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Old 06-26-07, 10:22 PM   #1
pinetreeforest1
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How do I get my bike to run silently?

I heard that your bike should be running silently while riding if everything is working properly. Well today on my ride, I noticed especially on the three lowest gears while climbing, that it isn't silent. I can hear the rear cogs turning as the crank turns. There is no friction on the front derailer, and when I hopped off the bike and looked at the rear cogs, there didn't appear to be any friction with adjacent cogs (although it IS a 9 speed so maybe there is friction that I'm not aware of). The rear derailer limits are all set, and I was playing with the barrel adjuster for hours trying to make it run silently. I even asked some fellow riders what it might be, but they said it looked and sounded fine, but I could still hear the rotation of the cogs! What do you guys and gals think of this? I could also hear the cogs turning on some of the highest gears as well. Thanks for your help. The more info the better!
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Old 06-26-07, 10:51 PM   #2
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Anytime you're chain isn't running straight, especially in cross chain combos = you will get noise.
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Old 06-27-07, 01:50 AM   #3
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What do you mean by hearing "cogs turning"? A "turning noise" is not something one can relate to. What sound does the bike make?
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Old 06-27-07, 02:29 AM   #4
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Don't worry. I hear the voices too!

Seriously though, my bike is in great shape and it isn't silent. Sometimes all it takes is a bit of dirt and mud, or a twig stuck in the cogs, a chain that needs a little more lube, etc. You'll know when your bike starts making the "I'm broken or about to break" noises. Just make sure that your drivetrain is clean, aligned, and lubed and you'll be fine.
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Old 06-27-07, 05:27 AM   #5
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'Silent' is sort of relative, I suppose.

Under perfect conditions, you shouldn't hear much, but you'll still hear something.. there are gears, chains, cables, etc, involved in this. Climbing usually relates to alot of torque as well.

As mentioned... do a proper full drive train cleaning, and a good lube job before your next ride, and let us know if you're still hearing voices from the cogs.
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Old 06-27-07, 05:49 AM   #6
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You could ditch your derailleurs and run fixed - that's about as close to silent as you'll get. Otherwise, +1 to the drivetrain clean. I had noise on my last ride, and realized that it was a dry chain. Everything's happy now.
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Old 06-27-07, 07:47 AM   #7
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you may be hearing the upper pulley make noise as it closer to the larger cogs. That in combination with an increased chain angle will cause an increase in noise in compariosn to a sligher gear.

BTW...my bikes are almost silent. when I hear noise I know something is out whack.....
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Old 06-27-07, 08:49 AM   #8
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Bikes don't run silently - especially derailleur-equipped bikes. Friction is normal, too.
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Old 06-27-07, 10:07 AM   #9
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Some of you guys must be using that White Lightening chain lube. My bikes run very quiet. I just lube the chain with 10/40 engine oil. I also put a little into the freewheel. The bikes are true stealth machines. I can sneak up on just about any pedestrian except the deaf, strangely. They keep a good look out unlike most others.

A misaligned chain or a dry chain is the most likely cause of this guy's troubles. The only noise I hear is the wind and a very feint silky sound of the chain caressing the cogs.
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Old 06-27-07, 10:19 AM   #10
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So, what kind of noise are we talking about here? A ticking sound as the chain runs through the several cogs, or a massive grinding sound that makes everyone stare at you and causes pedestrians to turn and make note of your arrival before you even reach for the bell?
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Old 06-27-07, 10:21 AM   #11
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the definition of both SILENT and QUIET is the absence of any sound. Even the silky caressing is a sound, and I think that's where the OP is confused. There will be SOME sound, just very minimal. If you're riding 15 mph+ the wind in your ears should be louder than your drivetrain (in my opinion), but even my track bike with a perfect chain line made some amount of noise. I mean, you're making metal teeth pull on a metal chain. Whenever I ride really close to a retaining wall I am reminded of that. If it's louder than minimal, then you have something wrong.

