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  1. #1
    Senior Member Ozonation's Avatar
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    Odd "creak, clink, or clank" from the Brompton while pedaling

    I'm out and about in Charlottetown, pounding away on my Brompton (yes, the other delegates are MOST impressed)

    I've noticed that on my pedal downstroke, there's an odd - well - clank, click, or creak noise. It's not loud, but it is noticeable. It does NOT happen when I'm just coasting, nor does it happen when I pedal backwards. I can't see anything obvious hitting the spokes or touching against moving parts. Given that it only happens during the downstroke of my pedals, I figure it must have something to do with those parts, particularly under load/pressure.

    I was thinking it had to deal with the crank because that's where the noise seems to be coming from. However, if it had something to do with the crank, would it not make a similar noise when reverse pedaling? It actually sounds like something banging against something else.

    Other than the gearing or the crank, I'm starting to wonder if it's the foldable pedal. I notice that it does not sit perfectly (unlike the nonfolding pedal) on the pedal arm connector, and maybe there's just enough clearance or gap that it makes a little clinking noise as it settles on the downstroke.

    Pure speculation but I'd appreciate some insights. Thanks.
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  2. #2
    lowlife bottom feeder BassNotBass's Avatar
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    I've had creaks from the BB, loose chainring bolts and pedal bearings. In your case I would first inspect the pedals (small bearings having to deal with quite a substantial load) and then the BB.
    I plan on living forever... so far so good.

  3. #3
    weirdo
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ozonation View Post
    However, if it had something to do with the crank, would it not make a similar noise when reverse pedaling? It actually sounds like something banging against something else.
    Maybe, but not necessarily. When you back pedal, there`s no torque, so that could easily explain why whatever it is only complains when pedaling forward. BB is a good guess, pedals or chainring bolts might be also, but the first thing I`d do is check to be sure the crank bolts are tight.

  4. #4
    jur
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    The folding pedal tends to be a noisy beast. Not sure how to fix it, mine can be heard a mile off. I intend to replace it with another one just to make sure it is the pedal.
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  5. #5
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Grease the bolt thru the suspension elastomer.

  6. #6
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    Check to see if there is enough clearance between the front mudgard stays and the tire. I had the same symptoms on mine and found out that everytime I pedalled forward the weight shift was enough to cause deformation to the wheel or mudgard stays that it would rub every so slightly on the tire and cause noise.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Ozonation's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rodar y rodar View Post
    Maybe, but not necessarily. When you back pedal, there`s no torque, so that could easily explain why whatever it is only complains when pedaling forward. BB is a good guess, pedals or chainring bolts might be also, but the first thing I`d do is check to be sure the crank bolts are tight.
    That's what I thought too: the noise is only when I apply force and there's torque. My Brompton is only 4 weeks old, so I doubted the ball bearings would go that quickly. After a bit of trial and error, I suspect it's the pedal. I tried alternating my pedaling. If I downstroke forcefully with my right foot, there's no noise. If I do so with my left foot, there is. I can almost feel a bit of looseness associated with the left foot (or maybe I'm just imagining it).

    I'll have to look into it when I return home in a few days time. In the meantime, there's no other looseness or obvious problem, so hopefully the Brompton is okay.
    Rivendell Sam Hillborne and Hunqapillar; Brompton M6R Sage Green; Salsa Mukluk 3 FAT Bike; Nerdy Academic; Nikonian; Wing Chun; and a Patridge in a Pear Tree.

  8. #8
    jur
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    Yeah it's that sucker of a left pedal. Mine creaks abonimably on the left downstroke.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member Ozonation's Avatar
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    Ah well, then it might not be just me. It's a creaking/clinking noise, sort of like something is loose.
    Rivendell Sam Hillborne and Hunqapillar; Brompton M6R Sage Green; Salsa Mukluk 3 FAT Bike; Nerdy Academic; Nikonian; Wing Chun; and a Patridge in a Pear Tree.

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    jur
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    My folding bike photo essays www.dekter.net/

  11. #11
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    As someone else mentioned - crank bolts. Definitely something that can come loose in the few months of ownership.

