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  1. #1
    Grumpy Old Bugga europa's Avatar
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    &%$#@*!@ clicking sound

    Just as I was finally getting the sodding Jamis dialled in, it develops a new sound

    Seat finally right.
    Gears finally working (how hard is it to get gears working? Pah, just flamin' ask me )
    Bars in the right spot ... sort of, as close as you can get with a threadless headset and the appalling lack of choice with necks the industry provides.
    Hell, I'd even managed to get the stupid brifters in a non-lethal position ... finally.

    After 1,300 km, I actually had this stupid bike WORKING FOR ME!

    So it starts to click.

    Just the occasional annoying click at first.
    Then more often.

    Where's it coming from? Is it while pedalling or all the time? Hard to tell ... at first.

    That rotten click got louder and more requent. Dammit, this bike used to be the Stealth Fighter it was so silent, now dogs leap out of the way and small children bury their faces in Mummy's skirts in horror!

    Almost.

    Actually, I am being a wee bit dramatic, but not with the facts dammit This bike HAS been that hard to get right, but it seems to be almost there. So why is it picking on me with this metallic clicking noise?

    The noise is reasonably loud, loud enough to be really annoying.
    It's a metallic clicking sound.

    It's intermittant ... naturally, if it did it all the time I might be able to diagnose it. However, it has progressed from once in a blue mood to once in a crank revolution to twice in a crank revolution - it's getting worse so part of me is waiting for something to break as that's always a sure sign of the cause.

    It doesn't happen when I'm coasting - it's finally occuring often enough to confirm that.
    It continues to happen when I'm standing and pedalling so it's not the new Brooks saddle that's just reached that time when you'd expect it to make strange noises.
    I'm using toe clips and there appears to be no movement in the clips (I'd hoped that one of them had worked loose but sadly no) nor does there appear to be any problem with the pedal bearings - M324s with about 3,500km on them. Bearings?
    The gears have just been adjusted and are finally working perfectly ... getting the outer cable length right fixed the shifting problems ... oh hang, that was the previous drama. But yeah, it's not the adjustment.

    The bits are a mxed bag of old and new and worn in.
    The chain is about 600km old and has one of them new fangled magic master link thingies ... which appears to be closed correctly (Wipperman chain and master link) and doesn't appear to have any tight spots.
    The bottom bracket feels solid and spins freely - it has about 3,500 kms on it which is 'worn' but surely not 'ancient'.
    The headset has no movement in it and is 1,300 km old ... but being a stupid threadless system that's suffered many 'adjustments' as I've tried to get the neck and bars right, there's always the chance that I've set it wrong at some point and stuffed up a bearing. However, it feels good at the moment.

    The wheels all feel smooth and sound - Ultegra hubs with only 1,300km on them ... but as stated earlier, this noise happens under power. The wheels are tight and true.

    The magnet is not hitting the speed sensor (first thing I checked) and there's no flex in the front wheel so I'm pretty sure it's not that ... besides, this only happens when pedalling, whether I'm applying power or just turning the cranks which probably rules out something warping under load.

    No, the loose end of the front dr cable does NOT hit the pedal on the way through.

    The bike is dead quiet when spinning the pedals on a workshop stand, even with the brakes dragging to give some load.

    Dammit! What do I look at next?

    Metallic clicking noise.
    Only there when pedalling, standing or seated (so it's not the Brooks 'new saddle creak' or something weird with the new seat post).
    Definitely NOT there when coasting.
    It's getting worse and is quite loud - currently as frequent as two clicks per pedal revolution and getting worse ... when it happens.
    It's come up and gone from 'what was that' to the current frequency in less than 160km of riding - I'm currently using her to commute with a 22km each way commute so this hasn't happened in one ride.

    Any thoughts? Short of waiting for something to break, I'm out of ideas.

    Richard
    yes, I'm as pissed off as I probably sound
    I had a good bike ... so I FIXED it

  2. #2
    Small Member maddmaxx's Avatar
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    The 2 per pedal revolution implies something to do with pedals or bottom bracket. Check for loose pedals or bottom bracket cups. Check for Crank arm tightness. If you have an external bearing crankset, check the attachment of the left crankarm.

    You know, it's against natures laws to have everything on a bike work just right. If you persist on fixing too much, something else will just break or go out of adjustment early.

