I'm experiencing clicking noises when I put pressure on the pedals (either side). The bike is a CAAD12 105 (it has FSA chainrings).

I've done some investigation to pinpoint the source of the clicking. I'm able to isolate the problem by standing on the crank arm (not pedal) while the front wheel is being held perpendicular to a wall. This isolates stem, handlebar, saddle, and pedals.

Of course it could still be spokes, fork, frame, or drivetrain. But I made a discovery: when I release pressure from the crank arm, there's a corresponding click. Moreover, if I remove the pressure slowly the click doesn't occur unless I press the inner and outer chainrings together with my fingers afterwards.

This leads me to the conclusion that the noise is coming from the chainring/bolt/spider interface. I have removed, lubricated and torqued the bolts back (12nm as specified by FSA). But the clicking persists.

  • 1
    when riding, how often does the click occur? Once per pedal revolution? Once per wheel revolution? Something else? And, does the noise go away when you coast? These might help isolate things further.
    – PeteH
    Jul 15, 2016 at 13:45
  • 2
    So have you re-torqued your crank arm fixing bolts? And have you somehow eliminated the possibility that the noise is from the crank bearing cartridge shifting in its mounts? Both of these are common sources of clicking sounds. Jul 15, 2016 at 19:49
  • 1
    @PeteH I think this is not important since I can isolate the noise without the bike moving at all. As I mentioned I'm holding the front wheel against a wall and standing on the crank arm.
    – Prastt
    Jul 18, 2016 at 9:40
  • @DanielRHicks I re-torqued the bolts. I don't know how to check if the noise is coming from the bearing cartridge.
    – Prastt
    Jul 18, 2016 at 9:42
  • You can try tightening the cartridge fixing cups. Jul 18, 2016 at 11:17

2 Answers 2


Sounds like your crank bearing. I had the same problem. It would only do it while I was riding. Drove me crazy. If it happens every crank rotation, this could be culprit

  • Maybe I didn't explain myself correctly. I can isolate the noise without having to ride the bike, i.e. it happens when putting pressure on the crank arm but nothing is moving.
    – Prastt
    Jul 18, 2016 at 9:45
  • 2
    It could still be the BB bearings. Cannondale uses (and in fact invented) the BB30 standard, which is a press fit system. This means that the "bottom bracket" is nothing more than 2 bearings which are pressed into the bb shell using a headset press. The advantage to press fit systems is that they're generally lighter and allow the frame manufacturer more freedom in design. However, press fit systems are also notorious for being more difficult to maintain and prone to creaking when compared to an external cup system like Shimano's Hollowtech II. Jul 19, 2016 at 17:48
  • I don't see how a slow release of the pressure could leave some energy built up somewhere in the crank system which is released by pinching together the chainrings.
    – Kaz
    Aug 17, 2016 at 15:40

It's a BB30 bike. Anything is possible but it's almost totally assumable that it's either the bottom bracket/frame interface, the spindle/crank interface, or the snaprings. First step after what you've already done is to pull out the cranks, wipe everything clean, then grease the snaprings, bearing faces, spindle, splines/lobes, and crank bolt(s). If that doesn't work, replace the BB and use Loctite 609 on the bore, then reinstall everything greased in the same manner.

  • Although I agree with Nathan Knutson's likely diagnosis, I strongly advise against loctite in the bearing shell. In addition to voiding many warranties (eg. Enduro Bearings) it could make the BB very difficult to remove. Oct 15, 2016 at 20:28
  • I did some, admittedly somewhat nerdy, followup research... and it appears the two instruction docs actually conflict. As you correctly point out, the forum won't let me comment on my own answer.... but for reference: Wheels Manufacturing (not Enduro - sorry) warns against loctite here: wheelsmfg.com/tech/PDF/PF30-AC-INSTRUCTIONS.pdf But Park Tool specifically suggests it for creaks here: parktool.com/blog/repair-help/… Oct 16, 2016 at 2:07
  • @andrew. We like nerdy research here. We want thorough, well researched and well written reference quality answers. Please update your answer. When you have 15 rep you'll be able to vote up posts you think are useful. See Privileges.
    – andy256
    Oct 16, 2016 at 2:47

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