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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 06-27-11, 11:20 AM   #1
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clicking in BB(?) after downpour

So I got caught riding in a downpour the other day. It was only for about 10 minutes or so, but myself and my bike got totally drenched.

After my bike sat unused for 2 days I took it out today. Everything is dry now. But, I noticed a "clicking" or "snapping" sound that I'd never heard before, coming apparently from the bottom bracket. It became more pronounced the harder I mashed.

I stopped and tightened everything in the drive train that I could get a wrench on, and even lubed the chain. As we know, there aren't that many moving parts on a SS and a very limited amount of things that can go wrong. The sound lessened, but didn't totally go away until I rode for several miles.

My question is: Am I looking at a future/premature failure of my bottom bracket?
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Old 06-27-11, 11:23 AM   #2
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Do you have a sealed or a loose ball bottom bracket?
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Old 06-27-11, 11:32 AM   #3
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Are you sure it's not the freewheel ?
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Old 06-27-11, 11:33 AM   #4
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This is what I have apparently (IRO):

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Old 06-27-11, 11:34 AM   #5
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Are you sure it's not the freewheel ?
Not absolutely, but I really doubt it.
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Old 06-27-11, 11:34 AM   #6
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Well there's your problem. The bolts are supposed to hold your crank arms on, not be sticking out of the bottom!
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Old 06-27-11, 11:50 AM   #7
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That bottom bracket is pretty generic and should keep water from entering pretty nicely; the clicking most likely comes from eslewhere. Maybe loose chainring bolts? Pedal bearings?
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Old 06-27-11, 12:19 PM   #8
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Did you try taking the cranks and bb off, degreasing and regreasing everything, and putting it back together? That works for me a lot of the time.
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Old 06-27-11, 12:34 PM   #9
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Did you try taking the cranks and bb off, degreasing and regreasing everything, and putting it back together?
I didn't. In days gone by I've repacked wheel bearings. Is this what you're suggesting? According to IRO the BB contains "smooth sealed cartridge bearings." This suggests greasing is not necessary, and probably not possible...

And Scrod, I agree that the pic gives a weird impression of what the part is and does...
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Old 06-27-11, 12:57 PM   #10
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There is absolutely no reason to remove and reinstall a sealed BB. If it wasn't making noises before, then getting wet won't make it suddenly start. I'd recommend removing and throughly cleaning your chain. Then reinstall and relube. Also, there may be a buildup of gritty dirt on your chainring, and it may be worthwhile to also remove, clean and reinstall the chainring. I still thing your freewheel may be involved. Try feeding some oil into it to see if this helps.
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Old 06-27-11, 01:04 PM   #11
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when tracking down noises it helps to pay attention to how often they occur.. if they occur once per pedal stroke, likely the crank or pedals. if it happens once per wheel rotation, likely the freewheel... you get the idea

clicking could be crank arms loose on spindle
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Old 06-27-11, 01:16 PM   #12
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....... freewheel may be involved. Try feeding some oil into it to see if this helps.
I still don't think it's the freewheel. However, I'm not against lubing it. I just can't see how to accomplish that, short of trying to get some oil between the moving part (cog) and the part fixed to the hub.
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Old 06-27-11, 01:18 PM   #13
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The odd thing to me is that this is the first time I've had any unexplained noise associated with this particular bike, and it started after a thorough drenching followed by 2 days to dry...
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Old 06-27-11, 01:20 PM   #14
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I still don't think it's the freewheel. However, I'm not against lubing it. I just can't see how to accomplish that, short of trying to get some oil between the moving part (cog) and the part fixed to the hub.
That's exactly how you do it. Remove the rear wheel and lay it flat with the freewheel side up. There is a gap between the fixed and moving parts of the freewheel through which you can feed some oil. Apply a little, spin the freewheel and repeat until it quiets down.
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Old 06-27-11, 07:03 PM   #15
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gap.....feed some oil. Apply a little, spin the freewheel...
Done. The clicking had already stopped, but I've observed the benefit of lubing the freewheel-is quieter now and really spins. I didn't realize the freewheel required lubing. Thanks..
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