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Clicking Noise Coming From Bottom Bracket

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Clicking Noise Coming From Bottom Bracket

Old 10-14-15, 05:52 PM
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V73
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Clicking Noise Coming From Bottom Bracket

Hello,

Just hoping for some quick help. My Diamondback Sorrento has developed a clicking noise whenever I pedal it, that sounds like it's coming from the bottom bracket. It definitely isn't the chain making noise. My limited understanding would suggest a problem with a bearing in the BB, as it only makes noise when I'm pedaling, and the pedal arms have developed a bit of lateral give. So my questions are:

-Do I need to replace something, and if so, what?
-Can any repairs/replacement be done without bicycle specific or specialist tools?

I mainly need to know this to figure out how much parts might cost and whether I can do it myself or if I should just take it in to the LBS and pay them a crazy amount to swap out a part.
Thanks for your help!

-Val
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Old 10-14-15, 06:44 PM
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I'm pretty sure most Diamond Back Sorrento models have a crank with a square taper spindle. Assuming the issue is actually the BB (I would guess it probably is since it's loose), best case the bottom bracket just worked loose and needs to be adjusted. Either way, you're going to need some bike specific tools.
- A crank puller to remove the crank arms to access the bottom bracket.
- Possibly bottom bracket tools depending on how old the bike is and what type of BB is on it.

If it's an older bike with an adjustable bottom bracket, you can adjust/disassemble with regular tools like a big adjustable wrench and big channel lock type pliers. If its a newer cartridge style, you'll need a bike specific splined bottom bracket tool like the park BBT-22.

If the bottom bracket bearings are torn up, the spindle is probably pitted out as well. If you need to replace these parts, your best bet is to probably just replace it with a cartridge.
Either way, it may just have worked loose and needs to be adjusted to correct the problem, but you'll still need the tools.

Depending on quality, you're looking around $25-$50 for tools. Cartridge BB's start around $20 for an inexpensive shimano brand.
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Old 10-14-15, 07:16 PM
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Great info, thanks. I'll see if I can figure out what kind of bracket it is, but if memory serves me right it's a mid 2000s model so it's likely to have a cartridge. There were some aftermarket parts on it when I picked it up off the curb last spring, but I don't see any evidence the previous owner touched the BB. I believe I already have a crank puller but a bracket tool would be something I'd definitely need to purchase. Still better than the LBS though, as I'd be able to use it more than once and not have to wait while they fix my bike.

-Val
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Old 10-14-15, 07:45 PM
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I learned something here, too. To me, ticking from the bottom bracket has always been a telltale sign that the bottom bracket is done...period.
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Old 10-14-15, 08:12 PM
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Sometimes (actually a lot of times) noises that sound like they're coming from the bottom bracket are actually something else.
Loose QR skewers, loose seat post clamps, loose seat binder bolts, no grease or carbon paste on seatposts, dried sports drink on cable guides under the BB Etc. can all make creaking or clicking mystery noises.
I usually check the easy stuff first (minimal time or no tools required), but a crank that moves laterally side to side will generally "make some noise".
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Old 10-14-15, 09:19 PM
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Don't rule out the possibility of the pedals making the noise that occurs "when you pedal". Pedal spindles take a lot of abuse. See if there's any play, eg the ability to move the axle up or down, side-to-side. The pedal "arms" you describe must be the cranks. Make sure those are tightened down.
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Old 10-15-15, 06:36 AM
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The MOST common cause for once per crank rev clicking/creaking is looseness or poor mating of the pedal/crank/bb interfaces with each other (due to dirt or rust scale contamination, for example). More recently BB mounting has become an issue, I believe especially with BB30 (my experience with modern BB's is limited, so others welcome to chime in here). Failure or other problems with either the pedal or BB bearing itself do not usually cause a clicking sound. Clicks originating outside the BB/crank area represent maybe 5% of the total of once per crank rev noise. Although the play in the BB sounds like it may be the issue in this case, one should not jump into the expensive assumption that the bearing is to blame before exploring other more likely possibilities. It's very easy to replace something, see that the problem is solved and conclude that the replaced part was the problem, when what solved the issue could have been correct reassembly.
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Old 10-15-15, 01:00 PM
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I had a once per revolution clicking noise on an older bike and was convinced it was the bb. Turned out to be a cracked lock ring.
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Old 10-15-15, 04:06 PM
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Originally Posted by cny-bikeman View Post
The MOST common cause for once per crank rev clicking/creaking is looseness or poor mating of the pedal/crank/bb interfaces with each other (due to dirt or rust scale contamination, for example). More recently BB mounting has become an issue, I believe especially with BB30 (my experience with modern BB's is limited, so others welcome to chime in here). Failure or other problems with either the pedal or BB bearing itself do not usually cause a clicking sound. Clicks originating outside the BB/crank area represent maybe 5% of the total of once per crank rev noise. Although the play in the BB sounds like it may be the issue in this case, one should not jump into the expensive assumption that the bearing is to blame before exploring other more likely possibilities. It's very easy to replace something, see that the problem is solved and conclude that the replaced part was the problem, when what solved the issue could have been correct reassembly.
Excellent information, good to know. So if poor mating or detritus in the joint is indeed the problem, then I may be able to fix it by just taking it all apart, cleaning it, and carefully reassembling? And how far would I need to go, could I just remove the cranks & pedals, clean and replace them or would you recommend I take the entire BB assembly out?

