Slight clicking in Bottom Bracket

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by atlantis, Jun 2, 2013.

  1. atlantis

    atlantis New Member

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    Hi !

    I am facing some clicking sound in the bottom bracket, this bike is very new and must have only been used for 200 km.
    Following are the checks that I performed.

    1.pedals ok
    2. no play in bb
    3.opened the bb and all is nice and well greased.
    4. Bike has not been exposed to water.

    I had heard this faint click, initially but it would go away immediately, just yesterday the clicking was more prominent. It normally happens when I push the left pedal down. I have opened up the bb and I assume its a Euro bottom bracket. I am uploading the images for your expert opinion.
    [​IMG]


    These are double bearings on each cup and they seemed quite ok. on
    [​IMG]

    please let me know a solution for this issue.
     
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  2. dhk2

    dhk2 Active Member

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    In my experience, most every click on a bike sounds like it's coming from the BB when you're riding. Can you reproduce the noise with static loading, ie, put the front wheel of the bike against a wall, and press on the left pedal with your hand or foot? If so, you should be able to home in on the exact location of the click.

    Could be the BB/crankarm joint, pedal/arm joint, but it could be from lots of other sources as well. Remember the cyclic loading on the left pedal is acting to bend the frame, resulting in potential movement of every joint and connection, from the BB cups to headtube bearings, rear stay connections, wheel skewers, seatpost, etc.

    When my bike was a few months old, a cyclic click developed which I chased for months. Turned out to be the connecting screw between the two-piece rear stay. Corrosion had formed underneath the screw on the DS stay, between the countersink in the al dropout and the steel screw. The framebuilder had painted everything over, trapping just enough moisture under the screw to cause the slight corrosion, resulting in clicking in the joint under loading from the pedals.
     
  3. vspa

    vspa Active Member

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    what is the frame material ? aluminium tends to make more clicking sounds, its a natural thing im not sure the reason though,
     
  4. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Is it possible to preload the bearings? Sometimes it only takes a very slight clearance issue with side-to-side play to generate a clicking noise as the left pedal comes over TDC and starts the power stroke.

    Campy, and their Ultra Torque wave washer preload system are known for the 'click'.
     
  5. atlantis

    atlantis New Member

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    thanks for all the replies. The frame material is a aluminium. Could you please let me know how to preload the bearings. They seem pretty new and clean, wonder what the click is all about. I will try to eliminate other options too. In the mean while other suggestions are also welcome.
    rgds
     
  6. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    I have no clue how to adjust the preload on your bottom bracket or even if it is possible. You will have to read your BB instructions and see if it is possible and what preload the manufacturer recommends.

    If you do have a two-row ball bearing in each end of the axle, they may be paired or opposed races. I don't know how they are set up. Just that under the extreme loads of pedaling the bearings 'may' not be set to handle the axial loads or have just enough clearance in them to cause a clicking sound.

    Another thing to check are your cleats. Worn cleats can rock or jump in the pedal lock and click on the pressure plate, toe loop or the lock, itself. Even new cleats can click against the shoe sole, although more often a squeak is generated. Check cleats bolts for tightness and cleats for a tight draw against the sole. I rebuilt one of my BB's with no luck in eliminating what I was certain was a bad bearing making a clicking sound. It turned out to be a worn cleat.

    Campy includes a grip piece that gets sandwiched in between their cleat and shoe sole. This also helps deaden cleat noise a bit. Silicon rubber will do the same thing.

    Lastly, check your shoe soles for cracks or flexing. Again, shoe noises tend to be more of a squeak, but a cracked sole or sole that is flexing can cause a clicking sound.

    Like dhk2 said, it all sounds like it is BB noise when the clicking is in time with the pedal stroke. It may very well be...and then, again, it may be pedaling stresses transferred elsewhere.
     
  7. danfoz

    danfoz Well-Known Member

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    I once had pedaling stresses (rhythmic and while climbing standing on the pedals) transferred to a dried out Mavic Ksyrium front skewer (too much riding in the rain) whose clicking I could have sworn was coming from the bottom bracket. It was discovered by a savvy mechanic who remedied by greasing the skewer. In the process of troubleshooting another mechanic tightened my ceramic bearinged BB so tight, along with crushing the seals it negated any benefit from said ceramic bearings. Since this bike is new and has not been exposed to water it's a moot point aside from the fact that sounds can travel in mysterious ways.
     
  8. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Dan, I have heard you mention this issue before. In 41 years of cycling I have never heard (literally!) of a noisy quick release. I will keep that tidbit filed away in my memory banks and now that I am training on Mavic wheels I will keep my QR's wiped down with an oily rag.

