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Are Loud Freehubs a Thing Now?

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Are Loud Freehubs a Thing Now?

Old 07-11-22, 08:02 AM
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Are Loud Freehubs a Thing Now?

And why?
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Old 07-11-22, 08:20 AM
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There are two theories.

1) The loud hubs help raise awareness of your presence and thus are safer than the ultra-quiet hubs, letting pedestrians, motorists and scooter riders know of your presence, and thus obviating the need for a bell or a simple shout of "HEY! ON YOUR RIGHT!"

2) It's a byproduct of designing ratchets with more engagement points for shorter engagement, such that when the ratchets are disengaged and spinning they just make more noise.
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Old 07-11-22, 08:34 AM
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Originally Posted by sjanzeir
And why?
Did you have a nice nap, Mr Van Winkle?
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Old 07-11-22, 08:37 AM
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Chris King released the "angry bees ring-tone" in 2011, so it was already a thing by then.

(In their case, it is the sound of the ring-drive.)

When I first asked about it, I was told that it is there to rat you out if you stop pedaling.

The legend is that a customer (from Japan IIRC) contacted Chris King and asked if there was something wrong with his hub, because it was making a buzzing sound like a bunch of angry bees.
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Old 07-11-22, 08:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Polaris OBark

When I first asked about it, I was told that it is there to rat you out if you stop pedaling.
This is what I assumed, it would piss me off if I heard that every time I coast. Ive asked people about it and most of the responses are just "idk it came like this."
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Old 07-11-22, 08:46 AM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott
Did you have a nice nap, Mr Van Winkle?
Give him a break. Look where he is posting from.

I should add I have that ring tone on my phone.
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Old 07-11-22, 08:49 AM
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It doesn't bother me (and you can add a little bit more grease if it does bother you), but if you want silence, Onyx Vesper hubs are nearly silent (they use a sprague clutch mechanism). As an added benefit, they are as expensive as Chris King.
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Old 07-11-22, 08:51 AM
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The component companies were losing sales to this product. They had to come up with something more stealthy looking that roadies would buy. Same reason for the move to disc brakes. You can't put a Turbospoke on a disc brake bike.


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Old 07-11-22, 08:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Polaris OBark
Give him a break. Look where he is posting from.

I should add I have that ring tone on my phone.
Not sure I follow. Jeddah looks like a big modern city with Internet access to me.
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Originally Posted by chandltp
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Old 07-11-22, 09:00 AM
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With 5G and broadband fiber. The other great thing about living here is that it's so far away from you. Have a nice day.
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Old 07-11-22, 09:09 AM
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Some people start threads complaining that their new free hub or freewheel doesn't make noise.

Some people start threads complaining that their new free hub or freewheel makes noise.

I take it you are in the second group. It's all about different manufacturers make them differently and what you were previously use to on your bike.
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Old 07-11-22, 09:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Iride01
Some people start threads complaining that their new free hub or freewheel doesn't make noise. Some people start threads complaining that their new free hub or freewheel makes noise. I take it you are in the second group. It's all about different manufacturers make them differently and what you were previously use to on your bike.
I'm neither nor. The freehub on my Dahon Mu is markedly louder than the ones on my other bikes, but what really made it stand out to me is just how quiet the 1990s freehub on my old Raleigh is in comparison. I've ridden behind a few people with late-model bikes whose freehubs I could hear from 50 feet away and there seems to be more and more of them.
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Old 07-11-22, 09:37 AM
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I'm of the school that says loud shouts of poor design and disregard for a quiet, livable environment. Anyone can design loud. That quiet speaks of elegant and clean design. Also as an ex-racer, I would never want to race with a loud freehub. Loud coasting broadcasts to your adversaries you aren't working. Being able to sneak in all the recovery you can muster in a really hard race, especially if you've made the break, can be race saving. I used to grease the pawls on my Winner FWs to completely silence them.

Purposely making freehubs loud strikes me as being like the sound engineer who after designing the perfect concert ready powerful PA speaker that sits in a nice small cabinet then doubles the size and weight of the cabinet just to make it more impressive. (And make the stage crews work twice as hard.)

Loud freehubs - equipping your Corolla with "pipes". (Except every time you hear the cassette, you know the engine isn't running.)
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Old 07-11-22, 09:55 AM
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Yep--my Ultegra and Dura Ace freehubs were dead silent when I got them. A sign of precision to me.

Someone here told me louder freehubs meant they were "faster."
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Old 07-11-22, 10:01 AM
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I like the loud freehubs. My Dura Ace hub is noticeably quieter than my stock Bontrager Rapid Drive Hub.
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Old 07-11-22, 10:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Badger6
There are two theories.

