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Slightest tick/click/pop..when riding, I am going crazy!

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Slightest tick/click/pop..when riding, I am going crazy!

Old 04-27-20, 06:22 AM
  #1  
stampz
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Slightest tick/click/pop..when riding, I am going crazy!

Seriously...I am going to throw the bike in the river! ;-)

So...I have a Specialized Allez Elite which is giving off the faintest clicl/pop/tick on my left when riding (its very quiet...but to me is unbearable). It's not even as loud as the tick of a watch, but it's deafening to me!

Now, please bear with me, I know I sound like a madman, but I am at a loss...I have taken apart the all the usual culprits...pedals, cleats,l tightened saddle, headset, cleaned everything...swapped the pedals completely, rode a test with different shoes and it is still there...I have checked the internal cabling to ensure it isn't rattling...all good...!

Now the thing is, it doesn't sound like any of these normal sounds you would expect...its no a mechanical click or creak...it is the faintest sound, and seems to occur when the left pedal crosses just about 12 o clock...even so, I have now convinced myself it isn't coming from the pedals...I even tried as I say changing the pedals completely, and have just been out in flip flops and its still there!

To my ear it 100% sounds like it is coming from left handlebar end or near the shifter or break...or "inside" the handlebars...I have removed the end caps and rode, still there, tried with brakes pulled on and off...still there...

You can't "feel" the click...the ride is silky smooth, but it is seriously driving me insane...my ear is very sensitive...I can't even have a watch in a drawer in the bedroom or it will keep me awake!.....this is now ruining my riding :-(

Has ANYONE got ANY ideas...? I beg you... :-)

So...the plot thickens

Just been out for a quick 30miles to try to get to the bottom of it...still no joy...however.

It only happens when I am seated AND holding the handlebars. Let go of the handlebars..stops..stand and pedal...stops. I stopped a couple of times and tweaked the saddle position, I even stopped and undid all the bolts and loosened and retightened the handlebars. No joy :-(

I appreciate everyones comments, but I really dont think it is anything rubbing, or BB or derailer, it just isn't that kind of sound. The only thing I can compare it too is that air bubble pop you get when you crack your fingers, but much fainter...this is ridiculous I know!

Last edited by stampz; 04-27-20 at 12:45 PM. Reason: Updated information
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Old 04-27-20, 06:30 AM
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I am not one of the more advanced mechanics on this forum, but I will get the ball rolling so others can build on my theory.

Assuming it is NOT your bottom bracket, which can create a "ticking" sound when it is going bad, the chances are it's something simple, like the components of your saddle (parts you can't tighten) creaking, or your foot catching something on the frame every time you reach a certain point in your pedal revolution.

Just about every time I've had mystery sounds like this (and I am as sensitive to annoying sounds as you are), it has turned out to be something very minor that, once identified, could be fixed in a minute or two.

Good luck!
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Old 04-27-20, 06:31 AM
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Jeeze, it sounds like you’ve gone over the bike pretty comprehensively, too.
Not being flip or anything but this reminds me of “The Tell Tale Heart” by Edgar Allen Poe...
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Old 04-27-20, 07:30 AM
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How is your front shift cable routed? I had that once and it turned out to be the shift cable brushing the crank arm.
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Old 04-27-20, 09:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
How is your front shift cable routed? I had that once and it turned out to be the shift cable brushing the crank arm.
This is a subtle one, and it may change/disappear with front derailleur position.
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Old 04-27-20, 09:42 AM
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Other places to look - sometimes presta valves can tick against the rim, you can try remounting the tire or try applying the small nut that no one uses to the valve stem.

I once had a click that drove me crazy - ended up being my Flite saddle. A drop of chain lube where the front of the rails went into the shell every couple months kept that one quiet, but it took forever to find.
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Old 04-27-20, 10:03 AM
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Originally Posted by stampz View Post
To my ear it 100% sounds like it is coming from left handlebar end or near the shifter or break...or "inside" the handlebars...I have removed the end caps and rode, still there, tried with brakes pulled on and off...still there...
Both of my bikes with Shimano Tiagra levers and drop bars started making a rattling sound that matches the quote above. One is 13 years old and never did this before, the other is less than a year old. I tore into the old one and removed a plastic nut locker that seemed loose, but still the noise persisted. And bizarrely, it seems to get worse at higher speed or if the wind is strong, as if air speed causes it.

Then we finally got a couple warm days, about sixty degrees, and voila, the rattling is gone. Too soon to be sure, but I think it's temperature dependent. I don't usually ride much below 55 degrees F, but this spring have been riding if it's high 40s or above. Could your noise be related to cooler temperature?
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Old 04-27-20, 10:06 AM
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Have you tried swapping knees?
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Old 04-27-20, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by stampz View Post
...it is the faintest sound, and seems to occur when the left pedal crosses just about 12 o clock...even so, I have now convinced myself it isn't coming from the pedals...I even tried as I say changing the pedals completely, and have just been out in flip flops and its still there!

To my ear it 100% sounds like it is coming from left handlebar end or near the shifter or break...or "inside" the handlebars...
I had a tick when the NDS pedal hit 1 o'clock on a new bike and the mechanic took the crank off and regreased/retorqued the chainring bolts and the crank and maybe the external BB as well and that fixed it. In my case it sounded like it was coming from the crank area, but it was very faint and very consistently coming when the left crank hit 1 o'clock.
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Old 04-27-20, 12:41 PM
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So...the plot thickens

Just been out for a quick 30miles to try to get to the bottom of it...still no joy...however.

