Bottom Bracket Issues

Last year (when my 08 bike purchased in 09 at sports experts, was still under warranty) I wanted them to find the source of the cracking sounds everytime i pushed down on the crank.

Basically… i tightened everything so its not coming from the not seat post, pedal (changed) or crank.

They serviced the bike (said they cleaned the BB and put it back together…) but as soon as i got on the bike again it started to click again.
then i got into a whole argument cause the BB was not under warranty or something… and I am left with a really annoying sound when i bike… which i dont think i should have to deal with anymore…

So the questions are:

  1. is there anything else I can do?
    if so… please suggest what how i should proceed.
  2. If I need to change the BB… where can I get a good, reliable and affordable one?
    My deals supplier just when bankrupt (used to get up to 35% discounts on bike stuff)



  1. Grease your seatpost real well. If you don’t have grease, get some. I don’t think many clicks come from inside the bottom bracket, usually they come from a metal-on-metal contact surface. Does the noise happen every stroke, or only when you push hard? If it happens every stroke, at the same place, regardless of force, suspect the bottom bracket. Otherwise, grease first, replace if that fails.

  2. Bicycletterie JR on Rachel, they usually have some good stock hidden away, but really any bike shop will have what you need. Even the base model Shimano Sealed Cartridge BB’s are solid and reliable. Avoid off-brand stuff.

concerning 1) the seat post has a sheet of graphite… or carbon… whatever you wanna call it, otherwise its an alloy post. I heard that you dont have to grease that kind of seat post. But i rode the bike without the seat… and the noise is coming from the BB as i suspect. OR… a loose crankarm… or something… but i had all that tightenend…

so I have to replace…that BB i suppoe. How much should I be prepared to spend for a midrange BB. Like… nothing fancy in the likes of Dura Ace or Ultegra… but perhaps something like Shim105.

Thanks for the reply btw


Also check the headset. Especially if the noise happens when you’re out of the saddle, or even just pushing hard, it’s been the headset for me numerous times. the headset is a bit easier to deal w/ since you can easily clean the barrings. Like John said, grease things. It really helps to keep water and the dirt that water brings along out of things.

Also, what type of bottom bracket do you have? Before shimano came out w/ the new bottom brackets with external barrings (Dura-ace 7800 and 7900), I used to have a LOT of problems w/ the internal barring bottom brackets (Dura-ace 7700 and below). At the time I had a Trek 5200, and when ever it would rain, the bottom bracket would be toast. Water and road grime would get into the frame from the seatpost, headset, water bottle cage bolts and the bottom bracket. All that water would then just sit at the bottom of frame; in the bottom bracket. Make a long story short, if I didn’t take out the bottom bracket every time it rained, I’d have to replace the bottom bracket.

If you’re still using the internal barring bottom bracket style, I’d DEFINITELY suggest upgrading that.

my bike is a louis garneau evolution 3.5 (2008)

I had a page bookmarked from LG’s site with all the specs but the link is now dead. too bad… i should have made it available offline or save it somehow. So i cant really get into the details.

What i do know is that its got a FSA Gossamer or Grossamer crank set. but as far as what kind of BB it is… i donno.

To comment on stephens reply, the clicking did occure after a significant period between riding (say one week) where the last use was during heavy rain. the former shop owner i frequently used to visit mentioned that i should add drops of chain lube in and around the BB without opening it. that didn’t work at the time.

Dude, I have a Gossamer on my POS training bike too and have a clicking sound as well but only on the down stroke on the left crank arm and only when out of the saddle. I agree, it was frustrating but then I began to pretend it was a metronome and all is swell now.

An all too frequent cause of clicking can be the pedals too. And the sound will come from the same are as the BB. You can try borrowing a pair of pedals and testing like that.

Frankly, the Gossamer is a bit of a crappy crank - it’s got a habit of either bad shifting (mine was one of those), being noisy or falling apart on you if you’re a beast. The Mega EXO bb isn’t very good either.

There isn’t really much you can do for creaky chainsets other than disassembling the whole thing (crank + BB), cleaning, re-greasing and re-assembling. Liberal application of grease on the splines and the non-drive side retention nut/adjuster cap is especially important.

