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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    somewhere between the Red & Rio Grande
    Posts
    5,310

    Click, click, click.... Bottom Bracket?

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    My bike started a very obnoxious rythmic clicking at mile 63 of our century today. Everytime I turned the pedal (when my foot was down) there it was. I want seem borderline intelligent when the wrenches are talking to me, it is quite possibly the bottom bracket right?
    Amanda

    2011 Specialized Epic Comp 29er | Specialized Phenom | "Marie Laveau"
    2007 Cannondale Synapse Carbon Road | Selle Italia Lady Gel Flow | "Miranda"


    You don't have to be great to get started, but you do have to get started to be great. -Lee J. Colan

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    40
    I had this exact problem about 6-7 months ago. The bike only clicked when I was pedaling, didn't matter what gear I was in, just click-click-click 80x/min on every ride. I ignored it for a week or two because I had been meaning to get a tune-up anyway, but then I did a 60-mile charity ride where the click was driving me batty by mile 30. I gave in and checked with the mechanic at one of the rest stops. After eliminating everything else on the bike (not even sure he heard the clicking while it was on the stand--I couldn't hear it from where I was standing), he did think it was the bottom bracket. Since there was not much he could do in the field, I just rode the rest of the route and took it to my LBS the next day for a tune-up and asked them to clean and re-pack the bottom bracket also (the field guy's advice).

    They did that, I took it home, and it was still clicking. Through some trial and error, I figured out that when I unclipped one foot, the click was either much quieter or went away completely. Also, it didn't click at all when I rode in the rain. That made me think it was the pedals (SPDs) or the cleats, and it probably wasn't the cleats because I tried with two different pairs of shoes. This went on for another few days until I scheduled another service appointment. On that one, they figured out that it was indeed the pedals that were causing the click. I replaced them, and the problem went away.

    So, yeah, it may well be the bottom bracket, but it wouldn't be a bad idea to check your pedals too.
    Last edited by amelia05; 09-03-2007 at 07:51 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    2,559
    Pedals are a definite possibility. Try pedaling by putting pressure with only one foot for a few strokes and see if the noise goes away. Or swap out the pedals.
    Oil is good, grease is better.

    2007 Peter Mooney w/S&S couplers/Terry Butterfly
    1993 Bridgestone MB-3/Avocet O2 Air 40W
    1980 Columbus Frame with 1970 Campy parts
    1954 Raleigh 3-speed/Brooks B72

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Hillsboro, OR
    Posts
    5,050
    I had the same issue. LBS thought it was the cranks so they tightened them and sent me on my way. I swear that the clicking got worse!

    Then I ordered a new bottom bracket and replaced it...clicking remained.

    I switched pedals with my husband, and sure enough, that was it. I was ready to buy new pedals when DH suggest I re-grease mine. It worked! So I put my old bottom bracket back on it (sold the new one on ebay), put the regreased pedals back, and made a mental note to try the easiest solutions FIRST next time.

    Moral of the story: check the pedals, first. It might be an easy fix.
    My new non-farm blog: Finding Freedom

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Flagstaff AZ
    Posts
    2,521
    There can be a lot of clicks caused when you are pedaling, so look for really obvious (Or not so obvious things). My old bike used to click and I thought it was the loose stuff rattling around in my pedals (they did this from the first day I bought them so I kind of ignored the click).

    Then one day I was looking closely at the bike and realized that the little end cap on the cable for the derailleur was hitting the pedal arm every time I pedaled!

    Yikes, talk about obvious!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Limbo
    Posts
    8,783
    Quote Originally Posted by spokewench View Post
    There can be a lot of clicks caused when you are pedaling, so look for really obvious
    ... one day I was looking closely at the bike and realized that the little end cap on the cable for the derailleur was hitting the pedal arm every time I pedaled!
    I always look for loose duct tape on my bike
    2008 Trek FX 7.2/Terry Cite X
    2009 Jamis Aurora/Brooks B-68
    2010 Trek FX 7.6 WSD/stock bontrager

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    somewhere between the Red & Rio Grande
    Posts
    5,310
    Is there any certain type of pedals this happens on? My Look pedals are only 3 months old and I don't know where you would grease them. My DH had the clicking problem with Speedplays, but I am not sure where to start with my pedals.
    Amanda

    2011 Specialized Epic Comp 29er | Specialized Phenom | "Marie Laveau"
    2007 Cannondale Synapse Carbon Road | Selle Italia Lady Gel Flow | "Miranda"


    You don't have to be great to get started, but you do have to get started to be great. -Lee J. Colan

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    WA State
    Posts
    4,389
    Chimes in with another non-bottom bracket click - I get a creak-click that sounds like someone dropping a ball bearing if I don't periodically reseat/tighten the quick release on my rear wheel. It was driving me bonkers. I had my LBS tighten the BB too - he did say one side (its and external BB) was a bit loose, but the creak remained until I tightened up that rear QR.

