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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a new 2015 Raleigh Revenio 3.0. Mostly Shimano 105 components with a FSA MegaExo external bearing bottom bracket and a FSA Gossamer Megaexo compact crank. I also started with factory platform pedals. A couple weeks after I got the bike I started hearing a "tick" noise every time my left foot pedal got just past the top of the crank. It sounded like it was coming from the left side. It was more prominent when really applying pressure to the pedals (like when going up a hill). After a couple rides, thinking it might be a pedal issue (the stock pedals are crap), I swapped out the pedals for the fairly nice platform pedals I had on my hybrid bike. The noise went away. Three weeks and 400 miles later, that ticking noise is back. Sometimes it is there at the beginning of a ride. Sometimes it doesn't start until I'm into the ride, usually when really pounding on the pedals. It usually stays for the rest of the ride although sometimes it does go away. It doesn't seem to matter which chainring I'm in, or which rear cog I'm in or the position of the front derailleur. But it does always happen when the left pedal is a millimeter or two past the top of the crank cycle (And I would almost swear I can feel a slight tick in my foot - but it might be my imagination). It does not occur when the bike is on a rack.

Do I have a bad bearing? A bad crank? Frame creak? How do I figure out what is going on? I'd like to be able to isolate it more before taking it to the LBS.

And can I replace the existing BB and crank with a Shimano 105 BB and crank (this is what I planned on doing when the existing one wears out)?
 

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See if the pedals are screwed on tight enough. If they were installed with insufficient torque, they could loosen and produce a tick as the pedal threads work in the crank pedal eye threads. If it gets bad enough, you will feel this in your foot. There's this BS out there that pedals need only be installed finger-tight because they "tighten themselves." Don't believe it. Hose down on that wrench.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
See if the pedals are screwed on tight enough. If they were installed with insufficient torque, they could loosen and produce a tick as the pedal threads work in the crank pedal eye threads. If it gets bad enough, you will feel this in your foot. There's this BS out there that pedals need only be installed finger-tight because they "tighten themselves." Don't believe it. Hose down on that wrench.

So those self tightening threads are also self loosening? I guess that might explain why it took three weeks for the tick to re-occur. I will check the tightness of the pedals tonight.
 

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On my bike, the crank bolts were loosening, and the pinch bolt was also loosening, so the crank was a little loose on the shaft. When they're retightened, it stops. I'll use loctite on those bolts.

I also had to clean out some dust and small gravel from the crank splines once, which made a slightly different scrunching noise.
 

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Sounds like this isn't your problem because of when in the revolution you say it happens, but the only time I had a once per revolution 'tick' was the my front der. cable end was bent out and hitting the right crank. Probably not you issue but check it anyway. Took me forever to figure that one out despite it being pretty darn obvious.
 

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So those self tightening threads are also self loosening
If the pedals were never screwed on forcefully enough, they will loosen up.

What they generally don't do is unscrew themselves completely and fall off. But that's not 'self-tightening' in the sense of screwing themselves on tighter and tighter as you ride. Many people believe they do.

Keep in mind that this is only one out of many other ways for a tick to occur.
 

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+1 on checking the pedals. I had a tick recently that ended up being a slightly loose pedal but for a long time I was convinced was the bottom bracket. It seems like the bottom bracket is always the first thing to be blamed for noises but the solution is frequently something else.
 

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Could be the pedals, could be the BB, could be the pinch bolts, etc. Creaks and ticks are the worst thing to track down. You may swear it's coming from one place on the bike but it could be coming from somewhere else. Start with the most likely and move your way out from there. It can be very frustrating. I was convinced I had a BB click and no matter what I did (pedals, chainring bolts, BB remove/re-install, seat post re-grease, seat change,...) nothing got rid of it. Weeks later and by chance I finally got it. It was the right-side down tube derailleur cable stop clicking under slight frame flex ! It absolutely sounded like it was coming from the crank area.

I had a Gossamer and MegaExo BB and the issues I had with it were with the pinch bolts. They did seem to tick even when torqued correctly and evenly. The BB's didn't hold up very well either IMO and would make a dull grinding noise. I went over to a 105 compact and Ultegra BB and never had any similar issues. Iv'e got many more miles on the 105 compact / Ultegra BB setup than I ever had on a FSA setup and it's still going strong. Shifts far better too. FSA does make some OK stuff but Gossamer isn't one of them as far as I am concerned. If you can do your own work then swapping over to the Shimano crank and BB isn't terribly expensive and IMO will shift better. So why wait? But if you need to go the LBS route then it will be more pricey and maybe better to wear out what you have first. As far as I can tell your bike does have a typical 24mm spindle based Mega Exo BB and should be easily changed over to a Hollowtech II BB but you'll have to verify that on your own.
 