    My Wilier Izoard has the two-piece screwed together stay joint that dhk2 had generating a clicking noise. I will also keep an eye on it, although it has been silent so far.

    Tracing down clicking noises that seem to come from the BB can be as difficult to isolate as short circuits in 1960's British cars with multiplexed wiring harnesses!

    "In the process of troubleshooting another mechanic tightened my ceramic bearinged BB so tight, along with crushing the seals it negated any benefit from said ceramic bearings."

    A little preload goes a long way! The trouble is with all the shields and contact seals used on modern BB bearings (and quad sets!) is that feeling preload has become a lot more based on an experienced hand. Neither can .002" clearance sometimes be felt by the hand on these newfangled things. I would still like to toss a plate of linguini at the engineer that decided a wave washer/Belleville washer was the perfect solution to controlling BB preload after allowing a ±.5 MM tolerance on the machining of the BB shell width. Double wave washers and 1 MM and @ MM shim washers have become the new norm...
     
  9. HandMeDownRider

    HandMeDownRider New Member

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    I have the same click. Riding a newly handed down Trek OCLV Postal, circa '98 (nice big brother). I get a distinct click when the left pedal is in drive phase, about 8 and 10:00. The funny thing is, I can't recreate it. I typically notice it well into a ride when I start climbing. I have tried to recreate it by going to a high gear and cranking, but this won't do it. Once it begins during a ride, it continues until I get home. Occasionally, (I think) I can feel it in my left pedal. Could be in my mind.
    I tried using the other side of the pedal - didn't work. Checked the cleat - all good.
    No play in BB.
    Also tried greasing the front skewer, as advised above, but I haven't been on a long enough ride yet since then.
    Since the frame is carbon, does that narrow down the possibilities? How about that it only occurs later in the ride?
     
  10. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    "Since the frame is carbon, does that narrow down the possibilities?"

    IME carbon frames act like a drum and amplify noises.

    You can usually isolate cleat noise by taping the hell out of the interface surfaces with electrical tape. I've even stretched old, cut up inner tubes around the pedal body in an attempt to isolate a noise.

    Worn crank bearings or spindles with end-to-end play will 'tick'. BB bearings moving slightly in outboard cups can tick. A worn integrated headseat seat can cause a tick. The stem/handlebar junction can creak and tick.

    Loose pedal inserts in carbon crank arms have a creak or click to them. Worn or dry pedal bearings can tick. Seat rails, seat bodies, seatpost clamps...damned near everything on the bike can make a click, a tick, a creak or all of the above noises, and hollow carbon crank arms and frame tubes resonate the noise around the bike. That can make diagnosing the noise even more frustrating.

    If the noise is in time with pedaling specific to a certain range of RPM or force, I generally rebuild or replace the BB components first. Cleats get isolated and the bar and stem gets greased, silicone and torqued. If the click or tick is still there the Campy Ultra Torque gets new bearings, seals and maybe a second wave washer thrown in.

    Bikes should be damned near silent and nothing is more distracting during a ride than an unwanted noise.
     
  11. paulmurphy

    paulmurphy New Member

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    Your symptom of only occurring after you've ridden awhile points me to this: the pedal spindle/crank arm interface. Remove pedals, clean and lightly grease threads, reinstall, ride in peace (maybe).
     
  12. HandMeDownRider

    HandMeDownRider New Member

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    Ding ding ding!!! We have a winner.
    What on earth led you from late-in-ride clicking sound to pedal spindle / crank arm connection??
    It was correct. I lubed those and took off. Longest ride in a while, and NO CLICK.
    Damn.
    Thank you.
     
  13. paulmurphy

    paulmurphy New Member

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    Hey, great. You see, I had the same problem myself. Drove me insane. So while I was incarcerated in 'The Facility' had lots of time to think ... think about unions of dissimilar materials, bi-metallic corrosion, or galvanic corrosion. This process creates some new material down there in the threads, between the parts. For the time delay, maybe things are all tight, then after repeated stress applied by pedaling, the new stuff fractures, parts move around a bit - CLICK! Then you put the bikes away for awhile and the parts 'weld' themselves back together.
     
  14. dhk2

    dhk2 Active Member

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    Yep, same problem and resolution as paul. Just checking the pedal for tightness doesn't fix it; you need to take it off and check for corrosion at the interface of the steel pedal spindle and aluminum crankarm. Every place on the bike with steel fasteners and alloy parts can do the same thing. I've had similar clicks from the crankarm/spindle joints on my ISIS Ti BB. The spindle bolts may be tight; it took pulling the crankarm, regreasing the splines and re-torqueing to quiet it down. That one hasn't occurred for the last 2 years or so.

    Those little clicks can really be annoying. Amazing how much better a bike rides when it's silent.
     
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