My road bike with square taper Chorus crankset has developed a click when pedaling. The click happens always in the same pedal position, right crank forward, on both chainrings. Since the noise started, I have reinstalled the cranks, tightened chainring bolts, and replaced the seatpost, pedals and wheels.

The bottom bracket rotates smoothly when cranks are not installed or without chain. The click only occurs when pedaling with force, and happens when standing up so it very probably is not the saddle or seat post.

The most mysterious part is that the click goes away in rain or even humid weather. Any ideas?

EDIT: Since this got a "popular question" badge and duplicate, situation update: Since I posted the question, I have switched pedals a couple of times and replaced the chainrings. The click remains the same.

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    @PeteH Pedaling, as in not freewheeling. I do not know where the noise is coming from, that's why I am asking. It could be an interesting exercise to show how there are multiple clicks per rotation when the click happens always in one position. – ojs Jul 10 '16 at 20:08
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    What is interesting is that you seem to place more importance in writing sarcastic comments than you do in fixing your bike. I'm sorry I couldn't help you. – PeteH Jul 10 '16 at 20:21
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    Do you have access to training rollers? It might help for someone else to ride the bike while you look closely. Mind the fingers! – Criggie Jul 11 '16 at 0:33
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    Not worth an answer: I noticed such sound depending on the ambient temperature. Click comes when it gets warm, goes when it gets cold. Last time the problem was solved by pulling off the cranks from the bottom bracket and reinstalling it with a bit grease on the axles. – try-catch-finally Jul 22 '17 at 10:45
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    Have you tried replacing your knees? – Daniel R Hicks Jan 28 '18 at 14:19

A few things to do to isolate the problem to the bottom bracket:

  • Make sure you also hear the noise when standing up (Yes, I know you replaced the seatpost, but it might be the seat. Maybe.)
  • When you pedal hard, you also exert more force on the handlebar. Try yanking the handlebar every which way while stopped. See if you hear anything.
  • A while back I had a frame with a crack in it, and I'd hear a creaking sound when pedaling hard, always from the same pedal position. But, a clicking sound like you're describing probably wouldn't come from a frame fracture.

Bottom brackets (especially cartridge units) can make strange sounds when they're starting to wear out (even if they feel fine). That's what my money's on.

  • Good points. The noise continues when standing. Riding no handed or pulling the handlebars doesn't make any difference. – ojs Jul 11 '16 at 8:23
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    With a square taper BB you can put the cranks back in 90° increments. If you put them back by 180° you can find out if the clicking happens now with the left crank forward. Which would point to a fault with the BB. If it's still the right crank fw it would point to the chainrings. (Or does the left crank touch the lower left stay, I had this once?) – Carel Jul 11 '16 at 18:20
  • I'll have to try that. I retightened the cranks once, but didn't keep track of the position. The spacing is pretty tight, with less than 1cm between cranks and chainstays and only few millimeters between small chainring and chainstay, but stomping on the right pedal bends the chainring away from chainstay. – ojs Jul 11 '16 at 19:07
  • While not likely, it may be worth your time to check the seat. I have wrecked numerous seats, and the first indication of a cracked seat part is usually a clicking noise, which also tends to happen on a particular part of the pedal cycle because of the way my weight shifts on the seat. Even a loose seat bracket can click. You would like to think it would be easy to distinguish between a seat noise and a pedal noise, but I have found nearly impossible to pin point a noise source while riding. – user5108_Dan Jul 12 '16 at 12:43

OJS: I like your spunk. I made sure to read your post twice so I didn't ask questions you already answered. That said, what is the make/model/year of your bike. Whether it is alloy or carbon, cartridge or press-fit and its age makes a difference.

OK, You describe it as a click, not a creak nor a sensation of popping. There appears to be no feeling of a pop in the pedal stroke from what you say. It happens near maximum torque on the drivetrain. I have a couple of ideas.

Pedals 1) You mentioned that it goes away in the rain. I love riding in the rain, and there is one thing that will kill a pedal quickly, is rain. You also mentioned that the noise goes away in the rain. Perhaps there is water intrusion into the pedal spindle/bearing and it has caused some displacement and degradation of the grease. Rain comes, and it acts as a lubricant for a short time, getting rid of your creak. If you have another known good set of pedals, swap them out. If you don't, spray a little WD-40 into the spindle area and see what happens. You can regrease most pedals, some are easier than others. My money goes here.

