Clicking BB

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Secret Sam
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Clicking BB

Postby Secret Sam » 27 Feb 2009, 9:58am

Bike has developed a noticeable 'click' when I put the hammer down

Thought it was the cranks loose, tightened them, no good

Bike has old BB with taper crank, new crankset on the way but do I need a new BB at the same time? It's an oldish sealed unit but not done that many miles

Apols for noddy query, am just getting back to biking after a layoff of 10 years whilst I fell in love with cars...what a waste of riding time...
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Postby gbnz » 27 Feb 2009, 10:18am

If there's sign of definate movement in the bearings, I'd replace it (I.e. lateral movement in the cranks, even after being tightened). They only cost £10-15 to replace, the job taking a couple of minutes (Unless the BB cartridge is seized into the BB).

Otherwise I'd leave it. BB's often seem to produce clicking sounds, which appear and disappear for no discernable reason.

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Postby rualexander » 27 Feb 2009, 10:22am

Pedals sometimes make a clicking sound too and it is hard to isolate where these sounds actually come from.

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Postby Punk_shore » 27 Feb 2009, 10:24am

If your foot/feet sense sideways movement at same time as click is heard, problem might be with pedal spindle races.

I rebuilt a pedal using spares from an accident damaged pedal 20 years its senior. Worked really well until the bike got stolen :oops: .

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Secret Sam
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Postby Secret Sam » 27 Feb 2009, 2:59pm

Hmmm...dunno, it's a definite clunk and you can feel it, maybe when new chainset arrives and I take the whole thing to bits I'll be able to find out for sure

BTW- while I'm asking daft questions, what tools do I need to remove an old style BB (taper, sealed, c1987)

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Postby glueman » 27 Feb 2009, 3:13pm

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Postby robwa10 » 27 Feb 2009, 4:52pm

Yeah definitely check the pedals. I had a similar thing on a previous bike, clicking noise appeared only when pedaling hard, and it turned out to be that the pedal needed tightening.

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Postby Domestique » 27 Feb 2009, 9:32pm

First thing I would check is that the chainset hasnt come loose

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Postby PW » 28 Feb 2009, 12:18am

Strip the lot down, clean it, re-grease everything and put it all back together. If it still clicks it's either the pedal bearings - run them to death & replace the pedals, or the B/B cartridge unit is on its last legs, solution as above.
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Postby dan_b » 28 Feb 2009, 12:47am

Mine was the cartridge BB, definitely. When I took it out I found that the plastic threaded bit had split

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Postby Basil W Bloke » 28 Feb 2009, 1:47am

Ok. I'm sorry if I'm stating the bleedin' obvious here, but I've saved two mates from taking their bikes to the LBS and asking for a change of BB
As others have said above, there are often other clicks that sound as if they're coming from the BB when they aren't. Sometimes creaks and clicks are caused by the interface of different metals with different co-effcients of expansion. Simply tightening them up won't help.
Remove your pedals from the cranks (remember the left hand thread on the left pedal) Apply grease to the threads and put them back on.
Now remove your cranks from the BB spindle. Grease the spindle flats and put the cranks back on.

Any good?

You should do this every three months anyway. If you have any trouble removing the pedals, it's because you haven't been doing this from time to time.
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Postby glueman » 28 Feb 2009, 7:43am

Clicks can be very difficult to locate. I had an intermittent one last year, it came on after a few miles somewhere below the plimsoll line.
My instinct said a pedal was responsible but as they were virtually new and the LBS guy leaned on them every whichway without any movement and they turned smoothly I looked elsewhere.

After greasing or replacing virtually every other ball it was indeed, a pedal. I should have swapped some in the first place and followed my nose.

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Re: Clicking BB

Postby DougieB » 4 Mar 2009, 9:41pm

I had a clicking develop over the weekend. Turned out to be the screws on one of the cleat plates on the (SPD) pedals being lose, so the plate itself clicked/tapped on the pedal body.

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Secret Sam
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Re: Clicking BB

Postby Secret Sam » 11 Mar 2009, 1:01pm

Thanks for all the advice, but in the light of the BB, pedals et al being 20 years old I replaced the lot as a precaution :lol:

The old pedals simply refused to part company with the old cranks anyway, WD40, brute force and all that failed to shift them
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Re: Clicking BB

Postby Ivor Tingting » 11 Mar 2009, 6:37pm

The world is your oyster. All you need is the shell width of the bottom bracket and get the right length which will depend on whether you are replacing it with a double or triple chainset. Of course it goes without saying that the bottom bracket needs to correspond with the fitting in the chainset. For the old stuff if before you were to take the old cranks off you tested for any play in the BB by lateral pressure and up and down pressure on the crank arms would show up any play in the BB. Then take the cranks off and gently rotate the axle with your fingers feeling and listening for any roughness or tight spots to impair it freely turning. Only when you spin a new BB will you realise how smoothly an axle should turn. I'm with you on replacing the bottom bracket they're not that expensive and not to do so is a false economy preferably replace with a sealed cartridge type. You can still get Shimamo UN54 square tapered BBs in 68 and 73 mm shells in a number of widths for a very reasonable £12-15. You'll need to invest in a bottom bracket tool remover depending on type you have and ideally a crank puller. I would have thought you would be able to get both for £15-20. Good luck.
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