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Thread: Noise question

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    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
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    Noise question

    I was in an LBS the other day, you know, just looking around, and the guy suggested I try a bike "just for size." Good thing it was just for size, because it turned out this was a $4,000 titanium bike.

    Anyway, I was surprised that as I rode the bike, whenever I would coast, the rear wheel or deraileur or something back there would whrrrrrrrr quite loudly -- and I mean QUITE loudly. I'm used to bikes being whisper quiet when coasting, which is something I really like.

    Afterwards, the guy gave me some kind of explanation that I couldn't quite hear, and I didn't pursue the point. I think he used the word "hub" in there somewhere. At any rate, he seemed to be telling me this was normal and just how it was. I remember thinking how irritating it would be to spend big bucks on a bike only to have it whrrrrrr loudly every time I coasted!

    So what's the deal with loud chain whirring noises. Is this common for high end bikes?
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    Bike Curious.... bobby c's Avatar
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    Easy. Most high end bikes (those costing $3,800 or more) come with the baseball cards already attached to the spokes. Saves you money so you can use your vintage Micky Mantle Rookie Card for scraping dirt off your shoes.

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    Small Member maddmaxx's Avatar
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    I actually read a post somewhere in BF that said, that the more expensive wheels make more noise in the rear hub. In my own stable of wheels, this holds true.

    Seems to have something to do with the designs of high end ratchet mechanism's

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    Senior Member jerrymcdougal's Avatar
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    HAHA, no actually its from the prawls in the rear hub. Higher end hubs have tighter tolerances and everything fits super super close. This makes a hub very sturdy (as far as the prawls go) but also very loud. The prawls snap back really hard creating the noise. Some people love that sound as it is the sound of quality, others like yourself hate it. You may be able to quiet it a bit by lubing the insides of the hub, but its just fine how it is.

    Edit: beat me to it maddmaxx!

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    Senior Member Terrierman's Avatar
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    I thought it was the batteries rattling inside the headlight thing. That's what Chris told me the mystery noise was on my bike. It does come with a headlight doesn't it?
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    Small Member maddmaxx's Avatar
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    No self respection $4000 bike can affort the weight of a battery or the air drag of a headlight. This is serious high end stuff, not for the likes of 50+. Nice to drool over though. Drooling.....yeah, thats the ticket.

  7. #7
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    I bet it was a Chris King Hub. They are supposed to be wonderful hubs, but they are very loud. They claim there is some functional reason, but I think it is just so that people who spend so much money on a hub can be sure everyone knows it.
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    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jerrymcdougal
    HAHA, no actually its from the prawls in the rear hub. Higher end hubs have tighter tolerances and everything fits super super close. This makes a hub very sturdy (as far as the prawls go) but also very loud. The prawls snap back really hard creating the noise. Some people love that sound as it is the sound of quality, others like yourself hate it. You may be able to quiet it a bit by lubing the insides of the hub, but its just fine how it is.

    Edit: beat me to it maddmaxx!
    Actually Chris King and DT/Hugi hubs, arguably the noisiest of the rear hubs, have no prawls. A pair of spring loaded ramped discs work against one another to provide the freewheeling function. Very simple, very positive, and very loud.

    Oh - they don't make that noise if you pedal the downhills. I'm not sure that we're even allowed to sell King hubs to people who coast downhill so you may not be qualified to buy that bike.

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    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    Well, I did learn something new today.

    Had never heard of this before. As I am not like DG, off hobnobbing around on $4000 bikes.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BluesDawg
    I bet it was a Chris King Hub. They are supposed to be wonderful hubs, but they are very loud. They claim there is some functional reason, but I think it is just so that people who spend so much money on a hub can be sure everyone knows it.
    Ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner...

  11. #11
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    DG,

    Did you ever dream a couple of years back that you would ride a $4000 bicycle--or that such a thing even existed?

    I've been riding for 30 years, and I've never had the nerve to test drive something that expensive.
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    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jet Travis
    DG,

    Did you ever dream a couple of years back that you would ride a $4000 bicycle--or that such a thing even existed?

