FSA slk crankset/bb clicking

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by eliu, Mar 5, 2006.

  1. eliu

    eliu New Member

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    I have a new FSA slk compact carbon crankset on a Merlin extralight. Cranks were fine until recently when they developed a "creak/clicking" sound which occurs only while pedaling. It seems to be coming from the bottom bracket and resonates through the frame. Megaexo bottom bracket and crank bolt was tightened again by LBS. This took care of the problem for all of 50 miles when the creak came back. Crank bolt was found to be loose again and tightened. This process has been repeated 3x cause each time the crank bolt loosens up again and the creak comes right back. Torque is done with a park tool beam type wrench using specs between what is recommended in the manual, and what is stamped on the bolt(100 kgf-cm difference between the two, don't ask me why). Was thinking of using loctite, but I'm not sure if that would void my warranty. Anyone else experiencing the same problem? Will put in a call to FSA tomorrow. That sound is driving me nuts.
     
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  2. esandman

    esandman New Member

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    I'm working on this problem right now too (except with the regular SLK cranks). The one thing that I didn't do, (but I'm having done as we speak) is to face the bottom bracket shell. The FSA website and others have said that it's important to have done for optimal performance. I'll be watching this thread to see what others suggest.

    Erik


    Update: I got the bike back and reinstalled the bottom bracket and cranks with the fastening bolt torqued down to ~33 ft pounds. The crank spins much easier than it did before facing. Not sure about the squeeking yet.
     
  3. eliu

    eliu New Member

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    Thanks for the update. Hopefully your squeaking problems are a thing of the past. My LBS didn't think that that would be as much of a problem with a titanium frame. I will put in a call to FSA tomorrow and hopefully receive some helpful advice. I will post the contents of our talk ASAP. Let me know how your bike is doing. Thanks again.
     
  4. Powerful Pete

    Powerful Pete New Member

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    Please keep us updated on this... I keep on hearing stories of people who are not very satisfied with their FSA bottom brackets. Not very edifying... (at least two people I know have had their FSA bb's - the high end ones - crap out on them in under 5,000 km). I realise that this is not statistically significant, but...

    IMHO, Campagnolo bb's are far superior, square taper and all... :cool: Flame away guys about the inadequate rigidity... :rolleyes:
     
  5. johncc48

    johncc48 New Member

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  6. eliu

    eliu New Member

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    I spoke with Sam at FSA who advised me to send the crankset back to them. I will keep you all posted on what they say. Customer service with FSA has been excellent so far.
     
  7. esandman

    esandman New Member

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    Update: I just got in a 60mile ride today. "Silence is Golden" No clicking, no clacking, no squeeking. We'll see how it holds up though. In retrospect I think I intially didn't have the crank bolt torqued high enough (and the bb shell wasn't faced), when I first installed it I did the the old one grunt or two grunt torque setting on the bolt (two grunt with this bolt) with a normally sized allen wrench, with the big socket wrench (a big "clicker" style torque wrench) I actually had to put a little bit of effort into it to get it to click at 33ft/lb.
     
  8. eliu

    eliu New Member

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    I spoke with FSA and they said that the crankset and bottom bracket were all ok. Nevertheless they are sending it back with a new left crankarm and bolt. They suggested that I check the size of my frames bb shell and if it is just a millimeter more than 68, to remove the washer on the left side of the bottom bracket. Apparently the taper of the spline is not exposed enough if the shell is just slightly too large. Crankset and bb should arrive next week at which time I will hopefully provide a positive update.
     
  9. hd reynolds

    hd reynolds New Member

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    Record crankset on a Giant TCR Composite... loctite solved the problem. If you worry about warranty then ask yourself what problem you want to solve - the clicking or not having your warranty void. At any rate, I hade the BB serviced 2 times in the last 2 years for normal maintenance and there was no problem removing it and replacing it. LBS mechanic used loctite everytime.

    Also, does it say in the warranty 'never use loctite' or something similar?
     
  10. eliu

    eliu New Member

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    You are correct. In addition to checking the bottom bracket shell size, FSA also said that they had applied loctite to the new crankbolt. Hope this does the trick for me as well. Thanks.
     
  11. padawan

    padawan New Member

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    Just started having this problem myself - BB is FSA SLK MegaEXO.

    For those of you who posted on this thread with the problem - I just wanted to confirm - did loctite to the crank bolt completely solve this problem?

    Cheers,
    Pad
     
  12. Steve Holloway

    Steve Holloway New Member

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    Mine started clicking also, I went kind of a different direction and just made sure plenty of anti seize compund was on the treads and retightened it. Hasn't clicked since. I can see the value of both ways.

    Good luck!
     
