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Infuriating clicking noise from handlebar area

JameyJamey Posts: 2,152
edited May 2009 in Workshop
When I push down on my handlebars they make a click. When I release pressure and sit back up again they click once more. As I ride along the constant changes in pressure mean frequent clicking.

This has happened to me in the past and I've always been able to solve it by applying grease to the interface between the bars and the stem but this time it's not working. Last night I removed the handlebars completely and greased every surface where the bars and stem meet. Then I replaced the bars, tightened all the bolts properly and checked the bolts that hole the stem onto the steerer tube while I was at it.

In short, every connection from the steerer tube to the bars is as it should be. I've checked the cables (usual culprit) and they're silent. I've wiggled, poked, pushed and twisted everything attached to the handlebars to see if I can make the clicking happen but the only two things that cause it are applying pressure to the bars and general riding.

The headset was serviced a few weeks ago (by myself, I completely stripped, cleaned, serviced and rebuilt the bike ready for Spring/Summer) and is properly adjusted.

I'm all out of ideas. It's not a particularly loud clicking and I don't think it signifies anything menacing so I guess I could live with it but if any of you chaps have got suggestions I'm all ears.


  • Smokin JoeSmokin Joe Posts: 5,669
    I'd suspect the headset as you serviced that recently. Slacken off the stem to free up the headset, wiggle the bars from side to side a couple of times and see if the click has gone after re-tightening.

    Worked for me recently.
  • are they titanium bars?
    Ribble Gran Fondo
    Focus Black Hills
    Raleigh Chopper
  • JameyJamey Posts: 2,152
    Nope, aluminium I think.

    Just the stock bars that came with the bike - Tricross Sport, pic in sig.
  • larfingravylarfingravy Posts: 95
    Are you TOTALLY sure it's not the cables.....??
  • topdudetopdude Posts: 1,557
    Time to start looking at other areas i think.
    Remove both wheels, clean/grease dropouts.
    Try different pedals.
    Remove the saddle/seatpost and just go for a short test ride.
    Personally i would suspect the saddle rails/clamp or seatpost/frame interface.
    Sounds unlikely i know but the whole frame flexes as you apply pressure so could be coming from the most unlikely area :D
    He is not the messiah, he is a very naughty boy !!
  • crankycrankcrankycrank Posts: 1,830
    Have you inspected for any cracks in the stem, steerer tube, handlebars or frame?
  • woody-somwoody-som Posts: 1,001
    I have the same problem, and have now located the problem. Its the end of the cables as they fit into the adjusters on the frame.
  • JameyJamey Posts: 2,152
    Smokin Joe wins - it was the headset. Don't think it was quite tight enough before, problem solved now.
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