In March, I built a 2015 Ridley Fenix. It has had a persistent on and off tinking sound, typically when I stand up to carry momentum over a hill. Sounds like a cable in the down tube...or a small pebble hitting the down tube. I can also shift weight side to side on the handle bars and this bike makes the same sound (while not pedaling). Sometimes during a ride, it will not make this sound...other rides it drives me nuts.

Here is a list of my attempted fixes:

Remove and grease the front derailleur hanger

Remove and grease the rear derailleur hanger

Replace the compression plug in steerer tube

Pulled and greased and reinstalled the bottom bracket cups (twice)

Replaced the bottom bracket bearings

Pulled and greased the head set twice.

Pulled and replaced the headset.

Replaced the Stem

Oiled the skewers

replaced the shifter housing and cables.

Oiled /greases everything that I could think of.

Adjusted Handle bars

Adjusted the shifter position.

Adjusted the Bottom Bracket Cable Guide several times.

Cleaned contact point of Handlebar and stem.

Cleaned with Alcohol Bottom bracket hull and inside Head tube before grease and reinstallation

Added Spacers to Pedals

Removed Spacer from Pedals.

Torqued everything down to spec.

Grease threads on Pedal Spindle

tighten pedal body on Spindle

greased spacers above and below head set.

Sound not in Wheels, Have had 3 sets on this Bike,

Any help would help restore my sanity...thanks

Thanks Nate and Nathan, when the tinking first started...I had to be on the Bike. One day, after a particularly annoying ride of "tinking", I put the drive side pedal in the 5 o'clock position and pushed laterally on the pedal...and there is was. Would not do it again, until I went to the non drive side and put the pedal in the 7 o'clock position and pushed again with no noise. Back around to the drive side, 5 o'clock pedal position, push on pedal...Tink! at that time it sounded like it was coming from the head tube, but I know sounds can move around the frame. It will also make the noise if I push on the chain stay instead of the crank arm / pedal to flex the frame a little.

This bike has made the sound when I am on the bike, not clipped into the pedals and shift my weight on the handle bars right, left right left...if that makes sense.

I have not tried new bars...but I put brand new 3T rotunda pros on the bike when I built it.

have not yet messed with the seat post or saddle either...noise can happen standing or sitting...so I have not gone there yet.

Cant hear the noise by shaking bike, sounds solid with the pre ride drop test. I can find no cracks...

  • So it's completely independent of pedalling/moving.. Is it one tink or a whole bunch of tinks? If you pick the bike up and shake it violently does it make the noise? Could it be a piece of weld or other small debris that somehow made it into the frame? it sounds like it almost has to be something in the frame or handlebars or something that sometimes gets lodged and doesnlt make noise, and other times breaks free. You could try blowing the whole frame out with compressed air and listen for movement but that would be a lot of work..
    – Nate W
    Commented Aug 26, 2016 at 15:54
  • 1
    I assume there are no cracks in the frame as well?
    – Nate W
    Commented Aug 26, 2016 at 15:54
  • If the BB/crank area is still a suspect (seems like no), the major thing you haven't done there is tried Loctite retaining compound such as Loctite 641 on your BB cups. Sure that steerer/stem/bars are all in good condition, clean and undamaged? You could try carbon grip compound between those interfaces, sometimes that eliminates noises in that area. Commented Aug 26, 2016 at 15:57
  • Do your shoes have shoelaces? I have heard a similar noise that turned out to be my aglets tinking against the down tube.
    – jimchristie
    Commented Nov 3, 2016 at 20:13
  • Are you sure you're not simply hearing spokes rubbing? (Some people wedge small pieces of leather into the spoke crossings to prevent this.) Commented Nov 4, 2016 at 0:19

2 Answers 2


NEVER put grease on the seatpost of a carbon frame. CARBON FIBER ASSEMBLY PASTE is to be used there to prevent corrosion, seizing, and slipping. Grease inside the seat tube will make the post slip. Anyone who tells you to do that is not qualified to give ANY advice.

WARNING: NEVER overtighten anything clamped to a carbon fiber component.

Check tightness of socket head fasteners that secure the chain rings to the crank arms.

Make sure that THREADS of seat clamp screw are lubricated and that fastener is properly torqued; NO lubricant on post or inside seat tube, please.

The following is safety critical; a broken steerer tube can kill you.

Remove stem from steerer tube and take fork out of frame. Inspect steerer tube for scratches or cracks using bright light. Check for sharp edges on contact surfaces of stem opening and round them off with a file. When reassembling, use assembly paste on stem to steerer contact surfaces. Make sure that steerer tube expansion plug is correctly installed and apply correct torque to stem cap bolt before tightening the stem clamping bolts. Lightly lubricate threads of stem clamping bolts and torque to specifications.

Take handlebars out of stem. Check for sharp edges on contact surfaces of stem body or cover plate and round off any such edges with file. Lubricate threads of cover plate bolts but don't get any oil or grease on contact areas between stem and bars.

Check for correct torque on pedals.

Check WHEELS carefully.. Borrow a set of known good wheels from a friend, and see if noise goes away.

Check own wheels for defects:

Look for rim cracks near nipple holes. Squeeze pairs of spokes to see if they are clicking at crossing points. Take wheels off, place on ground horizontally, and gently but firmly push down on rim at opposite sides of wheel.


I have experienced this kind of tinking sounds 3 times, on mine or friends bikes. My 3 options are:

  • Bottom bracket, greasing or replacing cups; but you have already done it...

  • remove the seatpost and grease the tube before replacing it, it is very often the source of this sounds. As well loosen the seatpost/saddle clamp bolts, and grease them, they can be dry and produce these sounds.

  • if these options do not work could be that you have a crack somewhere in the frame unfortunately and could be useful go to an expert. They will put the bike on a turbo trainer and try it. I had this problem on my Focus road bike and it was the forks, they were driving me mad. In that case you could replace them.

Hope it helps

  • 1
    Great Ideas Paolo. I'll check the seat post and saddle tonight.
    – Jarnau3
    Commented Aug 31, 2016 at 15:39
  • 1
    As above but don't use grease on a carbon bike.
    – Chris
    Commented Nov 4, 2016 at 7:06

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.