When I pedal forcing a little with my right leg, the bike makes a noise that I don't know how to describe. I'll try to do it. It's like:

  • a short "ting"
  • a tiny bell
  • if a small rock hits the down tube

I don't know what is causing this noise, but I think that it could be any of this things:

  • pedal
  • crank arm/pedal connection
  • crankset

I think the material of all these things is alluminium.

I don't feel anything (like a bad shifted chain) when I hear the noise.

It happens when there is movement and when there is NO movement (I use the brake, so the bike doesn'e move, stand using all weight on right pedal, and it makes the noise)

The pedals could be in any position, It is not in a particular position. Just pressing the right pedal.

Has someone else has this "problem"? Any ideas of where this comes from?

Update: Yesterday I took out the chain and stood on the right pedal, and made the noise. Then is not the chain, nor the transmission system.

I put oil in the pedal axis, but had no luck. Also tried to loose the pedal, but the juncture point is too tight, and I couldn't.

Today I will try to use oil in the bottom bracket.

Update: here is a link to info on the bike http://www.diamondback.com/2012-sorrento maybe it helps to know the model of all the components.

  • 5
    The bottom bracket (the bearings and spindle that the crank arms spin around) is a likely culprit.
    – freiheit
    Oct 31, 2012 at 17:27
  • 2
    Does it happen at the same point in the pedal rotation?
    – freiheit
    Oct 31, 2012 at 17:27
  • It could be that... It happens when I put force downwards in the right pedal. Doesn't matter if the pedal is up, in the middle or down. It happens also when there is no movement.
    – jperelli
    Oct 31, 2012 at 18:00
  • 2
    Maybe it's not your bike -- it's your body. ;) Oct 31, 2012 at 19:08
  • 3
    Oiling the BB is not going to fix anything, and generally you do not want to put oil into a BB. (Use a good quality bearing grease.) You need to get the right wrenches to tighten the pedal, the crank arm, and the BB cups. Nov 1, 2012 at 21:15

10 Answers 10


Could be any number of things. The first thing to check (because ignoring it can rapidly cause expensive damage) is that the crank arms are tight. Even if they don't seem loose it doesn't hurt to put a wrench on the fixing bolts and torque them a bit. (If one moves more than a small amount, get a torque wrench and do them up right.) Likewise with the pedals.

You can also get noise from a cartridge BB if the cups are not totally tight. No big emergency here, but you need to tighten them to see if that's the problem.

Spokes can make a "ting" sound, especially if the wheel is relatively new. Unless there are loose spokes, though, there's not much you can do about this and it will usually go away on its own after the wheel breaks in.

It's unlikely to be that the BB needs lube, unless it's been sorely neglected for years (or submerged in Sandy's tidal waters).

If the bike is relatively new (a few months old), you should take it back to the shop where you bought it and ask for a "tuneup" where they would tighten the crank arms, adjust the brakes and shifters, and true up the wheels. On a new bike they should do this for free or for a nominal sum.

If the bike's older a tuneup won't hurt, but expect to pay more.

  • Good call on the spokes, those things love to ting when they need attention. Oct 31, 2012 at 23:58
  • Some cyclists have been known to work little pieces of leather into the "crosses" between spokes, to prevent them from making noise. Nov 1, 2012 at 0:23
  • Daniel, I agree with your advice on tightening up the chain ring bolts as a first resort.
    – Kipper
    Nov 3, 2012 at 22:51
  • 1
    @Kipper -- Not the chain ring bolts first (though one might get around to those eventually) but the crank arm bolts. Nov 4, 2012 at 1:17
  • 1
    @Kipper -- No, I'm talking about the bolts that hold the crank arms to the crank shaft. Nov 5, 2012 at 16:17

It could very easily be that the bottom bracket needs to be lubricated, as freiheit pointed out. Lubricate the bottom bracket and tighten it to the torque specifications, and tighten the pedals and crank arm to see if the noise changes.

One of the first things I would suspect is your frame, especially if it's an aluminum frame. It might be worth it to have an expert personally inspect your frame and crank for any cracks. I've had cracks cause me that ping before as well.

  • 1
    could you give me some advice on how to lubricate the bottom bracket? Do I need to take it out, or can I lubricate it on place?
    – jperelli
    Nov 1, 2012 at 16:06

Check the threading hasn't deteriorated and that tensions are appropriate for the pedal/crank crank/chain ring, crank/bottom bracket, bottom bracket/frame interfaces. Grease the bottom bracket/frame interface thoroughly. If all of the above fail to fix the issue the bottom bracket may need to be services or replaced.

