Home

So that old recurring problem: creaks and squeaks in the bottom bracket area.

Probably looking for sympathy as much as advice:

Once my bike warms up (or I do), I have a click or double click on every crank revolution. It stops when I stop pedaling and occurs at the same pedal position on every revolution. Hence I have concluded it is pedal/bottom bracket/chainset problem rather than wheels or drive train.

Took pedals off - greased everything put them back on. Noise recurred (it also occurs when I unclip and pedal with just one leg on either side).

Took cranks off, removed BB, greased everything put it back together: Noise.

Repeated above, fitting a new Dura Ace bottom bracket: Just the same noise.

Nothing catches (e.g Front mech wire), chainset bolts are tight.

It is so annoying!!! Any other suggestions (pretty sure it is not my knees)??!! I think I may go mad.

21 comments

Avatar
therevokid [948 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

Does it occur only when seated ... saddle moving perhaps ?

Avatar
morethansonglyrics [61 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

More than likely to be coming from the interface between cleat and pedal. Various threads on how to fix.

Avatar
bashthebox [751 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

My summer bike's got that problem too. No idea what it is... getting a new frame next year so I wonder if it'll recurr?

Avatar
veseunr [257 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
morethansonglyrics wrote:

More than likely to be coming from the interface between cleat and pedal. Various threads on how to fix.

Nope - I can unclip on either left or right and pedal one legged ..... noise exactly the same.

Avatar
veseunr [257 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
therevokid wrote:

Does it occur only when seated ... saddle moving perhaps ?

Not saddle or seatpost - same whether standing or seated.

Avatar
700c [908 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

I run SPD SL pedals and have a slight click on each rotation, as the pedal gets past 45 degrees - something loose inside the pedal body which is no big deal. Hopefully it's this not the bottom bracket..

Avatar
Dobbsy [54 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

What's your frame made from?

Does the noise change when pedaling hard vs spinning?

I had a ti Litespeed with a mystery tick when pedaling under very similar conditions to yours, I even went so far as to replace the bb and the chainset and that but that still didn't solve it.

Turned out to be a metal fatigue crack propgating around the bb shell / down tube interface.

Unfortunatley even after repair the frame let go with a pretty spectacular failure all the way round the down tube / bb shell.

Avatar
Chuck [546 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

Try looking at your QRs too. Take the wheels out, give the contact points/dropouts a wipe, and if possible try some different skewers. I've been caught out by this a couple of times, and in both cases I would have sworn it was the BB.

Avatar
veseunr [257 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
Dobbsy wrote:

What's your frame made from?

Does the noise change when pedaling hard vs spinning?

I had a ti Litespeed with a mystery tick when pedaling under very similar conditions to yours, I even went so far as to replace the bb and the chainset and that but that still didn't solve it.

Turned out to be a metal fatigue crack propgating around the bb shell / down tube interface.

Unfortunatley even after repair the frame let go with a pretty spectacular failure all the way round the down tube / bb shell.

Carbon (Canyon CF SLX) frame. No hint of any structural problems (e.g hairline cracks in the paint).

Happens from anything accept really light turning ... any pressure up to full sprint ...click clicketty click: usually two clicks a pedal revolution.

Not QRs ... only occurs on pedal stroke.

Avatar
mooleur [537 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

How does it feel through your feet when you put the hammer down? I had the same problem for aaaages and tried everything, eventually when sprinting I found that the strokes felt "sandy" almost.

Turned out it was the bearings actually inside the BB, just popped a new one on and problem was solved. Only thing that creaks for me now is the saddle and that's only when I'm on the turbo! (random)

Sounds silly too but how old are your cleats? You sure you're not just wearing down and causing a spot of friction on your pedals?

Avatar
Chuck [546 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
veseunr wrote:

Not QRs ... only occurs on pedal stroke.

That doesn't rule them out in my experience!

Avatar
cortina [6 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

I had the same problem with the exception that mine only occurred when out of the saddle. Tried the same fixes but eventually tracked it down to a dry headset bearing seat.
I would have bet a large chunk of cash that it was drivetrain related though..

Avatar
daffyavfc [11 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

Are chainrings all tight?

Avatar
acjim [28 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

I've also found QRs to be the culprit on this, especially the rear one!

Clean and grease, it may do the trick.

Avatar
Hector Ch [53 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
daffyavfc wrote:

Are chainrings all tight?

This. I had the same on my old Ultegra 6600. Thought it was the wheels or BB. Turned out I needed to remove the crankset and tighten the chainring allen tightener thingies, both front and back (I know the word in French, not in Engrish…).

Avatar
veseunr [257 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

I'm rechecking the chainring bolts and greasing pedals, headset and QRs just as soon as I get home ...... aaah: tinkering, will my wife never understand why blokes need garages?!

Avatar
Mat Brett [625 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

All been there! Always worth checking chainring bolts. I've even had ticking from an external bottom bracket cable guide – but you don't have one on your bike.

I'm going to make my fortune by inventing an audio device that you stick at different points on your bike to tell you where the noise is loudest, in order to identify where the creak is coming from.

Actually, I'll probably never get around to it so can someone else do it for me?

Avatar
shishman [99 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

Just had my 9 month old Giant Defy 1 frame replaced under warranty because of the same noise.

Went through all the cleaning greasing stuff and then took it back to the LBS and they diagnosed a dodgy frame.

Avatar
lazyusername [101 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

It was the pedals when I had a similar problem, what helped was cleaning the threads on the pedals with a little GT85 effectively taking a little grease off if anything then the thread sat more snugly in the crank and no clicking which I think must have been over greased and working loose. Check the QR's as well, it doesn't sound like them but it never does

Avatar
Swami Dave [53 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

Had the same problem and it was the magnet on my rear wheel hitting the cadence/speed sensor as it passed. The tolerance was very tight when I was seated (so looked OK when I was stopped, trying to diagnose the source!) but a wee bit of flex on the frame caused it to clip when standing up and hammering it. Was positive it was the cranks/BB...

Avatar
Cooks [491 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

I had this problem, it turned out to be a split chainring bolt. Swapped it out and it was fine. That was after buying a new bb...