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Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

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Old 11-18-09, 12:57 PM   #1
andiakim
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Clicking noise while pedaling down

I have a 2002 Kestrel road bike that makes a clicking noise while pendaling down. The sound comes from bottom bracket/front derailleur area. And it only happens when the right crank is pointing straight up to when it's pointing down (about 180 degrees). Perhaps because that's when most of the force is put on to the crank. All crank bolts and crankarm attachment to the bottom bracket is secure. I don't hear the sound when I'm riding gently, only when I'm pushing the right crank arm really hard (i.e. when accelerating after stop or to speed up while moving). When I do the same to the left crank arm it doesn't make this noise.

I took it to my LBS and first they made sure all the nuts and bolts were tight. Then the sound was still there. The mechanic concluded that since it's an old Kestrel carbon frame bike the frame is flexing and causing the chain to rub the front derailleur when I put a lot of force on it. I'm not 100% convinced that this is the case. I guess one way to find out if this is the case is for me to take off the front derailleur entirely and see if the sound is still there? Has anyone else experienced a similar condition? Please help.

Andy
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Old 11-18-09, 01:16 PM   #2
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Sounds a little like chain rub, but a good LBS should have been able to confirm this. You can also by pedaling with no force and a lot of force. Is the sound still there when pedaling hard vs just turning the crank lightly? Can you see it flex and rub? Is your chain dry? Lubed?
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Old 11-18-09, 01:19 PM   #3
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Bike noises can be notoriously hard to locate! Check all bolts, check cleat bolts, grease saddle rails + bolts. You shift your weight when pedalling, so it's not necessarily related to your BB area, although it wouldn't hurt to regrease and repack!

It may also be the frame, you can check by stripping it and pushing down on the tubes to try and recreate the noise.
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Old 11-18-09, 02:45 PM   #4
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Try adjusting the cable adjuster to give a bit more clearance and see if it still clicks. This may prevent it from shifting properly but you're just going to need to do this for long enough to check for the noise being there or not. Obviously you'll want to shift into the "noisy" combo first. Which brings up another point to check. If it makes this sound consistently regardless of which rear cog you're in then it's not the FD cage touching the chain. Variations in the chain line due to switching rear cogs would result in different sounds coming from a chain to cage contact.

If it turns out that it's not your chain touching the cage then it may be the pedal bearing on that side is shot or has somehow come loose so the balls are being spit around the race due to the pressure from your pedalling. Or if you have a spline type crank to BB joint it may have gotten something stuck in it.

It may even be your seat post. On one bike I was sure I had a bad pedal or the spline was creaking again and it turned out that it had been a long time since I'd slipped the post out for cleaning and re-greasing. Yep, somehow the creak from the seat post was timed to only creak on the downstroke on one side and the noise conducted down thru the frame to the point that I was SURE it was down in the cranks or pedals.

As said already, noises can sometimes be tough to track down and don't always come from where we are SURE they are sounding from.

Last edited by BCRider; 11-18-09 at 02:53 PM.
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Old 11-18-09, 11:22 PM   #5
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I had the exact same problem and the LBS identified it as a loose bottom bracket. One bottom bracket clean, regrease and adjustment later and the noise is gone.
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Old 11-18-09, 11:49 PM   #6
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If removing the derailleur doesn't lead you to any more conclusions, try taking off the chain and coasting (slowly in a safe flat area) and spin on the chainless crank with full force trying to make a click. It's an unsettling feeling to ride with no drive, but if you can get that click you can narrow it to one of three things: pedal creak, crank/spindle looseness or damage, or BB. if you have other pedals you can try swapping them out to cross that off the list. lastly would be taking out, inspecting and reinstalling the crank and BB.
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Old 11-19-09, 04:33 AM   #7
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i'm definitely no expert but are you sure it's not the pedal?
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Old 11-19-09, 06:50 AM   #8
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Lube the springs in the pedals that hold your cleat in. After that, check the tightness of the rear skewer. Get the easy stuff first before messing with the front derailleur, crank, and BB
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