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Minor cassette wobble and bearing noise from a new wheel

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Minor cassette wobble and bearing noise from a new wheel

Old 09-29-22, 04:04 AM
  #1  
alexk_il
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Minor cassette wobble and bearing noise from a new wheel

Got the set of these Prologue MD-10 wheels. Put roughly 100-200 miles on them, like how they roll with 27.5 48 Panaracers slick kings.

However, I noticed that a bit of the cassette wobble which is probably not an issue. What raises my concerns is a distinct uneven noise of balls rolling inside the bearings while freewheeling. Something similar to a gentle grinding sound. That's in addition to the standard clicking of the cassette. The noise is less loud than the cassette clicking though.

Can't hear this noise while rotating the pedals on the stand. Also can't hear it while riding, neither with pedalling nor freewheeling.

Do I need to be concerned? Go back to the shop and ask for replacement?

Also, the description says "The MD-10 is primarily differentiated from its sibling by the sealed bearing hub. The hubs are also permanently sealed.". Does it mean that the hub can't be serviced when/if the time comes?
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Last edited by alexk_il; 09-29-22 at 04:59 AM.
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Old 09-29-22, 06:43 AM
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It sounds like they're sealed cartridge bearings. I would learn how to remove the axle to get access to each individual bearing, and spin each by hand. If there's a bearing problem, you'll find it that way. And you'll learn how to service it when needed. No need to remove the bearings--they're pressed in.

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Old 09-29-22, 07:06 AM
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Originally Posted by alexk_il View Post
Also, the description says "The MD-10 is primarily differentiated from its sibling by the sealed bearing hub. The hubs are also permanently sealed.". Does it mean that the hub can't be serviced when/if the time comes?
​​​​​
Most sealed bearings you can carefully pry off the seal with a thin blade of your choice to flush and re-lube the bearings extending their life for many, many more miles. No need to remove them from the wheel/frame.
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Old 09-29-22, 12:26 PM
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Originally Posted by alexk_il View Post
However, I noticed that a bit of the cassette wobble which is probably not an issue.​​​​​
This is actually an issue -- especially if the individual cogs of the cassette may move laterally along the axis of the freehub -- and may lead to poor shifting and/or damage to the freehub.
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Old 09-29-22, 12:41 PM
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A lot of my less expensive bikes had what to me was an impressive amount of wobble in the freewheels. I don't think I ever had any issues as a result. I'd think it much the same for your free hub and cassette.

If it was a problem, you'd already be having the issues.

Do your due diligence and make certain the cassette is properly installed with the lock ring tightened and check the axle bearings too. If everything goes back together okay, then don't imagine issues that aren't actually issues yet. Wait for them to manifest themselves and then you'll know that much more than all our guessing here. And likely won't cost you any more to fix at that time.
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Old 09-29-22, 03:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
A lot of my less expensive bikes had what to me was an impressive amount of wobble in the freewheels. I don't think I ever had any issues as a result. I'd think it much the same for your free hub and cassette.

If it was a problem, you'd already be having the issues.

Do your due diligence and make certain the cassette is properly installed with the lock ring tightened and check the axle bearings too. If everything goes back together okay, then don't imagine issues that aren't actually issues yet. Wait for them to manifest themselves and then you'll know that much more than all our guessing here. And likely won't cost you any more to fix at that time.
My original plan was to wait and see if the issues are developing, then just service the wheel if required.

The reason for me to look for advice here is related to "permanently sealed hub". It sounds like I won't be able to service the "permanently sealed" hub, in which case I might be better off trying to fix it under the warranty. If this is an issue of course that is likely to be accepted by the seller.
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Old 09-29-22, 05:29 PM
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Originally Posted by alexk_il View Post
What raises my concerns is a distinct uneven noise of balls rolling inside the bearings while freewheeling. Something similar to a gentle grinding sound. That's in addition to the standard clicking of the cassette. The noise is less loud than the cassette clicking though.

Can't hear this noise while rotating the pedals on the stand. Also can't hear it while riding, neither with pedalling nor freewheeling.​​​​​
I'm confused. When CAN you hear the noise?
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Old 09-29-22, 06:08 PM
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Originally Posted by KerryIrons View Post
I'm confused. When CAN you hear the noise?
Freewheeling on the stand.
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Old 09-29-22, 06:58 PM
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Originally Posted by alexk_il View Post
Got the set of these Prologue MD-10 wheels.
However, I noticed that a bit of the cassette wobble which is probably not an issue. What raises my concerns is a distinct uneven noise of balls rolling inside the bearings while freewheeling. Something similar to a gentle grinding sound. That's in addition to the standard clicking of the cassette. The noise is less loud than the cassette clicking though.

Can't hear this noise while rotating the pedals on the stand. Also can't hear it while riding, neither with pedalling nor freewheeling.

Do I need to be concerned? Go back to the shop and ask for replacement?

