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Isn't it great why the clicking stops?!?!

Whether you are wondering how to true a wheel, how to fix that clicking sound or simply maintain your bike for the long haul, the Workshop & Maintenance forum is your one-stop online mechanic shop.

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Isn't it great why the clicking stops?!?!

16 Mar 2016 14:28

Don't you just love it? Something is making a noise and you finally track it down. Sometimes it's two or three things that produce the same noise, rub etc. You correct one, it goes away but the other things get worse and it comes back.

What's more is sometimes you can't know what's causing it until each one fails successively, it's a learning process that sets you up to know next time and check each bit.

So... Lets start pooling that collective knowledge. Detail little niggles and problems you have solved that weren't obvious in the first place. It may be obvious to some, but it won't be to everyone and we'll have a great resource to check!


I'll start. My fixed wheel has been making a clicking noise for a while. Just a single click per pedal rotation. At first it seemed like poor rear wheel alignment due to basically rubbish hubs. When I got some new wheels that were well spaced it solved it at first. Then it came back and it seemed like the wheel was slipping. A quick loosen of the axle bolts and tighten would stop it for a couple of weeks. That was until last week when nothing would stop it, still just a single click, not hugely worrying but annoying. I considered whether the cog, chain and ring might be worn due to the previous problems but they all were fine on inspection. I took it out for a ride and noticed something funny, whenever I got out of the saddle it would stop clicking. Anyone guess what it was yet?

No! It wasn't the saddle :) It was the bottom bracket. The non-drive side bearing had slightly collapsed, allowing the spindle to move in the channel. It was also the cause of the wheel alignment issues due to uneven tension on the chain when the bolts were tightened. This changing tension was causing the wheel to slip slightly over long periods.

I swapped out BB and the perfect silence of a fixed wheel drive chain returned :)

TL:DR annoying click thought to be wheel/gear related was actually non-drive side BB bearing.
Vincenzo Nibali:
"I know how to ride a bike"

Reduce your carbon footprint, ride steel.
User avatar King Boonen
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16 Mar 2016 16:43

Noise travels in / on the bicycle.

Considering the Bicycle is just a bunch of hollow tubes stuck together in various forms / using various materials.....tracking the source can be a real PIA.

A great article from Sheldon here that could be interest - http://www.sheldonbrown.com/creaks.html

I'm in the process of stripping down my MTB for a full service and check before a race I have this weekend.....I don't have any noise(s) per se, but I'm surprised how many loose bolts I've encountered in some key areas.

Removing the cassette from the free hub body was too easy for my liking :(

Creaking pedals annoy me...either my own or someone in the bunch!

Rule #65 Maintain and respect your machine.
Bicycles must adhere to the Principle Of Silence and as such must be meticulously maintained. It must be cherished, and when leaning it against a wall, must be leaned carefully such that only the bars, saddle, or tires come in contact with the wall or post. This is true even when dismounting prior to collapsing after the World Championship Time Trial. No squeaks, creaks, or chain noise allowed. Only the soothing hum of your tires upon the tarmac and the rhythm of your breathing may be audible when riding. When riding the Pave, the sound of chain slap is acceptable. The Principle of Silence can be extended to say that if you are suffering such that your breathing begins to adversely affect the enjoyment of the other riders in the bunch, you are to summarily sit up and allow yourself to be dropped.
Last edited by JackRabbitSlims on 17 Mar 2016 15:42, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar JackRabbitSlims
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16 Mar 2016 20:36

Welcome to the world of the mechanic/tinkerer, KB! :cool:

As JRS had mentioned noise/clicks/whatnot travels through the bike. So you just have to go through the whole process of having to find out/explore where exactly the unwanted crap is coming from.

No need to give up when you don't find it the first time around, once you do actually find it it's extremely rewarding, though. :)

PS - I hate to be this vague, but sometimes it could be so simple as having to replace a worn washer.
User avatar Tricycle Rider
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Re: Isn't it great why the clicking stops?!?!

17 Mar 2016 11:25

MXLeader, CRecord, friction shifters..cold day, annoying little click, click, click...went home, tore the bike apart, down to parade rest, cleaned lubed everything...put back together. Next ride, warmer, rode, no noise, no click..wonderful..

next ride, colder again..click back...going nutz now..