    I've been riding for 30 years, and I've never had the nerve to test drive something that expensive.
    I never knew they could cost that much. Now I often see $5000 and $6000 bikes in the store. I used to be afraid to even touch them; now I just walk past to the "regular bike" section.

    And as far as test driving, I asked the guy if he REALLY wanted me to go out in the real world on that bike, but he just shrugged and said why not? So...I did.

    I have to admit, Ti is pretty amazing.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retro Grouch

    Oh - they don't make that noise if you pedal the downhills. I'm not sure that we're even allowed to sell King hubs to people who coast downhill so you may not be qualified to buy that bike.
    But we can always dream that we could pedal all the way down the 20% slope that lasts for 2 miles.

    My hope hubs are noisy but I also have the silent freehubs amongst my wheels. When they start making a noise- it is time to get the spanners out.

    OH NO- You didn't get worried and start tinkering with them did you DG. a $4,000 bike that has had the DG treatment should put it into the $50 bucket so you can afford it now.
    Last edited by stapfam; 05-07-07 at 02:46 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BluesDawg
    but I think it is just so that people who spend so much money on a hub can be sure everyone knows it.
    Sounds like Porsche syndrome, where one of the supposedly finest cars on the road makes the ugliest noise. I've always had a theory it too was designed that way, as a supraliminal message to everyone else.
    Last edited by cooker; 05-07-07 at 02:25 PM.

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    Bike Curious.... bobby c's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maddmaxx
    No self respection $4000 bike can affort the weight of a battery or the air drag of a headlight. This is serious high end stuff, not for the likes of 50+. Nice to drool over though. Drooling.....yeah, thats the ticket.
    Maybe the kickstand was loose & making noise.

  16. #16
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cooker
    Sounds like Porsche syndrome, where one of the supposedly finest cars on the road makes the ugliest noise. I've always had a theory it too was designed that way, as a superliminal message to everyone else.
    Never had one but can you remember the Distinctive exhaust note of the MG B's? With the Origanal silencer box.
    Last edited by stapfam; 05-07-07 at 02:49 PM.
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    Both Mazda (with their Miyata/RX series), and Harley Davidson, have trademarked their distinctive engine sounds. In the case of Mazda, I heard they actually invested several million dollars getting their 4-banger Japanese engines to emulate the sound of 60's models British sports cars.
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    Prefers Cicero cooker's Avatar
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    When we had a cottage at the lake, you could always tell if it was a Mercury outboard going by - a sharper, whinier noise that the Johnsons and Evinrudes.

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    Streetfire HopedaleHills's Avatar
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    I had a 1967 Triumph Spitfire. It only made noise when it was not raining.

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    Senior Member George's Avatar
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    When I went down a little while back, I was talking or asking about the clicking I had in the rear. I took my bike in and that's what they told me. The louder the clicking the better the hub. I said I don't know if I can believe that or not. He walked over to a shelf and pulled out a $400 hub and spun it and I couldn't believe the noise it made.

    I read in one of Lance Armstrongs book, about the TDF, and about 40 bikes coming into a town. They had such a loud humming sound that little kids were holding their ears and crying.
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  21. #21
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cooker
    Sounds like Porsche syndrome, where one of the supposedly finest cars on the road makes the ugliest noise.
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    Prefers Cicero cooker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BluesDawg
    BLASPHEMY!!!
    Ah, it's other people's pretentious hubs that make irritating noises, but not your Porsche.

    I see

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    Could be C. King hubs, but I've also noticed most Campy hubs also make a pretty loud sound while coasting. My Shimano hubs are much quieter than my Campy stuff.

  24. #24
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    Have 14,000+ miles on Chris King hubs on our Zona tandem. Yes, at first you 'hear' the whirring sound when coasting. After a while you just don't notice it . . . just like hearing an airconditioner run . . . how can you sleep with that noise?
    We've nicknamed ourt tandem 'the hummer'!
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    Senior Member Dchiefransom's Avatar
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    I believe Rolf wheels are also fairly loud.
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