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Why did this recur? Claris-to-Ultegra upgrade fails to fix clicking right pedal.

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Why did this recur? Claris-to-Ultegra upgrade fails to fix clicking right pedal.

Old 05-25-22, 08:39 PM
  #1  
tajimirich
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Why did this recur? Claris-to-Ultegra upgrade fails to fix clicking right pedal.

I've posted about this before, but I really just want to get a definitive diagnosis to this.

I've made the change to a steel frame, photos to come, but my previous frame was aluminium and it really couldn't handle my weight and power.

I believe I was warping the frame when I was putting power into it, anything more internal or technical than that I cannot be sure of, but the result has been an a-rhythmic clicking and clunking in the right pedal whenever I was putting extra power into a stroke - going up slopes, accelerating, standing to do either - which generally quietened down when I was cruising.

I replaced all components with upgraded parts - generally Claris/Tiagra to 105/Ultegra. I have, a believe, a dura-ace bracket. I bought a new pair of Shimano flat pedals (PD-GR500), too, though I believe the original ones were not broken.

For a week or so after the upgrade, my bike ran smooth and silent. But now the click is back - what's more, it's louder, happens more consistently, and is actually more clicks than before. However, again, it ONLY HAPPENS when I'm putting extra power into a stroke, so it's not strictly mechanical and it's infuriatingly hard to reproduce in the shop.

You don't just hear the clicks, you also feel them in the pedal. It's annoying, it's embarrassing, it's loud like a bucket of bolts, it's ******g infuriating.

So what is wrong? Have I buggered up a dura-ace bracket in a matter of weeks? Has my very experienced bike shop guy consistently failed - over many attempts - to tighten my crank, etc, sufficiently? Has my brand new Shimano pedal set died in a few weeks purely because I'm a "Clydesdale"? Is it just because my aluminium frame folds like a concertina whenever I put power into it and starts grinding against itself all over the place?

Phew, wall of text, thanks to anyone who can give me a definitive answer!!

Last edited by cb400bill; 05-26-22 at 08:31 AM. Reason: Please do not change the spelling of censored words
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Old 05-25-22, 08:51 PM
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Without our doing the test riding and work how can we tell you what your bike has going on. We can tell you about out other experiences but none that ate definitely what your bike is doing.

Clicks and such can be sourced from other that what we think. Seat post in frame, seat rails in post clamp. bars in stem, stem in/on fork, fork in headset, spokes in rims or against crossing spokes are only some of the other possibilities. Of course if the original BB and crank was installed by the same person who did the recent "up grades" than the same install issues might have been repeated.

What DA BB did you install. There was an early version of the Hollowtech which had a slide on the axle "cone" which was known for this type of problem. Andy
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Old 05-25-22, 09:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart View Post
Without our doing the test riding and work how can we tell you what your bike has going on. We can tell you about out other experiences but none that ate definitely what your bike is doing.

Clicks and such can be sourced from other that what we think. Seat post in frame, seat rails in post clamp. bars in stem, stem in/on fork, fork in headset, spokes in rims or against crossing spokes are only some of the other possibilities. Of course if the original BB and crank was installed by the same person who did the recent "up grades" than the same install issues might have been repeated.

What DA BB did you install. There was an early version of the Hollowtech which had a slide on the axle "cone" which was known for this type of problem. Andy
Since the sensation is isolated to the right pedal almost entirely - a few sounds around the front derailleur too, but that's probably a seperate issue - I feel like I can locate the problem around that part of the bike
​​bike. Also, since it only occurs when I'm putting extra force into the right pedal (my dominant side, perhaps unconsciously a-symmetrical power distribution) I feel like it might have something to do with warping.

I don't know about the bracket, it might be older but surely even 2013 (blind guess) dura ace brackets were worth the money then and able to withstand elevated power throughout?

Your speculation about the bike shop owner might be valid, he's a former pro and has had the shop for 30 years, but he's Japanese and might not be used to the requirements of a western physiology - they never give enough anaesthetic at dentists here, either...

The last time something like this happened to me it was quickly fixed by applying a new pedal, but since that hasn't really helped this time I'm at a loss.

