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Old 04-25-11, 09:23 AM   #1
Buggington
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Bizarre clicking when pedaling

Well, I'm back here again!

I'm sure this is a really simple and basic question that you guys see all the time, but it bugs me that it happens.

When I'm pedaling, I hear a small clicking noise that sounds a bit like when a stone hits the frame, or one of my laces are flapping around on metal (I know it's neither of these).

I've tried shaking the cranks and they seem tight - no rocking from side to side and the pedals seem to spin without a problem. I've also noticed that it doesn't do it unless I pedal fairly gently, like if I'm going downhill or waiting for someone to catch up with me.

The pedals are fairly new so I would hope it's not them.

Can anyone suggest what this may be?

Thanks,
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Old 04-25-11, 09:50 AM   #2
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If it's a fairly new bike and the clicking happens once or twice per crank revolution, there's a good chance that it's simply the chain passing over the shift gate on the outer ring.

The shift gates are the cut down or missing teeth on the outer or middle rings (innermost rings don't have them). As the chain passes over them it can move over slightly then catch on the next tooth. It's comparable to the sound a train wheel makes going over a switch.

You can confirm this easily enough, by noting the crank position when it clicks, and then putting the crank in the same position and seeing if the gate is in the 11 o'clock position just about engaging the chain.
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Old 04-25-11, 11:56 AM   #3
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If it's a fairly new bike and the clicking happens once or twice per crank revolution, there's a good chance that it's simply the chain passing over the shift gate on the outer ring.

The shift gates are the cut down or missing teeth on the outer or middle rings (innermost rings don't have them). As the chain passes over them it can move over slightly then catch on the next tooth. It's comparable to the sound a train wheel makes going over a switch.

You can confirm this easily enough, by noting the crank position when it clicks, and then putting the crank in the same position and seeing if the gate is in the 11 o'clock position just about engaging the chain.
Tbh, I don't spend enough time on the train to know what that sounds like! It's always in the same pedal position, but like I say it's only when I pedal fairly gently. The bike's only a year and four months old and has done just over 1000 miles if it helps - is that something that shows something is wearing out? If so, what might be going? Apparently the chain is quite badly stretched, but it's expensive to get that changed.
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Old 04-25-11, 12:07 PM   #4
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I had a similar sound and I first thought it was my crank on my new build, this was quite disturbing since I was at the halfway point of a 30 mile ride. Turns out it was a loose spindle on a brand new set of pedals.
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Old 04-25-11, 12:08 PM   #5
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There's many things it can be, things I would check are the chainring bolts, if they are loosening they can make clicking noises. Or, chain may simply be hitting the rings as it goes around.

It should not be expensive at all to change the chain, that's ridiculous! If you follow a video you can do it easily... all you probably need is a chain breaker, a new chain, a zip tie and a master link (these usually come with the new chain).
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Old 04-25-11, 12:17 PM   #6
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There's many things it can be, things I would check are the chainring bolts, if they are loosening they can make clicking noises. Or, chain may simply be hitting the rings as it goes around.

It should not be expensive at all to change the chain, that's ridiculous! If you follow a video you can do it easily... all you probably need is a chain breaker, a new chain, a zip tie and a master link (these usually come with the new chain).
I was told by the LBS that he's had trouble with the chain slipping after changing just the chain, something to do with uneven wear across the sprockets and the chainrings. I was quoted £35 for the sprockets, £25 for the chainrings, £10 for the chain and £10 for the fitting. Is the wool being pulled over my eyes here?

Also, noob question, which are the chainring bolts? There seem to be rather a lot of bolts/screws in that area...
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Old 04-25-11, 12:18 PM   #7
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I had a similar sound and I first thought it was my crank on my new build, this was quite disturbing since I was at the halfway point of a 30 mile ride. Turns out it was a loose spindle on a brand new set of pedals.
So what did you do to fix this?
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Old 04-25-11, 12:29 PM   #8
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I was told by the LBS that he's had trouble with the chain slipping after changing just the chain, something to do with uneven wear across the sprockets and the chainrings. I was quoted £35 for the sprockets, £25 for the chainrings, £10 for the chain and £10 for the fitting. Is the wool being pulled over my eyes here?

Also, noob question, which are the chainring bolts? There seem to be rather a lot of bolts/screws in that area...
Costs for a LBS to supply and fit sound good to very good, especially for the chainrings, dependant on spec of parts, we don't know what type of bike or the spec of the parts to confirm this.

The chainring bolts, are part of the chainset, they are the bolts which hold the chainrings on, so you already have them, and they can be re-used.

For your issue, have you checked where the cable from the front mech is going, as this can cause the type of noise you are hearing, if it hitting the frame on every revolution, when the bike is stationary, this will probably not be seen as causing the issue.

Not sure that changing any of the drive train will actually fix the clicking clicking problem, could also be the bottom bracket, no-one has mentioned that yet.

For your chain being worn, would suggest that it is worth getting this replaced, as if worn, it will wear the cassette / block, then the jockey wheels and chainrings, again, knowing your bikes spec woudl be useful in knowing what you have, and approx cost.
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Old 04-25-11, 12:31 PM   #9
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It depends on your pedals but I have shimano m520's and I ordered the tool to fix the pedal. I could tell there was a problem with the pedal because of the pedal moved side to side and the shaft didn't. I will pull a part the pedal and tighten the nut at the end, that's all.
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Old 04-25-11, 12:44 PM   #10
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I've noticed that my BB creaks when the weather changes. Taking it out, regreasing, and properly retightening fixes it every time.
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Old 04-26-11, 02:31 PM   #11
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I've been through as many of these as I can, aside from the chainbolts because I can't work out how to tighten them up, or what the chainbolts look like!

I think I'm gonna have to replace the pedals, it seems to be the only solution.

In the meantime, the headset bearings seem to have gone. Poo.

Thanks for all the responses anyway
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