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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 08-01-10, 05:40 PM   #1
CL39
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Bottom Bracket Replacement?

I just had a LBS mechanic take a look at my bike, 2009 Felt Speed 30.
I was having an problem of hearing/feeling some kind of clicking when pedaling.

This happens when I am on the outer chainring or in middle chainring (when I am climbing uphill) - and it's not all the time, just intermittently. It might start and go away after only a few rotations of pedaling or in worse case, go away after a couple of minutes, just seems infrequent and random (but very annoying when it is there)

The mechanic told me I need my bottom bracket replaced. I decided to wait a little since this
only happens infrequently and I wanted to check if warranty would cover it.

But I wonder, if bottom bracket was bad enough for replacement, wouldn't I have this problem all the time (or majority of time)?

Thank you.

--------
For my bike, the parts are

BB SET:
FSA 68mm w/ Forged Chromoly Square Taper 116mm Spindle

and

CRANKSET:
FSA VERO Triple, 3 piece, Forged Aluminum, 50/39/30T
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Old 08-01-10, 06:00 PM   #2
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Your description of the bb is a bit ambiguous. It's a square taper but is it a sealed cartridge or a cup-and-cone type?

One common source of creaking is where the cups thread into the bottom bracket shell. Grease or teflon tape along with proper torque usually solves this.

Another possible problem is worn bearings if a sealed cartridge or bearing adjustment if a cup-and-cone. Cartridges must be replaced but cup-and-cone can be serviced.

Finally, be sure the crank arms have been installed and torqued properly on the spindle. Inadequate torque can let the arms loosen and give the same symptoms.
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Old 08-01-10, 06:52 PM   #3
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It might not necessarily be the bottom bracket. I had a similar, annoying little "tick" that was not consistent. I removed and reinstalled the bottom bracket a couple of times, with the same results. I was about to replace it, but decided to check the pedal to crank arm and found one side to be a tad bit loose. (it may've been a suggestion from someone on BF). I tightened both pedals and problem went away.
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Old 08-01-10, 07:20 PM   #4
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Agreed, check all other options first. My tick ended up being a dry pedal bolt. Took the right one off, put some grease on it, reinstalled. Tick gone. GL
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Old 08-01-10, 10:45 PM   #5
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+1 on checking pedals.

I've also had similar ticks from a dry/dirty seatpost junction. If no luck elsewhere, pull the post and clean it as well as the inside of the seat tube. If it's alloy, regrease and reinstall. If carbon, use a bit of carbon prep compound instead of grease.
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Old 08-01-10, 10:55 PM   #6
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+1 on what everybody else said here. I developed a clicking at certain times after my ride on saturday. I haven't checked out the bike thoroughly yet, however I'm pretty confident that it's just something else on the bike that needs adjusting. Speaking of which, my left pedal felt funny when I was pedaling, and the clicking was coming from the left side.

However, bottom brackets tend to be a cheap fix. But it's important to use a torque wrench when installing them just so you don't damage the threads. I spent 55 bucks on a torque wrench just for this specific purpose, however it's always nice to have one handy for when it comes time to rotate the tires on the car too.
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Old 08-01-10, 10:59 PM   #7
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As a general rule, "do the cheap things first". Check the pedals, seat post, even stem. Often what sounds like A is really coming from B. Noises may transmit through the frame. Plus, it's not bad to take a joint apart every now and then so pieces don't end up welding themselves together.
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Old 08-01-10, 11:11 PM   #8
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To be safe, just make sure your crank arm isn't coming loose - by giving it a good tug from both sides... it might be the pedal - sometimes the click is from excessive play in the pedal/spindle interface, so try to wiggle the pedal platform and see if it feels loose.
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