... And, well, feel free to come to Japan and wheel around on the bike a bit for a better diagnosis lol, sorry for being snide but I haven't got much scope for communicating this issue outside of text, so text is what I've used.
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Old 05-25-22, 10:03 PM
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I recently replaced my bottom bracket to get rid of a click. Fail. It turned out I didn't have enough grease on the threads of the pedal spindle, where it threads into the crank arm. I was so sure that I was right about the bottom bracket, I didn't bother to test the alternative first, even though it would have been far easier and quicker.

My Ultegra bottom bracket needs replacing every 2 or 3 years, and I never expose it to water. The "Dura" in Dura Ace is a misnomer. I didn't realize they made a Dura Ace level bottom bracket, but the most expensive lightest weight parts are very often the least robust.

You can never be certain about the origin of an annoying sound.

By the way, it isn't that unusual to have to re-tighten crank arm bolts, or even re-seat a crank arm, one or more times when it is new. (Even more so with square taper.)
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Old 05-25-22, 10:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Polaris OBark View Post
I recently replaced my bottom bracket to get rid of a click. Fail. It turned out I didn't have enough grease on the threads of the pedal spindle, where it threads into the crank arm. I was so sure that I was right about the bottom bracket, I didn't bother to test the alternative first, even though it would have been far easier and quicker.

My Ultegra bottom bracket needs replacing every 2 or 3 years, and I never expose it to water. The "Dura" in Dura Ace is a misnomer. I didn't realize they made a Dura Ace level bottom bracket, but the most expensive lightest weight parts are very often the least robust.

You can never be certain about the origin of an annoying sound.

By the way, it isn't that unusual to have to re-tighten crank arm bolts, or even re-seat a crank arm, one or more times when it is new. (Even more so with square taper.)
Thanks mate, that's actually great input, I'll look into the grease levels, these pedals and cranks will go on my new frame too so I'll try to get them squared away...

I feel like there's a huge clue in the fact that the clicks and clacks depend solely on how much pressure I'm putting on my right pedal, and go away when I'm not putting elevated power through it.. seems like the biggest clue
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Old 05-25-22, 10:29 PM
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You're not crossed chained, are you? In some gear combinations, the extra frame flex might just be enough for the chain to rub the shifting pickups on the inboard side of the big ring.

On another note: How's the length of your shoelaces? Some cadences may allow the bow tie to float & slam down on the top of your shoe...Ask me how I know.
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Old 05-25-22, 10:53 PM
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Originally Posted by base2 View Post
You're not crossed chained, are you? In some gear combinations, the extra frame flex might just be enough for the chain to rub the shifting pickups on the inboard side of the big ring.

On another note: How's the length of your shoelaces? Some cadences may allow the bow tie to float & slam down on the top of your shoe...Ask me how I know.
Thanks for the questions

Chain is always aligned as well as I can manage.. my cycling shoes at the moment are actually laceless haha
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Old 05-26-22, 05:07 AM
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I had a similar tick sound only in the right pedal/crank when pressure was applied. It was the DA bottom bracket. I swapped it out..silence.
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Old 05-26-22, 06:36 AM
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Originally Posted by tajimirich View Post
but my previous frame was aluminium and it really couldn't handle my weight and power.
You lost me right there.
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Old 05-26-22, 07:37 AM
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You mentioned that you're a Clydesdale so it would be helpful to know exactly how much you weigh. Some lightweight road parts and frame tubing/designs can't handle very heavy riders.
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Old 05-26-22, 07:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
You lost me right there.

+1! This talk about stuff not being able to handle a rider's power is, IMO, rubbish. If installed well and if not abused even base level parts work pretty darn well. Maybe not a light weight or with the "better" materials or their finishing grade is lesser. Some high end (oh the irony) parts are sort of rider weight limited... how much does the OP weigh? How much real power (and I use this term properly here) can the OP place on the pedals? Andy
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Old 05-26-22, 07:55 AM
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i've put down some decent mashing in my heavier (heaviest) days on aluminum, carbon, & steel frames. What often failed were the spokes/rims.

