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Technical FAQ: Ticking noises

  • By Lennard Zinn
  • Published May. 28, 2002
  • Updated Aug. 15, 2010 at 8:45 PM EST

Follow up for Phil, who had a ticking noise on a Bianchi:

I had the same problem with a Dura Ace BB and Crank in my Trek Carbonframe.
I Teflon-taped the bottom bracket threads, reinserted and Teflon-taped the spindle before mounting my crank. No more noise. I rode with the noise for a year before doing this, haven’t had it back in three.
-Robert

And, from Phil himself, we get this advice:

Listen to your wife. The final resolution of the ticking BB brought me back full circle to where I started.  While I was initially assembling the frame, on eof my Look pedals had a strange clunking noise.  After messing with it, a little stone fell out.

My wife Lisa said to me “you sure that pedal’s ok?”  “Oh Yeah” I told her, “spindle turns smoothly, it’s not that old, it’s fine, woman!”

I took the bike out for its first ride and it ticked, intermittently as you know.  And, as you know, I tried everything.  All the while Lisa would say things to me like “I think it may be the pedal, you sure it’s not the pedal? … Have you tried a different pedal yet? WILL YOU STOP COMPLAINING AND CHANGE THAT FREAKING PEDAL!”

I didn’t listen.I sent my question to you and followed your tips.  #1 was grease the snot out of the BB, didn’t work.  #2 was change the pedals – that did it. Fortunately for me, my wife doesn’t like to gloat as much as I do.
-Phil

P.S. I can now rebuild and install a DA BB in record time. Not such a bad skill to have.

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Lennard Zinn

Lennard Zinn

Our longtime technical writer joined VeloNews in 1987. He is also a framebuilder, a former U.S. National Team rider, and author of many bicycle books, including Zinn and the Art of Mountain Bike Maintenance and Zinn and the Art of Road Bike Maintenance, as well as Zinn and the Art of Triathlon Bikes and Zinn's Cycling Primer: Maintenance Tips and Skill Building for Cyclists. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in physics from Colorado College. Readers can send brief technical questions to Ask LZ.

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