I have about 5,000 miles on a Bontrager Race Lite set of wheels. While the bike is on a rack, I spin the rear wheel and it doesn't seem to turn as easily as it did 2yrs ago. While riding the bike,the rachet (sort of sounds like a fishing pole when you real in the line) sounds louder also.
Is this a sign of worn bearings, FreeWheel, axial? What sort of repair does it need to turn better?
EDITED: OPPS I forgot to mention that the mechanic noticed that the spokes need tightening. Is that a factor?
'''96 Litespeed Catalyst, '05 Litespeed Firenze, '06 Litespeed Tuscany, '12 Surly Pacer, All are 3x8,9 or 10. It is hilly around here!
The spokes won't have any effect on how easily the wheel spins unless the wheel is so out of true the rim hits the brake pads.
The "ratchet" is properly known as the freehub body and allows the wheel to turn without pedaling. If it sounds louder than before it probably need some lube. As you turn the wheel by hand, look at the part of the body in the center that's stationary and the part that turns. Squirt some light oil into the small gap between them.
The bearings in the hub may indeed be worn or just dirty. Have a bike mechanic look them over. If the hub has "loose ball" bearings, an ovehaul and relube will fix the problem quickly. If the hub has cartridge bearings, they are run until they fail and then replaced. In either case the mechanic will be able to tell.