Guess what it was?.....Zipper pull on the jacket I wore on colder days, click, click, click...at least I did an overhaul on bike...
User avatar Bustedknuckle
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17 Mar 2016 12:49

For those that ride Carbon bikes finding a click can be a nightmare.it can be so hard to trace the noise.
A few of mine over the past few years
Click that turned out to be a hairline crack in the rim of my front wheel. Almost impossible to spot
Click from rear wheel. remedy grease on the skewer
Click from my front mech cable just touching my crank every time It went past. [should have gone to spec savers]
When I used to use Nokon cables they used to make horrible noise. Keep them lightly lubed or the links can click.
Zipper on glove clicked.
Small stone stuck in tyre, most annoying click and so small almost embedded that it was almost impossible to spot.

I fu55ing hate clicks creaks or any noise ,,,,ssssssssssssssssssssssssssshhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
ray j willings
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Re: Isn't it great why the clicking stops?!?!

17 Mar 2016 14:51

Cervelo was the worst. Sometimes just couldn't find it. We called it the Cervelo creak
User avatar veganrob
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Re: Isn't it great why the clicking stops?!?!

18 Mar 2016 10:55

veganrob wrote:Cervelo was the worst. Sometimes just couldn't find it. We called it the Cervelo creak


Aluminum cannondales also..solved with warm boiled lindseed oil in seat tube. The BB to seat tube/downtube miters were so crappy, they creaked all the time.
User avatar Bustedknuckle
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Re: Isn't it great why the clicking stops?!?!

19 Mar 2016 16:26

I hate creaks!

I'll say it again: I really hate creaks!

My experiences, one carbon RB, one Alu MTB: the RB was the BB cups. Solved, but only after new expensive pedals bought. Always the way.

The other seemed to be the saddle or SP clamp. It was neither: it was a crappy seat-post bolt/head. Got a new 3T alloy SP and it's great - no more creaks.

I really effing hate creaks.

It will be my ageing joints, next - that I can handle, as I already have a clicking jaw and a dodgy right shoulder from bowling and throwing cricket balls from the outfield, just not my bike!!
User avatar Stingray34
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Re: Isn't it great why the clicking stops?!?!

19 Mar 2016 22:18

Bustedknuckle wrote:
veganrob wrote:Cervelo was the worst. Sometimes just couldn't find it. We called it the Cervelo creak


Aluminum cannondales also..solved with warm boiled lindseed oil in seat tube. The BB to seat tube/downtube miters were so crappy, they creaked all the time.

I built an R5 up for a customer last year and he complained of creaking in the ST. There was plenty of carbon paste and all down the SP. Clamp torqued to spec. Still creaked. What I found out was the end of the SP was actually clicking off the inside of the ST. I actually had to cut down the SP so it would stop flexing and creaking. Bizarre. Cervelo quality FTW.
User avatar veganrob
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Re: Isn't it great why the clicking stops?!?!

19 Mar 2016 22:23

veganrob wrote:
Bustedknuckle wrote:
veganrob wrote:Cervelo was the worst. Sometimes just couldn't find it. We called it the Cervelo creak


Aluminum cannondales also..solved with warm boiled lindseed oil in seat tube. The BB to seat tube/downtube miters were so crappy, they creaked all the time.

I built an R5 up for a customer last year and he complained of creaking in the ST. There was plenty of carbon paste and all down the SP. Clamp torqued to spec. Still creaked. What I found out was the end of the SP was actually clicking off the inside of the ST. I actually had to cut down the SP so it would stop flexing and creaking. Bizarre. Cervelo quality FTW.


Super Prodigy.....now that was a nice bike!!
User avatar JackRabbitSlims
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Re: Isn't it great why the clicking stops?!?!

20 Mar 2016 11:32

Bustedknuckle wrote:
veganrob wrote:Cervelo was the worst. Sometimes just couldn't find it. We called it the Cervelo creak


Aluminum cannondales also..solved with warm boiled lindseed oil in seat tube. The BB to seat tube/downtube miters were so crappy, they creaked all the time.

Grr, that used to bug me no end. That's an interesting fix, I wish I knew it with my old CAADs and System Six. I found that too much carbon paste took away most of the noise.
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