I recently purchased a 2nd hand bike, and I am facing a clicking noise when I pedal (under slightly higher than normal load). I feel it almost as a pair of clicks in both pedals, and I feel one click when one pedal is ahead and another click when the other one is ahead (1 click when each pedal is at 5'o'clock position and I add weight on it)

What I tried. 1) I noticed this first after changing the pedals, so i changed it back, tightened the pedals multiple times but it persists. 2) I tightened the screws on the cranks/chain rings (spider to chain ring) (they were quite quite loose) but it didnt seem to help (Are both the chain rings held with the same screws? I use the little chainring only) 3) I tightened the 8mm hex holding the crank arms itself. Also didnt seem to help.

2) and 3) Seemed to get loosened after the ride, so I wonder if they are indeed the problem. I have tightened them tighter now, hope to see in the next ride.

I have not done anything with the BB yet.

What else to look at, what can I do/try? Makes my bike feel very cheap :P I want to fix this.

  • Start by isolating things. Identify looseness between pedal cage/pedal axle, or pedal axle/crank, crank/bb axle, bb axle/frame, and chainrings/crank. Just use your hands while bike is leaning on something. I'd use some kind of threadlocker compound on the chainring bolts, a low-strength like blue loctite.
    – Criggie
    Jul 11, 2018 at 11:17
  • 3
    Possible duplicate of Something clicks while pedaling
    – Criggie
    Jul 11, 2018 at 11:17
  • @Criggie Now that I think of it I may not have tightened the pedals "tight" when i replaced them. I am going to tighten fully and test this weekend.
    – Karthik T
    Jul 12, 2018 at 3:22
  • I don't think this is a duplicate, since the list of things ruled out is different.
    – ojs
    Jul 21, 2018 at 8:04

5 Answers 5


If the click is felt in both pedals the problem is likely to be the bottom bracket bearings.

You should be able to feel bearing stiffness, roughness or 'notchiness' be turning the crank manually. It helps if you can get the chain off the rings to do this so the crank turns freely. Also check for any play of the crank axle in the bearings.

If the crank axle is not turning smoothly in the bearings or there is excessive play you likely need a new cartridge bottom bracket unit. These are not expensive but require special tools to take off the cranks and extract/install a new BB unit.

It's a bit worrying that you are finding loose bolts all over your drive train. You should probably do a complete drive train checkup to make sure there are no other lurking problems.

The cranks bolts are of special concern. If the alloy crank arms come loose on the steel axle taper they can be terminally damaged in short order. The bolts can be removed (the crank will stay on the axle), the bolt and internal thread in the axle should be cleaned and de-greased then the bolts -re-installed with non-permanent thread locker (e.g., blue Loctite) and torqued to proper specification. (This will of course all get done if you replace your bottom bracket cartridge.)


It could also be as simple as the threads on bb needing grease applied to them. But you should certainly make sure the bb isn't loose, either in the frame or in the bearings.


It seems every year I need to re-lube the seat post on one of my bikes, as it clicks (inside seat tube) under load when climbing out of saddle. Last year it took me quite awhile to figure it out as it seemed crank/pedal related.


All the other Answers are valid in their own right, however in my case it was a simple case of pedal not being on tight enough. Once I tightened it with all the force i could muster, the clicking (this particular clicking atleast) seems to have dissapeared.


I had the same increasing clicking when pedaling slightly harder and changed the bearings, changed the chainring change the chain, changed everything!! Still clicking and worse after the repair....i started to panic about the carbon frame on my top specs Trek mtb until....i read your post...jumped on the torque wrench and waked 200kgm at it, went on a test ride ...et voilà!! Problem solved .I can't tell you how grateful I am for your post, you saved my sanity and my money! All the best Etienne

  • 1
    Welcome to the bikes Stack Exchange site. Can you clarify what you tightened, e.g. the crank bolts, the bottom bracket cups? And can you clarify the units of torque? Torque is usually given in Newton meters, and kilogram meter doesn't appear to be a standard unit. Some discussion at the physics SE site here. Also, if 1 kgm is 7.2 foot-pounds of torque, then 200 kgm is an immense amount of torque that would probably destroy any bicycle component. physics.stackexchange.com/questions/32096/…
    – Weiwen Ng
    Jun 15, 2020 at 11:51

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