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If the pedals were never screwed on forcefully enough, they will loosen up. Hose down on that wrench.
Ummmm, no. Use a torque wrench! If you "hose down on that wrench", you may never get them off again.

.....and the pinch bolt was also loosening, so the crank was a little loose on the shaft.
Yes! Very important to check the torque on these too! I don't know off hand what FSA's torque specs are, but Shimano's specs are 12-14Nm. After installation, they should be re-torqued at around 200-300 miles.

......but the only time I had a once per revolution 'tick' was the my front der. cable end was bent out and hitting the right crank.
If you have lived a very clean and sheltered life, possibly. It's worth checking.

And can I replace the existing BB and crank with a Shimano 105 BB and crank (this is what I planned on doing when the existing one wears out)?
This can be done whether you have a standard 24mm Hollowtech II BB or a BB30. With a BB30, all you need to be able to use Shimano is an adapter. Praxis and Wheels Manufacturing both make these. If you have a 24mm Hollowtech II, you're already golden!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Well, I checked the pedals. The right pedal was actually loosest and didn't require much more force than the weight of the wrench to unscrew. The left pedal (where I was hearing the noise) was only slightly tighter. After tightening them up, I went on a short 16mi ride with lost of hills and didn't hear a single tick. We'll see if this holds over the next couple rides.

Lombard, it is interesting that you mention re-torquing at 200-300 miles because that is around when I started hearing the tick both times it has started. I guess I better dig out my torque wrench.

Thanks for all your responses!

*fiz*
 

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Ummmm, no. Use a torque wrench! If you "hose down on that wrench", you may never get them off again.
Possible if you didn't grease the threads, ride in the rain a lot and don't remove / replace them about once a year during your annual bike tear-down on a cold and dark winter night. I push hard on the pedal wrench and they come right off, and have been for the last 40 years.
 

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Possible if you didn't grease the threads, ride in the rain a lot and don't remove / replace them about once a year during your annual bike tear-down on a cold and dark winter night. I push hard on the pedal wrench and they come right off, and have been for the last 40 years.
Whatever works for you. Many experienced and excellent pro bike mechanics never use a torque wrench, but many do. I still will recommend always using one as most of us who ask questions here are not seasoned pro bike mechanics. Not to mention that everybody's upper body strength and weight are different. So one person's "hosing down" may be another person's "shearing off". :eek:

I do grease the threads. If I ride in the rain, it is not by choice, but rather a result of a weather forecast gone bad. There is also the issue of the bike getting soaked while on the car on a trip.

I don't remove/replace my pedals once a year as that is only around 3,000 miles. My pedals last longer than that. Maybe that's why they are a PITA to remove?
 

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Well, I checked the pedals. The right pedal was actually loosest and didn't require much more force than the weight of the wrench to unscrew. The left pedal (where I was hearing the noise) was only slightly tighter. After tightening them up, I went on a short 16mi ride with lost of hills and didn't hear a single tick. We'll see if this holds over the next couple rides.

Lombard, it is interesting that you mention re-torquing at 200-300 miles because that is around when I started hearing the tick both times it has started. I guess I better dig out my torque wrench.

Thanks for all your responses!

*fiz*

Yes, definitely dig out the torque wrench and find the torque specs for your pedals. I believe Shimano SPD's are around 40Nm, but don't hold me to that as I haven't replaced them in awhile.

The 200-300 miles I mentioned is only after the first install. They should not need to be re-torqued every 200-300 miles unless you aren't getting them tight enough in the first place. And the 200-300 miles I mentioned was mainly recommended for the pinch bolts that hold the NDS crank arm in place as well as all other bolts with a small torque spec. And you definitely don't want to over torque the pinch bolts! :yikes:

And as Wim said, use grease on the threads.
 

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I don't remove/replace my pedals once a year as that is only around 3,000 miles. My pedals last longer than that. Maybe that's why they are a PITA to remove?
Sorry, I meant 'remove / reinstall' annually, not 'replace.' My pedals last for years too.

On the torque wrench: I do use it in places where one or more bearing is being preloaded and it's not apparent when that specified preload is reached (unlike the top cap bolt on a threadless headset, where you determine the correct preload by feel.) I'm not concerned about crushing carbon bits--someone coming after me with a torque wrench would always complain because my bolts were not tight enough.

In the bad old days of indifferently manufactured and shoddily painted Italian steel frames I could have used a torque wrench. I ovalized many a seat post and seat tube trying to keep a saddle from slipping down into the frame. And, of course, I snapped many a Campagnolo seat post binder bolt, like everyone else did. Some riders kept a Campy binder bolt in a jersey pocket, I kid you not.
 
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