05 September 2009

Click, Click, Click…..BANG!

Over the last 2 weeks a click sound emanating from my bottom bracket has been getting worse and trying to resolve this issue nearly cost me over ¥60,000.

Now any sane cyclist when they here are sound around the drive area of the bike will automatically draw the same conclusion as I did, “The bottom bracket is either lose or need greasing and packing”.

But after doing this twice and still not being able to resolve the issue I decided it was time for Pinarello to take a look at the bike. The mechanic who looked at it I would trust with my life and I was a little shocked at what he did to my beloved Carbon Pinarello FP3.

Putting the cranks in the vertical position, he put one hand on the stem the other on the seat post and his right foot on the pedal, he turns and looks at me with an angelic smile put his full body weight down on the pedal and flexed the frame about 5cm off its centre….before I could protest he flipped the bike to the non drive side and did the same.

Next the forks and bars, which flexed a good 3cm! All the time keeping an air of innocence and calm…. I however was close to creating body count or curling up in a small ball in a corner whimpering. (I think it was the later as I think I blacked out)

But with a few softly spoken words he announced that the frame was perfect, and seeing that the blood had drained from my face patted me on the shoulder and informed me that it would need a lot more than that to crack or fracture the frame. So he went about the bottom bracket before as I had and yet again re-greased and packed the bottom bracket.

Next morning off I went again and within 5km the clicking was back, GOD! Now it’s getting to the point where I am ready to ditch the FSA Carbon Crank and ceramic bottom bracket and shell out ¥60,000 on the Dura Ace 7950 set and then burn and purify the FSA as it is obviously possessed by evil spirits!

So this morning I’m working on the new bike and putting the bottle cages on, half way through I realized that I should put some Loctite on the threads as they have a tendency to loosen up when you are constantly taking the bottle out and putting it back in and decided to do the ones on the Pinarello too. Halfway through the job a friend calls and asks if I can meet him at the station… So as I have the bike ready I jump on the Pinarello and head down to the station… HANG ON!

No clicking and creaking! It turns out the cause of this terrible noise was the bottle cages flexing and rubbing against the frame and transmitting into the cranks. I return home, clean off the debris and grime for the underside of the bottle cages, add some Loctite and a little grease between the cages and the fixing points and low and behold… SILENCE!

So if you have a problem and you can’t fix it… Check the bottle cages, they be evil!


TOM said...

Glad for you you foud the cause this time. Will make sure to check my bottle cage bolts first next time a persistent noise appears. Thanks James for posting this!

David L. said...

Not just bottle cages. This reminds me when I had a clicking noise whenever I rode at speed on my Reynolds Stratus tubulars. I looked for places where the wheel was rubbing, front or rear, for any sign of difficulty in the hubs, spokes or rims, etc. Of course, having had many wheel problems, I was worried the wheel was going to have a catastrophic failure at some point. Stumped, I mentioned it to Nagai-san of POSITIVO, who immediately figured out that at speed the tire was being pulled just enough to cause the valve stem to tap the inside of its hole in the rim -- noise solved by tearing off the corner of a piece of paper and wrapping it around the valve stem to make a snug fit. (Of course, now that I know what the noise is, I don't really mind it.)