It only happens when I am seated AND holding the handlebars. Let go of the handlebars..stops..stand and pedal...stops. I stopped a couple of times and tweaked the saddle position, I even stopped and undid all the bolts and loosened and retightened the handlebars. No joy :-(

I appreciate everyones comments, but I really dont think it is anything rubbing, or BB or derailer, it just isn't that kind of sound. The only thing I can compare it too is that air bubble pop you get when you crack your fingers, but much fainter...this is ridiculous I know!
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Old 04-27-20, 12:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
How is your front shift cable routed? I had that once and it turned out to be the shift cable brushing the crank arm.
THIS....

The free end of the Front Derailleur cable was brushing the crank arm as it passed.

I bent the crank arm to miss it ! 8-)

Are you sure the click is in time with the crank position.
Is the timing of the click effected by gear selection?
Can you single leg pedal and attempt to see it it is a pedal?

Last edited by Barry2; 04-27-20 at 12:50 PM. Reason: Getting serious
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Old 04-27-20, 12:50 PM
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Originally Posted by stampz View Post
So...the plot thickens

Just been out for a quick 30miles to try to get to the bottom of it...still no joy...however.

It only happens when I am seated AND holding the handlebars. Let go of the handlebars..stops..stand and pedal...stops. I stopped a couple of times and tweaked the saddle position, I even stopped and undid all the bolts and loosened and retightened the handlebars. No joy :-(

I appreciate everyones comments, but I really dont think it is anything rubbing, or BB or derailer, it just isn't that kind of sound. The only thing I can compare it too is that air bubble pop you get when you crack your fingers, but much fainter...this is ridiculous I know!
Could be the saddle itself.
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Old 04-27-20, 02:18 PM
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You might try putting a thin coating of grease on the handlebar clamp area and on the bolts, as well as the saddle rails to see if it stops. I'd do one at a time, so if it does work, you'll know whether it was the saddle or bars. I know grease in those areas might not sound right, but neither does a "click".
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Old 04-27-20, 02:33 PM
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Every time I have had a noise that went away when I was out of the saddle it turned out to be either the saddle or the seat post.
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Old 04-27-20, 02:49 PM
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1. Remove all bolts from the stem. 2. Grease them. 3. Grease the surface between the stem and fork. 4. Grease the surface between the handlebar and stem.

5. Remove and grease chainring bolts.

Remove saddle from seatpost and seatpost from bike. 6. Grease the surface between seatpost and frame. 7. Grease the seat's rails. 8. Grease the bolts in the seatpost.

Remove cleats from shoes, if any. 9. Grease surface between cleat and shoe. 10. Grease bolts fixing cleats to shoe.

I know you've done pedals, but do it again. Remove pedals. 11. Grease threads, and install pedals tightly. This is the most common source of this sort of noise.
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Old 04-27-20, 02:50 PM
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Also, could it be the place where the seat rails hits the platform of the seat? I had a seat that squeaked there. I oiled it but the problem never went away. My spouse rides that saddle now, and she loves it. Neither of us notices the noise with the seat on her bike.
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Old 04-27-20, 05:12 PM
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Tighten the brake levers on the bars.
Tighten the expander plug in the steerer.
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Old 04-27-20, 05:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Ferrouscious View Post
Tighten the expander plug in the steerer.
Loosen the expander plug in the steerer. Even better: remove the top cap entirely to completely unload the expander plug. Ride it and see whether it clicks.
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Old 04-27-20, 05:36 PM
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Is the noise there on all chainrings? Look at each tooth of your chainrings for any nicks the chain could click on.
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Old 04-27-20, 05:38 PM
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Originally Posted by AndreyT View Post
Loosen the expander plug in the steerer. Even better: remove the top cap entirely to completely unload the expander plug. Ride it and see whether it clicks.
It's a carbon steerer. Bad idea.
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Old 04-27-20, 06:05 PM
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If there are multiple spacers in the head set they may be giving you a slight noise because they are loose. Remove the top cap and the spacers, lubricate them with grease and reassemble. Loosen the clamp on the steerer and reset the headset pre-load, and reassemble. This should fix any clicking noises from the stem/fork juncture. HTH, MH
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Old 04-28-20, 01:53 AM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
Also, could it be the place where the seat rails hits the platform of the seat? I had a seat that squeaked there. I oiled it but the problem never went away. My spouse rides that saddle now, and she loves it. Neither of us notices the noise with the seat on her bike.
Great thanks!

I do have another bike (naturally), its a Boardmam, so I might take the saddle from that and swap and see what happens
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Old 04-28-20, 02:33 AM
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Throwing some random ideas:
Shoelace could be hitting the crank (not very likely, but have had that happen - hollow frame tubes are extraordinarily good at transferring sound).
Bolts on the rear side of the frame might be producing the sound. Loosening those, putting some grease (or, better, some anti-seize), then re-tightening them could do the trick. This is more likely if the bike has a rear rack mounted, otherwise not so much.
Finally - as some have mentioned, saddle clamp (if it can be removed), and seatpost, as well as saddle to seatpost interface and bolts could all do with some paste (for carbon frames use the carbon mounting paste, for metals use anti seize, or grease).

My method of finding and eliminating strange bicycle sounds. More general (generic), but tried to put it as methodically and systematically as possible.
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Old 04-28-20, 03:57 AM
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A loose spoke will tick. Might be one on the front wheel that ticks when you put your hands on the bars and add weight to the front. A loose wheel skewer will tick as well, especially on the rear wheel.
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Old 04-28-20, 05:21 AM
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I think I am going to pull out what little hair I have left...I think I have found the problem!

Have got the bike on the trubo trainer and stripped everything off one by one, whilst making my wife crouch on the floor listening at each stage.

Would you believe it...I think its the left pedal!!!!! However, it only seems to happen when I tighten the pedal...have undone it a few turns and it seems to be ok.

Each time I have removed, cleaned and greased, I have always done back up tight...seriously I am fuming!

Now to resemble piece by piece and see what happens
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