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Tandem Cycling A bicycle built for two. Want to find out more about this wonderful world of tandems? Check out this forum to talk with other tandem enthusiasts. Captains and stokers welcome!

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Old 07-27-09, 09:36 PM   #1
cartographe
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I hope she still marries me...

I have such an annoying noise coming from the rear of our Trek T2000 that my fiancee is threatening to stop riding with me. Do you think she is seeing another captain? It is my last great hope that one of you will save my upcoming marriage!

I posted in a thread last year here, but for whatever reason I put the noise out of my head and haven't followed up since.

I've got 24 spoke Bontrager Race Lite wheels and an Arai drum brake with about 3000 miles.

Here is a summary of this mystery noise:
1. is kind of a slushing or whirring sound with a bit of scrapeyness
2. only appears after about an hour or so of riding
3. only appears when pedaling uphill at low speeds (<12mph)
4. appears in any gear combination
5. may appear or disappear unexpectedly without any other changes
6. appears only when pedaling
7. (i think) it only appears when my stoker is on the bicycle
8. is independent of pedal position
9. includes no clicking or ticking
10. improves briefly after shifting but returns promptly
11. improves very slightly with chain lube
12. seemed to be cured for several months once when I reassembled the bike from a trip

I have replaced the chain but not the hub. I'm not particularly handy with bike parts - do I need a whole new wheel assembly if the hub is bad?

I just don't want my future wife to go into the shop and say: "give me a new hubby."

Thoughts? Thanks...
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Old 07-27-09, 09:49 PM   #2
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I have been married for almost 20 years and the only thing I can recommend is to don't get married. If she is going to leave you for a noise, wait until a real problem shows up. To resolve your issue sounds like you need a new Tandem. Call Calfee and say you want a carbon tandem. They will hook you up. [Cheaper than the marrage or divorce]
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Old 07-27-09, 10:37 PM   #3
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Is the noise coming from the rear hub or could it be the Bottom Bracket?
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Old 07-27-09, 11:18 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Butcher View Post
I have been married for almost 20 years and the only thing I can recommend is to don't get married. If she is going to leave you for a noise, wait until a real problem shows up. To resolve your issue sounds like you need a new Tandem. Call Calfee and say you want a carbon tandem. They will hook you up. [Cheaper than the marrage or divorce]
, truth hurts
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Old 07-27-09, 11:37 PM   #5
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It really doesn't appear to be coming from the BB. I haven't rebuilt it, but just judging on what my stoker and I can tell from being on the bike and listening - it is coming from the back of the drivetrain.
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Old 07-28-09, 12:04 AM   #6
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Take out both seat post and wipe them clean, then take a rag soaked with WD 40 and stuff it down the seat tube and clean off any calcuim or deposits. Replace the post and see if that helps. If water gets down between the alluminum post and the seat tubes, you can get a creaky post. If this dosen't help, toss the bike in the dumpster and purchase a full Carbon Calfee....
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Old 07-28-09, 04:28 AM   #7
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Is your chain guard still attached on the rear wheel? That sound is about the same our Bontragers make.
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Old 07-28-09, 05:50 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cartographe View Post
I have such an annoying noise coming from the rear of our Trek T2000.
Thoughts?
As noted in the June '08 thread, if the rear hub's internals (specifically the pawl engagement mechanism) hasn't already been serviced as part of the trouble shooting that should be addressed first and foremost.

If that doesn't solve the problem then you may be experiencing the same thing that IanS reported a year or so back: it's probably the spokes rubbing against the flange and/or each other. Spoke noise on paired spoke wheels with flat-bladed spokes is not all that uncommon and it's a mystery why some wheels have more of a problem than others.
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Old 07-28-09, 09:59 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cartographe View Post
I have such an annoying noise coming from the rear of our Trek T2000 that my fiancee is threatening to stop riding with me.

If it matters, both our mountain and road tandems sometimes have annoying noise coming from the rear also.

On your bike it's likely your hub or bearings.

The problem for ours usually subsides with increased effort and heart rate. Then again sometimes if I ignore the noise it seems to get quieter.

Actually my stoker is pretty sweet, but she has asked if she really talks that much. Oddly she asked this after watching a video taken with the helmet camera while she was wearing it.

PK
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Old 07-28-09, 10:45 AM   #10
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Check the following:
1) play in the rear wheel (side to side), you may need new hub bearings
2) check your RD hanger to make sure it's straight
3) check your chainring bolts... I just recently checked ours and they were loose! This was causing a clicking noise in the small chainring, and going up steep grades.

I am banking on the hub... I just replaced all (6) bearings in the rear of my solo bike, it was pretty easy.

If none of this works, I say take Butcher's advice
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Old 07-28-09, 03:58 PM   #11
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Thanks for the advice and discussion, except from Butcher. Chances are pretty slim I'll be bailing anytime soon - I got a good one.

el huntington - yes, the chainguard is removed

TandemGeek - i don't know enough about hubs to understand the pawl mechanism. how do I open the hub on this wheel?
I PM'd IanS on their issue with the spokes. If you were to imagine a solution to the spoke/flange problem, what would it be?

PMK - yes, usually I just bring up a topic she enjoys and then she just talks over the noise for the rest of the climb AND forgets that she is working so hard.

uspspro - thanks, I'll check these items tonight

Clearly I need a primer on hub maintenance. Suggestions?