  3. #3
    Grumpy Old Bugga europa's Avatar
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    Thanks Max. I just checked the cranks - they're the spline setup you got on Ultegra a couple of years back. The right pulled up tiny amount (just enough to feel I'd done something, I doubt it was enough to mean anything), the left was rock solid. I don't know that I can check the bb without pulling the cranks off ... can I?

    Richard
    I had a good bike ... so I FIXED it

  4. #4
    Senior Member NOS88's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by europa View Post
    Thanks Max. I just checked the cranks - they're the spline setup you got on Ultegra a couple of years back. The right pulled up tiny amount (just enough to feel I'd done something, I doubt it was enough to mean anything), the left was rock solid. I don't know that I can check the bb without pulling the cranks off ... can I?

    Richard
    Did you test ride it since you tightened the right side? I had a very similar problem two summers ago and that "tiny amount" of tightening was all it took to get rid of the clicking noise I was hearing.

    While I suspect Maddmaxx is correct about the double click most likely being something in or near the bottom bracket area, Freeranger could be on to something if you shift your weight in any kind of rhythmic way while pedaling.
    Last edited by NOS88; 01-12-09 at 05:05 AM. Reason: Freeranger's post that follows
    A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. - S. Wright

  5. #5
    Senior Member freeranger's Avatar
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    Once had a click that refused to be diagnosed. You say you adjusted the bars-try putting a little grease on the face plate and stem bolts, and if that doesn't work, then the bar/stem interface. Mine also seemed to be an intermittent click, and dry face plate bolts turned out to be the culprit!

  6. #6
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    I had the same problem and neither I nor the shop could get it sorted out. The same symptoms and the same noise noise and it progressed to about the same point as yours has and at about the same rate mileage-wise. One day out of pure frustration I decided to lube one part per day until such time as I had lubed the entire drive train. The first item on the list was the left pedal bearings. One little squirt of Tri-Flow and the noise was gone and has not returned.

    Who'ld have thunk? It was quiet on the stand and spun quietly when not being ridden, but when in use the bearings were just dry enough to sound out!!

    Good luck with yours and Happy Trails

  7. #7
    Ride Daddy Ride Jet Travis's Avatar
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    This is a longshot, but it's worth a try: Spokes rubbing against each other caused a similar problem for me--and it took me months to finally figure it out. To check: place a drop of chain lube at the point where the spokes cross over each other. If, when you ride, there is an elimination or dramatic reduction in the noise, then you've found your likely culprit.

    If this is your problem, sometimes just putting a drop of lube every couple of weeks will solve it. Although ultimately I had to have my wheel rebuilt.

    Or it might be something related. Follow these links for endless hours of fun: http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&f...earch&aq=f&oq=
    "Light it up, Popo." --Levi Leipheimer

  8. #8
    Grumpy Old Bugga europa's Avatar
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    Thanks boys.

    Regarding the tightening of the crank - it's late at night here and I'm consuming a fair amount of theraputic vino rouge (which possibly explains the original post somewhat) - I haven't test ridden her yet, that'll happen in about ten hours time.

    With regards to the face plate and bolts, I'll look at that. I've suspected I've heard a funny noise when moving off a few times now. While I've been inclined to blame the headstem, and checked the thing to no effect, it could indeed be some sort of movement in that area. If the crank tightening doesn't fix it, that'll be my next attempt. I have recently installed a new neck. I'm pretty sure I greased the bolts but probably didn't put anything around the bars. I'll give it a go.

    Cranky? (you aren't my lost twin are you?) When the above two fail, I'll follow your advice. My problem is that I've never seen Tri-flow here - can you describe what it is so I can find some sort of alternative?

    But yeah, it's looking like a long, slow, rebuild and relube of everything. I built this bike up about 12 months ago, did 600 quick kms and then left her on the wall while I struggled with bents and Trek's and returning to uni and life and boring stuff like that. I've rattled up a lot of kms in a surprisingly short time over the last few weeks but it's possible that something has just dried out during her time out.

    I really want to love this bike. It's got so much going for it but somewhere, some how, we're just not clicking ... er hang, she's clicking and I'm grumping.

    Richard
    I had a good bike ... so I FIXED it

  9. #9
    Grumpy Old Bugga europa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jet Travis View Post
    This is a longshot, but it's worth a try: Spokes rubbing against each other caused a similar problem for me--and it took me months to finally figure it out. To check: place a drop of chain lube at the point where the spokes cross over each other. If, when you ride, there is an elimination or dramatic reduction in the noise, then you've found your likely culprit.

    If this is your problem, sometimes just putting a drop of lube every couple of weeks will solve it. Although ultimately I had to have my wheel rebuilt.

