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Honey Have You Seen My Magic 8 Ball?


Graphic courtesy of Laurie Niestrath at

It started as an occasional click.  Coming from, it seemed, the bottom bracket.  Unhelpfully, all unwelcome noises on a bicycle seem to emanate from the bottom bracket.  I hoped that the noise would go away by itself.  After all, my bike was clicking intermittently, and only when I pedalled.

But that click didn’t go away.  Instead it soon become a constant staccato tick / creak.  Impossible to ignore.  And very irritating.  Especially as I was riding   my new bike.  New bikes are not supposed to tick / creak!

I worked through the possible causes as I ticked / creaked my way through the ride.  Failing bearings in the press fit bottom bracket?  I hoped not.  Notoriously difficult to fix, and likely to be expensive.

A problem with the rear hub?  A broken pawl perhaps?  I wondered if the hub was easily user-serviceable.

Maybe the spokes were to blame?  Rubbing where they crossed from rear hub to rim?  A drop of oil needed in the hub flange spoke holes?

Loose chainring bolts perhaps?  I don’t think it could be the crank bolts.

Could it be my pedals that were ticking / creaking?  Didn’t I just clean and relube them?

Or was the source of the noise something else entirely?

“Yes honey.  I definitely need that Magic 8 Ball.”


About alchemyrider

I left Malaysia in 2008 as a non-cyclist. I am back home now with three road bikes and all the paraphernalia that goes with being addicted to cycling.

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