  • I seriously doubt that the BB is in need of service. More of a grinding sound would be present in that case. But crank arms, pedals, and cartridge BB cups are all suspect. Oct 31, 2012 at 21:37
  • I just replaced a BB this week which was damaging the threading on the crank arm bolts and was producing creaks. I don't know enough about BB servicing and high end BB do know if that is a replaceable part. I do know that in my case, it was not a matter of the bearings being shot (grinding) however the BB did need to be replaced (at $30). Assuming a much more expensive bottom bracket I would certainly look into whether the piece was replaceable.
    – Glenn
    Oct 31, 2012 at 22:01
  • Of course, that was not a failure of the BB proper, but rather a failure of the crank-BB connection that resulted in damage to both. This is caused by allowing the crank fixing bolt to work loose, or perhaps never having it tight enough in the first place. There are generally noticeable warning signs (including noise) that the bolt is loose before damage occurs, if you know to look for them. Nov 1, 2012 at 0:22
  • Agreed not the BB proper. The BB threading appeared and was even cleaned when replacing the crank bolt 3 times. Each crank bolt ended up with burrs in one spot rather than what I would consider typical wear (shifted/rounded threading). I think there was either fine debris that I couldn't remove of a manufacturing defect as this issues begin very early in the bike's life and I have gone over it many times trying to address the issue. Perhaps you are right and it wasn't adjusted properly in the beginning, but the damage to the threads just doesn't seem consistent to me.
    – Glenn
    Nov 1, 2012 at 0:35
  • It sounds like the crank arm was probably shot, with the hole in it not tightly fitting the BB shaft. (Or else it was the wrong type of arm for the shaft.) This would cause the bolt to keep loosening and there would be wear where the arm rubbed against the bolt. Or else somewhere along the way a bolt was cross-threaded and damaged the threads in the BB. Nov 1, 2012 at 0:39

check everything that has human contact because there is a force exerted on all thes eparts when stomping on pedals

  1. pedals, cranks, BB, chain, cassette, spokes
  2. the seat post and seat rails
  3. bars and the stem connection

Also check the frame for cracks, especially if it is a full suspension bike. when stomping on the pedal you may be exercising a small crack in the frame that is pinging -- check all the welds first - particularly round the BB area.

It might be worth saying which bike frame it is and see whether it has a history of cracks.

  • A creaking bar is always a possibility, though that sound is usually easy to locate. The bar is most apt to creak if it's got a reenforcing sleeve over the center part. Nov 28, 2012 at 15:03
  • Try testing by isolating each of the areas. It's more likely that steel will "ping" whereas aluminium usually squeaks (when there is rubbing or cracking). Are the bars or the frame made of steel? Nov 28, 2012 at 16:32

Loose chain-ring bolts are an oft overlooked culprit. They're also the easiest to tighten, since you don't have to remove the crank or pedals, so it's worth a shot. Check that they are tightened to the proper torque.


Remove the Crank Arms from the spindle, apply a thin film of grease and retighten. If the aluminum crank arm binds on the steel spindle and doesn't seat cleanly it will make a popping sound as it try's to equalize the stress.


It's most likely is a loose pedal bolt. Check it first.

Worst case you have a problem in the bottom bracket. Check this vieo. It's very educational.


What I discovered on my Giant Reign is that it's the chainring bolts. They will place pressure from the crank to the rings and the only thing holding them together is the bolts and if they are loose, can turn in the holes. Sometimes they just dry out, or get debris and will make that "ticking" or even sound like a short creak if they come from more than one bolt. I now grease mine but it starts again after 10 to 20 hard uphill miles, pending on dust and stuff. I'm in the process of using Teflon plumbers tape on them, but I think the grease is better.

  • Gidday and welcome to SE Bicycles. Thank you for your contribution. Be aware that grease may be decreasing the noise, but its also decreaseing the friction between the threads in your bolts. Teflon tape is more about stopping leaks of liquids under pressure rather than preventing the threads from undoing. Perhaps better to use loctite blue, or even super glue as a thread locker.
    – Criggie
    Oct 13, 2015 at 3:36

My opinion is to make sure your bearings are still okay and that you are not missing any. If not put grease in the area of the bearing. Put the cranks back on and tighten it as much as you can.


I had exact same noise, a tink while I was out of the saddle torquing up hills. LBS identified it as the freewheel in my hub. They replaced, problem gone . They knew their stuff.

  • Another example of how unfair stack exchange can unwillingly be. This answer was posted after the OP was able to confirm that his problem occurs even without the chain, which must be why this answer had -2 score. However, it is this question that people are most likely to open first when looking for noise while pedalling hard, so this answer could be perfectly valid for a lot of people who open this question.
    – pateksan
    Mar 9, 2021 at 13:24

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