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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My bottom bracket is making a knocking noise. I can feel it slightly in my right pedal usually at about the 2 o'clock position. When climbing, or out of saddle efforts the noise gets louder.
I believe it is an FSA bb and I've got about 3,000 miles on it.
This is my second year of serious riding and I'm trying to do my own wrenching. I'm real handy with tools but I'm intimidated by the bottom bracket.
Do I need to replace or repair? Is this something best left to an old hand?
I'm still riding despite the noise. Should I be using the mtb til I fix the issue?
Fwiw, this an 09 Defy.
Thanks in advance guys.
 

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I've had bad luck with FSA BB's and a local shop wrench despises them. I switched both mega exo to a Chris King and the sound went away on my SSCX bike, which ironically has seen much more slop on the CK thant the FSA and it still is quieter. I could never get the spindle to just slide in on the FSA to the point I thought the BB shell needed facing (custom frame), but the CK made mounting a snap. Changing a external BB is a snap as long as you have the park tool for the external cups, so no need to be intimidated at all.

n=1, but I blame the Mega Exo BB.

PS - make sure your pedals, casette body, rear QR are all snug as they can cause creaking too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The noise is def coming from the bb area. I'll try narrowing it down further as it may be from the pedal or perhaps even the crank. Are there different size bbs? If so, are the sizes stamped or do I need to bring them to the shop? Are cups the ridged pieces that thread onto the frame? Will ball bearings start falling out if I'm not careful? First time I took apart a wheel I spent 2 hours on the floor of the shop looking for ball bearings lol.
Worst case scenario I need to replace the bb, what kinda cash is a new one gonna cost?
I know its a lot questions but I'm just trying to get the answers before I tear apart the bike and end up wasting the next 2 weeks fixing my mistakes lol
 

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Put a Chris King BB in there and it will out last your frame. External BB seem to go rather fast. CK BBs are a bit pricey.

BB go for $40-200 or so. The CK above is $130 I think. Yes, you can by 3 at $40, but what does your time or down bike time cost you? Or, what does your LBS charge to install?

With an external BB, there are no bearings to fall out. They are cart bearings.

Now, if you feel like wrenching, you can take the crankset off and feel if both BB bearings are running smooth. If they are not, see my first comment here. If the bearings feel good, read this link bellow about a plumber. Since you took apart a wheel, you could probably do the BB

http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=605960
 

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Do you get any wobble when you move the cranks from side to side. I haven't heard any good things about FSA BB's.
CK BB's are nice, but expensive.

Shimano external BB's seem to last and last. (Mine has abound 12,500 miles on it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Ugh. This is such an expensive sport lol.
I have not noticed any wobble but I'll check again after work. Is a chris king bb mechanically different than what I have? Or just superior? I'll probably swing by the lbs after work and pickup a bb wrench, open it up and see things first hand. I imagine its easier to remove the left side? Will the left and right sides of the bb be the same? I cannot afford to replace a water bottle right now let alone major mechanical parts. So my main concern is just diagnosing the issue. Thanks again guys. This site is great. Where else could I get so many helpful tips in the middle of a work day?
 

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I'm having the same problem :(

BB pops when I turn the pedal over from the top. I checked the crank arm bolts. I can literally pop the crankset by hand when I hold both arms.
 

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tommyrhodes said:
Ugh. This is such an expensive sport lol.
I have not noticed any wobble but I'll check again after work. Is a chris king bb mechanically different than what I have? Or just superior? I'll probably swing by the lbs after work and pickup a bb wrench, open it up and see things first hand. I imagine its easier to remove the left side? Will the left and right sides of the bb be the same? I cannot afford to replace a water bottle right now let alone major mechanical parts. So my main concern is just diagnosing the issue. Thanks again guys. This site is great. Where else could I get so many helpful tips in the middle of a work day?
Yeah, we should be working too...............LOL
But then again, I dont get any extra pay when i get a call on the weekend or night and something needs my attention.

Go to Park Tools website and read a bit on BB (external). You dont have to get a park tool BB tool. Also, just remember the BB shells are marked "tighten" with an arrow. To get them off, dont turn in that direction.
 

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PhiltheThrill said:
BB pops when I turn the pedal over from the top. I checked the crank arm bolts. I can literally pop the crankset by hand when I hold both arms.
This actually sounds like loose crank arm bolts (left side for Shimano)
 

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I had that problem on my MTB, and I know this isn't the case. You can feel both arms pop to the right, or down. It isn't a wiggling like a loose left side, and it doesn't make that creaking aluminum damage sound. ;)

Sorry if this is jacking the thread, but my problem sounds exactly like the OP's. I'm not for sure what kind of BB it is, but the bike is a Cannondale 3.0 AFAIK. Most of the components are Sugino.
 

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A lot of Cannondale use BB30, which have no cups or threads. The bearings press directly into the bottom bracket.

If using a Mega Exo type bottom bracket (with external cups that thread into the frame), you can get just replacement bearings, reuse the cups if they are still in good condition. This might be a good time to upgrade to ceramic and the BB is one place you can really feel the difference (the other place is in the wheels... but besides that, I wouldn't bother with ceramic in headset, jockey wheels, or any place else).

Not all cups are marked with a tightening arrow. It's easy, though. The non-drive side is "tighty/righty, lefty/loosey", or standard threading where you want to turn counterclockwise to loosen. The drive side (i.e. where the chainrings and chain are) is just the opposite... Reverse threaded... "Tighty/lefty, righty/loosey" doesn't sound as good, though. An simple way to remember or doublecheck is that when pedalling you are always "tightening", no matter which side you are working on. The same with the pedals, too.

I agree, though, all the stuff mentioned by others needs to be checked and eliminated as a possibility.
 

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Noises in the DriveTrain area can be frustrating and difficult to source especially if they only occur while applying power.Start with the easiest component first and make sure it is greased, tightened, and adjusted appropriately.
Move from one component to another until source is eliminated.
 

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I suspect a chainring bolt would create more play in the drivetrain. It was one of the first things I checked as well. Both arms pop in unison, but mainly when I push with torque on the right. I'm having a problem finding a socket that fits in my Sugino GS crank arm.

I appreciate the help guys!
 

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Check the chain for a tight link that catches on cod or ring.
Had that happen just recently.
If it only happens under load, put bike in stand and turn crank with a gloved hand on rear wheel as resistance until you hear/feel the clunk.

john
 

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tommyrhodes said:
My bottom bracket is making a knocking noise. I can feel it slightly in my right pedal usually at about the 2 o'clock position. When climbing, or out of saddle efforts the noise gets louder.
I believe it is an FSA bb and I've got about 3,000 miles on it.
This is my second year of serious riding and I'm trying to do my own wrenching. I'm real handy with tools but I'm intimidated by the bottom bracket.
Do I need to replace or repair? Is this something best left to an old hand?
I'm still riding despite the noise. Should I be using the mtb til I fix the issue?
Fwiw, this an 09 Defy.
Thanks in advance guys.
Are you sure it's the BB that's making noise? Might it also be any combination of:
* Your cleat(s).
* Cleat bolt on your shoe(s).
* Pedal(s).
* Chainring bolt(s).
* Crank bolt(s).
* Wheel skewer(s).

I hate giving you a not even complete laundry list, but the key to troubleshooting unwanted noise is to isolate the cause methodically.
 
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