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Old 12-26-12, 05:20 AM   #1
diverguy
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What have I overlooked? A clicking situation

Good morning and happy holidays!

There's a ticking or clicking sound when pedaling my 2010 Cannondale Synapse 5 with about 10,000 miles on it. I'm pretty certain it's somewhere in the chainring, bottom bracket, pedal area. Here's why I think that: There is no clicking when coasting. There is no clicking when lightly pedaling or when spinning even under power, only when mashing. When mashing or out-of-saddle accelerating (like up a hill or when pulling away from a stoplight), a clicking sound is heard at the top (or bottom on the other side) of the pedal stroke.

Because it doesn't happen when coasting, I don't think it's in the rear wheel/hub or cassette. That also rules out the speed sensor on the spoke.

What it isn't: Because it happens prominently when I'm out of the saddle, I don't believe it is the saddle squeaking. It also isn't the front derailleur cable hitting the crank arm; the cable is bent way back out of the way. The clicking is still there when the chain is dead center in the front derailleur so it isn't that.

What I have done: I installed a brand new MegaExo 6600 bottom bracket, properly torqued to the correct nanometers and the sound is still there. I removed, cleaned, greased with high quality bike grease, and reinstalled the pedals and the left crank arm. The clicking is still there. I even removed the pedals and added a little plumbers pipe tape but the sound is still there. I've also checked, greased, and retorqued the chainring bolts but that didn't get rid of the sound, either. I'm out of ideas.

What's left that it could be? Could the threaded sleeve that the bottom bracket screws into actually be the culprit? Could there be a micro crack in the bottom of the frame? Could the chainset itself be the problem and it needs to be replaced? At this point, I would be willing to change the entire chainset and pedal assembly if it would fix it but that won't help if the problem is in the frame. Your thoughts and wisdom would be appreciated.

John
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Old 12-26-12, 05:52 AM   #2
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Stem/bar interface?
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Old 12-26-12, 07:00 AM   #3
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Clicking

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Stem/bar interface?
One question is how many miles are on your cleats and/or pedals?
Is there a physical bump when the noise occurs?

There could be a wear point that only surfaces under" out of the saddle" conditions.
A very close inspection of all the surfaces of the cleats and pedals may reveal the culprit.

A quick test would be different pedals,shoes,cleats.
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Old 12-26-12, 07:16 AM   #4
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It's hard to adequately describe a "click" over the internet.

I once had a soft click only when pedaling that drove my crazy. It turned out to be the front shift cable brushing the crankarm.
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Old 12-26-12, 07:31 AM   #5
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Stem/bar interface?
I was going to suggest this as well. I've had occasional noises I thought were crank related that turned out to be caused by my weight transfer over the bars.
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Old 12-26-12, 07:32 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 100bikes View Post
One question is how many miles are on your cleats and/or pedals?
Is there a physical bump when the noise occurs?
The cleats have about 500 miles on them. The pedals have about 4000 miles.


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A quick test would be different pedals,shoes,cleats.
Hmm... I could try that. I might have a spare set in the garage that would fit. Will have to look this evening.



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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
It's hard to adequately describe a "click" over the internet.

I once had a soft click only when pedaling that drove my crazy. It turned out to be the front shift cable brushing the crankarm.
I already ruled that out and ruled out the speed sensor touching the crank arm.
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Old 12-26-12, 07:38 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by xlDooM View Post
I was going to suggest this as well. I've had occasional noises I thought were crank related that turned out to be caused by my weight transfer over the bars.
I'm reasonably certain that's not the case this time. It doesn't click or tick when I'm not pedaling, whether in or out of the saddle, going over bumps, railroad tracks, or driveway transitions. The sound seems to be coming from down low, by my feet, only when pedaling under force in or out of the sadal, and sometimes I can almost feel it in my feet, ever so slightly. However, that last part might be a psychotic delusion.
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Old 12-26-12, 07:41 AM   #8
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When all else fails with mystery noises, I have replaced my chain with success.

Don in Austin
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Old 12-26-12, 08:13 AM   #9
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When all else fails with mystery noises, I have replaced my chain with success.
Thanks Don. I failed to mention that the chain is brand new. It was making the ticking noise before the chain was replaced and is making the same noise after the replacement.
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Old 12-26-12, 08:26 AM   #10
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Even greasing bottom bracket cups and proper torque won't always prevent ticking. I've had the best results using a couple of layers of plumber's Teflon tape over the bb cup threads followed by proper torque. This has quieted clicking bottom brackets that nothing else did.
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Old 12-26-12, 10:25 AM   #11
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I had a similar problem. I tried everything I could think of with no success. The LBS mechanic figured it out - slightly loose headset.
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Old 12-26-12, 11:49 AM   #12
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Even greasing bottom bracket cups and proper torque won't always prevent ticking. I've had the best results using a couple of layers of plumber's Teflon tape over the bb cup threads followed by proper torque. This has quieted clicking bottom brackets that nothing else did.
I'll try that, too. Thanks for the suggestion.
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Old 12-26-12, 11:52 AM   #13
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Quote:
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I had a similar problem. I tried everything I could think of with no success. The LBS mechanic figured it out - slightly loose headset.
I already checked everything in the headset and torqued it according to specs. All of the tests show that it isn't loose but it never hurts to double check it, right?
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Old 12-26-12, 05:17 PM   #14
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I had good luck with tightening the chain ring bolts.
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Old 12-26-12, 06:53 PM   #15
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RESOLVED!

Chain ring bolts tight, headset tight, cleats tight. Swapped out the pedals but that wasn't it. I put a couple of wraps of plumbers' Teflon tape around the threads of the bottom bracket and the clicking went away. That was it!

Thanks for all of the suggestions.
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