    My husbands TT bike definitely has a loose BB - the sound it makes is a very loud snaping noise.
    "Sharing the road means getting along, not getting ahead" - 1994 Washington State Driver's Guide

    visit my flickr stream http://flic.kr/ps/MMu5N

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Tigard, OR
    Posts
    439
    Don't worry about feeling foolish trying to explain the BB clicks to a good wrench. The good ones ride bikes too and they know that mysterious clicks can come from that region or seem like it.

    If you decide to take your bike in and have it looked at, take your cleats with you.

    On the look pedals. There is a small rubber patch where the cleat contacts the pedal. Try some clear finger nail polish or duct tape on it. Sometimes that works. Also, there is so much plastic in contact with metal that creaks are pretty much inevitable. Replacing it when it starts to wear is the only real way to fix it... until the next time it wears down.

    The contact surface of speedplays needs regular lubrication. Take a little oil and work it around the contact surface on the pedal.
    re-cur-sion ri'-ker-shen n: see recursion

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Hillsboro, OR
    Posts
    5,050
    Quote Originally Posted by Aggie_Ama View Post
    Is there any certain type of pedals this happens on? My Look pedals are only 3 months old and I don't know where you would grease them. My DH had the clicking problem with Speedplays, but I am not sure where to start with my pedals.

    In addition to what BIAK suggested, I also found that just removing the pedal, cleaning up the threads (where it screws into the crank), regreasing them and then putting it back on cleared it up. So simple and yet so silly of me to not have checked! My pedals were only about 4 months old (look-type shimano ultegra) when it started. I actually thought that maybe they were defective since they still looked brand new...I was about to send them back to Shimano when DH suggested I try greasing them and putting them back on. I think that some grit or something must have gotten in the threads? It's been 5 months since I fixed it and I haven't heard a peep out of them.
    My new non-farm blog: Finding Freedom

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    3,135
    My LBS guy said that those clicks are hard to diagnose. I've got one...it's not loud but it's clattery and persistent. Toe clips generally don't click so I don't think that's it I think it'll keep until I take it in for its 5000 mile checkup ...

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Oslo, Norway
    Posts
    4,083
    I just had the same thing, and indeed, took off the pedals, regreased the threads, and total silence.

    My dh once had this weird creaking from his bike that he just could not diagnose. It turned out it was his seatpost... he finally clicked to the fact that the creaking went away when he stood up to pedal.
    Winter riding is much less about badassery and much more about bundle-uppery. - malkin

    1995 Kona Cinder Cone commuterFrankenbike/Selle Italia SLR Lady Gel Flow
    2008 white Nakamura Summit Custom mtb/Terry Falcon X
    2000 Schwinn Fastback Comp road bike/Specialized Jett

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    243
    I have had this problem also. First thing you need to do is check the obvious.....seat post, a cable hitting, a water bottle cage, or even something in you bag. Mine turned out to be the seat post even though I could have sworn it was the bottom bracket. Taught me the lesson of first look at for the easiest fixes, then if no luck take a trip to lbs. Good luck.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    272
    Just one other suggestion of a possible cause...a stiff chain link. This can produce a rhythmic clicking sound also and is an EASY fix. This may not be the problem at all...probably pedals as everyone else has stated. But, in case that doesn't work...
    ~Sarah~

    Check out My Team: Sturdy Girl Cycling

    Get a bicycle. You will certainly not regret it, if you live. -Mark Twain

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    WA State
    Posts
    4,389
    And don't forget those notorious shoe laces.... (I have a pair of mt bike shoes I wear in the winter that lace up first, then velcro over) - every once in a while one of those laces escapes and I start hearing this tick, tick, tick.........
    "Sharing the road means getting along, not getting ahead" - 1994 Washington State Driver's Guide

    visit my flickr stream http://flic.kr/ps/MMu5N

 

 

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