What's that clicking noise??? Need help!!

Discussion in 'The Bike Cafe' started by Lookbike, Mar 1, 2011.

  1. Lookbike

    Lookbike New Member

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    There has been a clicking sound coming from somewhere around my bottom bracket. It seems to be getting worse. It is not the wheels because it stops when I stop pedalling. It seems to be when I pedal (either forwards and when spinning backwards). I can't see anything obvious or loose with the cranks. Desperate for an answer as it is driving me nuts. Any thoughts???
     
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  2. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    FWIW. Check to ensure that your cleats are properly secured to your shoes ...

    If so, put the shoe(s) in the pedals (without your foot) and rotate the cranks to see if the sound is present, or not.
     
  3. Lookbike

    Lookbike New Member

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    I thought about that. I had some worn down Look Keo cleats previously but replaced them after the clicking started. Needless to say the clicking has remained. It seems like the clicking is occuring when my feet are at about 1o'clock and 4o'clock for the right foot and left foot respectively. It used to happen only every 4 or so rotations but now on every rotation.
     
  4. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    Well, if the noise has ALWAYS existed, then the worst case scenario would be the clicking being the result of the crankarms brushing up against the stays each time they pass ...

    Which would mean that you will need a BB with a longer spindle ...

    OR, if it is a HOLLOWTECH II type of crank, you would need to replace the Double with a Triple.

    What type of crank & BB do you have?
     
  5. Lookbike

    Lookbike New Member

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    Had some time to kill so I quickly raced off to my LBS and was very happy to find the mechanic also had some time to kill. We pulled the cranks off to find that the culprit of the clicking was a rusted set of bearings [Campag CULT ceramic bearings]. The cause looks like poor assembly when another bike shop put the bike together. One side was well greased and that bearing looks great. The other side was not greased and was covered in rust. I did find one site that said that CULT bearings require no grease but just some light oil. Perhaps the next question will be around warranty…especially because they cost $280 to replace.
    [SIZE= 12pt]Thank you Alfeng for your feedback[/SIZE]
     
  6. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    Glad to hear it wasN'T the worst case scenario & that the problem was located ...

    • Where did the RUST come from?
    • That is, what else inside the BB shell exhibits rust?

    • Where did the water come from?!?

    • How do you think the moisture infiltrated the BB shell?

    • Have you tried to flush the residue off the bearings & out of the cartridge, yet?
     
  7. Lookbike

    Lookbike New Member

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    Surprisingly it was the bearing on the non-drive side. It is the drive side that is usually the one to get water inside when cleaning the chain/cranks/sprockets.
    The moisture could possibly be from sweat after a long and humid summer. I spoke to the Campag importer who suggested that components must be installed perfectly during the build. He went through a lot of technical detail that I will find out more about when I take my bike to him in the coming weeks. He noted most problems arise from poor build.
    My new LBS simply cleaned up the rust and bearings and applied fresh lube/grease to get me back on the road. This has bought me some more time while I explore my options. So far I have already found new CULT bearings at half the price. After doing a quick experiment spinning cranks in the LBS and seeing the difference between ceramics and non-ceramics, I don’t think I will be able to compromise on anything less than ceramics…significantly less resistance.
    For now I will see how long the quick-fix will last
     
  8. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    Were there any signs that the rust started on the WAVY WASHER?
     
  9. dhk2

    dhk2 Active Member

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    Lookbike, ceramics don't have "less resistance" than steel bearings when spun. Spinning a crank by hand tells you nothing about new bearing quality, since virtually all the friction you feel is due to either misalignment, preload, grease or seal drag. The LBS is a business, so I'd be leary about any comparison they have which shows you need $280 BB bearings.

    Don't know anything about these BBs, but it sounds you've got a steel wave washer without a sufficient corrosion-resistant finish, or a design which doesn't keep water out. Relying on grease to do the job of course means you'll have to keep it on the washer at all times. Now that you know it's a problem, might be smart to keep water away during washing and pull the crank arms to check for grease after a hard rain ride or perhaps yearly. Grease on top of the bearings can also help keep out dirt and grit, which appears to be the main cause of BB bearing wear and failures.
     
  10. Lookbike

    Lookbike New Member

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    Thanks dhk2. Will get Campag rep to single out the problem. Would be disappointed if it was a design fault or lack of corrosion resistant finish given the cost they are charging. That said, it should however be covered under warranty. What is preload that you were referring to?
     
  11. dhk2

    dhk2 Active Member

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    Preload is the axial (side) force on the bearing when it's installed in the BB. Don't know about your Campy design, but on my pressed-in BB the preload is fixed by the dimensions of the BB shell or bearing cups and the shoulders or spacers on the spindle. It's not adjustable like the old-school BBs with loose bearings, threaded cups and lockrings (similar to the old cup-and-cone wheel hubs).

    If you've ever adjusted your headset bearings, you've set up the preload by tightening the cap on top of the stem. You may have noticed how applying preload quickly increases the friction in the headset. Headset bearings are angular-contact bearings, like "tapered" car wheel bearings, designed to take the axial end loads from hitting bumps in the road. Our bike hubs really don't see any axial loads (the bike leans in corners), so many of the hubs on factory-built wheels use cheaper standard "radial load" cartridge bearings without any way to adjust the preload.

    Ideally believe you want minimum preload on standard (radial-load) cartridge bearings used in our BBs and many of the wheel hubs, for minimum friction and wear. But it's hard to achieve exactly "zero preload", and if the machining is slightly off, you could have free-play which isn't acceptable to most of us. Further, if the new bearings install with zero preload, any wear could result in freeplay or looseness of the spindle or wheel axle in service.
     
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