Usually you can detect a loose crank or BB by flexing the pedals with your hands when it is on a bike stand or when leaning over your bike. Just grab a pedal in each hand and jiggle them in every direction. They should not budge.

You can also check for BB flex, chain rubs, etc by doing some hard stomps while riding on a open grassy field (to increase resistance/slow you down). This way you can look down at the BB to diagnose in a quiet setting.

Other options include repacking bearings or replacing pitted cups. (Do they make this type of BB these day?) Any wrecks that could have damaged? What about the chainring bolts?

Good luck!

i just googled squeaky bottom bracket…

this looks like a reliable start

One other possibility is quite easy to check. Last year I had an annoying squeak/cracking sound and of course could not locate it. A mechanic spent some time trying to track it down and the solution was unexpected. It came from the rear wheel skewer that was not aligned with the concave seating when closed. It basically was rubbing and complaining whenever I was out of the saddle. It just goes to show how many possibilities there are for odd noises.

thanks everyone for taking time to comment and give me some more ideas.

As i mentioned… i had changed pedals… (so they were not the source of the sounds), i rode without a seat… and the sounds definitely comes from the crank.

Nybom: I think i have the same problem as you had!

and Jason: I seem to be having problems shifting too. for some reason i cannot figure out yet… the fd is properly adjusted…however… when i push down hard or on some occasions just moderately… and shift to the big chain ring… its goes over… and then i loose all momentum. I cant get it to come back on my shifting back to the little chain ring…

damn Gossamer … i thought it was an alright thing. boooo.
now i feel like getting a new bike. i think ill still go this season with it and then ill get a new bike as a whole.

i have a shimano ultegra BB 6500 110 bc137 68 if it fits its yours for $10 but the problem is more than likely coming fro the front QR. I’ll take a look at the bike if you want.

I’ll check the quick release! I had changed the original alex rims with the Neuvation wheelset last year, and they came with new QR’s. the noise had started before the new wheelset. But ill check it again anyways.

If all still fails, Ill take you up on the BB Nick. As was mentioned the one I presently have is known to be shitty - i think jason said that.

Btw… thats a really sweet link/article. (bookmarked and made available offline… lol… or maybe i should create a pdf)

either way… thanks

Definitely get some expert opinions given the additional shifting issue. I wouldn’t go to Sports Experts. Try a shop that emphasizes bikes with a lot of tech staff. If they can’t build wheels, that’s a bad sign. Le Yeti on St. Laurent might be good.

Are the chain rings aligned within the derailleur for the full spin? The chainring should be equally spaced within the derailleur housing for the full crank rotation. Something would have to flex or be off alignment for the chain to flop outwards. This could be a dangerous.

The shifting with the Goss is apparently due to poorly designed ramping pins and chaining issues - pro circuit Gosses usually have different chainrings and the like.

For the issue of bad shifting and the chain going over the FD…

Heres a crank for 50$ on CR… its a new shim. 105 but 175mm and 53/39

Im thinking i could maybe benefit from this upgrade… what do you think… my RD is also 105 so are the brifters…FD is an FSA.

the only thing is… its 175mm and 53/39… is that … waaaay to big? I think my frame is a 52cm…and the gossamer crank has 50/34 chain rings and i dont know how long the crank arms are but i doubt they are 175mm since the seller on CR make them sound like long ones.

btw. im 5’9 and Id describe myself as having average length legs.

i’ll look at your bike if you want i live in the plateau if you’re not far let me know. maybe on the weekend. i have to work all day tomorrow

Most crank arms are between 170-175 mm. Don’t worry too much about 2.5-5 mm differences on the crank arm–longer arms will have more leverage and they could slow your cadence a little. If it is not indicated on the inside of one of the crankarms, you can measure this center of BB to center of pedal spindle. Longer cranks could cause your toe to touch the front wheel in some turns which would be bad. Put the crank arm parallel and see if there is plenty of clearance between your shoe and the front tire as you turn the handlebar.

The 53/39 should be fine if you have a 12-23 rear cog or similar. You will need to adjust the height/position of your FD to accommodate the larger diameter 53 chain ring.