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Old 07-28-09, 04:26 PM   #12
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If you don't want relationship advice don't post about it .
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Old 07-28-09, 06:44 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cartographe View Post
i don't know enough about hubs to understand the pawl mechanism. how do I open the hub on this wheel?
I believe Bontrager used DT/Hugi hubs on their tandem wheels... otherwise, refer to the basic Bontrager model: it should be obvious by looking at the hub:
http://www.parktool.com/repair/readhowto.asp?id=118

Quote:
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If you were to imagine a solution to the spoke/flange problem, what would it be?
A new set of wheels, ideally conventional ones that will last 20k miles before a rebuild.
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Old 07-28-09, 08:13 PM   #14
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Actually my stoker is pretty sweet
^^^Most important part of your reply, and I know what you really meant to say was "VERY SWEET".
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Old 07-28-09, 08:44 PM   #15
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^^^Most important part of your reply, and I know what you really meant to say was "VERY SWEET".
Yes, I do agree...but it still gets noisy back there at times.

PK
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Old 07-28-09, 09:28 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by cartographe View Post
TandemGeek - i don't know enough about hubs to understand the pawl mechanism. how do I open the hub on this wheel?
I PM'd IanS on their issue with the spokes. If you were to imagine a solution to the spoke/flange problem, what would it be?
Clearly I need a primer on hub maintenance. Suggestions?
hub service - hub service
I put a bits of waxpaper between the spokes to quiet a clicking, but you say yours isn't clicking.
Another thought, from a previous post - "I recently fixed our T2000. After removing the eccentric and cleaning the grease out of the shell I discovered some gray paint inside the shell. Since cleaning that out it has stayed quiet for a century so I'm calling it fixed. It's so nice hearing nothing but the wind and the tires humming!"
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Old 08-02-09, 09:56 AM   #17
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She rides on a tandem with you, and she's attuned to creaky noises from a drive train and wants better mechanicals?

Down on one knee now. NOW. And if you've done that, find a chapel. And tomorrow, sort out the bike. Blimey, priorities???
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Old 08-03-09, 09:14 AM   #18
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Thanks again everyone. I like wobbly's idea the best so far...

Here's our update after a century weekend tour with a loaded down BOB.

1. Haven't had a chance to see a mechanic - sorry
2. No play in the hub side to side, RD straight, chainrings tight
3. Lubed the spoke intersections and where they attach to the flange
4. Lubed the chain and seatposts.

None of our efforts helped a smidge. And, under load, the noise was much worse - kinda squeaky grindy with our cadence. I'm thinking now that it isn't the spoke issue that IanS remarked on because it doesn't make the noise when we aren't pedaling.

Would that also rule out the hub as a source?
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Old 08-03-09, 10:40 AM   #19
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chainring bolts?
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Old 08-03-09, 12:22 PM   #20
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Recently solved a similar problem on our bike. Bearing in hub was loose as a result Avid disc would rub on brake shoes under pedaling presure. Noise was not always present because sometimes brake shoes would move far enough away from disc under factory installed spring presure other times the strength of the spring was not enough to overcome drag that is inherent in a long tandem braking cable.

I have also installed the TG recomended helper spring.The helper spring has benefits as the disc system gets dirty and does not move a freely as it did when the brake was new. I do not however like the change in feel at the brake lever so will be looking for a lighter helper spring.
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Old 08-03-09, 12:37 PM   #21
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Recently solved a similar problem on our bike. Bearing in hub was loose as a result Avid disc would rub on brake shoes under pedaling presure. Noise was not always present because sometimes brake shoes would move far enough away from disc under factory installed spring presure other times the strength of the spring was not enough to overcome drag that is inherent in a long tandem braking cable.

I have also installed the TG recomended helper spring.The helper spring has benefits as the disc system gets dirty and does not move a freely as it did when the brake was new. I do not however like the change in feel at the brake lever so will be looking for a lighter helper spring.
Did you try adjusting the tension spring on the caliper (it's a small 2mm or 2.5mm hex bolt)?

I can get the caliper spring stiff enough that I would hate the lever feel without using a helper spring.
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Old 08-03-09, 12:51 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cartographe View Post
I have such an annoying noise ...

I've got ... an Arai drum brake with about 3000 miles.
...
No one else has commented on the Arai drum brake.

I was bedevilled by the same sort of noises as you when I installed a new wheel with a new Arai drum brake. It didn't start happening until several hundred miles. Turns out the "fixed" arm was pressing against the frame in just such a way that if it moved relative to the frame then it'd put a bit of sideways torque and make the brake pads rub on the drum. This would happen, e.g., if we stood on a hill, or after I put the brake on on a descent, but then it would go away again when we stopped, and sometimes just a big gear change would be enough to make it start up &/or spontaneously stop. Sometimes going around a hard curve would do it.

Cure: Tighten the bolt holding the "fixed" arm against the frame so that it cannot move anymore. Makes changing the tire take a moment longer but no big deal.

Nick

Oh, I agree with the person who says that if your fiance rides tandem with you and is that attuned to bicycle mechanics it is time to bow down before her and make a quick trip to the altar.
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Old 08-03-09, 03:15 PM   #23
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Did you try adjusting the tension spring on the caliper (it's a small 2mm or 2.5mm hex bolt)?
.

Yes
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Old 08-03-09, 05:32 PM   #24
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I would take the drum brake off for awhile and see if that cures the noise.
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Old 08-06-09, 08:07 AM   #25
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I ran into something similar with my Arai drum. You don't have to take the whole brake off but just the backing plate (holds the brake shoes). If then noise goes away then it's probably the backing plate just rubbing (sometimes) somewhere on its perimeter against the drum. I fixed the problem with a 10mm x .5 mm shim under the backing plate. Drove me nuts until I found it.
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