I have been waiting for my bb tools to come in for a couple weeks now. If they don't come in by Friday...
The bb had started clicking (not squeaking or creaking, and I pinpointed the sound with the chain off so it is definitely bb) infrequently, and I have had to ride it for my short commute. It has since gotten more frequent, but still unpredictable (not on every pedal stroke). Typically, the left side clicks near the bottom of the stroke, and the right side echoes just after. The right side doesn't always chime in, but it seems to more often than not.
My question is: What does this type of sound usually indicate? is the bb likely toast (it is is old, I have never seen the inside of it)? is it probably just out of adjustment? If I really get the itch to ride tomorrow on a rare nice day, will I kill it? It doesn't feel rough when I pedal, just makes an annoying click.
Thanks for input, wondering if I can ride w/o making things way worse, and if I need to just plan on replacing the bb in any case. I hope to not have to replace thing, seeing as others have told me I would probably not be able to get the drive (fixed) side off myself and the LBS would have to then get involved...I'm starting to hope it pours all day tomorrow.
It sounds like you have a traditional cups-n-cones bottom bracket, and the echo indicates that the problem is indeed in the bottom bracket and not in the pedals, seat post, fork, headset, saddle, or shoe cleats. If there is no problem with the bearings themselves then it is probably a facing problem with the shell. Facing tools are beyond the budgets and expertise of most home mechanics, so your shop will need to be involved in fixing this.
An alternative would be to purchase a new sealed cartridge unit. This might be the less expensive solution.
Would it be possible that this noise would be made by bearings that are simply not packed in enough grease? I had a bit of discharge from that area recently...I thought it might have been because of oil I used to free a stuck seatpost.
From you description it sounds like you have a cup and cone BB. You can rebuild this type. I agree with oldbobcat that a sealed cartridge type will do the trick. When you install or rebuild the BB put a couple of wraps of Teflon plumbers tape on the threads.