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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 01-29-11, 12:19 PM   #1
MuppetMower
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Help me eliminate annoying sound.

I've had an IRO Mark V for about 3 months now. Great bike.

My only complaint is that there is a very annoying buzzing/clicking sound coming from around my bottom bracket/chainring area. It has always been there since I got the bike, and I'm not sure if it has gotten worse or just slowly started progressively pissing me off.

I took it to an LBS, told them what was going on and asked them to check out my bb and cranks. They did and said that the sound was normal for a single speed. I don't believe that. I have friends with whisper quiet bikes that are much cheaper than mine. After they checked it out, they tightened my chain. Like, there was no slack in there.

On the ride home it was even noisier than before, and when I was going slow(like slowing up or starting off at a light) I could feel waht seemed to be the teeth on the chainring slipping into the chain. Later when I got off the bike and was just walking it with my hand on the saddle I could still feel that slight bumping. I loosened my chain, and solved that problem. Its still makes that sound.

I went on a pretty intense ride yesterday(Got up to 30mph for my first time on a flat) and several times when I was just pedaling hard as **** the chain sounded really bad.

I have the stock bb, chainring, chain, and cranks from IRO. I've routinely greased the chain.

Do you guys have any ideas? I was thinking about maybe trying to borrow a different chain and cranks set, switching them out with mine, to see if either of those could be the problem. I looked at sheldon browns noise guide and none of that stuff sounded like what was happening with my bike.

I know when something doesnt sound right, and I am almost ocd about mechanical noises. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 01-29-11, 12:37 PM   #2
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I'd swap out the chain or clean the one you already have--might be grit or gunk stuck in the links. Either way, i'd swap out the chain separately from the chainring, that will make your diagnosis that much more precise.
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Old 01-29-11, 12:58 PM   #3
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I would not worry about this. It sounds like normal drivetrain noise, like your lbs said; that's why Sheldon's guide does not cover it.

Some drivetrains are quieter than others though and you could certainly try a different chainring, cog and/or chain and see if things improve. As ScottRock said, try swapping things out one at a time for a more precise diagnosis. A nicer, more precisely machined cog than the OEM IRO one would be a good place to start... it's cheaper than a new chainring. Dura Ace, PHil, etc are not too expensive. Do remember to install the cog right; don't strip your lockring threads. search these forums for "stripped hub" to find out what not to do.

A slightly loose chain is often quieter than one that's super tight, as you have already figured out.

Last edited by mander; 01-29-11 at 01:04 PM.
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Old 01-29-11, 01:01 PM   #4
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I have this same problem, @evilcryalotmore always tells me its my chainring bolts, but no matter how tight i tighten them, they're always clicky, but one of my other friends that rides with us, tightened his bolts, and the noise became less frequent, try tightening the chainring bolts(in a star pattern for even tension) and see if that'll help
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Old 01-29-11, 01:12 PM   #5
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Are your chainring bolts aluminum? Ditch cheap aluminum chainring bolts for some nicer steel ones. When you're installing them, make sure to use the proper tool and get them nice and snug. Use grease on all contacting surfaces.

This is a chainring bolt tool:
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Old 01-29-11, 01:12 PM   #6
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I planned on switching things out one at a time. I've got a friend with an old langster with a bent frame. I'm gonna try his chain and chainring probably, and I had been wanting to pick up some new cogs anyway. I hate to sound like a baby, but mechanical noises drive me crazy.
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Old 01-29-11, 01:15 PM   #7
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Are your chainring bolts aluminum? Ditch cheap aluminum chainring bolts for some nicer steel ones. When you're installing them, make sure to use the proper tool and get them nice and snug. Use grease on all contacting surfaces.
I have no idea what my bolts are made out of, but a friend of mine has a crap ton of tools and I'm fairly certain he has one of those.

*sorry for double post
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Old 01-29-11, 01:18 PM   #8
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eh, we all have our things we're ocd about and you are not the only guy to want a silent drive train. You can definitely quiet things down with the right components, and finding them will likely be just a matter of trial and error... good luck.
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Old 01-29-11, 01:28 PM   #9
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Thanks. I just checked out the lbs closest to me, and they have dura ace cogs for $30 before tax and installation. That seems a bit steep. Do new cogs come with lockrings or is that extra?
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Old 01-29-11, 02:07 PM   #10
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You can get Dura Ace cogs online for around $25. Lockrings are extra - Dura Ace also sells a lockring that you can get around $11-12 online. You should invest in your own lockring tool if you plan on sticking around SSFG for the long haul. You can get the Park Tools one around $17 online.
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Old 01-29-11, 02:19 PM   #11
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^^ what he said. $25-30 might seem like a lot, but keep in mind that this is for something that's just about the nicest cog you can get, although it is possible to spend a lot more. COgs don't normally come with lrs.

And again, if you do your own cog installation, be careful! It is a very simple job for an experienced mech but also very, very easy for first timers to get wrong. the amount of "I stripped my hub, halp" threads on here is amazing.
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Old 01-29-11, 02:19 PM   #12
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Check the chainline?
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Old 01-29-11, 04:58 PM   #13
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A lot of times, better doesn't mean more quiet. My pake was super quiet and I was running old beat up DA road cranks, a crappy chain ring a KMC chain and a crappy bb.

Now I ride DA 7600 track cranks, phil bb, a Zen ring, an EA cog and an Izumi chain. Chainline is completely straight and my drivetrain is clean as a whistle and its loud.

Just deal with it?
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Old 01-29-11, 06:05 PM   #14
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Buzzing/clicking doesn't sound normal to me.
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Old 01-29-11, 06:11 PM   #15
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Just deal with it?
Why didnt I think of that?

It seems like it makes the noise when I'm going a constant speed. If I'm accelerating its quiet.
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Old 01-29-11, 06:26 PM   #16
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A lot of times, better doesn't mean more quiet. My pake was super quiet and I was running old beat up DA road cranks, a crappy chain ring a KMC chain and a crappy bb.

Now I ride DA 7600 track cranks, phil bb, a Zen ring, an EA cog and an Izumi chain. Chainline is completely straight and my drivetrain is clean as a whistle and its loud.

Just deal with it?
Word... loud chainlines =/= bad chainline. My DA7710 track cranks with DA chainring, DA cog, and izumi super toughness makes more noise than my cruddy SRAM S300 crankset, KMC chain, and surly cog
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Old 01-29-11, 06:36 PM   #17
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still planning on selling me those s300's dude? :0
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Old 01-29-11, 06:36 PM   #18
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As your drivetrains gets some wear on it, it'll become quieter. New ones that are tight and totally unforgiving will make more noise.
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Old 01-29-11, 06:47 PM   #19
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Thanks. I just checked out the lbs closest to me, and they have dura ace cogs for $30 before tax and installation. That seems a bit steep. Do new cogs come with lockrings or is that extra?
DA cogs are great. And while it's a few bucks more than you might manage online (or maybe not when you consider shipping), it's not expensive for a good cog.
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