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  1. #1
    Queen of the Pea Pile oceanrider's Avatar
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    front wheel ticking

    There's a ticking/pinging sound coming from the front wheel. Just started today. It's a steel 27" wheel if that makes a difference. Is this something I need to be concerned about?
    Picture yourself on a boat on a river, with tangerine trees and marmalade skies...

  2. #2
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    Although your particular problem may be nothing to worry about, bear in mind that anything involving the fork or front wheel is potentially very serious.

    Start by checking for loose spokes or excess bearing play. If the hub is more than a couple of years old, it may be due for a bearing repack. Note the conditions (if any) under which it makes the most noise. Be attentive to any changes in the ticking. Bear in mind it could also be as simple as the end of the brake cable rubbing the spokes or part of the brake contacting the rim or tyre.
    "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
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  3. #3
    Year-round cyclist
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    Originally posted by oceanrider
    There's a ticking/pinging sound coming from the front wheel. Just started today. It's a steel 27" wheel if that makes a difference. Is this something I need to be concerned about?
    Does it happen regularly with each wheel revolution or does it happens only on bumpy surfaces?

    Does it also happen at home, with the front wheel lifted?

    It's hard to diagnose on the web, but here are a few points to check.

    1. If you have tires with thread, there might be a slight piece of gravel (or glass) stuck into the tire. If you wait long enough, it will wear itself away (or will tear the tire), so it's a good idea to remove any foreign object.

    2. Friction somewhere. The tire may touch the fork in one spot, one brake pad may rub on the rim or your fender may be crooked and touch the tire at some point.

    3. Bearings. Well greased and in good shape. If you ride regularly, they should be greased approximately once a year (I'm not sure of a proper frequency in Florida -- I think you ride mostly on pavement, but I don't know how much salt/grime/rain do you receive). If you spin the wheel and it sounds "grainy" (i.e. like sand in the bearings), re-grease them.

    4. Defective tire. If your front tire is really worn out or defective, it may bulge and that could induce friction somewhere. A bulging tire should be replaced immediately -- especially in the front -- because that's a blow out waiting to happen.

    5. Wobbly front wheel. That would have happen with years of riding and/or a really serious bump. If your wheel suddently became out of true (or gradually became too much out of true), your tire will touch the fork or fender, or your rim will touch the brake in one spot. The wheel should be trued -- either by you or by a good LBS.

    6. Broken spoke. Broken spokes usually happen on the rear wheel, and usually on the right side; yet, a broken spoke in front is still possible, especially if there are few spokes on that wheel. Try to wiggle each spoke or to ping the spokes together -- you'll see if there is any really loose one or if there is a broken one. A broken spoke makes the wheel wobbly, and should be replaced ASAP.


    These are the most likely culprits. If you don't see anything along these lines, it's either nothing... or something different. Maybe if you have other symptoms we could help.

    Regards,
    Michel Gagnon
    Montréal (Québec, Canada)

  4. #4
    Senior Member mike's Avatar
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    If you are CERTAIN that it is coming from your front wheel, the two most common sources would be that your odometer sensor is too close to the spokes OR your reflector may be catty-whompas.

    If it is a sharp ping-ping-ping, then check for broken spokes. Of course, you would probably also notice that your wheel was not true if a spoke was broken.

    Finally, check the whole bike for the source. Sounds travel in weird ways on bikes. Sometimes you swear the sound is coming from the front when it is really coming from the back. A mystery sound drove me nuts for a long time until I realized it was the cable lock swinging back&forth under my saddle and knocking on my seat post.

    Good luck.
    Mike

  5. #5
    Oh God, He's back! 1oldRoadie's Avatar
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    Oceanrider, did you find out what it was? that ticked?
    I can't ride and Frown!

