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So I recently bought a trek marlin 7, mostly to commute to work, nothing rough so far, and this week when I'm going uphill specially, or downhill, or accelerating; sometimes is downright random, it makes two click noises, once per pedal stroke click, click, then click, click... weirdly sometimes it throws three click cl... click! two for the first stroke and one for the second stroke.

I'm getting pissed because the worst is that I can feel them in the pedals, and I don't know if it's going to blow up at some point and throw me out the bike, specially when I'm going fast. But it happens randomly and rarely, however quite audible. I checked the derailleurs to the brakes and the seat, nope, the sound occurs in any gear.

But this bike is fairly new, will it be covered by the warranty? I'm broke now after I bought it.

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    How new (time and distance)? It's certainly worth getting the shop you bought it from to have a look if its still within warranty. Those symptoms could be a falling bottom bracket but could just be loose crank bolts, which can just be tightened if dealt with promptly. – Chris H Jun 16 '17 at 7:10
  • three weeks, around 420km. – Onza Jun 16 '17 at 7:44
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    I've just had trouble with a new bike at a similar age and the shop were great. – Chris H Jun 16 '17 at 7:48
  • Also worth checking the headset bearings. Had very similar symptoms on a new Trek DS 8.5. Shop and I convinced the click / creak were originating in the pedal / crank / bottom bracket area. Eventually we checked the headset (manufactured by FSA), swapped it out for a new one, problem solved. Shop also commented there appeared to be a lack of sufficient grease applied to the headset during original assembly. Whether it's a warranty issue will depend on retailer / manufacturers application of "wear and tear". Mine eventually repaired by "goodwill" rather than an admitted warranty claim. – Mike Jun 16 '17 at 8:48
  • @Mike damn, however I could swear I hear no sound coming from the headset, wouldn't then I feel the click in my hands and not in my legs?... it could come from the back wheel though. I suppose. – Onza Jun 16 '17 at 9:18
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It's hard to diagnose the problem remotely, though the suggestions in the comments are good things to try. Normally, I try to give "educational" answers that show people how to fix problems on their own, but I don't feel I have the expertise in this case, so I'm going to make the non-educational suggestion.

Your bike is brand new, so you should take it back to the shop you bought it from. New bikes almost always need a little adjustment after a few weeks and your bike shop will be happy to fix the problem for you. There's probably nothing seriously wrong and it won't even be treated as a warranty issue unless parts need to be replaced. They'll just make the necessary adjustments, very likely without charge. From a purely mercenary point of view, they want you to be a happy customer so you come back and spend more money there. But, actually, my experience is that bike shops seem to be full of genuinely nice people who want you to be happy cyclist because they care about cycling.

  • Recorded a video youtu.be/8UyEqgFkCjA (closer to the source of sound) youtu.be/cGNZbk46B60 (more view) – Onza Jun 17 '17 at 10:12
  • Videos were rather hard to record and I'm not using full speed because wind will completely occlude the noise, usually the sound is around 3 times louder than those. – Onza Jun 17 '17 at 10:13
  • BTW I went to the bike shop and they told me to go another day when they are less busy, the guy didn't seem pleased at all. – Onza Jun 17 '17 at 10:21
  • @Onza Wow, that's terrible. I'd definitely look for another bike shop, once they've sorted out this problem. If they're not helpful, do turn it into a warranty issue and also check out your country's legislation about the sale of defective goods. – David Richerby Jun 17 '17 at 11:46
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    @Onza What was the problem? How did you solve it? – Robert Lee Jul 19 at 14:47
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It sounds like you've already correlated the clicking to pedaling, but just to be sure, correlate with one of the following items:

  1. Wheel rotation: does the clicking stop when you stop pedaling (which also stops most drive train parts moving). If it continues, it may be a wheel hub or freewheel problem. See bike shop1.
  2. Specific gears: If the frequency of clicking changes as you change through gears when you pedal, it could be chain, derailleur, or cassette. See bike shop1.
  3. Seat rocking: While coasting, without pedaling, try rocking left to right a small amount, bouncing up and down on your seat a little, or making a pedaling motion with your feet off the pedals. If you hear the clicking, it could be a loose seat or just seat fabric rubbing against metal or plastic parts as you pedal.
  4. Pedaling: If it only occurs when you're pedaling and the number of clicks is constant with pedaling (doesn't change as you change gears), then it's most likely dry pedal axel threads, or less likely pedal spindle bearings or bottom bracket.
    • Bonus, if the volume of clicks varies with how hard you're pedaling, that's another indication that this is the case.

IMO, the most likely is #4, specifically dry pedal threads. Luckily this is easy to test as follows:

Have a look at your pedals. They will be removable from the crank-arm either with a flat pedal wrench around the collar of the spindle, or a large allen key through the back:

Pedal Removal

Image from Park Tool article which provides more detail.

Remove them, clean the threads, and apply a small amount of grease to the threads, then put them back in and tighten them up nice & tight. Note that the drive-side pedal (right hand) will be threaded "normally" and the left side pedal will be reverse threaded. If the clicking goes away that was it.

I find both my bikes start doing this after 2-3,000km of riding, but if the shop didn't grease the spindles or under-greased them this could start earlier.

If that's not it, then it could be the bottom bracket, in which case I would advise you have the shop work on it unless you're pretty comfortable dismantling the drivetrain of your bike.


1 "See bike shop" recommendations are not based on an assumption about your bike repair skill level. They are because your bike is new and should not have major items like wheel hubs making weird noises.

  • Recorded a video youtu.be/8UyEqgFkCjA (closer to the source of sound) youtu.be/cGNZbk46B60 (more view) Usually the sound is around 3 times louder, but I am going rather slow and not putting much pressure then. – Onza Jun 17 '17 at 10:14
  • Video makes me think even more so that it's a dry/ loose pedal thread. Very easy to test yourself and either fix it or eliminate it as a possibility. See item #4 in my list. – SSilk Jun 23 '17 at 17:01
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I had a similar clicking when pedaling (trek DS1). It came out the Bottom bracket was loose a bit. I tightened it to get home, but let's see if it took any damage.

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