View Full Version : BB Clicking: Help!

04-27-2011, 08:14 AM
I've recently been battling a terrible clicking noise from the BB area of my bike. I've have already ruled out a cracked frame, bad seat rail, creaking stem, pedals (changed) and front derailleur knocking. Signs seem to point to my square taper crank and BB. Before I replace both, I'm curious if anyone has any thoughts to remedy this. I've already removed and cleaned the BB, used grease and no grease on the tapers, but the result is always the same. Blissfully quiet for the first .5 miles, then a mild clicking on the drive side at 1 mile, followed by full on clicking on both sides at 2 miles. The only time if doesn't click is while pedaling hard in nice even circles. That, however, is not the fix I'm looking for.


04-27-2011, 08:38 AM
I noticed you didn't mention the seat post. I've had similar symptoms (including quiet when under hard pedalling) that resulted from a seat post/seat tube that needed cleaning and re-regreasing (or recoating with carbon paste as appropriate). Sorry if I'm covering something you've tried.
Hope you solve it soon---clicking like that is really annoying.

04-27-2011, 08:57 AM
My solution to this kind of thing is really annoying. As my bike makes new noises I add just enough jingle bells to drown out the noise. When I run out of places to attach bells, I know it is time to fix something.

Totally joking about that.

Take a look at the inside of the square taper on the cranks. The aluminum of the crank is softer than the steel of the bottom bracket. If the crank has spent some of its existence over or under tightened, the BB tapers can dig into the aluminum, causing creaking and eventually wobbling. Once that happens, there's not much that can be done to address the problem beyond replacing the crank. Sometimes this just happens with years of use... even if the cranks have been well cared for.

As a side note, square taper cranks should never be greased. ISIS and splined BBs? Yes. Square taper? No. :D

There are some ghetto methods for fixing this, but they are not pretty and rarely last. Some are really cool and require cutting the BB spindle if you ever need to "undo" what you "fixed". Often that kind of fix is worse than the disease. Lack of resources makes for strange bedfellows.

On that note, I'm going to end this post. *Applause*


04-27-2011, 09:49 AM
@one eight: I did not in fact. I'll try that to rule that one out before moving forward.

@Pete: I have a feeling that you are correct about the tapers being worn out. Last night I inspected the square taper on the crank and I could see some scraping on the anodized area but it didn't really look dug in. Perhaps it is just enough to click and drive me mad. I'll start shopping for a new crank/bb (non-square taper).



04-27-2011, 10:50 AM
I noticed you didn't mention the seat post.

Thought the same thing when I started reading. Had a similar noise that I *swore* was the BB. Changed it and the crank to find it was a creaky seatpost.

And pedaling in smooth circles just meant I had good form and wasn't exerting odd pressures on the seat post.

I have ione now on my Cross bike though. at 15k miles on a MegaExo BB it's about twice it's normal lifespan, but it's symptoms aren't the same. clicks and creaks, but you can feel it in the pedals..

04-27-2011, 12:39 PM
Good points, y'all! I identifying the source of sounds is always tough while riding. I've SWORN that I had a bottom bracket creek and it turned out to be a rear hub... or bottle cage.

That said, I've really only had one square taper crank that has never worn out... Campy Nuovo/Super record. Pretty much everything else has at one point or another, gone south. Actually I take that back. I have some Superbe Pro track cranks that still rock on. :D Other cranks have been deemed mortal in one way, shape or form.

04-27-2011, 12:45 PM
Rick, don't forget to try lubing the chain. I've had clicking noises that only happened when I pedaled that disappeared when I simply lubed up the chain. A good cleaning of the chain and drive-train may be called for too.

Bill Hole
05-01-2011, 09:51 AM
Could be a pedal or even a loose cleat. I've been fooled by both into thinking my BB was misbehaving.

05-01-2011, 01:16 PM
I haven't seen a single bad suggestion here. Reality is that a BB usually lasts an awful long time and is the first to get condemned but frequently the last to actually be the issue.

05-02-2011, 08:48 AM
I haven't seen a single bad suggestion here.

I can fix that. :D

Dip your entire bicycle in honey and roll it in flake coconut. It won't ride any better... probably ride much worse. It will be sweet and sticky though. That's something.


Happy Monday.


05-05-2011, 11:08 PM
Update: Ruled out the seat. New crank and BB are on their way. I actually think I temporarily fixed things using a little Teflon tape on the spindle. Been quiet for three days now.

Thanks everyone


05-06-2011, 03:03 PM
Bummer that it turned out to be a more expensive fix.
Good luck with the new crankset, here's hoping it gives you many good miles.