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Dreaded mystery noise - help please!!!

Old 07-16-19, 09:19 AM
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Insomnium_75
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Dreaded mystery noise - help please!!!

I'm hoping one of the good people on here will give me some ideas of how to proceed with rooting out the problem.....

The noise:


A "tick" sound when pedalling coming from bottom bracket area, one or two ticks with each revolution of the pedals.
Seems to happen when pressure is applied to the left pedal.
The noise gets slightly louder when more pedal pressure is applied and occurs in or out of the saddle.


Diagnosis attempts:

- Pedals - swapped for a spare set, threads greased and reattached.
- Botton Bracket - Press fit bearing repacked with grease whilst in situ. Wheels MF BB is less than one year old.
- Seatpost/Saddle - both swapped from other bike to test. Orignal seatpost and saddle contact points greased and reattached.
- Water bottle cage nuts - Removed, cleaned, regreased, reattached.
- QR skewers and frame dropouts - Removed, cleaned, regreased, reattached.
- Chainring bolts - Removed, cleaned, regreased, reattached.
- Rear derailleur hanger - Removed, cleaned, regreased, reattached.
- Mudguard fixing bolts - Removed, cleaned, regreased, reattached.
- Frame - checked for hairline cracks - cannot find any evidence of cracks.
- Cleats - replaced, bolts greased.
- Headset checked for play


I think that about covers everthing I've tried so far.

Can anybody suggest anything else I might've missed that would potentially be responsible for a sound as described please?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 07-16-19, 09:30 AM
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One thing that I don't see on the list is checking that the left crank arm is securely attached.
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Old 07-16-19, 09:46 AM
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What are you wearing (that might make a noise)? Could be the zip on your jersey, jacket, or gillet. Even a shoelace.
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Old 07-16-19, 09:49 AM
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Do you feel it too? or just hear it? Once I had a tick sound that seemed to come from somewhere down there in the crank area. Exclusively heard only when I put some effort into pedaling. Months later, I realized it was the metal tag on the zipper of my seat bag hitting the back stay.
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Old 07-16-19, 09:51 AM
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Can you tell us more about the pressfit bb? What kind of frame do you have?
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Old 07-16-19, 11:00 AM
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Originally Posted by AeroGut View Post
One thing that I don't see on the list is checking that the left crank arm is securely attached.
The crank arm and spindle were attached as one when I removed the to access the BB bearings.
The left crank is hollow, with a grey spacer directly between it and the frame/BB.
There didn't appear to be any obvious way to detach the crank arm from the spindle.
There certainly wasn't any play in it.


I did take a picture to illustrate, but I haven't posted on the forum enough yet to be able to upload pictures.
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Old 07-16-19, 11:03 AM
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Could be a bearing. I had one making noise and fixed it by removing it, popping out both seals, cleaning it thoroughly and regreasing. Saved about $45. Simply adding grease in situ didn't do it.

And here I thought I'd get through the day without using any Latin phrases.
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Old 07-16-19, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by masi61 View Post
Can you tell us more about the pressfit bb? What kind of frame do you have?
frame is alloy,

BB is Wheels Manufacturing PF BB30:
WMPF30THDBB PRESSFIT - these BB's thread together in the middle.
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Old 07-16-19, 11:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
Do you feel it too? or just hear it? Once I had a tick sound that seemed to come from somewhere down there in the crank area. Exclusively heard only when I put some effort into pedaling. Months later, I realized it was the metal tag on the zipper of my seat bag hitting the back stay.
I've checked everthing I wear and even zips attached to the saddle bag. My shoes have velcro straps so that rules them out.
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Old 07-16-19, 11:13 AM
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Originally Posted by andrewclaus View Post
Could be a bearing. I had one making noise and fixed it by removing it, popping out both seals, cleaning it thoroughly and regreasing. Saved about $45. Simply adding grease in situ didn't do it.

And here I thought I'd get through the day without using any Latin phrases.
I popped the seals, cleaned and then regreased after inspecting the bearings for damage.
Granted not as easy to clean whilst still in the bike, but the manufacturer advise the bearings can be serviced without removal.
If I wanted to remove and replace them, then I'd have to buy the bearing extractor and associated tool from WM - a cost I'm trying to avoid at this point.
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Old 07-16-19, 11:22 AM
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I could feel a 'catch' in mine on the bike, and couldn't get it cleaned out well enough on the bike. I made the tools--an extractor from a piece of EMT sawed in quarters (a small headset tool), and a press from sockets and all-thread.
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Old 07-16-19, 11:25 AM
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Such a click on one of my bikes turned out to be a micro crack in the crank arm. I realised this as my body rudely met the road when it finally cracked completely.
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Old 07-16-19, 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by ridelikeaturtle View Post
What are you wearing (that might make a noise)? Could be the zip on your jersey, jacket, or gillet. Even a shoelace.
I was thinking shoelace tip. I...cough...know a guy who spent a good hour running down a double tick noise once that turned out to be his left shoe lace.