    Or it might be something related. Follow these links for endless hours of fun: http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&f...earch&aq=f&oq=
    Hmm, funny one that - it would explain why it happens on the road under load but not on the workshop stand where only the drive train is under load. I built these wheels myself, got them almost perfect but not quite and decided to leave them until they'd settled in. Naturally (therefore), they've refused to go out of true but despite that, I've always promised myself I'd have another go at them. I hope you'll forgive me for leaving the re-true to last, but if the noise doesn't go away, it won't hurt to splash some chain lube around. The noise is a sharp 'click' rather than a rubbing noise, but I've enough experience with mechanical devices to understand that such distinctions are often misleading.

    Richard
    I normally enjoy being 'grumpy' but at the moment, it's losing its appeal
    I had a good bike ... so I FIXED it

  10. #10
    Grumpy Old Bugga europa's Avatar
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    Now to share something positive about this bike, gawd knows she deserves it.

    There's a half km stretch of my commute that happens over really really rough bitumen. Dead set, the local council found the roughest bit of road they could and then did the worst chip seal ever job on the stuff ... without flattening it first. It's rough, it's hard and it feels like someone's holding both brakes on while you ride on this stuff. It's a major commuting route and I've watched a lot of riders grimace and fight and struggle on this bit of road - the alternative is to play in the traffic.

    Anyways, my Trek520 struggles on this route.
    My beloved Europa throws her hands up in horror and bounces and judders and makes the Trek look like a tank but basically hates this stretch.

    The Jamis, once you get her up to about 30km/hr, just glides over this. You can feel the surface holding you back and it's a struggle but the springiness of that frame means that all you feel is the surface trying to hold you back. It's an amazing ride ... and the other two are both full steel frames as well.

    This IS a good bike. A little large (I reckon I could lose 1cm in frame size to be perfect) but all the indications are that she's a great bike ... if only she'd stop picking on me. Reminds me of my girlfriend actually

    Richard
    I had a good bike ... so I FIXED it

  11. #11
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    First, if you have internal cables, pull on the housings where they enter/exit the frame. Next, take the pedals off, put a tiny amount of grease on the threads, and re-install. By "tiny amount" I mean a apply dab or two, then wipe it off using your finger. If that doesn't do it, pull the crank arms and BB. Put grease on the bb threads and re-install. Put a tiny amount of grease on the splines and re-install the arms (with a bit of grease on the bolt threads.) If all that doesn't work, do the same with the top bolt on the headset. You've already greased the handlebar clamp area? You can rule out the seat post if the sound happens when you're standing. If all that doesn't fix the problem, you can swap pedals with the Trek; and finally as a last resort, you can check your frame around the bottom bracket for imperfections in the paint that might indicate a crack.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Allegheny Jet's Avatar
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    Does the sound continue in both the small and large chain rings? I've had a similar issue and found the chain ring bolts were the culprit. If it only comes from one ring. Per the LBS advice, take the bolt out, clean everything, light lube and reassemble.

    Have you greased the lower end of the seat post? That is another fix that I've done.

  13. #13
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    If none of the above suggestions work, I think it's time to pull the bottom bracket, grease the threads and reinstall.

    Sometimes a stiff shot of whiskey chased with a good Aussie ale will help.

  14. #14
    Senior Member one_beatnik's Avatar
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    +1 on the chain ring bolts. I had similar noise and just one bolt was a wee bit loose on one of the chain rings. Checked/tightened them all and noise gone.

  15. #15
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Mine was cabling. Outer cable on any movement of the bars and two cables touching caused a click--And the other was the extra cable on the front derailler catching on the shoe as I pedalled.(But that was only one click per revolution) Shortened the excess and fine.

    Another cure is to put the I Pod up to full volume.
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    Quote Originally Posted by europa View Post
    Thanks boys.


    Cranky? (you aren't my lost twin are you?) When the above two fail, I'll follow your advice. My problem is that I've never seen Tri-flow here - can you describe what it is so I can find some sort of alternative?

    Richard
    It's a lubricant in an aerosol can.

