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  1. #1
    Senior Member rousseau's Avatar
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    Spare wheel is clicking

    I thought I'd be really clever and get a spare wheel for use on the trainer. A "trainer wheel," as it were. Now I've got one for inside and one for outside, and don't have to worry about wearing out an expensive tire. Since today looked like the first day of winter, I figured I'd actually put the trainer wheel on the bike and do a stint on the trainer.

    But it clicks. Sounds terrible.

    I've got a 7-cog freehub cassette on my "normal, outdoor" wheel (hope I'm getting the terminology right as per Sheldon Brown's website), and a 7-cog threaded cassette on my trainer wheel. Are the cogs exactly the same? According to the guys at my LBS, whom I don't completely trust*, the cogs are all the same save for the biggest one, but no biggie, I'd hardly use that one on the trainer anyway.

    Could this be a problem with the chain?

    *A couple of weeks ago I went in to get a cheap extra wheel for the trainer. Cheap, cheap, cheap, I said. So I walked out of the shop with a $100 wheel all set up, tried it on my road bike, and found it was too wide. I'd have to loosen the brake cable every time I wanted to use it. Should I have realized it was too wide at the shop? Well, I'm still a novice. They should have mentioned something about that, I think. So I brought it back in, expressed my complaint, and they fixed it by getting a thinner rim off the rack and switching the spokes off the first wheel onto that rim. They said they'd give me a deal on the labor. It cost me another $100. This is now a $200 wheel for my trainer in which every component is low end. Is this reasonable? It kinda bugs me. In the past year I've taken my two bikes there a total of about seven times, and every single time that I've rode out of there there was a problem within 10 minutes necessitating an immediate return. I'm frustrated, but they're the only game in town. It's not a big town, either. How do I voice my frustration without coming off like a complete a-s-s-h-o-l-e?

  2. #2
    Senior Member rousseau's Avatar
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    Another question: is there a chance the cogs on the "trainer wheel" don't match up with my "outdoor wheel" in spite of the fact that they have the same number of teeth?

  3. #3
    Senior Member rousseau's Avatar
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    Thought I'd bump this one back up for another try. Do chain problems commonly occur when switching wheels? Would anyone be able to venture a guess as to what might be the problem?

    Thanks,
    R

  4. #4
    Senior Member ronjon10's Avatar
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    It could be that your normal cassette is worn down a little and the chain is stretched a bit so they fit well, but aren't exactly standard anymore.

    I just replaced my chain w/o replacing my rear cassette which I don't normally like to do. The first few rides I had some very minor shifting problems but they just cleared up on the last ride.

    Try taking it on the road and putting some stress on the gears by mashing in different rear gears.

    The other thing is you could replace the chain and cassette on your normal wheel.

    Good luck!
    just being

  5. #5
    Senior Member rousseau's Avatar
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    Hmmm...I'd take it out on the road but it looks like we'll be getting some snow tomorrow, so I want to keep the bike inside. So perhaps just using it on the trainer for a while might make the chain "adjust?"

    Thing is, when I put my "outdoor" wheel back on in March after three months of indoor training, do you think my chain might be completely out of whack with that cassette? I guess what I'm trying to ask, is: what do you do if you want to switch back and forth between two wheels with (mostly) identical cassettes in different states of wear?

  6. #6
    Yup pyze-guy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau
    I'm frustrated, but they're the only game in town. It's not a big town, either.
    Where do you live in small town S. Ont.?

    As for the noise could be a new cassette with an old chain like the previous poster said.
    When sadness fills my days
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  7. #7
    Senior Member rousseau's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pyze-guy
    Where do you live in small town S. Ont.?
    I don't actually want to "out" this shop. Not only that, but naming my town would virtually give away my anonymity, so I'd rather not say, if that's okay?

    Quote Originally Posted by pyze-guy
    As for the noise could be a new cassette with an old chain like the previous poster said.
    I just toddled off downstairs to try again for about ten minutes. It's hard going peddling like that, not smooth at all, but I daresay the noise seems to have leveled off a bit. Do you all figure I should just keep going on the trainer until the chain works its way around the new cassette?

    But once again, what happens in March when I put the outdoor wheel back on? Will it be time for a new chain? I've got about 2,500 kms on this one, and I bought the bike used, so who knows how many extra klicks it has on it. Will it be about the right time for a new chain anyway?

  8. #8
    Senior Member ronjon10's Avatar
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    Bike shops have a nice gadget for measuring chain stretch. Chain life itself will vary depending on maintanence, riding style etc. Keep the chain clean and lubed and your chain and rear cassette will last longer. If you ride in the rain and get it gunky, it'll definitely shorten lifespan. I normally get 1500-2000 miles on my chain, I've heard 1000-5000 miles is normal.

