Ok here goes another Gossamer noise thread, but I couldn't quite find anything for my specific noise and I want to know what my next step should be. My bike is a 2011 Cannondale Synapse Alloy 5 with a 105 5700 Groupset. First, the noise is a sharp click and it happens when I am traveling in either my large or small chainring, however much more prominent on the large ring. It clicks rhythmically all the way through the pedal stroke intermittently. For instance it may click on a ride temporarily and then stop, but may return. It's loud enough that my riding partner can hear it.
At first I thought it was the bottom bracket, but I pulled the whole assembly apart, greased the main spindle, the spline to which the left crankarm attaches to, and cleaned all mating surfaces that the bearings could come in contact with, then greased. The bearings felt very smooth still and had no play as far as I could tell. That removed the creaking part of the equation that I had before. I then checked the chainring bolts and rings. They were completely cleaned and I put grease between the mating surfaces of the chainrings and the crankarm spiders and around the outside of the chainring bolts being careful not to get any grease on the threads. It still clicks!!!!! Once when riding it was clicking and I got frustrated at it so I unclipped my right foot and hit my heel on the center of the assembly and it went away. Now all the bolts were put back on the bike using the proper torque specifications with a torque wrench.
I don't believe it is my pedals because I don't feel the clicking and it isn't under much load when the clicking happens. From my understanding if it was a bearing in the bb shell or the pedal it would happen under load or on the top or bottom stroke of a particular crankarm, whether on the drive side or non drive side. So I am kinda lost as what to do next. Should I replace the bearings even though they feel smooth and have no play? I have a hard time believing that it could be the outer races of the bearings clicking with the frame as it would be a loud clunk or feel like the bearing is not seated. The chainring bolts seem to clamp onto the chainrings without spinning. Maybe I got a crappy crankset and should consider replacing it?