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Loud clicking sound while pedaling: diagnosis?

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Loud clicking sound while pedaling: diagnosis?

Old 09-21-22, 06:39 PM
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Kevin45
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Loud clicking sound while pedaling: diagnosis?

I tried attaching a video to demonstrate but the file type is not allowed to upload so hopefully a verbal description will suffice.

The clicking sound is coming from the right near the chainring/front part of the drivetrain, only on the right side, just after the peak of the pedal stroke while on the way down. This happens with both indoor and outdoor rides, but the noise seems much louder and more frequent when on the indoor trainer. It also seems to happen at random (e.g. first 20-30 minutes of the ride may be quiet, then it starts for no apparent reason and continues the rest of the ride).

Possible causes I've already considered:
1. Something wrong with the pedals (cleat has too much flotation?)
2. Bottom bracket issue
3. Chain problem

I don't think it's #1 because it has occurred when I tested without pedals (although I am unable to recreate it when pushing the pedals with arms/hands only)

With #3, the chain is fairly new (about 2 months/2000 miles or so), and I seem to remember this happening to some extent even when the chain was newer, although it may get more pronounced as the chain ages.

Things that seem to partially or temporarily resolve it:
1. Doing hard climbing sessions ~ 5w/kg while seated. This almost completely eliminates it, perhaps because the power demands seem to eliminate any "dead space" in the pedal stroke. But doing 250 miles/week at 5 w/kg is not practical as a long-term solution because I'm not a Grand Tour-level rider

2. Completely removing the bike from the trainer, reseating it, and triple checking stability of its placement in the dropouts. Sometimes this seems to produce relative quiet for the first part of the ride before it starts up again, although other times it has no effect at all.

3. Pedaling totally still with no side to side movement of any kind, and no "pause" or hesitation of any kind throughout the pedal stroke. I think this is just recreating the conditions of #1, though.


I don't have lots of tools or familiarity with significant breakdown/reassembling operations, so I'm wondering if anything in the above description indicates a quick or easy fix, or whether this requires more expert care.

Thank you in advance for any ideas and recommendations.
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Old 09-21-22, 06:47 PM
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Bill Kapaun
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Have you actually grasped the pedals, attempted to move back and forth and look for play in the BB?
Compare the movement of the teeth on a chain ring, relative to a fixed object like a FDER.
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Old 09-21-22, 07:28 PM
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Another way to check for play in the BB is to align a crank with the seat tube, grab the crank and seat tube with both hands, and squeeze hard. Then rotate the crank 180 and repeat.

Have you checked to see if getting out of the saddle causes the noise to go away? It's pretty amazing how seat post and clamp noises will telegraph to the BB.
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Old 09-21-22, 07:37 PM
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Crank hitting a kickstand, crank hitting the front derailleur cage, crank hitting the end of the front derailleur cable, a loose chainring bolt, insufficiently tight rear quick release skewer (or thru-axle), looseness in connection between bottom bracket and the frame, loose or damaged pedal bearing. Just some things you might want to check.
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Old 09-21-22, 10:02 PM
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You could post a vid on a sharing site then link that here but sub "." w/ "dot, "@" w/ "at" and or add a space between characters to slide by the filter.

At this point all kinds of reasons why the bike makes a click/clunk/tick at a certain pedal point. The usual approach is to take apart the easy stuff that you can do before going onto parts that need spec tools or a skilled "touch". So just start with the chainring and arm retention hardware. Remove a bolt, note how tight (or not) it was and clean it then reinstall with grease/lube thinly applied. Go onto the seat post and seat rail clamps. These are likely not to be the cause but every bike likes to have its hardware stroked I do suspect the BB. Sometimes until arms are removed and a tool is on the BB "cups" or the axle spun with your fingers it can be hard to condition. But a vid with good views of the parts and good audio will help us help you. Andy
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Old 09-22-22, 09:09 AM
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check for loose chain ring bolts
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Old 09-22-22, 10:32 AM
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Had the same thing once and it was a loose cassette.
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