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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 07-18-14, 07:43 PM   #1
XxVolumes92xX
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Rear Wheel Hub Bearings

I'm new to fixed gear and bikes as well. I recently bought a 6KU Fixed gear with a flip-flop hub and recently while lubing my chain I heard a noise. At first I thought it was the chain but that is quiet now but when I put my ear up near the fixed cog/ hub bearings, it sounds likes a noisy rubbing noise. It's not an outrageously loud noise but as I mentioned I'm new to bikes and don't know anything. I can hear the bearings rolling and it doesn't sound like anything is rattling or out of place from what I can hear. So, I'm not sure if like skateboard bearings, they just need time to fully break in and the noise I'm hearing is just bearings that haven't been fully broken in yet or what? I currently don't have any money to take it to a LBS but I'm hoping it's a new bike/bearing kind of thing as I mentioned before, it's literally a brand new bike that I've only rode 5 times since I got it and I've only rode 3-5 miles each ride on it. I've also took the chain off and spun the crank to see if maybe it was even the BB making noise or rocking but it's as silent as can be. Everything I believe is greased up because when I first got it there was a reddish/pink grease on the ends of the bottom bracket and the rear hub bearings sound like they're greased up too. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 07-18-14, 09:24 PM   #2
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Nothing is going to be absolutely dead silent, could be something as simple as chainline.
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Old 07-18-14, 09:26 PM   #3
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Yeah, I know. I just don't know what's normal, and what's not. Chain line as in too tight or too loose? At the moment I have it tight but it has a little slack in it.
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Old 07-18-14, 09:35 PM   #4
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Only way to tell if it's the hub is to take rear wheel off and spin the wheel in your hands, if if makes the sound while in your hands then something is up with the hub. How ever I think it's got something to do with chainline, chain/chainring/cog combo issue.
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Old 07-18-14, 11:21 PM   #5
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Well what are some suggestions for the chain/chain ring/cog? I re-tightened the chain ring bolts, cleaned and lubed the chain, but I don't know anything about the cog. I'll have to take my wheel off and see if it makes the noise. Also, it doesn't seem to make the noise when I'm pedaling. It sounds pretty smooth on the ground but I noticed it when I flipped the bike upside down to lube the chain.
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Old 07-19-14, 01:03 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dannihilator View Post
Only way to tell if it's the hub is to take rear wheel off and spin the wheel in your hands, if if makes the sound while in your hands then something is up with the hub. How ever I think it's got something to do with chainline, chain/chainring/cog combo issue.
This is the right starting point. You're not only looking for noise, you want it to feel smooth as it spins - don't worry, you'll notice if it's not. If there is any roughness, go straight to your lbs. I say this because you've admitted you don't know anything about bikes but sooner or later, you have to start learning and there is a limit to what you can learn on the internet. I know you said you can't afford it, but you're only talking half an hour's labour at the shop and if you approach the mechanic properly, he'll likely share some of his knowledge with you (most I've dealt with are talkers and love an audience ... but hate idiots).

If it's not the hub, you'll need to check the cog for tightness. To do this, you'll need to buy a locking ring tool and a chain whip ... so maybe visiting the bike shop is a good starting point anyway.

However, I suspect you'll find your chain is too tight. Easy mistake to make and it does produce that gritty noise/feel. Make sure you check it at a number of places because no chainring or cog is truly round or centred properly - the more you pay, the better the quality. The result is variable chain tension as you turn the pedals and if you're not aware of the problem, you could set the tension at a 'loose' point which then leaves the chain too tight elsewhere. Always check the tension at the chain's tightest point and ignore the rest of circuit.

The important thing though is to just turn the axle in fingers. It should be smooth and have no play. If it's gritty or sloppy, get it looked at because riding it like that will cause the bearings to wear too quickly.

Last edited by europa; 07-19-14 at 01:09 AM.
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Old 07-19-14, 11:26 AM   #7
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Thanks for all the info! I'll have to check out my hub today. I say I don't know much but I kinda know what would probably not be good. I've had a few cheap bmx bikes with mix match parts and some have had bad bearings and I could definitely feel play in it but my hub doesn't have play or anything, but I will for sure spin the wheel in hand to see what's going on. Also, I'll have to loosen my chain as well and get back to you guys. I have two screws that go into the frame behind the axles on the rear wheel (Chain tension adjustment?) and I've tried to make the chain all the way loose and then adjust these screws till it's tight but have slack at the same time.
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