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Old 08-19-14, 08:28 AM   #1
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Hit pothole, now front wheel has more friction, makes sound

I managed to hit a pothole that was underwater (so invisible to me) on my last ride. I finished the ride but the entire time my bike just felt... slow. I assumed the front wheel was out of true and was rubbing a bit. I just checked and the wheel looks fine. I tried spinning the wheel and it silently spun, but only for a revolution or two before stopping. The brakes were not rubbing at all - plenty of clearance. I pulled the axle to check if it was bent and it looked OK - but then after I put it back in the wheel still spins much better than before, but all while some sort of rumbly sound is coming from it (I think from the hub, but not positive). I'm guessing I have a damaged hub, though it's not clear why removing and reinstalling the axle made it louder but not so slow. What do you all think? Cosmetically everything looks fine, as far as I can see.

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Old 08-19-14, 08:34 AM   #2
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You may have a bent axle that's rubbing against the inside of the hub shell
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Old 08-19-14, 08:36 AM   #3
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While possible, it far more common to damage the rim than the hub. My first guess is that you have flared the rim, bent the brake tracks outwards at some point of the circumference. Check again for clearance all the way around.
If that doesn't show anything, at the very least pull the wheel out of the fork and twirl the axle by hand, feel for roughness.
At that point it would have been good to know how it felt before, but that's life for you.
If it's a cup & cone type of hub you'll have to pull the axle to inspect the bearing surfaces.
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Old 08-19-14, 08:37 AM   #4
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Or some damaged bearings and/or races.
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Old 08-19-14, 10:54 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by prathmann View Post
You may have a bent axle that's rubbing against the inside of the hub shell
+1, if there's no evidence of rubbing anywhere at the rim, then you need to look to the hub. Front axle failure form impact is rare and unlikely, but not unheard of. The axle may be bent, or if a QR axle broken through with only the skewer holding it together (very common on rear hubs).

Remove the wheel, and hold one end of the axle by the lock nut and try turning the other (which shouldn't move). Also spin the axle and see if the ends wobble. Unless You've ridden a long time with this condition (bent or broken) the bearing surfaces should be fine.
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Old 08-19-14, 03:03 PM   #6
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Did you pop the tire during the impact?

If you didn't pop the tire during impact I doubt anything happened to the hub, axle, or wheel. My guess would be the cones are to tight, probably have been. Remove the front wheel and spin the axle with your fingers, should spin very smooth. If it does not then the cones are to tight.
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