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Clicking while pedaling under load

Old 09-30-16, 09:03 AM
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Clicking while pedaling under load

Hi, I have a 2015 Wilier zero 9 that I have had for about 3 months - about 2500KM on it so far. It recently started clicking when climbing a significant grade - > 8% or so, and riding out of the saddle. It started out as only at the bottom of the left pedal stroke.

So .. I took it in to the LBS where I bought it and they removed BB regreased the bearings and cups and reassembled. Next ride same deal but now seems to be happening on both strokes. The sound is not super loud so I don't hear it unless I am on a slow climb since the wind noise may be masking it at a normal cadence - plus the force applied is much less on a normal cadence that these climbs.

Any idea where the sound may be coming from and how to fix it?

Cheers,
Larry
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Old 09-30-16, 09:35 AM
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Clicking, synchronous with the crank is one of the hardest things to diagnose on a bike. It can come from anywhere. Knowing the details of the components and type of BB helps because some are more prone to clicking than others.

However, before doing ANYTHING else, I always remove both pedals, clean the threads and faces of both the cranks and pedals, apply fresh grease and reassemble TIGHT. The pedal/crank interface probably accounts for about 1/3 of the instances, but even if the odds are lower it's still place to start because it's the easiest to eliminate.

If that doesn't work, borrow a pair of plain pedals known to be OK to rule out your pedals.

After checking the above, then you can look at the BB, but other than pedals the devil is in the details. Some cranks may click on the spindle, some spindles in the bearings, and some entire BB systems move within the frame. Besides the pedal/BB area, clicking can also come from anywhere on the bike, because when you pedal hard, you're flexing everything.

BTW - one simple and overlooked cause is the chain on the rings as it passes pickup pins or shift gates. Chain on ring clicks are usually more pronounced when the chain is coming from either side of the cassette than the middle.
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Old 09-30-16, 10:06 AM
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Chainring bolts might need to be tightened. Chain could be rubbing the front DR.

That's around the time my Roubaix started making weird noises too. Since I was selling it, I didn't investigate too much.

Last edited by Jarrett2; 09-30-16 at 10:10 AM.
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Old 09-30-16, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY
Clicking, synchronous with the crank is one of the hardest things to diagnose on a bike. It can come from anywhere. Knowing the details of the components and type of BB helps because some are more prone to clicking than others.

However, before doing ANYTHING else, I always remove both pedals, clean the threads and faces of both the cranks and pedals, apply fresh grease and reassemble TIGHT. The pedal/crank interface probably accounts for about 1/3 of the instances, but even if the odds are lower it's still place to start because it's the easiest to eliminate.

If that doesn't work, borrow a pair of plain pedals known to be OK to rule out your pedals.

After checking the above, then you can look at the BB, but other than pedals the devil is in the details. Some cranks may click on the spindle, some spindles in the bearings, and some entire BB systems move within the frame. Besides the pedal/BB area, clicking can also come from anywhere on the bike, because when you pedal hard, you're flexing everything.

BTW - one simple and overlooked cause is the chain on the rings as it passes pickup pins or shift gates. Chain on ring clicks are usually more pronounced when the chain is coming from either side of the cassette than the middle.
Thanks for the reply. I think the BB should be OK since the LBS just serviced it. The noise was present before and persisted after the service. I discount the chain as now the noise seems to be on both pedal strokes, so the chain noise would not be that consistent. Pedals does seem like a logical place to start. I will have it back in to LBS to correct since it is still under free service period.

Cheers,
Larry
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Old 09-30-16, 11:59 AM
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I've had pedal/crank clicking noises three times already and the issues was:
1.) my shoe clips (replaced them)
2.) the cable for the front derailleur hitting the pedal
3.) a bad pedal

All three times, I would have bet that it was the bottom bracket and going to be a pain to fix. I was relieved to find that all three times, the fix was easy.

Sometimes, a little looking around pays off.
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Old 09-30-16, 04:54 PM
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The left crank arm BB interface is the most common cause of clicking. This will occur when the left pedal goes past 12 o clock headed to 11 o clock.

Since BB was reinstalled I doubt it was that.

Like someone above mentioned trying a different set of pedal -being sure to grease the pedal threads and tighten the pedals will tell you if it is the pedals.

A loose cassette is one of the easiest to check and most often overlooked cures.
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Old 09-30-16, 05:13 PM
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My rear quick release made the same noise. It only happened when pushing hard on the pedals. I was so sure it was the bottom bracket!

