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  1. #1
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    Chain noise - what's normal?

    I have abnormally sharp hearing, so I can hear every bit of noise my bike makes -- and often the noises of bikes riding past me.

    But I'm not a bike mechanic -- so sometimes when I identify a sound I don't know if it's a problem, or falls into the category of "yeah, they all sound like that."

    For example, I can hear the noise of my chain engaging the rear cog. It's a slightly metallic, almost grinding noise, just slightly louder than the hum of my tires against the pavement. I'm pretty sure the chain is neither too tight nor too loose, no stuck links, and the chainline seems as straight as I can make it.

    Okay... so other than taking this to one or more LBS and asking them to listen, or borrowing/test riding a bunch of other bikes for sound comparisons -- how do I know what a normal and healthy FG chain should sound like?

  2. #2
    Low car diet JiveTurkey's Avatar
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    Post a wav.
    Quote Originally Posted by slopvehicle View Post
    Not wearing a helmet makes me more aware of my surroundings. I find myself anticipating the hardness of concrete 50 or 100 feet in front of me, it's almost a zen-like connection between my face and the pavement.

  3. #3
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    Let the chain and cog wear into each other for awhile. Then the noise should get a little quieter.

  4. #4
    Sailin' On solly81's Avatar
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    no drivetrain is perfectly silent.

  5. #5
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    I'm the same way, it sucks. Have you measured your chainline? Is your chain 3/32 or 1/8? Are your rings fresh or worn in already? is everything tight?

  6. #6
    jpdesjar
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    i am running a 1/8 chain on a 3/32 cog so there is some noise but it doesn't bother me, if i have just lubed the chain i can hardly hear it

  7. #7
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    Good stuff, all. Thanks.

    I'll take the wait and see (or hear) approach. It's a new bike and I just flipped it from freewheel to the fixed side a couple weeks ago -- so I guess it does make sense to let the cog wear in for a bit.

  8. #8
    cab horn
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    Make sure your chain tension is good. It shouldn't be so tight that it binds at a certain point - this will greatly increase noise.
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

  9. #9
    epilepsy advocate bicycleptic's Avatar
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    I have been having the exact same problem. I took it back to the shop where I bought it and they said it was normal for fixies to have some chain noise. I didnt buy that so I went for a second opinion at the shop where I go if I do need work done to my other bikes. They told me that the #1 thing I could do was change the chain for a better quality one. The chain that came on the bike from the factory was about a $10 chain. I paid $40 for a Dura Ace chain and that quieted it down greatly.

    It still has a slight amount of sound. Nothing like it did before. I will ride it for a month or so now and see where it is then.
    There are no guarantees in life; epilepsy shouldn't be looked at as a complete roadblock but as a hill that may need additional pedaling to get over. In the long run you will be a stronger person for it.

  10. #10
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    I've had chain noise and it was caused by links binding. I've shortened my chain several times at different links using a chain breaker and the pins I've pushed were binding. I lubricated each pin a couple days ago and it's quiet now...

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by jpdesjar View Post
    i am running a 1/8 chain on a 3/32 cog so there is some noise but it doesn't bother me, if i have just lubed the chain i can hardly hear it
    I've heard running a 1/8 chain with a 3/32 cog is "bad". I have a spare colored 1/8 chain lying around and I'd like to toss it on my bike but it has a 3/32 cog. Should I just go for it? Haha..

  12. #12
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    1/8 on 3/32 is fine, but not the other way.

  13. #13
    Senior Member chrism32205's Avatar
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    1/8" chain on 3/32" parts is most likely louder, but doesnt effect anything mechanically.

    However, I only use 3/32" chains on 3/32" parts.. and dont care for colored chains..

  14. #14
    jpdesjar
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    is there a 3/32 half link chain out there? can some recommend a strong 3/32 chain?

  15. #15
    Low car diet JiveTurkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jpdesjar View Post
    is there a 3/32 half link chain out there? can some recommend a strong 3/32 chain?
    My LBS had a 3/32" half-link. The cheapest KMC "Z" chain will work just fine.
    Quote Originally Posted by slopvehicle View Post
    Not wearing a helmet makes me more aware of my surroundings. I find myself anticipating the hardness of concrete 50 or 100 feet in front of me, it's almost a zen-like connection between my face and the pavement.

  16. #16
    jpdesjar
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    thanks mr jive

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