-Matt
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Old 07-16-19, 12:17 PM
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Velcro shoes rule out the show laces. Well, my "friend's" shoes had velcro, but also had laces.


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Old 07-16-19, 01:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Insomnium_75 View Post
The crank arm and spindle were attached as one when I removed the to access the BB bearings.
The left crank is hollow, with a grey spacer directly between it and the frame/BB.
There didn't appear to be any obvious way to detach the crank arm from the spindle.
There certainly wasn't any play in it.
So when you say “left”, do you mean the side where the chain is (ie drive side)? That’s usually the side that is permanently attached to a hollow spindle, but I assumed you meant the one on the rider’s left when pedaling, which is the nondrive side and usually is the one that detached from the spindle.
In any case, it sounds like you have confirmed that the crank arms are tight, though not feeling any play by hand is different from “doesn’t move under high pedaling force”.

Front derailleur cable ends can also be a culprit, hitting the crank arm as it goes by each time, maybe only when you’re on one of the chainrings and not the other. For me it was the smaller ring.
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Old 07-16-19, 01:48 PM
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Originally Posted by AeroGut View Post
So when you say “left”, do you mean the side where the chain is (ie drive side)? That’s usually the side that is permanently attached to a hollow spindle, but I assumed you meant the one on the rider’s left when pedaling, which is the nondrive side and usually is the one that detached from the spindle.
In any case, it sounds like you have confirmed that the crank arms are tight, though not feeling any play by hand is different from “doesn’t move under high pedaling force”.

Front derailleur cable ends can also be a culprit, hitting the crank arm as it goes by each time, maybe only when you’re on one of the chainrings and not the other. For me it was the smaller ring.

Left side (riders left) is non drive side, crank attached to the hollow spindle. Drive side is a single chain ring (no front derailleur) which slots over the spindle and is tightened with 8mm Allen key.
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Old 07-16-19, 01:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Insomnium_75 View Post
Left side (riders left) is non drive side, crank attached to the hollow spindle. Drive side is a single chain ring (no front derailleur) which slots over the spindle and is tightened with 8mm Allen key.
Got it. I was imagining a hollowtech-type road double or triple crank, not a single. Just ignore everything I said.
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Old 07-16-19, 07:02 PM
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Spokes?
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Old 07-17-19, 03:43 AM
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I recently had some creaking that was from the freehub, even if it sounded like the crank. A few drops of oil and it went away.
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Old 07-17-19, 06:48 AM
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Originally Posted by jadocs View Post
Spokes?
I did check the spokes - forgot to list that
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Old 07-17-19, 06:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Racing Dan View Post
I recently had some creaking that was from the freehub, even if it sounded like the crank. A few drops of oil and it went away.
I was thinking that is the only area I've not checked yet.
I've had freehub issues on other bikes and the sound was more of a "clunk".
The hubs were serviced (as was the whole bike) back in February by my LBS which is why I've not touched them yet.
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Old 07-17-19, 07:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Insomnium_75 View Post
I did check the spokes - forgot to list that
How did you check them? Sometimes you can apply tension to them with your hand and hear a tick. That is the same kind of “ping” noise some describe hearing when applying pressure to the pedals.
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Old 07-18-19, 01:38 AM
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UPDATE:

I've been commuting to work as normal on my bike this week, and the noise has progressivley got worse.
The single "tick" has now progressed to multiple "ticks" and I can feel it through both pedals when minimal pressure is applied.

So, I'm at the point where I'm thinking if the bottom bracket needs to be looked at in greater detail, then I'm going to have take the bike in to my LBS as I have no tools to remove the bearings or the PF shell.

Before I do that though, I would like to investigate the rear hub as a potential cause - as this is the only obvious area I've not checked yet.

Which leads me on to my next set of questions

Cassette removal - the bike has and SRAM XG 1150 11 speed cassette on it.

I only have a Shimano cassette removal tool (used on my other bikes) - will this tool likely fit the SRAM cassette?

As I understand it, SRAM 11 speed freehubs also have an XD driver attached to them - I've never worked with these either.
Are they easy to remove?

Are the bearings in the hub accessible as on "normal" bikes?

Thanks in advance
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Old 07-18-19, 06:50 AM
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Just for spits & giggles, get on the bike, clip in, but stay stationary and lean against a wall or something (a stabilizing friend might be handy here).
Then stand up on the pedals, applying full weight in different positions, but not spinning, and see if you can replicate the sound. If so, that may eliminate some possibilities, plus, the friend can also lean in closer and positively ID the source of the sound.
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Old 07-18-19, 06:55 AM
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Had the same "click" on my previous bike. It about drove me nuts trying to find the problem.

The fix:
Pull the bottom bracket cartridge, wrap the threads in a single layer of Teflon tape, re-install.

I did that, and then rode for three years with no ticking (now my kid is riding it).
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