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Old 03-30-09, 09:32 AM   #1
BroadSTPhilly
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I cleaned my bike uh oh

Now I have a sound coming from either my BB or mr rear hub. I am leaning toward the rear hub but I can't get it to make the noise when I am not on it. It is between a ticking and a knocking but more towards the knocking. Just started happening about two miles into my eight mile commute. The bike shop I normally go to is closed mondays.
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Old 03-30-09, 09:35 AM   #2
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What sort of cleaning did you do? How many miles on your BB, and what type?

Don't forget pedals... I had a pedal clicking awhile back and it almost drove me crazy trying to find that darn sound.
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Old 03-30-09, 09:41 AM   #3
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I sprayed the drive drain with citrus degreaser and then I hosed it off. I did a bit of toothbrush scrubbing and then I wiped it down and relubed it. I don't think it's the pedals. I am pretty sure I can feel the difference. I don't really know how many miles are on my BB I bought my bike used and I have put about 5000 miles on it. I also don't think it is the BB because it is actually worse when I don't pedal. Could it be the freewheel.
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Old 03-30-09, 09:45 AM   #4
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I'll freely admit I am not a bike mechanic, but I doubt you caused anything with your cleaning. Clicks and such can be hard to track down.

You could also try posting in the Bicycle Mechanics forum; there's a whole mess of smart guys in there.
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Old 03-30-09, 09:58 AM   #5
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Don't overlook that it could be something like the rear brake cable hanging out and getting hit by your shoe, or a shoelace hitting something. Usually these kinds of noises for me have been something like this; something hanging out and getting whacked by my shoe every time.

If it is in time with your pedalling, it's the BB or drivetrain. If it continues when you're not pedaling, it's the rear wheel. It's probably NOT the rear wheel.
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Old 03-30-09, 10:19 AM   #6
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Based on your description, I'm betting it's the rear hub and that a cone locknut is loose. For a quick check, grab the rear wheel and see if you can make it wiggle from side-to-side even a tiny bit.
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Old 03-30-09, 10:36 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by BroadSTPhilly View Post
I sprayed the drive drain with citrus degreaser and then I hosed it off. I did a bit of toothbrush scrubbing and then I wiped it down and relubed it. I don't think it's the pedals. I am pretty sure I can feel the difference. I don't really know how many miles are on my BB I bought my bike used and I have put about 5000 miles on it. I also don't think it is the BB because it is actually worse when I don't pedal. Could it be the freewheel.
I agree that it's likely either the freewheel or the rear hub. Don't pressure wash bicycles. Citrus degreaser == good. Hose == not so good.

My personal fave for cleaning up the drivetrain is to pull the rear cluster off and soak it in a mineral spirits bath, I use a Park cleaning brush to scrub the stuck gritty bits off it, tap it dry on a towel and let it air dry for 30min before putting it back on the wheel (which I've cleaned while waiting for the cassette to dry.) Then I use a rag dipped in mineral spirits to clean the chainrings, put the back wheel on, and replace the chain with the one which has been sitting in a jar of mineral spirits. The dirty one goes into the jar to swap out next time I do a deep-clean on the drivetrain.
Dry the chain with a clean rag, one drop of lubricant per linkage, run it around the cranks a few times then wipe off the excess and you're ready to go.
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Old 03-30-09, 11:15 AM   #8
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Update- I did some investigation and I am pretty sure that it is the rear hub. I took the rear wheel off the pick and spun it. It feels a little gritty and the knock was there although much reduced. I happen to have a spare rear wheel in my office but I don't have a spare freewheel. What tool do I need to switch the freewheel from one hub to the other. They are both splined.
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Old 03-30-09, 11:42 AM   #9
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Don't pressure wash bicycles.
Hm. Seems to be my day to be the iconoclast. I pressure wash my bike once a week or two in the summer (not at all in the winter) and never had a problem. My components are about the cheapest you can get and none have died of water-related deaths. The RD was replaced at 10K because the wheels wore almost completely round, the BB died at about 11K, but given that it was a $12 BB (that's what it cost to replace anyway) I can't complain. The front wheel lasted 13K and is still fine but I built a new one for discs. The rear lasted 16K until the axle broke, the bearings inside were still fine.

Honestly, I can't be bothered to spend more than about 5 minutes a week cleaning my bike, I just don't give a damn what it looks like as long as it keeps working. I clean it to keep from getting dirt all over the stairwell where I park at work.

NOTHING I can do with a brush gets the drivetrain as clean as a pressure washing. For the chain, nothing beats taking it off and dunking it in mineral spirits. I don't bother doing that much, but it does happen maybe every 500-1000 miles or so.
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Old 03-30-09, 11:48 AM   #10
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I just discovered a sound to my BB, and I can feel it too. Sound just became very noticeable within the last two commutes. For the last two years I've had to have my BB rebuilt/greased just after winter. Winter's hard on the bikes...

