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Hey, keep you cassette down over there please!

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Hey, keep you cassette down over there please!

Old 08-23-10, 05:47 PM
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Hey, keep you cassette down over there please!

Why are some modern cassettes so loud? Personally, I think the pitch and volume of my mid-80s Regina freewheel is just about perfect--not too loud or tinny. I'm sure it's just because that is what I am used to. From time to time, I hear a modern bike go by, and the volume of the cassette (during coasting, of course) is downright distracting. I might find it hard to enjoy a pleasant ride with one of those cacophonous cassettes. Is there actually a good reason for this increase in cassette volume (mechanical or otherwise)? Which cassettes or freewheels have you found to be the worst "noise polluters"? Also, which freewheels are music to your ears?
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Old 08-23-10, 05:50 PM
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Hugi hubs that use a star-ratchet.
Sound like a chainsaw back there when coasting.
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Old 08-23-10, 05:53 PM
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My 7 speed shimano nexus roller brake/freehub on my Schwinn Varsity is my favorite sounding one, Shimano 105 7 speed freehub on my Miyata 1000 is a close second.

I notice people on the road with newer 10sp freehubs that I don't enjoy the sound of. Very harsh.

I just finished working on a 70's Peugeot UO-8 with whatever the original freewheel was and I didn't really care for the sound of that either. Too Bright sounding.
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Old 08-23-10, 05:59 PM
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I kinda like the loud ones, although I could understand people finding them annoying, a lot of the new ones aren't too "rich" sounding. I have and had a few freehubs which didnt make any noise at all and I really don't like that. If you're for some reason coasting at full speed or on a descent where you're going so fast you just can't really pedal anymore you can't even hear the hub with all the wind noise.

Most older SunTour freewheels have a nice sound, I have a 70s Regina 5 speed somewhere which sounds beautiful (its quite loud!)

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Old 08-23-10, 06:08 PM
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I guess part of the blame goes to trying to design around Shimano's patent for their freehub. The Campy Record and Chorus 10 spd freehubs I have are loud and harsh sounding. I don't mind the standard Shimano freehub, sounds like ordinary Shimano freewheels of old. The 74xx Dura Ace Freehub I just got sounds tinny. A bit like a Regina. As for old freewheels, I liked the Suntour New Winner but disliked their Perfect. Obnoxiously loud like a chuck wagon cook banging on a skillet.

I acquired a clutch freehub. Those made for Japanese bike police. It's ninja silent.
I did have a Shimano standard mtb frrehub become nearly silent. I believe the heat caused the grease to seep into the pawls.
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Old 08-23-10, 06:26 PM
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I have a Maillard freewheel that must be a clutch type, as it is nearly silent except for a faint whirring. Other than that my favorite sounding freewheel is an old Dura Ace 6sp, which has a very soft clicking sound, like a winding a mechanical watch.
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Old 08-23-10, 06:27 PM
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I'd been wondering the same thing. We have 6 freehub-equipped bikes and they are all fairly quiet but I've heard some on the road that sound like they are spinning a Craftsman 3/8" ratchet.
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Old 08-23-10, 07:27 PM
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I've got a 6 speed Shimano freewheel (the $18 mechanic's special), that is nearly silent...compared to the 6 speed on my Nishiki that is kinda loud, but nothing like the cheapo 5 speeds found on lower-end bikes. Then again, I kinda like the sound of those cheap 5 speeds.
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Old 08-23-10, 07:41 PM
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I've greased the pawls on a Campag 8-speed hub. Noise no more, and I still get engagement of each pawl.

