will never ruin a lockring by tightening to 50Nm as long as you grease it. Definitely not cassette derived in my case though, far too hollow-sounding to not be something on the frame's main triangle I think.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lawkd
Not at all! We love stuff like this!! We live for this!

Here's another question--although, I see that you are an OCP-er, so undoubtedly the answer is no--but I'll ask anyway. Do you have any sort of frame pump or other attachment to the frame?

I guess we also don't have to have you check your valve stem caps, 'cause I'm sure you don't have any.
Believe it or not, I do have valve caps! Here's proof (see thumbnail). I have no pumps or other frame attachments though, I must confess. I am quite OCP on that one!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bearbig
I to am anal about noises, some that have puzzled me in the past were caused by:

1) crached seatpost ( at the clamp I'm a clyde!)
2) " mung" between the steerer and fork
3) jacket zipper fob whacking into the zipper ( won't admit to how long this one took to resolve!!!!!)
4) FD cage hitting the crank arm

Good luck
John
Seatpost is ok, I checked that first along with saddle. 'Mung' is one that I will be checking, however, that is a great suggestion. The others do not apply to me, but are still good for our little encyclopeadia we have here!

Another one I forgot to add to the list was my helmet strap, which has caused mystery noises in the past but is not the culprit this time round.

Thanks again for all the suggestions. I've not been out today as the weather here is pretty terrible. Keep posting though guys, I'll get the suggestions tested asap.
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Old 10-26-06, 07:25 PM   #24
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My bike stopped making all these random noises when I stopped riding it. Now it sits in my room and I smile at it at regular intervals. If you want to ask why I stopped riding, it's because of this bloody respiratory infection I've had for a while.. but it's waning so I plan on getting at least one or two good rides in before Ann Arbor freezes solid.

Just my advice.. maybe you'd be happier not riding it?
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Old 10-27-06, 01:27 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Gaunt
As some of you may know, I am quite meticulous about my bikes. It is quite perturbing to me then, to find a new noise coming from my beloved Kinesis road bike.

Let me expand. The noise is best described as a metallic 'tick' every now and then, and developed overnight after no tinkering on my part. It is seemingly random.

At first, I thought drivetrain, but now I'm not even sure it can be 'narrowed down' to this even. It almost certainly isn't the bars or stem as the sound seems to originate toward the rear of the frame, though this could just be resonance through the frame tricking me. I have noticed that the tick occurs if I 'come off the power' sometimes, but this is not exclusively when I hear it.

It is really bugging me now, and I have stripped the drivetain off completely and re-fitted it and yet it still occurs. Could it be that the cable housing carrying the rear brake cable is tapping against my frame protector transfer? This is the only lead I have, and I thought I'd ruled it out, but just don't know what else to try.

Please please help me!
Yeah, I had this happen to me. The bike just irregularly clicked and clicked no matter what I tried. It took me three months to find out that it was a hairline crack on my bottombracket shell!

Get your magnifiying glass out and examine your frame carefully for anything that looks like a jagged scratch. Mine was tiny.
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