Diagnostic Advice

I recently purchased a KHS Flite 780 off Facebook Marketplace and I frequently hear a click-click-click sound during a pedal stroke. Not all the time (depends on the intensity of the pedal stroke) but enough for me to start a thread to ask for advice.
The sound doesn't seem to have an overall negative effect, but it's kind of annoying. Can anyone let me know how to possibly figure out the problem without spending money? I can't tell if the sound comes from the pedal, crank arm, or bottom bracket.
Thanks in advance for any advice.
 
If you have the tools and time, the best would be to remove, clean, and lube all those parts.
Pedals, crank arm attachment to BB spindle, BB bearings.
Simple first check would be to verify tightness of the BB retainers, and crank arm retainers.
 
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wheel skewer, seat post clamp, headset

I had a click one time and tried every 'obvious fix', it turned out to be the front wheel skewer (not what you would expect with pedal induced noise, right).

I had a crackle under hard seated efforts and tried every 'obvious fix', it turned out to be a little lump of paint under the seat post clamp.
-a dry seat pots/tube interface can also cause 'drivetrain clicks'.

Never overlook the headset for noises, even ones you think are in the drivetrain.
 
Always do the simplest and cheapest thing first, then test, no success move on to the next one and test, etc. No one mentioned that you need to lubricate your cleats on the pedals and the shoes. I'm going to show you a video, but you don't have to use Finish Line Teflon spray lube, you can go down to an auto parts store or a home improvement store and buy a cheap can of Teflon spray and it will be cheaper than the Finish Line and work just as well. I would start here first, then move up from there. Follow this video because you need to clean everything first.

 
Nov 28, 2023
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  1. Isolate the source: Carefully listen and feel for vibrations while pedaling at different intensities. Does the click feel strongest by the pedals, crank arms, or near the bottom bracket? Identify the general area first.
  2. Simple checks:
    • Pedals: Tighten loose pedal bolts with an Allen key. Inspect bearings for play or grit.
    • Crank arms: Check chainring bolts for tightness, and wiggle crank arms for looseness.
    • Bottom bracket: Look for play or wobble in the cranks. If present, the bottom bracket likely needs servicing.
  3. Free fixes:
    • Lubricate: Apply grease to pedal threads, chainring bolts, and any exposed moving parts. This can sometimes silence minor creaks.
    • Shift adjustment: Minor drivetrain misalignment can cause clicking. Try fine-tuning your derailleurs if the sound changes with gear shifts.
 
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Reactions: the delgados
  1. Isolate the source: Carefully listen and feel for vibrations while pedaling at different intensities. Does the click feel strongest by the pedals, crank arms, or near the bottom bracket? Identify the general area first.
  2. Simple checks:
    • Pedals: Tighten loose pedal bolts with an Allen key. Inspect bearings for play or grit.
    • Crank arms: Check chainring bolts for tightness, and wiggle crank arms for looseness.
    • Bottom bracket: Look for play or wobble in the cranks. If present, the bottom bracket likely needs servicing.
  3. Free fixes:
    • Lubricate: Apply grease to pedal threads, chainring bolts, and any exposed moving parts. This can sometimes silence minor creaks.
    • Shift adjustment: Minor drivetrain misalignment can cause clicking. Try fine-tuning your derailleurs if the sound changes with gear shifts.
Thank you.
Turns out that some application of lubricant was all it took for the noise to go away.