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Thread: Clunk?

  1. #1
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Clunk?

    I've got a "clunk" somewhere in the vicinity of my crankarms/bottom bracket. It clunks frequently,
    but especially when I'm spinning ... less so when I'm mashing.

    Any ideas???? It is getting annoying.


    Please feel free to ask me specific question to narrow down/isolate the problem, and I'll try to describe the situation as best I can.

  2. #2
    el padre
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    Somthing in the bearings,,,race... Looks like taking the BB apart will give you some answers, if that is where the clunk is coming from. ... ... ...peace

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    Do I use too many commas?
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    Does it happen once per crank revolution or once every 3-4 crank revolutions?

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    Elitist Troglodyte DMF's Avatar
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    Sure it's not coming from the headset? Or something hitting a tube?
    Stupidity got us into this mess - why can't it get us out?

    - Will Rogers

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    My bike's better than me! neil0502's Avatar
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    Does Park Tool's site still have a "Creaks, clicks, and clunks" link?? Last time I looked, I couldn't find it, but it gave a really methodical and intelligent process-of-elimination routine for getting to these.

    Machka: in my (admittedly not vast) experience, the noise may come from where you think it does, or somewhere else entirely. I've just gone one step at a time on the "more obvious" paths, including:

    - remove, clean, re-lube (if appropriate) and re-torque seatpost and binder bolt (both)
    - same with cleats on shoes
    - same with pedals
    - same with crankarms
    - same with chainring bolts
    - same with bottom bracket

    It was usually one of those, but ... as others have said ... it could just be transmitting sound from another part of the bike.

    Happy hunting!

    [EDIT: Sheldon seems to have a page at http://sheldonbrown.com/creaks.html, but I couldn't reach it just now. Site was hung up.]

  6. #6
    Gone, but not forgotten Sheldon Brown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka
    I've got a "clunk" somewhere in the vicinity of my crankarms/bottom bracket. It clunks frequently,
    but especially when I'm spinning ... less so when I'm mashing.
    http://sheldonbrown.com/creaks

    Sheldon "Shhhh" Brown
    [COLOR=blue][CENTER][b]Harris Cyclery, West Newton, Massachusetts[/b]
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    [URL=http://captainbike.com]http://captainbike.com[/URL]
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  7. #7
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WillisB
    Does it happen once per crank revolution or once every 3-4 crank revolutions?
    It happens about every 3-4 crank revolutions when I'm spinning (in an easier gear), and less often if I'm mashing (in a harder gear). In fact, on my recent tour, I would shift into a harder gear to make the clunking noise happen less often ... unfortunately that is a little bit harder on my knees.

    It is quite loud ... not a quiet little creak (I've got one of those too, which I'm guessing is either my headset or saddle). This noise is a very audible "CLUNK", and it seems like I can feel it in my feet (but I'm not sure if that's my imagination or not).

    It almost feels like a link in my chain isn't rolling smoothly through the derailleur, but I've checked the chain, and all the links move properly ... none are sticky.



    I would like to check Sheldon's site, but I'm getting a "Gateway Error" when I click the link.

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    Do I use too many commas?
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    As I recall from the last time I looked at that part of Sheldon's site every 3-4 revolutions is a chain problem. Look carefully at and twist each link. You probably have one that is too tight and doesn't want to bend around a cog or chainring, making your noise. Did you recently break and re-assemble your chain? That is when it normally happens.

    It that is not it we will have to go to Plan B.

  9. #9
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    No, I haven't broken and re-assembled my chain in months. And I carefully (or so I thought) went over my chain a week or so ago to see if something was sticking. It has been clunking a little bit for about a little over a month, but it is getting worse.

    Oh .... I did crash about 6 weeks ago. The bicycle seemed fine (I broke his fall), but the clunking may have started sometime shortly after that.

  10. #10
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    I don't know if it makes a difference, but I've got a Shimano Diore chainring (48/36/26) and an XT cassette (34x11), with a SRAM chain (I believe). The chainring, crankarms, etc. are relatively new (Christmas).
    Attached Images Attached Images

  11. #11
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    OK, I've been analyzing my bicycle and I think I've discovered the source of the "clunk". My cassette is loose.

    Now .... I'm not sure how to tighten it. It seems like I need a special tool or two, which I'm not sure I have.


    But here's another question ...... can I ride with it a bit loose .... or will something bad happen? I have no idea how serious a loose cassette is!!

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    Sir Fallalot wroomwroomoops's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka
    OK, I've been analyzing my bicycle and I think I've discovered the source of the "clunk". My cassette is loose.

    Now .... I'm not sure how to tighten it. It seems like I need a special tool or two, which I'm not sure I have.


    But here's another question ...... can I ride with it a bit loose .... or will something bad happen? I have no idea how serious a loose cassette is!!
    This is what you need:
    http://www.biketiresdirect.com/produ...il.asp?p=PTCTP
    And you also need a chainwhip to hold the cassette sprockets from turning with the lockring.