Pedals 2) Cleats will occasionally creak against the pedal itself, and I have had one make a click/creak combo. Make sure your cleats are spotless, as are the pedals and give it a whirl. There is cleat lube, but you can rub an old candle on the cleat/pedal surface if you have one. Kinda doubt this one though.

Pedals 3) Re-reinstall the pedal, but with this time use plumber's/teflon wrap over the pedal bolt. It will act to fill any void areas, and prevents squeaking and seizing over time. Same as above on probability.

Rear Wheel) Sounds obvious, but take the rear wheel off, add the tiniest amount of lube to the dropouts, reinstall and ride. I've had what I swore were bad BB turn out to be a rear wheel grinding away at the drops during high torque.

BB1) If it is a BB, it will only increase over time. You aren't feeling any pop so it is an irritant at this point. From what has been said, I would be slightly surprised if this was the problem. Please let us know the year, make, model and BB type. That will help immensely.

  • Personally I hate riding in the rain, but unfortunately it can't always be avoided. I have been using aluminum anti seize paste in pedal threads. I doubt that it's the pedals because the problem has occurred with two different sets of pedals, one SPD and other Time iClic. The bike itself is a custom Columbus Spirit steel frame with Veloce 2004 parts, with the exception of Chorus cranks and bottom bracked. The square taper Chorus also means that replacing the bottom bracket will mean NOS hunting, Phil Wood or new crankset. – ojs Jul 12 '16 at 9:12
  • Re the rear wheel, it's not unusual to get clicks and "tings" from the spokes of a wheel. Usually this is harmless (occasionally it's due to loose spokes or some such) but it can be quite irritating. – Daniel R Hicks Jul 12 '16 at 12:32
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    The rear wheel noise correlates strongly with maximum torque. You do get the odd ping, but not a consistent one with nearly every rotation at the same place. It can't hurt to check the spokes and make sure one isn't loose. It also can't hurt to dab a little grease (and I do mean a little) on the dropouts just to check. The options are whittling down here. – user26705 Jul 12 '16 at 14:24
  • Finally, I would check the pedals again. The anti-seize grease is a great idea and one that I avoid because it makes a crazy mess no matter what you do! I strongly suggest plumbers tape (3-5 layers) on the threads to prevent any movement within the bolt as the system is getting older. And on the subject of odd: I had a bike to work on that made a creak I swore that sounded like a BB. Instead, it was a seatpost that was dry and dirty. Solution was to remove, regrease and the creaking went away. CF bike, but strange stuff happens everywhere. – user26705 Jul 12 '16 at 14:29
  • I think it's very improbable that two different rear wheels or pedal sets would make the exact same sound. Regarding torgue, the sound is present when I apply any more torgue than idly spinning the pedals. When pushing hard with low cadence it splits to two softer and lower pitched clicks. – ojs Jul 15 '16 at 12:12

I had this problem recently, and shortly after being unable to diagnose it, started getting serious chain suck. Most likely your chainring teeth have worn down into the valleys and the click is it trying to grab the chain. Solutions: old chain, new chainrings, or if individual chainrings aren't economical, a new crankset and bb.

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    The problem started with almost new crankset and since then gone and come back over around 10000km. – ojs Jan 28 '18 at 10:45
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    Plus, it occurs on both chainrings. I find it strange that both rings would have the exact same problems. Of course I have tightened the bolts. – ojs Jan 28 '18 at 10:53
  • The old chainrings finally wore out and I replaced them. No change. – ojs Jul 12 '18 at 11:06

I had a similar problem. ONe click each time the left pedal was at the low position. CHanged bottom bracket - no luck. Lubed seat and handle bar - no luck. Thought maybe if i switch the pedals that if the noise is on the other side then it would be the pedal. Well the left pedal was so tightly on that I knew once I got it off then added a drop of oil and putting it back on nicely that it would be better and it was. Now no noise. Hope this helps


I don't know if this helps but I had a similar problem I tapped the crank arm in dear I say it a block of wood with a hammer (one sharp blow). In my opinion the arm wasn't seated properly.

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    This is why I already reinstalled the cranks. – ojs Jul 10 '16 at 21:47

In the end it turned out that it was bottom bracket bearings. It seems that last generation of high end square taper Campagnolo had small bearings that were notorious for this. It was not the cups with threads, because I could find only a BB cartridge for different standard and reused the old cups.

The strange thing is that when uninstalled, the bearings feel completely smooth.

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