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Old 04-01-12, 05:55 PM   #1
dstrong 
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Rear wheel clicky-click...

On my ride yesterday I noticed a light click coming from my drive train. It seemed to be more in time with the cassette rotation so I suspected the rear wheel. When I got home I swapped rear wheels and the noise went away.

The rear wheel in question is a Mavic Open Pro laced to a 105 10-speed hub, 3-cross. The wheel/hub probably has 3 - 4 thousand miles. The cassette, probably fewer but still a couple thousand. The chain is relatively new.

First I checked all the spokes and they seemed fine. I took the cassette, axle and freehub off, cleaned them, re-lubed and re-installed them. This was the first time I had removed a free hub and did not dis-assemble it...I threw some new grease on the inside bearings and put it back.

After getting everything back together, I took if for a ride and the sound is still there. It only makes the sound when I'm on the bike...not on the stand. It clicks more with cassette rotation and will actually click one or two more times after I stop pedaling.

So...here's my next two best guesses. Freehub is indeed going out...I just didn't do enough to it to make the sound go away. or my cassette is worn and needs replacing, although the sound seemed to be present across a range of sprockets.

Anything else I might be missing?
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Old 04-01-12, 06:05 PM   #2
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Before you go totally nuts, eliminate spoke clicking. Cut a piece of paper or a heavy gauge baggie into small pieces and trap one between the spokes at every cross. Then go riding and see if it helps. If it is spoke clicking, then you have to decide whether to live with it or not. I have an old wheel with deeply notched spokes at the cross. O trapped tiny bits of thin (fake) chamois at every cross and trimmed it close so it wasn't very obvious and continue to use the wheel.

If it isn't the spokes, then my best guess is that it's movement of the axle at the frame. Or it could be a broken axle. Usually a broken axle will become obvious the minute you remove the QR skewer, but on some sealed bearing hubs the bearings can hold both halves well enough that you could miss it. I once had a hub drive me to near total distraction, and missed a broken axle a number of times, until one day I noticed that the right and left sides could rotate with respect to each other (even though I couldn't flex them with the QR out.
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Old 04-01-12, 06:25 PM   #3
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Thank FB...spokes is a good suggestion...especially given how it's only when I'm riding that it makes the sound. Regarding the axle, I just replaced it today because the original had some slightly mushed threads that made getting the cone/lock nut on difficult.

*edit* Just went out to the garage and gently squeezed each pairing of crossed spokes and they definitely have a groove. Maybe I'll go old school and stick a playing card into each cross. Yeah...that would be cool.
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Old 04-01-12, 07:29 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dstrong View Post
Thank FB...spokes is a good suggestion...especially given how it's only when I'm riding that it makes the sound. Regarding the axle, I just replaced it today because the original had some slightly mushed threads that made getting the cone/lock nut on difficult.

*edit* Just went out to the garage and gently squeezed each pairing of crossed spokes and they definitely have a groove. Maybe I'll go old school and stick a playing card into each cross. Yeah...that would be cool.
Old school is using a clothes pin to hold a card to a seatstay for that realistic sound of power. (use 2 cards for a V8)
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Old 04-01-12, 08:02 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by dstrong View Post
Freehub is indeed going out
Could be that, it'd be my next guess if you eliminate the spokes. When a freehub has too much free play, or the pawls/teeth are worn, sometimes individual pawls can disengage as the load moves around the freehub when pedalling. This makes a ticking sound. It's sometimes accompanied by the occasional jump when the pawls randomly let go.

Does your freehub have any play to speak of? You can prolly get a bunch more miles out of it by removing a shim. To get into it, crack the cup (IIRC it has a left-hand thread. You'll need an appropriately-sized bit of steel plate or something to engage the notches in the cup), then remove the freehub body before undoing it. Under the cup (it's actually a double cup), there's a little stack of shims determining the freehub bearing clearance. It's possible to perform this operation without disturbing the balls, but if you do it's not that hard to re-assemble; you just hold the inner race of balls in place with a fillet of grease.

Last edited by Kimmo; 04-01-12 at 08:06 PM.
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Old 04-01-12, 09:25 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
Old school is using a clothes pin to hold a card to a seatstay for that realistic sound of power. (use 2 cards for a V8)
The added bonus is that it would simply cover up the sound of the clicky-click!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kimmo View Post
Could be that, it'd be my next guess if you eliminate the spokes. When a freehub has too much free play, or the pawls/teeth are worn, sometimes individual pawls can disengage as the load moves around the freehub when pedalling. This makes a ticking sound. It's sometimes accompanied by the occasional jump when the pawls randomly let go.

Does your freehub have any play to speak of? You can prolly get a bunch more miles out of it by removing a shim. To get into it, crack the cup (IIRC it has a left-hand thread. You'll need an appropriately-sized bit of steel plate or something to engage the notches in the cup), then remove the freehub body before undoing it. Under the cup (it's actually a double cup), there's a little stack of shims determining the freehub bearing clearance. It's possible to perform this operation without disturbing the balls, but if you do it's not that hard to re-assemble; you just hold the inner race of balls in place with a fillet of grease.
I just saw a new OEM Shimano 105 replacement hub go on eBay for $8.95 incl. shipping...so I'd probably go full replacement if it's not the spokes. Thanks for the great info though!
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Old 04-02-12, 01:52 AM   #7
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O_o

It's definitely an easier job than rebuilding a wheel... 15 minutes worth.
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Old 04-02-12, 07:32 AM   #8
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Freehubs going south can be funny too, and they will often make more or less noise in different gears, something about the lateral load. IOW, if it's louder in certain gears than others that would seem to indicate the freehub. If it's constant, probably spokes. From what I have read here, I am leaning towards spokes. When the weather turns, bikes start creaking and popping and generally it's just a nuisance noise, hard to track but easy to remedy.

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