I don't "wash" my bikes technically - think I used a hose, very carefully once. I'm more a wipe on/wipe off. For me it's all the winter slush and crap on the road, plus getting into the office and park it on the ever present piece of plastic - and look over and see about 4 lbs of black slush that has fallen off the bike (don't really have place to wipe my bike down during the week).
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Old 03-30-09, 12:05 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by CliftonGK1 View Post
I agree that it's likely either the freewheel or the rear hub. Don't pressure wash bicycles. Citrus degreaser == good. Hose == not so good.

My personal fave for cleaning up the drivetrain is to pull the rear cluster off and soak it in a mineral spirits bath, I use a Park cleaning brush to scrub the stuck gritty bits off it, tap it dry on a towel and let it air dry for 30min before putting it back on the wheel (which I've cleaned while waiting for the cassette to dry.) Then I use a rag dipped in mineral spirits to clean the chainrings, put the back wheel on, and replace the chain with the one which has been sitting in a jar of mineral spirits. The dirty one goes into the jar to swap out next time I do a deep-clean on the drivetrain.
Dry the chain with a clean rag, one drop of lubricant per linkage, run it around the cranks a few times then wipe off the excess and you're ready to go.
What do mineral spirits do for these parts?
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Old 03-30-09, 12:20 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BroadSTPhilly View Post
Update- I did some investigation and I am pretty sure that it is the rear hub. I took the rear wheel off the pick and spun it. It feels a little gritty and the knock was there although much reduced. I happen to have a spare rear wheel in my office but I don't have a spare freewheel. What tool do I need to switch the freewheel from one hub to the other. They are both splined.
I'm going to assume since you mention splining, that what you've got is a cassette and a rear wheel with a freehub. A freewheel is usually found on older 5 cog rear clusters, and the ratcheting mechanism was part of the gear cluster and threaded onto the hub.
To swap a cassette from one wheel to another you'll need a chain whip and a cassette lockring tool. Take the wheel off, remove the skewer, insert the lockring tool and remove the l'ring. Cassette will slide off (careful, because the smallest cogs are typically not pinned to the cassette). Plop the cassette on the new wheel, replace the lockring.

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What do mineral spirits do for these parts?
All around degreaser. Sloshing the cassette around in a bath of it gets the thing sparkly like brand new. Same thing with the chain: Store your spare in mineral spirits and give the jar a swirl every weekend. Decant the clean liquid to a new jar and move the chain to it when there is a sediment layer built up at the bottom. Cleanest used chain you'll ever have.
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Old 03-30-09, 12:20 PM   #13
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Mineral spirits are a solvent / de-greaser and a fairly economical one at that.

It only takes a few seconds to test your bike's bearings for play... a little side to side wiggle on the wheels shoujld alert you to bearings being misadjusted (if they are loose), you can check the crank by holding the crank arms and pushing and pulling them left and right but do not hold the pedals. Pedals can be notorious for causes little nosies as can chain ring bolts that have loosened. The headset can be tested by turing the bars 90 degrees, locking the brake, and rocking the bike back and forth... do this after the front wheel is confirmed to be okay.

To remove a cassette you need a chain whip, a lockring tool, and a wrench top fit the tool.

This can be a difficult job if the lockring is snug and it I prefer to use a bench vise to hold the tool.

Park Tool's website has how to's on everything.

I re-pack and rebuild my winter bike's bb every spring on principle and my fixed gear, that sees a great number of miles gets a bearing check and overhaul every six months.

With a 3 piece bb you can also lubricate with oil by adding a little through the top of the seat tube buut this needs to be donew weekly if you ride a lot of miles... it keeps the bb squeaky clean as it flushes it and provides excellent lubrication.
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Old 03-30-09, 12:34 PM   #14
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I am going to have to take it into the shop because I don't have the required tools. Thanks for all the help guys. I need to go order some tools for next time.
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Old 03-30-09, 01:18 PM   #15
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I am going to have to take it into the shop because I don't have the required tools. Thanks for all the help guys. I need to go order some tools for next time.
Check prices at your LBS for tools. An inexpensive chain whip shouldn't cost you more than $15, and the lockring tool is maybe $5. Buy the tools, and ask them for a quick demo on how to do things properly; any good LBS should give you a quick how-to if you just bought the tools there.
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Old 03-30-09, 01:40 PM   #16
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Check for a broken spoke or a bubble in the tire that could hit your brake pad.
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Old 03-31-09, 10:15 AM   #17
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Probably fine for a day. You may want to open up the bearings clean and lube, etc. Funny thing about degreaser around areas that actually need grease, huh?
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