  13. PeterF

    PeterF New Member

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    A Campy BB is stiff enough for Boonen, so I think they should be find for 99.9% of the folks on this thread. The square taper spindle allows campy to use larger bearings. I'm on my second season on mine, and from what I uderstand, the Campy Record or Chorus bb is like a Chris King headset. Install it and forget about it. Regarding the clicking noise while pedaling, I had a similar situation and it turned out that the chainring bolts were lose. I removed them all, cleaned them, greased them and reinstalled them all (do this evenly). Problem solved. The only clicking I hear is from my left knee....
    :eek:
     
  14. eliu

    eliu New Member

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    Ok, I received my crankset back from FSA with a new left crank arm and new crank bolt with loctite on it and with a letter that stated the following: "I thoroughly inspected your crankset and found all components to be within tolerance..... It may be necessary to check the frame for discrepancies that could be causing the loosening. Make sure the frame's bottom bracket shell width is 68mm. If your shell width is slightly oversized(68.5-69mm) then do not use the rubber crush washer on the non-drive side cup. If larger then 69mm, it will need to be faced. Even hi end titanium and carbon bikes sometimes need facing....If the shell width is too wide, it will cause the bottom bracket cups to be further than 91mm(measured outside of cup to outside of cup). If the bb cups are too far apart, it will not allow the necessary amount of exposed spindle on the non-drive side for the taper on the left arm to engage fully. Tolerances are as small as .1mm so even a little discrepancy can be problematic. Also check that the bb cup threads engaging the frame threads fully. It may be necessary to check the major diameter of the threads on the frame. If the threads are worn or oversized it may allow enough movment in the cups to loosen."

    Ok, so my Merlin's bb shell was measured to be .5mm too large so the left crush washer was removed. Went on a short ride and crankarm stayed secure, however, a small creak is slowly coming back. It is the same creak which occured before and indicated a loose crankarm or bb. When installing the crankset, my lbs said that the fit of the bb cups with initial threading was a little loose on one side but seemed ok when fully tightened. Anyway, I'm going to try and use teflon tape on the bb cups to hopefully form a tighter fit and hopefully resolve this creak once and for all(assuming that this is truly the problem). Sorry for such a long update. I must point out that FSA customer service is excellent and timely. btw, does anyone know if the teflon tape should make a difference?
     
  15. eliu

    eliu New Member

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    Well here is my update. Everything was reinstalled, initially without the left crush washer as per FSA, however, without the washer there is a 2 mm gap between the left bb cup and the bb shell. This can't be right, so I put the crush washer back on which filled up the gap. Torqued crankbolt to spec and went for a 40 mile ride. Everything was fine until mile 35 when that oh so familiar creak came back. Man this is frustrating! Yes I've tried to check for other sources, but it still points back at the crankset. Nothing is loose at this time, though I need to check the bb cup again. I was thinking of greasing all of the chainring bolts, but they were all put in with loctite and seem very snug and secure. Does anyone have any suggestions or answers. Again, the creak only occurs while I'm pedaling, seated or standing, big or small gears. As soon as it appears, it then can disappear for a few miles, then unfortunately return.
     
  16. karries

    karries New Member

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    I had the exact same problem with my FSA SLK.Same story back to LBS fix ,what I dont know,back on the bike creacking comes back. To cut a long story short,I went that route a couple of times,I had to replace the BB. Apparently the whole BB packed up.Why I do not know.After replacing the BB I did not have any more problems. I really hope that you dont have the same problem. It is just funny that there are so many of us experiencing the same problem.I wonder why. :confused: :confused:
     
  17. Powerful Pete

    Powerful Pete New Member

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    Eliu, I realise that you are raving about FSA customer service, but sorry, looks like they seem to need excellent customer service, as their product is unable to perform as advertised. And it is not a cheap product.

    Are you sure the time has not come to ask them to replace the entire crank and bb, or even consider moving on to another crank/bb combination?

    Seriously?!:confused:
     
  18. eliu

    eliu New Member

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    Hopefully my last update. Apparently my lastest creak is not coming from the bb/crankset. BB/crankset are holding fast without any problems thus far. Upon further inspection, the noise may have something to do with my rolf prima elan rear wheel. I switched the wheel out to my Mavic Kysrium SL and have had no problems yet. I will keep testing and try my rolfs on another bike. Any feedback would be much appreciated. Thanks.
     
  19. hd reynolds

    hd reynolds New Member

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    Since it’s the wheels, you may be having the quick release too tight. I had the same experience but not with the rolfs but with Ksyrium ES. Half way through an 24 km mountain ride I developed the creek which I thought came from the BB. A mechanic friend remounted my rear wheel this time slackening the quick release and it was gone.
     
  20. eliu

    eliu New Member

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    Thanks for the advice. I will try that tomorrow and see what happens.
     
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