Also, the description says "The MD-10 is primarily differentiated from its sibling by the sealed bearing hub. The hubs are also permanently sealed.". Does it mean that the hub can't be serviced when/if the time comes?
​​​​​
The hub bearings may be sealed but the bearings the cassette body turns on might not. I would remove the cassette and examine the cassette body to isolate the wobble and noise. First, make sure the wheel spins on the hub properly. Then examine the cassette body. Does it wobble independent of the hub? When you spin it, does it make suspicious noises. When you lock it in as if starting to pedal, does the action feel solid?

And does this wheel have a warranty?
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Old 09-30-22, 01:28 AM
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Originally Posted by oldbobcat View Post
The hub bearings may be sealed but the bearings the cassette body turns on might not. I would remove the cassette and examine the cassette body to isolate the wobble and noise. First, make sure the wheel spins on the hub properly. Then examine the cassette body. Does it wobble independent of the hub? When you spin it, does it make suspicious noises. When you lock it in as if starting to pedal, does the action feel solid?

And does this wheel have a warranty?
The wheel is running super smooth and quiet if I remove the chain/cassette, put the wheel back and rotate it by hand. I guess the noise is coming from the freehub.

I removed the cassette, the nut and the spacer from the axle on the cassette side. Found another nut on the axle on the cassette side, was half loose, removed it too.

Couldn't find a way to remove the nut on brakes side, also couldn't remove the axle, decided to put all back. Tightened all nuts. The wobble is now more pronounced, the noise is less uneven now. Interesting.



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Old 09-30-22, 10:42 AM
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Yeah, the problem is definitely in the cassette body. With the axle lock nut removed I would have just tried to pull the cassette body off, being careful to catch innards such a pawls and loose ball bearings that might come flying out. Or there might be Allen fittings on the inside of the axle.

To remove the axle I'd try loosening and removing the locknuts with two cone wrenches and tapping out the axle with a mallet from the rotor side. And remove the rotor to prevent damage. Usually, sealed bearings press-fit onto a smooth section of axle. But given that the axle spins nicely, I wouldn't go there before determining there was no other way to remove the cassette body. I also wouldn't go there if there was still a chance of returning the wheel under warranty.

At this point your options are, try again to remove the cassette body and return that for warranty replacement (or try to overhaul it yourself), return the wheel for warranty replacement, or take it to a shop and pay someone to take it as far as they can. I've never worked on one of these so I can't say with authority how to take it apart or what you'll find inside.

Last edited by oldbobcat; 09-30-22 at 10:51 AM.
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Old 09-30-22, 02:31 PM
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You might want to query the manufacturer before making any further attempts at removing the freehub.

The specifications for your rear wheel at the link you provided above indicate the freehub is "not switchable". I'm not positive exactly what they mean by that, but that may mean it's permanently attached and not removable.
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Old 09-30-22, 03:51 PM
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"cassette wobble" When does it happen? if you have a repair stand can you see if the cassette wobbles only while you are coasting or also while when you are pedaling. Take the wheel off the bike and examine the cassette. Try to see if the cassette cogs move side to side when you push on them. If they do it may be that your setup lacks a spacer to snug them up. We don't know this because we don't know any other details of your drivetrain(we know about the wheels but nothing else). Are the cassette cogs moving when you try to wiggle them? If so, you may need to add a spacer to your free hub body. This is all that I have as a suggestion
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Old 09-30-22, 04:27 PM
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Originally Posted by oldbobcat View Post
Yeah, the problem is definitely in the cassette body. With the axle lock nut removed I would have just tried to pull the cassette body off, being careful to catch innards such a pawls and loose ball bearings that might come flying out. Or there might be Allen fittings on the inside of the axle.

To remove the axle I'd try loosening and removing the locknuts with two cone wrenches and tapping out the axle with a mallet from the rotor side. And remove the rotor to prevent damage. Usually, sealed bearings press-fit onto a smooth section of axle. But given that the axle spins nicely, I wouldn't go there before determining there was no other way to remove the cassette body. I also wouldn't go there if there was still a chance of returning the wheel under warranty.

At this point your options are, try again to remove the cassette body and return that for warranty replacement (or try to overhaul it yourself), return the wheel for warranty replacement, or take it to a shop and pay someone to take it as far as they can. I've never worked on one of these so I can't say with authority how to take it apart or what you'll find inside.

Can't figure out how to remove the axle or the cassette freehub I can remove all nuts from the cassette side of the wheel, but there is no way to remove the left one. The axle spins freely in the hub and there are no allen fittings inside the axle to keep it. The cassette doesn't want to come off when I pull it either. They did mentioned "permanently sealed hub", the word "permanently" is not reassuring.

Not sure if I want to try to knock the axle out at this point. I might ruin the wheel while voiding the elusive ebay warranty whatever it is.

Unless someone has a better idea, I will prefer to wait if till it gets really worse and will start worrying then. Will write to the seller and the manufacturer anyway.