  17. #17
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    My clicking was a loose screw on the saddle, only happened under load.
    I'm not old! I've always been wrinkled, balding with a spare tire.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Red Baron's Avatar
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    I felt really stupid when i had a problem like this and finally found that my PC magnet on the spoke was hiting the PC unit only when i pedaled. Spoke was 'giving' I rotated the PC unit on the fork slightly and away went the noise.
    **Fate is a fickle thing, and in the end the true measure of a person is not fate itself, but how they master it**

  19. #19
    Grumpy Old Bugga europa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Baron View Post
    I felt really stupid when i had a problem like this and finally found that my PC magnet on the spoke was hiting the PC unit only when i pedaled. Spoke was 'giving' I rotated the PC unit on the fork slightly and away went the noise.
    I've had that too and it was my first thought ... and was eliminated just as quickly which was a pity as it's an easy fix.

    The ride to work this morning had the noise become even more frequent. Fortunately, this also means I have some more information.

    It's related to pedal pressure. I don't have to be turning the cranks as I can get a quick 'click' if I stand when coasting ... but only the once, jumping up and down on the cranks won't do it after the first click/creak. It'll also do it as I stop pedalling - pedal rises to the top, I stop pedalling and 'click'. This leads me to suspect it's cranks or bb and seeing you have to take the cranks off to get to the bb, I guess I'll be looking at both.

    Are these modern bbs serviceable in any way? Some grease? Throw it under a train?

    Richard
    I had a good bike ... so I FIXED it

  20. #20
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    I don't think the new BBs are serviceable. Yours is pretty new; just lube the threads on both sides and re-install it. Make sure there's a light coating on the splines, too.

  21. #21
    Senior Member oldbobcat's Avatar
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    See if it goes away with a different set of pedals. Don't go out and buy a set, just pull on some old pedals that you know to be quiet.

  22. #22
    Grumpy Old Bugga europa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldbobcat View Post
    See if it goes away with a different set of pedals. Don't go out and buy a set, just pull on some old pedals that you know to be quiet.
    Yeah, I'll try that. Certainly easier than pulling bottom brackets ... so it definitely won't be the answer

    The family wagon's at the doctor's too at the moment. She had a gearbox rebuild last week at horrendous cost (to go with the engine tear down a few months back). Yesterday there was a mighty oil slick underneath her. The mechanic reckon's it's just oil from a previous leak that's finally found its way out of the chassis - a quick steam clean and she's right **pause for raised eyebrow to return to normal** (not that I'm sceptical or anything). Anyway, just so it wouldn't be a cheap visit, he did discover that a wheel bearing has had it (been noisy for awhile now) and, of course, this car has the expensive, hard to fit bearings

    Between the Falcon and the Jamis, it's like living with that old chinese curse 'may you live in interesting times'

    Richard
    going back to work now so he can pay for his fleet of decrepit vehicles
    I had a good bike ... so I FIXED it

  23. #23
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    I just went through that. wow headaches. oh wait still going through it, found so many problems from that darned click. turned out to be crank loose, rings loose, etc.

    the next day or something crazy the noise came back only different.... I had chewed a bearing square in my front hub. how it felt and sounded like a bottom bracket issue I cannot telll you. But that got repacked and I am hoping the drive train holds till I find cheap used quality cranks so I can buy rings.

    why the troubles why. I just wanna ride.
    and yes I know that sounds crazy, the wheel issue. sounds like that ain't it for you. but just in case.

  24. #24
    Erect member since 1953 cccorlew's Avatar
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    Mine was dry headset spacers. Sounds easy, but it sounded like it was coming from the back of the bike. I tried everything before finely greased them and made the sound stop,

    Good luck!
    WANTED: Not a darn thing. I've got it all. Life is good.
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  25. #25
    Grumpy Old Bugga europa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cccorlew View Post
    Mine was dry headset spacers. Sounds easy, but it sounded like it was coming from the back of the bike. I tried everything before finely greased them and made the sound stop,

    Good luck!
    That's a good thought in this case - with all the mucking about I've done with stems and bar positions, I've greased the new stem but ignored the spacers. I'm pretty sure it's not this noise but it would explain another wee click that I sort of almost maybe hear when I first climb onto her and push off. I was going to check the headstem adjustment anyway (even though it feels fine) but I might go that one step further and grease all them bits and pieces.

    Sheesh. You wan't to know the worst bit? It's the Europa that NEEDS a pull down and rebuild (the last one I remember was before my son was born ... and he's currently learning to drive ), and she's not getting it because I'm pfaffing about with the Jamis ... which is going to wind up with a defacto pull down and rebuild at this rate. I'd might as well redo the hubs and retrue the wheels while I'm at it just to round off the effort.

    And you watch, two days after she hits the streets again ...

    Richard
    I had a good bike ... so I FIXED it

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