Drivetrain clicking/twitching

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
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by StanK

Well, I don't know how exactly to describe, really.
It appeared a few weeks ago, and it's most annoying on good roads, especially when goes uphill. If you can imagine crank arm hitting front derailleur, very, very slightly, that's probably most precise description. You can hear it, and you can feel it under foot.

On not that smooth roads, it's like isn't there, but as soon as you hit good asphalt ... It's a little bit annoying and most annoying is that I can't figure out from where exactly does come from.

Luckyly, that pop up just before I swap Ultegra crankset with Dura Ace, so I know it's not that part. I told my LBS guy to look at BB if can see something, but there is nothing strange. So I presume it must be somewhere behind. Can be a chain, can be cassette and maybe can be something with back wheel. I changed all of this in last few months, but everything was alright till recently.
Anyone has clue what this could be? Where to start looking?

It isn't there with each pedal stroke, but you can't make 5 or 6 of it without that "click". Sometimes is less obvious, sometimes will hear it a person standing by the road. Btw. shifting is excellent, if that's matter. And I can't feel by the hand that cassette has loosened or something like that.
And additional problem is, you can't hear it on bike stand, you must sit and ride, put pressure on pedals. :noidea:
Last edited by StanK on Fri Apr 05, 2019 2:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

by Weenie

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by adilosnave

Could the cassette having started digging into the cassette body splines? Seen that happen before with aluminum. Would make sense considering you don't feel/hear it on every stroke and it becomes more obvious when under load like pedaling uphill.

Assume you've tried different wheels. If the chain has stretched a bit, that could be the culprit too.

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by StanK

Yes, another wheel would help very much but I don't know no one to borrow a wheel. Maybe LBS have one for try, but that would require 145km trip. Btw. chain is fine, it is almost new, and I was measure it.
Only if .... Is chain can be that bad? To cause such a problem after few hundreds kilometers?

I too was thinking of that contact point of a cassette with wheel. In that case, again, I must go to LBS, which isn't that local. Arghh!

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by bikeboy1tr

Double check the chain on a bike stand. As you turn the crank by hand watch the chain as it leaves the chainring on its way to the RD pulley. Watch for tight links as it travels that path. Sometimes the connector link will be tight and wont pivot freely which you will see as it wont straighten out properly when leaving the chainring. If you see such a thing grab the tight link and work it back and forth sideways to loosen it up. Double check that it is a secure connection if it is tight.
Also check how the chain runs on the cassette as you turn the cranks by hand. You will have to watch it from the back end of the bike as the chain might be picking up on the cog tooth.
This is just off the top of my head for now.
Hope this helps you along the way.
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by AJS914

Check the easy stuff - make sure the cassette is tight and make sure the skewer is tight. I've had seatposts sound like they were drivetrain noises.

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by jbucky1

if its a mechanical group check to see the front deraileur cable is not crossing paths with the crank arm

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by alcatraz

I also vote for a problem with a link in the chain. Maybe it's the quicklink.

The way I spotted my issue was to observe the chain as it rolls slowly off the cassette. At a place it did a little twitch and it was because my quicklink didn't fit the chain and I had a wear spot in an otherwise good chain. Because it's longer in that spot it doesn't mesh well with the cassette teeth and produces a sound and twitch in the pedal when transitioning.

If I had use my chain wear gauge in several places of the chain I could have found it sooner. Nowadays I always check the chain in two places. One with and without the quicklink, so I can compare the results and determine if the quicklink works well or not.

(Replacing the quicklink did nothing to fix the skip, the chain was already damaged. The holes that the quicklink fit into got ovalised.)

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by Jugi

StanK wrote: And additional problem is, you can't hear it on bike stand, you must sit and ride, put pressure on pedals. :noidea:
So, it is happening only when pedalling seated with some pronounced power?

Is it always at the same point on crank's revolution? If so, is it the same for both cranks or just one side?

What BB is installed?

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by NiFTY

I had a similar sound. Pulled freehub apart and regreased. Syill not sure how that made the sound but silent.
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by moonoi

Another place to check is your pedals, I had an annoying click that would appear in similar circumstances to the OP, after a couple of months of not being able to chase down the cause, I decided to service my pedals (DA9000) and found that the left pedal had no grease/lubrication left in it and the click was from the bearings which by this point were quite worn...replaced, regreased click gone.

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by PokojniToza

In my case this turned out to be the saddle. Prior to checking the saddle I disassembled everything;)

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by StanK

Well, thanks everyone for input.

I will examine quicklink first, I can do that without any tools or some extra knowledge, luckily. I hope that problem is there, because that would be easiest to fix.

Btw. cassete is tight and skewers I just tightened yesterday on my ride. That help for some creaking, but not for this.
Also, there is no cable in the way, but it is a different sound also. For now, my bet is on that quicklink or freehub.
And, it's pretty random; no conection with some point in crank revolution, or turns of wheel. BB 71 btw. All parts are in the link in signature.
Pedals for sure ain't, because I changed pedals week ago.

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by IvanZg

Try eliminating as many things by yourself as possible. From my experience shops here (e.g. Zagreb) are terrible when it comes to things that are not easily identified. Last time I had a creak on my FS mtb took it two times to the shop and they have claimed to resolve it and that BB was fine. Creak was still there. So I took complete Saturday to disassemble the whole bike, pulled all the bearings and bushings from rear linkage. Dismantled the freewheel, cleaned chain and chain rings with ultrasonic cleaner and after assembling the bike back together that creak was still there.... After that pulled out sram’s pf BB and bought one from WMFG. Installed it with copper paste and now everything is fine! So spent more than 10 hours on taking bike to the shop and back and then servicing it by myself on a count that BB is fine when I could have fixed it in 20minutes!

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by spud

If you have the opportunity to try a different cassette, do so. I had a Dura Ace one that ticked when I was on the 19 or 21 cog. I tried retorquing, removing and greasing splines, nothing worked. Replaced the cassette and silence.

by Weenie

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by StanK

I will take a look at quicklink first, when I get home today. We will see from there.
Btw. I don't have another cassette, but anyway I have no tools either.

IvanZG ...
I know what you mean. They "have no time" for that, but doesn't say that explicitly .
Luckily, my "LBS" guy is pretty decent when comes to solving problems (although, so far I haven't any major issue, to be honest), and I always make clear that I will pay him all afternoon if that's take to solve some problem. Store is in small town (Pakrac) so usually no big rush there, plenty of time for him to devote himself only to my bike.
Only ... I need to put a bike in the car and drove 145km.

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