Just for reference purposes, this bike is my daily short distance commuter, about 2 miles each way. I also take it on errands and pleasure rides. About nine in ten rides I use it, I am carrying more than 10 pounds of cargo, along with my 150lb weight. I got it out of someone's trash last spring and have since repaired it (for the most part, hence this thread). I plan on riding it throughout the winter, which can be pretty rough here in Michigan.

Thanks everyone for your advice!

-Val
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Old 10-15-15, 04:09 PM
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Might be the front derailer. Try wiggling it by hand and you might get the clicking. Well that's what my 1/r ticking noise on the bike i just put back together is, i'm pretty sure (praise to the bike gods). I think it's loose or dirty or something. Was sure it had to be the BB riding it last night
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Old 10-15-15, 04:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Soody View Post
Might be the front derailer. Try wiggling it by hand and you might get the clicking. Well that's what my 1/r ticking noise on the bike i just put back together is, i'm pretty sure (praise to the bike gods). I think it's loose or dirty or something. Was sure it had to be the BB riding it last night
Probably not in my case. Unfortunately I've been having a lot of trouble getting the front DR to shift into 3rd gear properly, so I'm familiar with that particular noise.
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Old 10-15-15, 08:07 PM
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So, let's get this straight. The bike is making a noise when pedaling. In looking at the bike, you've determined the cranks have play (lateral give) within the bottom bracket. Is this when you hold each arm in each hand and they move as a unit? Or is just one moving? Are you holding onto the pedals or the crank arms? Try to isolate exactly where the play or give is. If it's pedal/pedals into crank arms, tighten them. If it's a single crank arm, tighten it.

Going off your original description, I would assume that either the cup/cups of the bottom bracket that thread into the frame are loose (regardless of the BB type) or there is excessive wear within the BB. They may or may not be the source of the noise, but either way, if they're moving side to side, they need to be addressed.

Sight unseen, if I were to try to talk you through the repair, the flow chart would be something like:

-remove the spindle bolts or nuts that hold the crank arms on. You will need either a 8mm hex wrench or a 14mm socket
-Use your crank puller to remove the crank arms from the spindle.
-Check both cups. Can you thread them by hand in the frame or easily with the appropriate tool? Is there a lockring on the non drive side? If so, it's an adjustable bottom bracket.
-If they are loose, adjust and/or tighten depending on BB type.
-Reinstall crank arms and test ride to see in noise persists.
-If the cups are tight even when trying to loosen with the appropriate tool, but there is play in the spindle, check to see what the spindle feels like when you turn it. Does it feel rough? If so disassemble bottom bracket and inspect.
-If parts are worn or damaged, replace bad parts or complete BB assembly.
-Reinstall crank arms and test ride to see in noise persists.

At some point, you have to just start wrenching on it. That's really the best way to learn. Worst case you can take the partially assembled bike to the bike shop and ask them to fix it. It won't cost any more than where you are now, well, unless you strip something out or break a bolt of somewhere.
Hope this helps. Good luck.
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Old 10-15-15, 09:06 PM
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Originally Posted by V73 View Post
Probably not in my case. Unfortunately I've been having a lot of trouble getting the front DR to shift into 3rd gear properly, so I'm familiar with that particular noise.
Yep it was wishful thinking for me too lol. I removed the FD, and although it makes a very similiar noise when man handled, i'm pretty sure now my BB is toast. Probably because i was too cheap to get the frame faced when i put hollowtech II on a steel frame.

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