  6. #6
    Queen of the Pea Pile oceanrider's Avatar
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    catty-whompas? Oh that does NOT sound like a good thing

    I've been busy tuning up my commuter. Now it's time to turn my attention to the catty-whompas wheel problem on the road bike. It is out of true. The LBS did the best they could around a month ago to get it right but it wasn't perfect. It's still a tad wobbly and it's probably more so now. It doesn't make that sound unless I'm actually riding. Also, when I apply the brake it becomes more pronounced. Just giving the wheel a spin without any weight doesn't make it happen but it is obviously wobbly. It's time for a new wheel no doubt. It's the original wheel on this retro ride.

    I guess until I replace it I should avoid high speed steep descents.
    Picture yourself on a boat on a river, with tangerine trees and marmalade skies...

  7. #7
    Forum Admin lotek's Avatar
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    yup, sounds like your wheel is catty-whompus,
    that is, out of true (technical term is wankerjawwed).
    I'd bet dollars to doughnuts (krispy kreme please) that
    the ping/tick is your spokes tensioning/detensioning.
    Steel rims? I'd say get new wheels, You deserve em,
    get something lighter and its like a whole new bike.

    Marty
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  8. #8
    Senior Member mike's Avatar
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    Originally posted by roadbuzz
    Another possibility, less critical than the others... If you have a computer on the offending wheel, check that the magnet isn't isn't hitting the pick-up. Sometimes the magnets get rotated a little, or the pick-up slips down the fork.
    Yup. This is one of the things I was trying to describe above.

    If the sound is "ting-ting-ting", then Magnet/sensor interface could be the problem.

    If it is a duller sound like a high pitched "thoomp, thoomp, thoomp", then it could be your rim hitting the brake pad (check both front and rear). If you damaged your rim, no amount of truing will fix it. The rim can be true on one side, and have a bulge on the other side. That bulge can hit the brake pad in a maddening way.
    Mike

  9. #9
    huh? JaredMcDonley's Avatar
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    my be im just too newbe to know but what is catty-whompus? I have never heard that!

    Jared
    Liking what you do is Happiness; Doing what you like is Freedom.

  10. #10
    Forum Admin lotek's Avatar
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    Originally posted by JaredMcDonley
    my be im just too newbe to know but what is catty-whompus? I have never heard that!
    Jared
    Being a Newbie has nothing to do with knowing Catty-whompus.
    Its an old timey term (hmmm, dating myself?) for skewed, at an angle to, off center etc.
    you know, wankerjawwed, bass akward.

    Marty
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  11. #11
    Queen of the Pea Pile oceanrider's Avatar
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    catty-whompas is the way I feel a lot of days. Actually it sounds more like a thwing-thwing. I have no idea how to tighten spokes to true a wheel nor do I have anything but a set of parktools with metric allens and a phillips and regular screwdriver.
    Picture yourself on a boat on a river, with tangerine trees and marmalade skies...

  12. #12
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    Whatever you do don't try to improvise with a pair of locking pliers or you may break the spoke as I just did though this should work for minor adjustments(did I just say that I guess I never learn) .Actually all you need is a spoke wrench which costs around $7 I think and it should be a breeze to true the wheel or tighten spokes..To true Just tighten the spoke opposite the bend a quarter turn(or loosen spoke on same side trying to keep the tensions about the same all around) and retest until corrected . To test trueness note how much it wobbles in at the brake pad.Really when it starts brushing the pad that is when it is essential to true the tire.For tensions they have some kind of meter but you can squeeze overlaping spokes inward together to note correct realitive tensions and then tighten any that seem loose.To get the direction to tighten correct see walts post in my recent retruing thread(hint imagine the spoke extending through the rim and which way you would turn it from above to tighten ie. clockwise).

  13. #13
    Queen of the Pea Pile oceanrider's Avatar
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    Oh now I'm really confused. Truing wheels isn't my thing. I'll ride it, adjust the brakes, lube and clean it. It's all too much!!
    Picture yourself on a boat on a river, with tangerine trees and marmalade skies...

  14. #14
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    Basically I wouldn't bother with truing unless it is so out of line it rubs the brake pads. Someone mentioned your noise could be loose spokes which are simple to adjust with a spoke wrench and flexing the spokes to see which if any seem loose.

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