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Old 02-26-06, 01:02 AM   #1
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"Rubbing" sound from front wheel

This isn't a serious problem, but I've noticed a "rubbing" sound coming from my front wheel. It's only hear it when I'm standing on my pedals leaning towards the front of the bike. At first I thought it was always there and I could only hear it when I'm standing, but now I'm convinced it only happens when I've got my weight leaning forward.

The brakes are not rubbing at all and I can't find anything else getting in the way. It sounds exactly like a rubbing brake pad though.

Is there anything I should be looking for?
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Old 02-26-06, 02:38 AM   #2
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If your spoke tension is low, your weight shift to the front could be flexing the rim, causing brake shoe rub. Old wheelset? Machine built wheels?
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Old 02-26-06, 05:35 AM   #3
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Poorly adjusted bearings in the hub? This would also lead to brake rub under power. I had this with my Elites' factory setup.
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Old 02-27-06, 02:10 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleGinseng
If your spoke tension is low, your weight shift to the front could be flexing the rim, causing brake shoe rub. Old wheelset? Machine built wheels?
No, I'm positive the brake is not rubbing. I can see it clearly when I lean over the front and there is no rubbing at all.

The wheelset is only about 6 months old. I suppose it could be a bearing issue. I've done a lot of riding in rain this winter. Aren't hubs sealed to protect against the weather?
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Old 02-27-06, 02:24 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Sin-A-Matic
I've done a lot of riding in rain this winter. Aren't hubs sealed to protect against the weather?
Some hub seals are better than others. But, all seals do is slow down water entry - they do not eliminate it. If you do a lot of riding in the rain you should be servicing hub bearings at least twice a year and probably more. The real problem with rain is not the water, but the grit that is suspended in it when it kicks up off the road. If you ride in traffic and are subject to spray from other road vehicles then that is probably as bad as submerging the hubs in a stream, as all that crap kicked has got lots of grit in it. If you find your chain getting gritty then you can be sure that your hubs, headset, and all moving parts are also getting it, too. It's probably more important to wash your bike regularly when you ride it in the rain than any other environment. Even just rinsing the grit off with a water bottle after a ride can help a lot. They salt the roads where I live in the winter, so that just adds insult to injury. I don't ride my good bikes on wet winter roads. I ride my beater and wash it as often as I can.

Last edited by cascade168; 02-27-06 at 03:37 AM.
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Old 02-27-06, 03:02 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cascade168
Some hub seals are better than others. But, all seals do is slow down water entry - they do not eliminate it. If you do a lot of riding in the rain you should be servicing hub bearings at least twice a year and probably more. The real problem with rain is not the water, but the grit that is suspended in it when it kicks up off the road. If you ride in traffic and are subject to spray from other road vehicles then that is probably as bad as submerging the hubs in a stream, as all that crap kicked has got lots of grit in it. If you find your chain getting gritty then you can be sure that your hubs, headset, and all moving parts are also getting it, too. It's probably more important to wash your bike regularly when you ride it in the rain than any other environment. Even just rinsing the grit off with a water bottle after a ride can help a lot. They salt the roads where I live in the winter, so that just adds insult to injury. I don't ride my good bikes on wet winter roads. I ride my beater and wash it as ofteh as I can.
It sounds like it could be the hub then. I try and keep up with the cleaning, but it gets filthy quick. The chain gets really gritty. I don't ride in the rain too often, but when I do it's always downpouring with standing water.

I've never tried servicing a hub before. Is this something I could do, or am I best off visiting my LBS?
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Old 02-27-06, 03:37 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sin-A-Matic
It sounds like it could be the hub then. I try and keep up with the cleaning, but it gets filthy quick. The chain gets really gritty. I don't ride in the rain too often, but when I do it's always downpouring with standing water.

I've never tried servicing a hub before. Is this something I could do, or am I best off visiting my LBS?
Here's the standard drill on servicing a hub:

http://www.parktool.com/repair/readhowto.asp?id=105

This is a basic skill for any bike mechanic and important to learn. The one special tool you must have to adjust and service a hub is a cone wrench of the correct size. You can get a cone wrench for about $6 at most LBS's. Other than that you probably just need a decent adjustable wrench, some grease and a couple of rags to clean out the old grease. You may have loose ball bearings, caged ball bearings, or cartridge bearings and will have to do the job according to which type you have. It's not that hard a job, but you should read the proceedure and decide for yourself. Best bet is to have someone show you how the first time. Once you learn a front hub, then rear hubs, bottom brackets, headsets, and pedals will be easy to pick up.
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Old 02-27-06, 10:41 AM   #8
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Suggestions: Check the fork tips to make sure (very low possibility) that one of the fork ends was not brazed on correctly. Check headset and stem tightness. Assuming that you have a quick release lever on the front brake, open it up all the way then ride the bike. If it is not the brakes rubbing, and the spoke tension is correct, then you are looking at the hubs. As suggested it could be the axle cone rubbing on the hub dust cover, or you have to take the front axle apart and inspect both axle cones, dust covers, bearings etc. As long as the axle is installed correctly and side to side play is correct, you should not have any front wheel rub. Good luck.
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