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Old 06-10-06, 07:38 AM   #1
MillCreek
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Clicking noise when rear wheel spins

As I spin my rear wheel (Ritchey Pro DS OCR wheel and Ritchey Comp sealed bearing hub and Ultegra 6600 10 speed cassette), there is a clicking noise. It sounds almost exactly as if the magnet sensor for my computer on the front wheel was slightly contacting the fork, that sort of clicking noise.

The clicking noise is there as the rear wheel moves, regardless of if the drivetrain is going or not. I have carefully eyeballed the wheel, nothing is contacting it. There are no brake or derailleur cable ends hitting the spokes or anything. I have made sure that the QR is appropriately tightened. It is a deep dish aero wheel, and I am wondering if it is just the spokes rubbing together. Does anyone have any ideas? Thanks for any suggestions.
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Old 06-10-06, 09:45 AM   #2
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How new are the tires? New tires have little rubber nibs sticking out where the rubber was pressed into the mold and they were made from the slightly extra rubber pushing out the air vents. If one of these is hitting a brake pad or arm it will make that ticking noise and they're very hard to see doing it! The fix is to simply take some pliers and pluck the offending nib off the side of the tire just as you would do a wild hair.
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Old 06-10-06, 09:58 AM   #3
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Okay I’m assuming that you know your bike freewheel mechanism has pawl and ratchet mechanism that make clicking, ticking sounds when it freewheels (some hubs are much louder than others). When the drive train is moving the wheel, the sound would go a way.

Does the sound only happen once per revolution of the Wheel?

Does the sound get louder the faster you spin the wheel?

Is it a metallic sound?

Is it louder on one side of the bike than the other?

Could your valve stem be moving?

Are you riding when you hear this or is it on the work stand?

Do you have reflectors on the wheel?

Is there a plastic disk between the spokes and gears?
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Old 06-10-06, 10:03 AM   #4
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and I am wondering if it is just the spokes rubbing together
This is very likely.

Check to make sure all the spokes are tensioned. I had this trouble with some new wheels recently. I found a spoke had loosened up.
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Old 06-10-06, 10:06 AM   #5
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It's a long shot....but if it has always done this, there could be a spoke nipple inside the wheel. I have seen this before. The sound might not be as uniform as you have described it. Onother more realistic possibility that has not been named thusfar is if the rear derailleur is hitting a spoke. This would only be the case when on the big end of the cassette. Good Luck.
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Old 06-10-06, 10:07 AM   #6
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I am wondering if it is the pawl and ratchet, since I think I read somewhere that Shimano is notorious for a loud clicking noise from the ratchet when freewheeling, and some hits on this came up when I googled the phrase 'bicycle rear wheel clicking'. The metallic sound is constant when the rear wheel is in motion (does not occur once per revolution) and gets louder as the wheel spins faster. It occurs both when I am pedalling or when the bike is on the stand. The sound occurs when the bike is on the stand and the wheel is spun, but the pedals are not moving. I don't know if it is louder on one side or the other since my hearing is pretty poor. The Presta valve stem looks and feels solidly in place. This is 2006 model year manufacture Shimano parts. I did check for tire nibs from the mold and there are none. I have no dork disk or reflectors (this is a newer nice road bike). The sound occurs regardless of which gear the bicycle is in. The rear derailleur is not contacting the spokes at any setting.

I am really starting to think that this may be a freewheel pawl and ratchet issue, and as such is of little import. But I invite the opinion of more experienced wrenches than myself.

Last edited by MillCreek; 06-10-06 at 10:32 AM.
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Old 06-10-06, 05:55 PM   #7
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he metallic sound is constant when the rear wheel is in motion (does not occur once per revolution) and gets louder as the wheel spins faster.
Then its not a loose spoke. Is this a uniform purring noise? That would be just loud pawls

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Old 06-10-06, 10:36 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by robhunterx
It's a long shot....but if it has always done this, there could be a spoke nipple inside the wheel. I have seen this before. The sound might not be as uniform as you have described it. ....

Ditto - this one mystified me for years and I only found the loose nipple when I replaced the rim. I admit the sound of the loose nipple did not occur when the wheel was spinning, only when the wheel moved a little, like when it was on the repair stand.
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Old 06-11-06, 07:59 AM   #9
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I have just had a wheel change due to a wheel failure ( see Bontager wheel failure thread).
After my lbs replace the wheel I now getting the ticking sound from the real wheel...my bike was silent before...my buddy has the exact same model and his is still silent..
The lbs swears they used the same cassette, but it happens while the wheel is moving even if the drivetrain is not moving...they said its a different lube?? Is this possible or is it something different about this wheel as compared to the original (model is the same)?
Bontrager Select on a Trek Pilot 2.1
thanks
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Old 06-12-06, 11:06 AM   #10
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my ritchey freewheel is loud as well

I have a ritchey freewheel, a campy, and two Shimanos (both Dura-ace). The Ritchey is MUCH louder when freewheeling, so my guess is that your problem is just the pawl action of the freewheel. I thought the ritchey was broken when i first got it because it was so loud.

You can pretty much eliminate all of the other causes by the frequency of the clicking. If it clicks once per wheel revolution it's NOT the standard action of the freewheel causing the noise.

if it's clicking about 9 times per revolution of the wheel, it's almost certainly the freewheel.

If it clicks WHEN you are pedaling it is NOT the freewheel.

cheers,

tas
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Old 06-13-06, 02:39 PM   #11
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I need to doublecheck if I hear the clicking sound when pedaling or just when freewheeling. It clearly occurs when I have the bike on the stand and I spin the wheel by hand. I will report back.
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