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View Poll Results: What is your opinion on loud freehubs?
Awesome: warns everyone I'm coming, and a sure sign of a fine set of wheels 6 27.27%
Annoying! I prefer to be a bike NINJA 10 45.45%
Eh...I don't really give a darn either way. 6 27.27%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 22. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 04-30-13, 10:34 AM   #1
EddNog
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Crazy Loud Freehubs?

I took my new bike out for its maiden voyage yesterday and discovered that the Bontrager Race Lite TLR wheelset I chose for the build has a dramatically loud freehub out back! This isn't much of an issue when I solo ride, since I generally pedal nonstop except for deep turns, but it was an interesting situation because that was a C-class group ride and people in front of me kept on coasting. I had no choice but to click away loudly behind them to remind them, sort of like a subliminal, "stop coasting, keep pedaling," warning. It was both embarassing and amusing at the same time! On the one hand, I hear many people consider the loud freehub a sign of a higher-end wheel. On the other hand, I really wish that at least one of the many reviews I read of these wheels mentioned how loud the freehub was! My previous bike had a seemingly dead silent hub, so this is quite a huge change for me...

What are your takes on loud freehubs: good, bad, indifferent?

-Ed
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Old 04-30-13, 10:55 AM   #2
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My winter bike's freehub was freezing below -20 celcius last winter. It was full of dirt so after a good clean it was okay but much noisier than before. I lubed it with mercon V oil (automatic transmission oil with a good viscosity when very very cold) and it is much quieter that way.

I prefer quieter but I don't really give a damn
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Old 04-30-13, 11:02 AM   #3
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I ran across a few during PBP in 2011. After 40 or 50 or 60 hours I wanted to strangle the guy then stomp his bike into oblivion. Or maybe stomp the bike first. No, definitely strangle then stomp.

Perhaps I should have slept more.
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Old 04-30-13, 12:02 PM   #4
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Annoying.
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Old 04-30-13, 04:00 PM   #5
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Some companies that build up bikes with Police painted on them try to find quiet freewheeling hubs,
to sneak up on Perp-Suspects without them turning around seeing the stalking, and running away.
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Old 04-30-13, 05:14 PM   #6
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My Dura Ace Hubs are very quiet. My Hope Hubs are not. Phil Wood hubs are not quiet. King Hubs are not quiet. American Classic hubs are not real loud but not as quiet as Shimano hubs. Mavic Hubs are about middle of the road. As far as what I like in order, Hope, Woods, King, American classic, Shimano and Mavic. So I guess longevity, smoothness out weighs quiet in my case.
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Old 04-30-13, 06:13 PM   #7
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I have a spare wheelset with Chris King hubs. They are very irritating and motivate me to get my primary wheelset back on. The are good hubs, but the noise is too much.
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Old 04-30-13, 06:50 PM   #8
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I've noticed that putting some grease on the freehub body before sliding on the cassette reduces the noise. It could be that the cassette resonates acting as amplifier without grease applied. My mountain bike went from very loud to stealth mode after a cleaning one spring.
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Old 04-30-13, 09:50 PM   #9
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I like loud free hubs. zzzzzzzzzzzZZZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzZZZZZZZzzzzzzzZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

But I also like quiet free hubs, but only the dead silent ones. The free hubs in between are meh.
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Old 04-30-13, 10:20 PM   #10
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recently, i've been disassembling them and adding a mixture of grease and 90w oil. quiet!
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Old 05-01-13, 12:21 AM   #11
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I bought a White freewheel. I was shocked at the noise it makes. I've put about 28 miles on it and it's off the bike. I'll probably list it on eBarf next week.
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Old 05-01-13, 02:47 PM   #12
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I used to ride on a Nexus 8, which uses a roller clutch. Dead silent. You can hear the tires.

I've been riding on some Campy wheels recently, and I have to say, I never liked loud freehubs when riding behind someone with them, not a fan riding with them either. They do serve as a reminder to keep pedaling though.
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Old 05-01-13, 02:51 PM   #13
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I used to ride on a Nexus 8, which uses a roller clutch. Dead silent. You can hear the tires.

I've been riding on some Campy wheels recently, and I have to say, I never liked loud freehubs when riding behind someone with them, not a fan riding with them either. They do serve as a reminder to keep pedaling though.
That's essentially the same thing I'm going through. My previous bike had an Alfine-8 IGH which was dead silent (especially since I used belt drive with it), and the hubs in my new wheels are apparently DT Swiss-based.

-Ed
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Old 05-01-13, 03:38 PM   #14
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If you ask me, loud free hubs sound obnoxious; it's like the rider is screaming "hey, look at me!" The first time I heard one, I thought the rider's bike was broken/in a poor state of repair.
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Old 05-01-13, 09:09 PM   #15
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Very disappointed that the freehub of the new Velocity Aeroheat wheel Santa brought me is so quiet. Disc hub version of that wheel on my other bike is satisfyingly noisy, but not too loud.
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Old 05-01-13, 09:18 PM   #16
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Quote:
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I used to ride on a Nexus 8, which uses a roller clutch. Dead silent. You can hear the tires.
That's like my Sturmey-Archer SW, with springless pawls. Dead silent, but doesn't like cold weather...
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Old 05-01-13, 09:44 PM   #17
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I have loud and quiet freehubs. I do not care either way.
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Old 05-01-13, 09:51 PM   #18
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I've noticed that, for whatever reason, it's relatively common for higher-quality hubs to be louder. If you listen to almost all the higher-end wheelsets you'll find, I'd bet that a majority of them have loud hubs.
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Old 05-02-13, 03:19 AM   #19
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My regular wheels have loud hubs. While the bike was in the shop I was using an older bike with Bontrager wheels.

I missed my bzzzzz
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Old 05-02-13, 08:55 AM   #20
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I try not to coast too much, but I dont think my current ones are that loud as I wont hear it much over the wind as I will sneak in a coast break on a headwind when I get wore out. I guess I would say I like it, but then again I am solo ride and dont have to deal with a crazy coaster. Now currently I am running a set of 28C hybred tires and 25mph+ I swear they make more noise then a truck with 44inch swamp tires going 55mph (only slightly exaggerated
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