    Do NOT ride with a loose cassette. At the very least, it will affect shifting performance. At worst, it might kill you (if the lockring loosens completely (not sure this is possible, due to the vicinity of the droputs)).

    A chain whip is not strictly necessary; you can use an old chain and a big vise to achieve a similar result. It sure makes life easier, though.

    If you have loctite, apply a wee little bit of it to the threads of the lockring. If not, apply a bit of motor oil or othe grease, to the threads. The lube will allow you to tighten the lockring much more, than without. "Dry" threads don't allow for very effective tightening.
    Last edited by wroomwroomoops; 05-25-07 at 04:33 PM.

  13. #13
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    I'm not mountain biking ... this is a 9 speed Shimano on Machak, my Marinoni Ciclo.

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    Elitist Troglodyte DMF's Avatar
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    Machka, look at the entry-level toolkits from Performance or Nashbar. If you have few of the tools in those kits they are cost-effective, and the tools are pretty good quality.
    Stupidity got us into this mess - why can't it get us out?

    - Will Rogers

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    Gone, but not forgotten Sheldon Brown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wroomwroomoops
    Deore and XT are MTB/off road components. Dura Ace, Ultegra and 105 are Shimano's road components.
    That's just marketing talk, has nothing to do with mountain/road riding in practice.

    Wide-range gear stuff like Deore and XT _used_ to be marketed as "touring" equipment, but in the late 1980s, the marketeers decided that "mountain" was the hot new buzzword.

    What the marketeers call "road" stuff is more properly called "racing" equipment.

    Sheldon "Function, Not Marketing" Brown
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  16. #16
    My bike's better than me! neil0502's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sheldon Brown
    That's just marketing talk, has nothing to do with mountain/road riding in practice.

    Wide-range gear stuff like Deore and XT _used_ to be marketed as "touring" equipment, but in the late 1980s, the marketeers decided that "mountain" was the hot new buzzword.

    What the marketeers call "road" stuff is more properly called "racing" equipment.

    And Machka is, most definitely, a looooong distance tourer.

  17. #17
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wroomwroomoops
    OK, sorry. I thought this was a MTB, since the components you mention here:


    Deore and XT are MTB/off road components. Dura Ace, Ultegra and 105 are Shimano's road components.
    Not on my bicycle! I used to have Ultegra components, but I've since had them changed to something more practical for my purposes.

  18. #18
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    I called my LBS and they've told me that my cassette may be loose .... or I may have broken some pins. Any idea what they are talking about?

    If it is loose, they can tighten it for me quickly and easily, but if I've broken pins I guess it is a more complicated process.


    Is it possible I could have broken pins when I crashed 6 weeks ago? Or how else might I have done that ...... and what pins are there in a cassette??

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    Elitist Troglodyte DMF's Avatar
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    Some cogs (usually the big ones) are in groups that are pinned together to spread the load on the freehub splines.
    Stupidity got us into this mess - why can't it get us out?

    - Will Rogers

  20. #20
    Senior Member TimJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka
    I called my LBS and they've told me that my cassette may be loose .... or I may have broken some pins. Any idea what they are talking about?

    If it is loose, they can tighten it for me quickly and easily, but if I've broken pins I guess it is a more complicated process.


    Is it possible I could have broken pins when I crashed 6 weeks ago? Or how else might I have done that ...... and what pins are there in a cassette??
    Pins run through the cogs and hold the cassette together. Even if you have broken pins the cassette should still be fine, you can assemble a cassette without pins. If that's what they are referring to. All you need is a Park FR5 cassette lockring tool to tighten the cassette, a lockring tool plus chain whip to take one off. Sheldon's site has got all the tech info you need. If you take it down to your lbs just have them tighten the lockring for you, it'll take about 2 seconds once they take the wheel off, and see if that does it. They shouldn't charge you to just crank a little on the lockring to see if it works.
    fun facts: Psychopaths have trouble understanding abstract concepts.
    "Incompetent individuals, compared with their more competent peers, will dramatically overestimate their ability and performance relative to objective criteria."

  21. #21
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Problem Solved!

    I took it into the shop .......... and it was my freehub.

    Evidently freehubs have a life-expectency of only about 25,000 kms (or 2.5 years). This is the second one which has died on me! Ever since I started long distance cycling, I've had trouble coming to grips with how fast things wear out.

    Anyway, my freehub was a Formula, which apparently is very hard to source. My shop didn't have one ... no surprise. So I bought a whole new wheel for now, and the shop will source a Formula so I'll have a spare wheel.

    In addition to that ... as the shop guy was changing my tire over, he noticed a hole in the tire.

    So I am greatly relieved to report that I've got a new freehub (new wheel!), and a new tire in preparation for my weekend ride.

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