I cleaned the external cam on the quick release, wiped the frame where it clamped, and tightened the clamp a little more than I did originally. Fixed. I have to do this every couple of months.

~~~~
The other common cause is at the crankarm - crank axle splines, if it's one of those two-bolt style attachments. It's normally fixed by wiping off the splines, then greasing them before reassembly.
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Old 09-30-16, 05:25 PM
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Originally Posted by rm -rf
My rear quick release made the same noise. It only happened when pushing hard on the pedals. I was so sure it was the bottom bracket!.....
+1,

Add rear QR to the list of things to check early on.

As I tried to make clear in my earlier post, there are almost countless possibilities, and it's often a matter of working though the list.

There are two intelligent approaches.

You could do it analytically, focusing on the most likely possibilities first.

OR, You can assume that the list is too long, and there's little basis for ranking by odds so far, so instead do the simplest, easiest and cheapest things first, ie. pedals, rear QR, torque cassette lockring, seat post/saddle clamp, cleats and latches, and similar possibilities.

Odds are about 50/50 that you'll find the problem before having to get in to anything more complex or subtle. If not, having eliminated the easy stuff, you can out o your thinking cap and start taking the bike apart.

Here's another trick I use that might help. I make up a small batch of "diagnostic oil" consisting of less than 10% of a heavy oil dissolved in a volatile solvent like naphtha. I apply to places of interest, one at a time and see if I find one where it makes a difference. The thin oil wicks in quickly and deeply and may cure the clicking for a short while. However you'll know where to put your efforts.

The key is to only tread on area at a time, and ride in between. If you treat too many places and the click goes away, you still won't know where it was.
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Old 09-30-16, 05:33 PM
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Update: Just had the LBS take off, lube and replace the pedals. They also took out the seatpost and greased it. Short ride and up a big enough hill and same noise.

So far ... it is not the BB, seatpost or pedals - unless my cleats just suddenly started something - but the LBS looked at them and discounted that too.

Larry
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Old 09-16-20, 06:23 AM
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Same problem, no solution yet

Originally Posted by gohabsgo
Update: Just had the LBS take off, lube and replace the pedals. They also took out the seatpost and greased it. Short ride and up a big enough hill and same noise.

So far ... it is not the BB, seatpost or pedals - unless my cleats just suddenly started something - but the LBS looked at them and discounted that too.

Larry
I can hear clicking when I pedal (standing) up a hill.
4 year-old bike, new pedals, just changed the bb, still hearing the noise.

After he pushed the pedals really hard to see where the noise was coming, mechanic says the frame might have a fissure/small crack.
After this, the noise is even more audible. The crack might have expanded!?

I'm still not sure it's a fissure and am looking for a solution.

Any updates on yours?
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Old 09-16-20, 08:19 AM
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on one of my steel bikes there was a clicking noise that was caused by a crack in the chain stay.
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Old 09-16-20, 08:29 AM
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Originally Posted by rm -rf
my rear quick release made the same noise. It only happened when pushing hard on the pedals. I was so sure it was the bottom bracket!

I cleaned the external cam on the quick release, wiped the frame where it clamped, and tightened the clamp a little more than i did originally. Fixed. I have to do this every couple of months.
this

and frankly, I'm surprised the LBS didn't check this first.
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Old 09-16-20, 06:48 PM
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Had a persistent clicking on my Giant Defy when I was out of the saddle. Did all the usual things but it was still there. Put a drop of dry lube on the spoke crosses and voila, no more clicking. Might be your problem too.
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Old 09-16-20, 08:30 PM
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Only instances I have had of clicking are ungreased spindle at the bearing interface in the BB30 bottom bracket (binds then slightly slips, causing clicking), and crossing of spokes. The former was more of a light click. I took it to the local LBS a couple of times - it only got worse - before I Ifigured out they were not greasing the spindle when replacing it.

Most other noises are creaks.
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Old 09-17-20, 07:23 AM
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There are other threads here where the clicking noise started and was solved this year. Since this thread is four years old with no solution, it might be a poor choice for reading.
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Old 09-17-20, 10:07 AM
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shoes laces, cable tip catching on something [shoe], jockey wheel.
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Old 06-08-23, 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Nisiparoshu
I can hear clicking when I pedal (standing) up a hill.
4 year-old bike, new pedals, just changed the bb, still hearing the noise.

After he pushed the pedals really hard to see where the noise was coming, mechanic says the frame might have a fissure/small crack.
After this, the noise is even more audible. The crack might have expanded!?

I'm still not sure it's a fissure and am looking for a solution.

Any updates on yours?
Probably not relevant any longer but I recall that the thing that corrected the noise was a loose QR. After tightening that really good, the sounds disappeared.
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Old 06-08-23, 12:47 PM
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Much easier to diagnose with the bike on a stand where you can turn the pedals by hand and feel any resistance or vibrations.

When replacing pedal bearings it is the only way I have been able to determine when the amount of tightness was barely enough as too tight shortens the life of the pedal bearing races.
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Old 06-08-23, 12:56 PM
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I had a creaky BB30 BB on my new Cannondale Synapse a few years ago.
I tried everything with the BB30 brgs. Removal, re-installation, and using a special sealant. I spent a lot of time with the BB, and even contacted Cannondale, but the problem continued.
When I removed the chainrings from the crank, cleaned, lightly sanded the matting surfaces, greased and re-installed them the creaking disappeared; I used loctite 202, and torqued them to specs.
Whenever the creaking re-appears which happens after a year or two I follow the same procedure to eliminate the creaking. This procedure is always successful.
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Old 06-08-23, 01:30 PM
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Originally Posted by gohabsgo
Probably not relevant any longer but I recall that the thing that corrected the noise was a loose QR. After tightening that really good, the sounds disappeared.
I always enjoy a happy ending to these things.
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Old 06-09-23, 06:37 AM
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Originally Posted by gohabsgo
Probably not relevant any longer but I recall that the thing that corrected the noise was a loose QR. After tightening that really good, the sounds disappeared.
hey, thanks for the reply. I actually went at the time to another service and they cleaned the QRs really well and then the sound disappeared and haven't come back to this day.
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