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Ultegra Cassette Installation

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Ultegra Cassette Installation

Old 04-30-20, 04:15 PM
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Chris O
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Ultegra Cassette Installation

I installed a new Ultegra cassette a month ago. I put some Park grease around the lock ring threads before tightening, but when I took the cassette off yesterday the grease was all brown under the lock ring. Coupled with a suspected hub issue, I wonder if the seal was bad. I tightened by hand "pretty tight". The threads of the lockring feel rough in spots, like there are burrs or something, but it appears to thread on fine.

This all in relation to popping noises that I think are coming from the rear wheel. Maybe I didn't install the cassette correctly and water got in there causing corrosion and pitting leading to my noise issue?

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Old 04-30-20, 04:47 PM
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Grease can change color with age. Some more than others. Environmental factors affect it too as well as contamination.

As far as seal, are you talkning about a seal between the hub and freehub? There isn't anything on the cassette lockring that I would call a seal. There are spacers between the cogs and lockring. If you left one out you might have some issues. Possibly the chain not going on the cog fully and making popping sounds as it skips.

Mine has the torque spec printed on it. If you aren't certain what that feels like, then you might want to get a torque wrench. Might can borrow one from an auto parts store. Some lend tools. Don't know if you need to buy something major from them.
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Old 04-30-20, 05:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
Grease can change color with age. Some more than others. Environmental factors affect it too as well as contamination.

As far as seal, are you talkning about a seal between the hub and freehub? There isn't anything on the cassette lockring that I would call a seal. There are spacers between the cogs and lockring. If you left one out you might have some issues. Possibly the chain not going on the cog fully and making popping sounds as it skips.

Mine has the torque spec printed on it. If you aren't certain what that feels like, then you might want to get a torque wrench. Might can borrow one from an auto parts store. Some lend tools. Don't know if you need to buy something major from them.
I was talking about the space under the cassette lockring around the skewer. My thought was if the lockring wasn't tight enough water could get in there and work into the hub. The lockring says 40 Nm. I have a small torque wrench for standard bolts, but not a big one for 40 Nm.

I had the bike overhauled at the LBS in Feb which included the hubs. I put on the new cassette in March and have since ridden about 700 miles on it before this pinging developed. I'm sure its rear wheel related because if I swap to another wheel it's gone. It just seems strange that if it was serviced it developed pitting or bearing wear so fast. The wheel has about 4500 miles on it, been serviced twice. It's a lower end shimano cup and cone hub. Maybe it just won;t last that long and this is normal wear and tear.

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Old 04-30-20, 05:33 PM
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People tend to overtorque small fasteners and undertorque large ones. 40N-m is a fairly high torque, I have to exert a fair amount of force on my 1/2" drive torque wrench to get there.
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Old 04-30-20, 05:54 PM
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And you are sure it's not spoke noise? If you got a spare wheel then let the bike shop figure it out. Aren't they open for repair work? They are considered essential service here.
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Old 04-30-20, 08:18 PM
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Chris O
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
And you are sure it's not spoke noise? If you got a spare wheel then let the bike shop figure it out. Aren't they open for repair work? They are considered essential service here.
I can hear some grinding/clicking from the hub and spokes seem OK by the old squeeze test. The old wheel also has issues and is retired from use so I can't swap it out. To top it off the LBS is 1.5 weeks out on repairs and there is no way I can't ride that long being stuck at home. I just got some cone wrenches and Leonard Zinns' repair book so I'm going to take a crack myself.

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Old 05-01-20, 08:23 AM
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So is the grinding noise in the axle or freehub?

If it's cup and cone bearing, IMO, it's not uncommon to find them set up ever so slightly too tight. That does cause some grinding noise that you'd only notice when real close in very quiet conditions. It's aggravated even more by bikes with skewers. Not sure about thru-axles.

So might the noise have been there before you changed the cassette?
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Old 05-01-20, 09:38 AM
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Bad wheel bearings have to get pretty bad before they are audible, palpable sensations are much more likely in
wheel bearings when the wheel is off the bike and the axle turned by hand. Agree with DSBrandtjr that the
cassette lock ring has nothing to do with free hub sealing. The free hub seals are intrinsic to the hub.
Tracking down sound origins on a bike is difficult, as many prior posters have noted, where you think the
noise is coming from is not where it really originates. This is especially chancy on noises only noted while
riding.
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Old 05-01-20, 10:02 AM
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I would think that if the lockring is under torqued to the point that’s there is some movement and subsequently, noise from the cassette/freehub body interface - shouldn’t there be some kind of evidence such as gouging of the freehub body splines?

Can you you tell us about your freehub body splines and their condition? Are they steel, titanium or aluminum? What cassette are you running again?

Also, please clarify about your rear quick release. What type is it, how tight do you tighten it and what kind of rear frame dropouts do you have? A lack of wheel tightness in the frame can result in pinging. Does the pinging sound occur equally when seated and standing or does it worsen when you are standing?
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Old 05-01-20, 12:02 PM
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Hi All,
I disassembled the whole damn thing. The drive side cone is a pitted mess and must have been the source of the pinging noise. I'm trying to find a replacement. The drive side grease, bearings and cup and cone surfaces were all brown and watery while the non-drive side was nice with fresh blue grease and looked great.

Why would the drive side be so much worse? The dust cap over the bearings looks slightly distorted but not too bad. I wonder if that is the cause.


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Old 05-01-20, 12:28 PM
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Chris, good you took it apart. I didn't, and still don't, think the lock ring had any bearing on it (no pun int. lol) I find that a good lean on a flat wrench gets me 40 nM (I use a torque wrench on my pedals but only have a big flat wrench for lock rings but I know the feel from using the torque wrench on similar torques).

I think the shop didn't get enough grease in there and/or had play too loose so grease went out, water got in and once grease flushed out, you got increasing noise.
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Old 05-01-20, 12:42 PM
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Yup, the service manager quit and so a high school kid did my annual service this winter. I could see grease squeezing out of the hub for a month after I brought it home, but I thought it was just excess coming out. I can get a replacement cone from England for $6, so I'll do that and try to bring it back as a project.
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