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Old 03-18-05, 06:13 PM   #1
SJK
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Hub Bearing "Clicking"?

I repacked my front hub for the first time a couple of days ago. Everything went pretty smooth but when I spin the wheel fast (while lifting it to my ear) I hear the bearings “clicking” or rolling together. I believe everything was very clean. Is this normal or:

1. Did I not put enough grease in them?
2. Is my cup cone adjustment off?
3. Are the bearings not clean enough?
4. Any other ideas?
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Old 03-18-05, 06:22 PM   #2
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In rough order of probability. A=2. B=1. C=3. D=4 (pitted races or bearings).

That's my answer and I'm sticking with it.

Doc
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Old 03-18-05, 07:00 PM   #3
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Not a lot of grease or one ball short will cause clicking.
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Old 03-18-05, 09:28 PM   #4
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A loose cup will do it.
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Old 03-18-05, 09:29 PM   #5
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Rev., you like F1 cars?
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Old 03-18-05, 09:39 PM   #6
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I am a Rally guy. I love the turning of a production chassis into to car that can take that kind of beating. I love the unpredictable nature of the course and the team work between driver/codriver and crew. Also a huge, huge moto trials fan, which led to my huge huge mediocre bicycle trials career
For me F1 is the appeal of the engineering. The compromise of weight and strength is the big one. They are so light and so fast but when one car touches another they shatter, amazing. Esp. when you compare to the durability of a stock car, not a big fan of NASCAR, but man are they tough, some amazing drivers(Even though it looks like they drive in a circle) The local stuff is great, cheap, and the food is good. Everyone should go to a track like Kenly at least once. Bring some hearing protection.
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Old 03-18-05, 09:41 PM   #7
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The first couple of times that i packed my hubs i heard noise and figured i had done something wrong. I took it all back apart and no problem, but still had noise. Turns out i had washed all the lube out of my freehub body and it was making noise.

Try spinning the wheel by hand and see if it makes a noise. If it doesn't than possibly it is in your freehub body. If you have one.
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Old 03-19-05, 08:29 AM   #8
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Thanks for the feedback. I put some more grease in and it seems to have quieted the balls from bumping or “clicking” together. I can still hear them a little. I hope I did it correctly.

I have a couple of other questions. It is an Ultegra hub that I repacked and I am able to get a cone wrench around the cone but the lock nut is round (with a place for a wrench underneath the round part). I held the cone in place and tightened the lock nut with a (carefully) pliers. I see it most of the on-line instruction that you are supposed to use a wrench to tighten the lock nut but I can’t fit a cone wrench on the cone and a wrench on the lock nut at the same time. How do you all do this? Also, if the lock nut is not on very very tight is it potentially unsafe. Of course the QR will be installed correctly and tight.
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Old 03-19-05, 08:47 AM   #9
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I used 2 cone wrenches for my Ultegra hubs. Each needed a 15mm wrench.
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Old 03-19-05, 09:28 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iowarose
I used 2 cone wrenches for my Ultegra hubs. Each needed a 15mm wrench.
Hey thanks. I can’t believe I didn’t figure this out earlier but my Nashbar cone wrenches have a “protrusion” stamped up in each wrench. They need to be applied opposite so they don’t interfere with each other. When I tightened both lock nuts down the wheel spun smooth with no clicking. I believe my problem is solved. I am learning a lot as I go. Now onto the rear wheel..
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Old 03-19-05, 10:57 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ranger
The first couple of times that i packed my hubs i heard noise and figured i had done something wrong. I took it all back apart and no problem, but still had noise. Turns out i had washed all the lube out of my freehub body and it was making noise.

Try spinning the wheel by hand and see if it makes a noise. If it doesn't than possibly it is in your freehub body. If you have one.
I've done that too. Thought I was doing a super job of cleaning and degreasing but did more damage than good. Now that rear wheels sounds like an old coffee grinder. I ended up using it on my trainer since I'm less likely to coast while using it than actual road riding.

The good thing is that Sheldong Brown says that those are the least important bearings on a bike as they are only in use while coasting.
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Old 03-19-05, 11:00 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SJK
Hey thanks. I can’t believe I didn’t figure this out earlier but my Nashbar cone wrenches have a “protrusion” stamped up in each wrench. They need to be applied opposite so they don’t interfere with each other. When I tightened both lock nuts down the wheel spun smooth with no clicking. I believe my problem is solved. I am learning a lot as I go. Now onto the rear wheel..
Be careful about the freewheel body. It's best to leave it alone and keep all solvents and water away from it. Just soak a rag and clean the inside of the hub as thoroughly as you can.
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Old 03-19-05, 11:03 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rev.Chuck
Not a lot of grease or one ball short will cause clicking.
I wonder if this is a problem for Lance
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Old 03-19-05, 11:18 AM   #14
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Loose ball hubs that don't have a spacer cage, like Shimano hubs, tend to make noise as the balls clack together. There is nothing you can do to fix it. Fresh grease helps but will quickly get pushed out from between the bearings and the noise will come back. This is not an adjustment issue nor a pitted bearing issue. Tightening the cones will help a little but if you tighten the cones too much, the bearings and races will be damaged. I say all this because I've spent a considerable amount to time trying to eliminate this type of noise on two different Dura Ace 7700 hub wheelsets, only to fail. Best to live with the noise.

As a side note, I've noticed that some frames tend to magnify these noises more than others. I have a Ti frame that rings from all the little vibrations/clicks/random noises possible. My steel frames on the other hand are much quieter.

Good luck.

Ed

Last edited by Nessism; 03-19-05 at 11:28 AM.
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Old 03-19-05, 08:44 PM   #15
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For the guys with the noisy freehub bodys, you can remove the body with 10mm allen wrench. That goes for Shimano and several others. There are a couple that require an 11 or 12mm wrench. Anyway, if you are cheap and or poor, you can pull the freehub while overhauling the hub. Put it outer face down, remove the seal from the back side and flush it out with solvent. Then you can either fill it, from the back side with some thick oil like Phils or find a shop with a freehub buddy to repack it for you. The freehub buddy will make it pretty stiff for a while. You can also get a new body for $20-40. For the Shimano bodies, just about all the levels and road and mtb models interchange with the occasional seal change, so if you want to get some more life out of an old hub, drop a model level and stick a cheaper freehub on. It will also replace the race on that side, and that is the one that usually gets messed up.
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Old 03-19-05, 09:10 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rev.Chuck
For the guys with the noisy freehub bodys, you can remove the body with 10mm allen wrench. That goes for Shimano and several others. There are a couple that require an 11 or 12mm wrench. Anyway, if you are cheap and or poor, you can pull the freehub while overhauling the hub. Put it outer face down, remove the seal from the back side and flush it out with solvent. Then you can either fill it, from the back side with some thick oil like Phils or find a shop with a freehub buddy to repack it for you. The freehub buddy will make it pretty stiff for a while. You can also get a new body for $20-40. For the Shimano bodies, just about all the levels and road and mtb models interchange with the occasional seal change, so if you want to get some more life out of an old hub, drop a model level and stick a cheaper freehub on. It will also replace the race on that side, and that is the one that usually gets messed up.
Ah yes, The advice of someone who actually knows what he is doing. Rev. I make a concoction of Phil Tenacious Oil and Phil grease and repack freehub bodies (freehub buddy) with it. It stays put and is not stiff. I used to use white lithium grease mixed with Phil Ten. oil but it looked like mucous from a Ninja Turtle.

Peace, Love and RIDE DAT BIKE!
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