    I think you can check for chain stretch by using a 12" ruler. If you put one end of the ruler over a link, the over end of the ruler should land on a link also, if not, your chain is stretched and should be replaced. Someone feel free to correct if that's wrong. I 'heard' it somewhere, but I've never tested it.
    just being

  9. #9
    Yup pyze-guy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau
    I don't actually want to "out" this shop. Not only that, but naming my town would virtually give away my anonymity, so I'd rather not say, if that's okay?


    I just toddled off downstairs to try again for about ten minutes. It's hard going peddling like that, not smooth at all, but I daresay the noise seems to have leveled off a bit. Do you all figure I should just keep going on the trainer until the chain works its way around the new cassette?

    But once again, what happens in March when I put the outdoor wheel back on? Will it be time for a new chain? I've got about 2,500 kms on this one, and I bought the bike used, so who knows how many extra klicks it has on it. Will it be about the right time for a new chain anyway?

    Old chains and new cogs don't always work, and vice versa. I switched from a 15 to a 14 tooth cog that was from and old cassette from the lbs that made a horrible noise with my chain (basically new), replaced it with a brand new cog and it's almost silent now.
    When sadness fills my days
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  10. #10
    cab horn
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    Chalk this up to experience. Buying a new rear wheel is a serious non issue once you know exactly what you need and what you don't want.
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

  11. #11
    Senior Member rousseau's Avatar
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    Just tried the bike on the trainer. The clicking is still there. So I got off the bike and completely released the pressure of the trainer off the wheel, thinking I would pedal for a while without any pressure.

    Before hopping back on the bike I spun the wheel, and noticed that the cassette was wobbly. WTF? Forgive what may seem like a dumb question, but, well, does that mean the cassette is, erm, loose? Could it have come loose over a half hour of "rough" pedalling as described in this thread? Is there a chance the guys at the shop never tightened it properly (negligence on their part being extremely likely in my experience)?

    Would anyone happen to have any ideas?

  12. #12
    Senior Member rousseau's Avatar
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    Is there a chance that a wobbly cassette could be the reason for the loud clicking coming from down there? Could a new wobbly cassette together with an old chain cause this?

  13. #13
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    It's normal that between 2 wheels, same # gears on cassette, you'll have to readjust the RD some. That could explain your clicking noise, if the RD is slightly off. Do a normal RD adjust (see park tools site if needed), and see if that fixes it.

    As for the wobble, this used to be frequent on freewheels, before the advent of hyperglide and such weird teeth profiles that help gear changes; check that the cassette is well-seated, and the lockring properly tightened. This should not cause a huge issue, unless the wobble is very large.

  14. #14
    road rash/tree burn
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    Zouf's got it... from what I read in your description, it's almost certainly a spacing issue that is giving you clicking. Different wheels are almost always spaced a little differently (the distance from the outer edge of the axle locknut to a given cog is a little less or a little more than the same measure on another wheel). Adjusting the tension on your derailleur and the limit screws if necessary should fix you up (but of course you'll have to go back to where you were when you switch back to the outdoor wheel).

    (Edit): And are you sure the cassette is wobbly? Or are you seeing the shifting ramps that are cut into the cogs, which change the thickness of the cog when viewed from above the cassette and may make it seem like it's wobbling?
    Last edited by truckin; 12-04-06 at 01:19 PM.

  15. #15
    Call me The Breeze I_bRAD's Avatar
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    I can't believe this went to 13 posts before someone said to check the RD adjustment! It's free, and it's the easiest thing to rule out.

  16. #16
    Senior Member rousseau's Avatar
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    I'll have to try that, then, when I get a chance. But yes, the cassette is most definitely wobbly, and out of whack. My perspective was from behind the bike.

    Actually, speaking of that, when I was on the bike my front crank was a bit out of whack too when I was pedalling. This all seems kinda weird.

  17. #17
    Senior member Dan Burkhart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau
    Just tried the bike on the trainer. The clicking is still there. So I got off the bike and completely released the pressure of the trainer off the wheel, thinking I would pedal for a while without any pressure.

    Before hopping back on the bike I spun the wheel, and noticed that the cassette was wobbly. WTF? Forgive what may seem like a dumb question, but, well, does that mean the cassette is, erm, loose? Could it have come loose over a half hour of "rough" pedalling as described in this thread? Is there a chance the guys at the shop never tightened it properly (negligence on their part being extremely likely in my experience)?

    Would anyone happen to have any ideas?
    I'm betting that the shop put your 7 speed cassette on an 8/9 speed freehub and didn't install a conversion spacer which makes this work. If the wheel you bought is an up to date model, it will almost certainly have the 8/9 speed freehub body. If the cassette is loose, take it back to the shop. They need to make it right.
    Dan Burkhart
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