Grumpy Old Bugga
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Adelaide, AUSTRALIA
Bikes: Europa, Hillbrick, Road Chief, Repco Superlite (Ol' Rusty)
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Originally Posted by Dannihilator
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.