Last edited by alexk_il; 10-01-22 at 08:47 AM.
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Old 09-30-22, 07:59 PM
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Riding it until it breaks could leave you stranded, injured, or both. Pro-lite, the vendor, is in Taiwan. Here is the page for ordering freehub bodies.
https://store.pro-lite.net/index.php...id=52&filter=2
Of course, the Prologue MD-10 isn't listed. I took the liberty of messaging them to find out because I'm nosy. You might want to ask, yourself. Here's the page for that:
https://www.pro-lite.net/contact/contact
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Old 09-30-22, 10:41 PM
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Originally Posted by alexk_il View Post
Can't figure out how to remove the axle or the cassette. ... The cassette doesn't want to come off when I pull it either.
But your photos in post #10 above show that the cassette has been removed from the freehub!? Is there a separate problem with the cassette too?
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Old 10-01-22, 02:11 AM
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Originally Posted by SoSmellyAir View Post
But your photos in post #10 above show that the cassette has been removed from the freehub!? Is there a separate problem with the cassette too?
Sorry, a typo. Can't remove the freehub.
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Old 10-01-22, 09:03 AM
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Originally Posted by oldbobcat View Post
Riding it until it breaks could leave you stranded, injured, or both. Pro-lite, the vendor, is in Taiwan. Here is the page for ordering freehub bodies.
https://store.pro-lite.net/index.php...id=52&filter=2
Of course, the Prologue MD-10 isn't listed. I took the liberty of messaging them to find out because I'm nosy. You might want to ask, yourself. Here's the page for that:
https://www.pro-lite.net/contact/contact
Thanks, the freehub model S20072100056 has zero matches on google.

Anyway, I made another gentle yet unproductive attempt to remove the freehub. I tried different torques for tightening the nuts and I am now in situation when the brake side nut can come off, but the nut in n the freehub is stuck. Can't get rid of the idea that the wheel is purposely built unserviceable.

Let's see. Anyway, this is the video of the freehub noise and the minor wobble. I contacted the ebay seller, I assume they will ask for a video.

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Old 10-01-22, 09:11 AM
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Yeah, that wobbles like a cheap threaded freewheel from the 1970s. And it definitely sounds like a busted bearing inside the cassette body. But I'm puzzled by why you can't get the locknuts on the drive side off. You had them off before. What changed?
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Old 10-01-22, 09:19 AM
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I think that is a Shimano free hub. If you are having trouble disassembling it, then take it to a bike shop and let them deal with it. Definitely see if they'll let you watch and explain what they are doing. Don't think of it as paying someone to fix what you wanted to DIY. Think of it as your tuition for learning how to work on your bike. Much better than the tuition you pay by destroying a component doing things you think might get it apart.

Two of the bike shops near me have their mechanics out in front of everyone. One has a lunch bar & grill you can sit at to eat and drink while you watch.
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Old 10-01-22, 11:51 AM
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Originally Posted by oldbobcat View Post
Yeah, that wobbles like a cheap threaded freewheel from the 1970s. And it definitely sounds like a busted bearing inside the cassette body. But I'm puzzled by why you can't get the locknuts on the drive side off. You had them off before. What changed?
There are two nuts on both sides of the wheel working in opposite directions. Applying two cone spanners ends up with one of them being unscrewed. The other one is then "stuck" and rotates together with the axle. So, it's either on cassette or on brakes side, but not both.
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Old 10-06-22, 03:01 AM
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Originally Posted by oldbobcat View Post
Riding it until it breaks could leave you stranded, injured, or both. Pro-lite, the vendor, is in Taiwan. Here is the page for ordering freehub bodies.
https://store.pro-lite.net/index.php...id=52&filter=2
Of course, the Prologue MD-10 isn't listed. I took the liberty of messaging them to find out because I'm nosy. You might want to ask, yourself. Here's the page for that:
https://www.pro-lite.net/contact/contact
It's actually a British run company registered in Taiwan. I guess you haven't heard from them yet. I won't be surprised.

Anyway, I took it to the seller for warranty repair. Will write an update when I hear back from them after they inspect the wheel.
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Old 10-06-22, 09:56 AM
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Originally Posted by alexk_il View Post
It's actually a British run company registered in Taiwan. I guess you haven't heard from them yet. I won't be surprised.
Unsurprisingly, your guess is right. Good luck though.

I might add that when '70s freewheels wobbled, it was due to imprecise machining. Modern freehubs are machined to closer tolerances and aren't supposed to do that.
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Old 10-07-22, 12:37 AM
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Originally Posted by oldbobcat View Post
Unsurprisingly, your guess is right. Good luck though.

I might add that when '70s freewheels wobbled, it was due to imprecise machining. Modern freehubs are machined to closer tolerances and aren't supposed to do that.
Found a YouTube video from ProLite about these wheels with comment explaining that the hub is sealed with loctite.
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Old 10-07-22, 09:59 AM
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Originally Posted by alexk_il View Post
Found a YouTube video from ProLite about these wheels with comment explaining that the hub is sealed with loctite.
A link would have been nice.
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