Oh, and as EvilV said, stay away from White Lightning and Triflow. Dirt magnets. I have been running Prolink for 6 months now and wiping the chain doesn't turn my rag black anymore, and the cogs stay clean.
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Old 06-27-07, 10:23 AM   #12
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I tend to agree with Operator on this one, but believe there there are better and worse setups that cause less and more noise.

My main ride is a 3x10 Campy record. In one specific combination of ring/cog (can't remember which, off hand) I can just hear the friction of the drivetrain. It's not a cross-chain combo, either (I don't do), but ... it's audible even under my gagging, coughing, wheezing, and begging noises.

Other than that: well tuned, well lubed, clean, and properly set up ... I wouldn't expect too much noise ... and what WOULD be there ... well ... that's anything BUT "noise"
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Old 06-27-07, 10:24 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urbanknight
I have been running Prolink for 6 months now and wiping the chain doesn't turn my rag black anymore,
Just to be fair ...

Is the Prolink working that well for you ... or have you switched to using black rags?

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Old 06-27-07, 10:39 AM   #14
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My bikes are generally very quiet; I rarely run any gear combo that puts a lot of sideways stress on the chain, and I'm rather meticulous about keeping everything straight.

If you're getting some rubbing when you're not obviously cross-chaining, check to see your derailleur alignment is good, and that the hanger isn't bent or out of alignment. You might check the idlers in the DR cage as well, often neglected.

I was in a charity run once and one guy in the group had one of those "Softride" jobs with the odd seat-mount arrangement. Thing sounded like a threshing machine!
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Old 06-27-07, 10:47 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neil0502
Just to be fair ...

Is the Prolink working that well for you ... or have you switched to using black rags?

lol It's working so well, I might just lick the chain clean next time!
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Old 06-27-07, 04:45 PM   #16
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Keep the drive train/chain clean and lubed. Keep things aligned and adjusted properly. Don't cross chain. Replace parts when they are worn - I have found that new parts are quieter - but, a new chain on an old/worn chainring or old/worn cassette will be noisy. I'm like you, I like a quiet bicycle. Good luck.

Jim
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Old 07-31-07, 08:00 PM   #17
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Here's my problem: My bike sounds like there is sand or dirt in the bottom bracket when I turn the crank. Is this something I can fix or will I need to get it taken apart and cleaned at the LBS? (I've been riding in the rain a lot recently... not my fault Houston's weather has been more like monsoon season in bangladesh these days... but I think the rain probably has something to do with the sound? maybe?)
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Old 07-31-07, 09:19 PM   #18
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The only way I have heard to remove the ticking of the rear cog is to purchase a police grade rear cog. They are designed to run silent.
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Old 07-31-07, 11:08 PM   #19
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Run slicks, oil your chain with thicker oil, keep the hubs well greased, remove all the extra crap on your bike, use a tiny amount blue loctite to secure each and every bolt from backing out and rattling, put tiny O rings on your exposed cables so they dont slap on the frame.
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Old 07-31-07, 11:47 PM   #20
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You could try turning up the volume on your iPod...
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Old 08-01-07, 02:42 AM   #21
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You could try turning up the volume on your iPod...
I heard hearing loss is the new black.
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Old 08-01-07, 08:41 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by operator View Post
I heard hearing loss is the new black.
Sweet!

I love it when I'm coincidentally in fashion.
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Old 08-01-07, 10:14 PM   #23
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If I knew the secret I'd apply it to my coworkers bike. He had a set of wheels built with Chris King hubs, and they sound like a Weed Eater when he coasts! Yeah, I know they are designed that way, but I could not adjust to that whine. Our normal ride has a 700' tunnel right before the turnaround point, and one day he was off the pace and I dropped him (at his suggestion). I sat down on a rock past the tunnel and waited. I heard his rear hub about 30 seconds before he appeared in the FAR end of the tunnel.
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