-Kurt
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Old 08-23-10, 07:53 PM
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I keep waiting for something to fall off the bike (Specialized) of our LBS owner on the group rides. The cassette is annoyingly loud. Personally, I like the quiet hum of an old Normandy Atom and a Regina Superleggera.
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Old 08-23-10, 08:41 PM
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My WTB hub on my mountain bike sounds like a rattle snake, Hope hubs are even louder.
by comparison my old cheap Shimano 475 hub was silent, go figure.
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Old 08-23-10, 11:05 PM
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Nothing sounds as tight and perfectly-pitched as my old Campy alloy six speed freewheel. Pure music to the ear!
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Old 08-24-10, 12:48 AM
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Campy and CK hubs bug me. I like silent or hear silent hubs. Prefer to hear the hum of the tires. Dura Ace freehubs are pleasant.


Originally Posted by cudak888 View Post
I've greased the pawls on a Campag 8-speed hub. Noise no more, and I still get engagement of each pawl.

-Kurt
I will remember that if I ever acquire another. That thing about drove me nuts.
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Old 08-24-10, 12:57 AM
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I was on a group ride with a guy that had a Chris King freehub... it was insane.

Here is a video clip of one:
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Old 08-24-10, 03:36 AM
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My tandem has a Shimano XT 8sp freehub, that when mated to an XT 9 sp cassette with the alloy carrier was quite pleasant to listen to. Due to the high replacement expense for a new XT cassette, I put on a much lower priced Shimano cassette, all steel, no carrier. It is now very loud, almost annoying. I think its because the cassette sprockets echo or reverberate the noise off the pawls.

I also have a hubset made by Hadley for GT that are much like the Chris Kings. Alloy freehub body with 3 large pawls. Super loud like the video posted above.
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Old 08-24-10, 04:16 AM
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My girlfriend's bike has an Alfine 8 hub and it is completely silent.
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Old 08-24-10, 05:42 AM
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I've got a really loud Suntour Perfect.
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Old 08-24-10, 06:33 AM
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I like a newly-packed DA or Shimano 600 tricolor. No noise for a while, and when you roll past people on downhills (being chunky helps in that regard) they don't hear you coming. Once they get some use, still a smooth precision click.

Some of these modern hubs, I know they're nice, but good night, they are LOUD. Enough to make you want to pull 100% of the time to avoid the coasting noise.
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Old 08-24-10, 06:53 AM
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I really do not know what hub I have on that mid 80's specialized and really hadn't paid much attention to it untill the first time I took it out on the bike trail here. I was approaching two people walking in my direction and the thought popped into my head well how do I discretely let them know i'm coming, oh yea thats right from riding around on a road bike on my college campus I remember that if you simply don't pedal there is a clicking sound. Yea no, evidentally the hubs are silent. To make any noise at all I have to be pedaling. Its actually very nice not to have to listen to that clicking when nobody is around. Though that clicking is a really subdued way of letting people know there is a bike coming through.
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Old 08-24-10, 07:01 AM
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My 105 hub/SRAM 8sp setup is silent. "Wery sneaky, sir."
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Old 08-24-10, 07:14 AM
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most of my current freehubs ore so so, none are too loud but one is super quiet.

I had a '92ish Cdale with Campi Olympus and that the freehub was extremely loud. other riders in the group complained about it. so being slightly passive aggresive one day I set the rear brake so it really howled. they stopped complaining about my freehub after that.
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Old 08-24-10, 07:39 AM
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I quieted a loud Phil Wood cassette by putting grease on the pawls and the teeth they engage. They are very easy to access.
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Old 08-24-10, 08:35 AM
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I have always used a bit of Sturmey Archer 3-speed oil in my freewheels, and they are near silent... Suntour Winners/Winner Pros and a Shimano 600. I agree with many posters that loud would drive me nuts.
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Old 08-24-10, 08:46 AM
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What are you guys doing coasting? All my hubs are whisper quiet when I pedal!
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Old 08-24-10, 09:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Chuckk View Post
I think the new, loud rattle may even be for style.
Yes it is. I was researching all aspects of rebuilding HUB's for both vintage and modern wheels when I noticed that very point you make. I kept coming across posts and you tube videos featuring nothing but the sound of a HUB. For whatever reason, it's the cool thing to have just like putting baseball cards in our spokes for the clicking sound was when we were kids. Go figure.
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