With that, I would give BOA (no laces) clipless a try. That would remove the possibility of a current shoe/pedal issue. That's if you really are set on it being at the crank area & everything is currently installed properly.
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Old 05-26-22, 08:28 AM
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Just accept the fact that bicycles aren't supposed to be quiet. They are mechanical things using a chain and cogs. Along with a bunch of other stuff that is not made anywhere near the precision of a high dollar swiss watch.

Chasing noise by imagining the cause and replacing stuff can be expensive. Just wait until the bike shows you exactly what was making the noise.
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Old 05-26-22, 08:32 AM
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My Surly was getting pretty noisy this spring, I tightened my Brooks saddle, cleaned and lubed everything and it was perfect. For about 10 miles. It makes me crazy and I cannot help it.
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Old 05-26-22, 09:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart View Post
+1! This talk about stuff not being able to handle a rider's power is, IMO, rubbish.
Might be a 1980s Vitus...
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Old 05-26-22, 09:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
Just accept the fact that bicycles aren't supposed to be quiet. They are mechanical things using a chain and cogs.
They aren't supposed to click.

If I were the OP, I'd just swap pedals to at least eliminate that supposed cause.
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Old 05-26-22, 09:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
You lost me right there.
Do you think I'm signalling or something?

Look mate I only know what I'm told. I asked my bike shop dude why my chain broke the first time i pedaled the bike, why my chain ring warped, he said it was because the parts were Claris and not strong enough for my size.... It was the cheapest Giant road bike I had been able to find, a Contend. When the chain ring he replaced it with also warped, he dug a dura ace ring out of his used parts storage. I asked him why my bike made certain sounds at certain times, he told me that I warped the aluminium frame to and fro when I was really putting a lot of power into the pedals and manhandling it with my arms.

I try to use the right gears, make sure my gear is always light for push off or else take it very slow, I learned the lesson about that when I snapped my rear hanger thing one time. My first road style bike was a single speed steel frame bike and it was a lot tougher, so I started off with pretty rough habits on this aluminium one... I'm not saying that's a good thing.

Look, if my word choice indicates that I'm a dick my only defence is I only know what I'm told by the authorities in my sphere.
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Old 05-26-22, 09:29 AM
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Originally Posted by smd4 View Post
They aren't supposed to click.

If I were the OP, I'd just swap pedals to at least eliminate that supposed cause.
Sadly I swapped the pedals once and the sound quickly came back. I mention the pedal make in my op.
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Old 05-26-22, 09:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Crankycrank View Post
You mentioned that you're a Clydesdale so it would be helpful to know exactly how much you weigh. Some lightweight road parts and frame tubing/designs can't handle very heavy riders.
I'm in the mid 90 kgs, I vacillate, 183cm, I played intense futsal 4 days a week and sprinted on my bikes all through my twenties and my rugby gene legs just put out a lot of oomph, I enjoy accelerating but I only do it in favourable conditions. I'm not saying I'm an Adonis, and I got the term Clydesdale from here, I'm sure if we measured my wattage it wouldn't be anything special, but it bent a lot of entry level components.
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Old 05-26-22, 09:35 AM
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Originally Posted by tajimirich View Post
Do you think I'm signalling or something?

Look mate I only know what I'm told. I asked my bike shop dude why my chain broke the first time i pedaled the bike, why my chain ring warped, he said it was because the parts were Claris and not strong enough for my size.... It was the cheapest Giant road bike I had been able to find, a Contend. When the chain ring he replaced it with also warped, he dug a dura ace ring out of his used parts storage. I asked him why my bike made certain sounds at certain times, he told me that I warped the aluminium frame to and fro when I was really putting a lot of power into the pedals and manhandling it with my arms.

I try to use the right gears, make sure my gear is always light for push off or else take it very slow, I learned the lesson about that when I snapped my rear hanger thing one time. My first road style bike was a single speed steel frame bike and it was a lot tougher, so I started off with pretty rough habits on this aluminium one... I'm not saying that's a good thing.

