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Vibration felt through pedals (2013 Trek Domane 4.5c)

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Vibration felt through pedals (2013 Trek Domane 4.5c)

Old 08-07-14, 08:34 PM
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Vibration felt through pedals (2013 Trek Domane 4.5c)

My brand new (< 300 miles) Trek Domane 4.5 (6700 Ultegra drivetrain with 105 crankset) has developed a vibration felt through (mostly) the pedals. The vibration is noticeable on the road and also on the stand.

Both the local Trek dealer and I have worked on the bike to check the obvious.
Shifting is perfect. Both FD and RD are adjusted correctly. B-screw is set properly.

He adjusted the bottom bracket pre-load today which did not improve things.

He did not want to swap the chain or crankset without talking to Trek tech support.

We swapped cassettes and wheels (brand new).

Everything is tight.

Any thoughts on what could be wrong? He is suggesting that a complete tear-down/rebuild may be in order but I figured I would ask here.

The chain is new (<300 miles) since the bike is also new. It is a 5700 chain with a KMC 10S quick link.

All advice is appreciated. Hoping it is a quick fix.
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Old 08-07-14, 08:38 PM
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Originally Posted by fstshrk View Post
My brand new (< 300 miles) Trek Domane 4.5 (6700 Ultegra drivetrain with 105 crankset) has developed a vibration felt through (mostly) the pedals. The vibration is noticeable on the road and also on the stand.

Both the local Trek dealer and I have worked on the bike to check the obvious.
Shifting is perfect. Both FD and RD are adjusted correctly. B-screw is set properly.

He adjusted the bottom bracket pre-load today which did not improve things.

He did not want to swap the chain or crankset without talking to Trek tech support.

We swapped cassettes and wheels (brand new).

Everything is tight.

Any thoughts on what could be wrong? He is suggesting that a complete tear-down/rebuild may be in order but I figured I would ask here.

The chain is new (<300 miles) since the bike is also new. It is a 5700 chain with a KMC 10S quick link.

All advice is appreciated. Hoping it is a quick fix.
Most bikes do this to varying degrees. It's at its worst in the smallest cogs in the rear, right? I'd swap out the rear wheel and retest.
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Old 08-07-14, 08:48 PM
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Originally Posted by BikeWise1 View Post
Most bikes do this to varying degrees. It's at its worst in the smallest cogs in the rear, right? I'd swap out the rear wheel and retest.
It exhibits in two places. On the stand, large chainring, smallest two cogs.

On the road, only in the small chainring and around the middle of the cassette.

The cassette is a brand new 11-28 (5700).

Many thanks.
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Old 08-07-14, 09:28 PM
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1) Check derailleur hanger alignment.

2) Swap out the BB bearings -- if this fixes the problem, have shop warranty it; if it doesn't, see if shop will sell to you at cost. If it's not the problem, you'll need new bearings eventually.
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Old 08-08-14, 03:47 PM
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You're probably feeling the effects of chordal action.

We like to think of chain drive like a pulley system, but in reality sprockets aren't round pulleys. Instead, they act like polygons with the number of sides equal to the number of teeth. That means the driving radius keeps changing, and therefore so does the relative speed of the chain and wheel, producing tension changes felt as vibration.

This is 100% normal, and one of the reasons that chain drives in machinery has a characteristic chain whine. Your system moves slower and so the whine is more of a buzz.

Better chain lube muffles this to an extent, by dampening the small shocks of changes in chain tension, but isn't magic.
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Last edited by FBinNY; 08-08-14 at 03:52 PM.
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Old 08-08-14, 04:05 PM
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my blind on line guess : Road Buzz off less than smooth pavement?

Last edited by fietsbob; 08-08-14 at 08:14 PM.
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Old 08-08-14, 06:13 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Road Buzz off less than smooth pavement?
Definitely not this. I can feel it on the stand with my hand turning the cranks.
@FBinNY I am actually a chain-L user on my touring bike. I will try putting some chain-L on this bike and see what happens. However, I have a 2012 Specialized Roubaix with an Ultegra 6700 drivetrain (mostly) and it does not have the same issue. The only difference is that one is running a 6700 chain (Specialized) and the new Domane is running a 5700 chain with a KMC Quicklink (which Trek ships the bike with).
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Old 08-08-14, 06:34 PM
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Besides the normal chordal action, other causes include slightly imperfect sprocket formation (a likely cause if it only vibrates on a single sprocket, not the smallest).

Another possibility is chainline, combined with the shapes of the chain inner plates and the sprockets. When the chain is feeding at an angle, the outer plates can move over on the teeth, then the next inner plate can engage or disengage badly bump or slipping off the tooth's edge, and going back to the line. Some chains have bellmouth formed into the inner plates to smooth this out, others, less so. You can see the effect if you turn the pedals in SloMo, and observe the position of the tooth as the chain engages.

Both the above issues self resolve over time as wear smooths all the rough edges.
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Old 08-08-14, 06:51 PM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
Besides the normal chordal action, other causes include slightly imperfect sprocket formation (a likely cause if it only vibrates on a single sprocket, not the smallest).

Another possibility is chainline, combined with the shapes of the chain inner plates and the sprockets. When the chain is feeding at an angle, the outer plates can move over on the teeth, then the next inner plate can engage or disengage badly bump or slipping off the tooth's edge, and going back to the line. Some chains have bellmouth formed into the inner plates to smooth this out, others, less so. You can see the effect if you turn the pedals in SloMo, and observe the position of the tooth as the chain engages.

Both the above issues self resolve over time as wear smooths all the rough edges.
@FBinNY thanks. Is there a chain that you recommend. Looks like I may be buying a new chain anyway. I have always had good luck with Shimano chains on 8/9/10 speed drivetrains, but wondering if I should try a KMC X10.3SL. For what it's worth, I find the Shimano 10 speed drivetrains (we have three bikes with these between the two of us) to be less robust and more pain-in-the-you-know-what compared to the older 8/9 speed drivetrains.
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Old 08-10-14, 05:47 PM
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I went for a ride today after using a high quality chain lube (in this case, I had chain-L in the house). I don't know why I did not think about this earlier. The vibration may still be there, but I rode a lot of chip seal roads today so it was not possible for me to assess whether it was road buzz or vibration from the drive train.

I also bought a new SRAM chain just in case, and comparing the SRAM and the Shimano chains side by side, (looking at the chain head on) the bottom and tops of the SRAM link plates are flatter and protrude a lot less than the Shimano 5701 chain on the bike.

I am going to ride the bike for another couple days, but if this is the cure, I am a happy chain-L customer. I already use it on my touring bike, it is a bit messy so I don't normally put it on my "nice" bikes. But at this point, I may just as well.
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Old 08-10-14, 06:11 PM
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Originally Posted by fstshrk View Post
...
...I am a happy chain-L customer. I already use it on my touring bike, it is a bit messy so I don't normally put it on my "nice" bikes. But at this point, I may just as well.
It's easy to manage the mess. Don't back pedal too fast during and after application so you don't fling the excess all over the bike. then it's just a matter of wiping excess off, and re-wiping from time to time as needed.
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Old 08-10-14, 07:13 PM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
It's easy to manage the mess. Don't back pedal too fast during and after application so you don't fling the excess all over the bike. then it's just a matter of wiping excess off, and re-wiping from time to time as needed.
I do that all the time, but my white touring bike gets messy regardless.
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