  12. #12
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Put any 9/16"Left thread pedal you have on, instead of the folding one,
    to see if that is your issue.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ozonation View Post
    That's what I thought too: the noise is only when I apply force and there's torque. My Brompton is only 4 weeks old, so I doubted the ball bearings would go that quickly. After a bit of trial and error, I suspect it's the pedal. I tried alternating my pedaling. If I downstroke forcefully with my right foot, there's no noise. If I do so with my left foot, there is. I can almost feel a bit of looseness associated with the left foot (or maybe I'm just imagining it).

    I'll have to look into it when I return home in a few days time. In the meantime, there's no other looseness or obvious problem, so hopefully the Brompton is okay.
    Sounds to me like the folding spring mechanism on your left pedal may cause the squeaking as you put downward pressure rather than the bearings. The right side pedal is the non-folding kind. You might want to try squirting some lube to see if it solves the problem on the folding mechanism of the left pedal.
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  14. #14
    Senior Member Ozonation's Avatar
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    Good suggestion. I'll try it when I get home tomorrow.
    Rivendell Sam Hillborne and Hunqapillar; Brompton M6R Sage Green; Salsa Mukluk 3 FAT Bike; Nerdy Academic; Nikonian; Wing Chun; and a Patridge in a Pear Tree.

  15. #15
    Senior Member edwong3's Avatar
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    Well I don't own a Brompton but I've had two bikes in the past (non folders) in which the "clicking" noise originated from the crank spindle, and both were fixed when tightened. I also had a case in where one of the pedals caused the noise, and disappeared as soon as I replaced it.

    Now I did watch a video on YouTube in which "Peter from NYCEWheels" was demo-ing a Brompton, and I did hear some faint "clicks" while he was pedaling. I figured that with so many moving parts, that was to be expected in a bike like the Brompton or similar.
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  16. #16
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    sorry to reply in an overaged topic, but I'm experiencing the same issue and I found this thread searching the web for a solution.
    the clicking noise can be heard clearly in this video (not in all left downstrikes) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n2S6oj680yM and seems to be the same as Ozonation described, SEEMS to come from the crank only on the downstrike of the left pedal.
    my Brompton is a S6L just a month old and I'm trying to solve this as it's quite annoying even if it's not critical.

    i found on the link posted above Tips, tricks & tinkering
    that the issue may be this:
    Clicking

    David Goldfarb, Jun 1999:
    My Brompton seems to have developed a click that occurs when pedaling with some resistance (i.e., no click when coasting, so it's not from the wheels), at a rate of one click per crank in any gear (so it's probably not the gears). Anyone else have this? The bike is pretty new (maybe 3 months, 400 mi. or so) for bearings to start wearing out.
    • Deborah Eacock, Jun 1999:
      I discovered that the click corresponded to torque on the pedals. No, it was not in the cranks, rather a slight mis-adjustment of indicator spindle into the hub. Check the location of the red spot in 2nd gear. Also, drop a few drops of oil into the hub.
    but I didn't get what I have to do to solve that >.<
    anybody found a good solution for this in the past two years?

  17. #17
    Senior Member Ozonation's Avatar
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    Wow... it's weird feeling when a thread you started two years ago suddenly pops up again.

    To be honest, since the noise just seemed to be the folding pedal, I've pretty much ignored it. After two years, a number of plane and train trips, and riding it some ways it was probably not exactly intended to do, the noise has pretty much faded into the background. For me, nothing untoward has happened since, and mechanically, the rest of the bike seems fine.

    Not sure if this helps you out much...
    Rivendell Sam Hillborne and Hunqapillar; Brompton M6R Sage Green; Salsa Mukluk 3 FAT Bike; Nerdy Academic; Nikonian; Wing Chun; and a Patridge in a Pear Tree.

  18. #18
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    Well at least I know for sure it's not critical, I'll just try to ignore it thanks for your reply

  19. #19
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    Had the same problem on a mountain bike. My guess is that one or more of the bolts that connect the front sprocket to the spider are loose. That would explain why you only hear the noise under torque.

  20. #20
    I am a meat popsicle chucchinchilla's Avatar
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    I know it's two years too late but hey the thread was bumped and I literally had the same problem with the same symptoms last week and fixed it. Lubricate the rear frame hinge!

    So we don't get mixed up on words, I'm talking about this

    ^pic from net, not my bike

    Drop a generous amount of oil on both sides of the hinge and work it in (I simply held up the bike and swung the rear frame back and forth a couple times). Done.

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