Look, if my word choice indicates that I'm a dick my only defence is I only know what I'm told by the authorities in my sphere.
How much do you weigh?
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Old 05-26-22, 09:35 AM
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Details Details Details.

Example... In days of old it was not unusual to have two piece crankset. The drive side crank arm was not one piece with the spider. Often a source of a click/creak.

So
What is the bike, both old and new?
What equipment is on the bike?
What did you move from the aluminum bike to the steel bike?
Does it make the noise when seated, standing, or both?
Does it click in all gears?
Can you make it click when pedaling with one foot? If so which, or both?
Does it click if you change shoes?

All the best

Barry
​​​​​​​
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Old 05-26-22, 09:35 AM
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Originally Posted by fishboat View Post
I had a similar tick sound only in the right pedal/crank when pressure was applied. It was the DA bottom bracket. I swapped it out..silence.
Good tip, I'll see if I can research a rock solid bottom bracket.
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Old 05-26-22, 09:37 AM
  #23  
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Can't say I've ever seen any parts bent from larger riders, let alone a snapped derailleur hanger. Not sure how a chainring would have gotten bent, for instance. But that's just me. Maybe parts in the 80s/90s were stronger?
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Old 05-26-22, 09:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Barry2 View Post
Details Details Details.

Example... In days of old it was not unusual to have two piece crankset. The drive side crank arm was not one piece with the spider. Often a source of a click/creak.

So
What is the bike, both old and new?
What equipment is on the bike?
What did you move from the aluminum bike to the steel bike?
Does it make the noise when seated, standing, or both?
Does it click in all gears?
Can you make it click when pedaling with one foot? If so which, or both?
Does it click if you change shoes?

All the best

Barry
Great questions.

My aluminium is in the bike shop, it's getting cannibalized for parts and I'll never ride it again. Next week I'll be riding the next bike out of that shop. I just want to do my old bike the respect of getting to the bottom of whatever ailed it, heh..

Your questions, with regards to my bike, in its final deployment before it went in to the shop:
1) old bike was a giant contend 2020 model. It came with Claris parts, but all of them have since been replaced and the bike went from 10s to 11s. The new bike isn't a bike, just a frame - Shogun Ninja 1989, Tange Prestige pipes with double butting, I believe - it'll retain almost all of the parts excepting new wheels - campagnolo Zonda c17 - and retro style thinner handlebars.
2) I can't name all of the equipment off the top of my head, I know the groupsets used but less sure about which parts are which make, I think the crank is ultegra, the chain ring shield thing is Ultegra, the bottom bracket is dura ace, the pedals are flat Shimano pedals I mentioned in my op. I stop here because, as I'll mention with your later questions, I think the problem was in this area.
3) it makes the noise whether I put power into the right pedal, seated or standing. If I'm already rolling and only apply enough force to keep it turning over the sound isn't audible, but as soon as I climb or accelerate the noise occurs.
4) any gear elicits the click, so long as I'm putting power into the right pedal.
5) as I've mentioned, it only happens through the right pedal. If I consciously only put power into the left pedal, the bike is silent.
6) the click seems to have no connection to my shoes, I don't use cycling cleats.

I tend to pedal on the balls of my feet, I like that it multiplies my force, anyway I've been doing it since I first rode a bike, I do think it probably puts a lot of sheering force on the pedals when I'm really fighting them.
​​​​​​
​​​​After I replaced all of the chain rings, pedals, cranks, etc, the bike ran silent for about a month, but by the time I said goodbye to it the clicking was back, and indeed much more intense.
​​​​
​​​​​​​I have Strava and a wahoo roam, not sure if I can use them to record my power
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Old 05-26-22, 09:50 AM
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Originally Posted by smd4 View Post
Can't say I've ever seen any parts bent from larger riders, let alone a snapped derailleur hanger. Not sure how a chainring would have gotten bent, for instance. But that's just me. Maybe parts in the 80s/90s were stronger?
It was a first for me too, we wondered why my chain was caressing my derailleur rhythmically and noticed it was warped like a floppy pancake lol, the replacement ring lasted a good 18 months but eventually it too bent
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