1) The loud hubs help raise awareness of your presence and thus are safer than the ultra-quiet hubs, letting pedestrians, motorists and scooter riders know of your presence, and thus obviating the need for a bell or a simple shout of "HEY! ON YOUR RIGHT!"
Motorists aren’t hearing you noisy hubs. Scooters (with engines) aren’t hearing them either.

Given that not all hubs make noise, they aren’t reliable indicators of bicycles being present.

Originally Posted by Badger6

2) It's a byproduct of designing ratchets with more engagement points for shorter engagement, such that when the ratchets are disengaged and spinning they just make more noise.
Something like this is much more likely.

Last edited by njkayaker; 07-11-22 at 12:11 PM.
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Old 07-11-22, 10:06 AM
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i dont think a general rider cares, so it likely isnt a thing. If it was easy & a common fit for hubs to swap out at a reasonable price, I'd make all mine ninja. I am still kinda shocked that the new Domane comes with the beez hub. Was expecting a lot less buzzing.
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Old 07-11-22, 10:07 AM
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I tend to like the sound of a loud, high-quality hub. I couldn't tell you exactly what it is, but high-quality sounds better. Mediocre just sounds noisy.

I recently purchased a MTB with an XTR rear bub. Apparently, it includes Shimano's "Scylence" technology which makes it almost completely silent. I find it quite odd.
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Old 07-11-22, 10:17 AM
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This will explain a lot of why some freehubs are loud and some are not. It is really about design.

https://cyclingtips.com/2018/12/hub-...of-engagement/

I have experienced more loud freehubs mountain trails than on road bikes. The major advantage of DT, Chris King, etc is the ease to service the hubs which is desireable when riding in adverse conditions. They also tend to have sealed bearings as opposed to cup-cone that is another benefit riding in dirt, mud and the like.

John

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Old 07-11-22, 10:24 AM
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Originally Posted by sjanzeir
The freehub on my Dahon Mu is markedly louder than the ones on my other bikes, but what really made it stand out to me is just how quiet the 1990s freehub on my old Raleigh is in comparison. I've ridden behind a few people with late-model bikes whose freehubs I could hear from 50 feet away and there seems to be more and more of them.
Monocoque frames and deep profile rims provide ample resonating space for the ratchet mechanism.
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Old 07-11-22, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney
I'm of the school that says loud shouts of poor design and disregard for a quiet, livable environment. Anyone can design loud. That quiet speaks of elegant and clean design. Also as an ex-racer, I would never want to race with a loud freehub. Loud coasting broadcasts to your adversaries you aren't working. Being able to sneak in all the recovery you can muster in a really hard race, especially if you've made the break, can be race saving. I used to grease the pawls on my Winner FWs to completely silence them.
Same here, although you have to take care to use a light grease or cold weather will prevent the pawls from engaging. One of the things I like about my fixed gear bike is how quiet it is. The only sound is soft whirring of the tires on pavement. And one of the few virtues of the Sturmey-Archer SW hub is the virtually silent springless pawls.
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Old 07-11-22, 10:37 AM
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I also wondered why some of these newer freehubs have to be that loud. One reason I ride is to enjoy the sights and sounds of nature. And the last thing I want is one of these noisy freehubs. But to each his/her own.
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Old 07-11-22, 10:50 AM
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Originally Posted by JohnDThompson
Same here, although you have to take care to use a light grease or cold weather will prevent the pawls from engaging. One of the things I like about my fixed gear bike is how quiet it is. The only sound is soft whirring of the tires on pavement. And one of the few virtues of the Sturmey-Archer SW hub is the virtually silent springless pawls.
My fix gear drive trains aren't entirely silent because I use the very square cut UAI cogs and the Izumi chains with their lack of silencing rounding of plates. Both features of chains and cogs that shift very poorly. I really don't like my fix gears shifting because that other cog is ... empty space! I ran a KMC chain briefly. Likewise a Surly cog. Nice, quiet, and I had to keep less slack on the chain to ensure it didn't throw off. In other words, I needed to be more precise in setting chain slack, especially with my 110 BCD cranksets that were not made with fix gear in mind. But I ride my 110s into the hills. Stop and flip my wheel often. Screw on 12 tooth cogs to do high speed descents (while still light-headed from the climb). Those square and loud chains and cogs make for a lot of peace of mind!
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Old 07-11-22, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Iride01
Some people start threads complaining that their new free hub or freewheel doesn't make noise.

Some people start threads complaining that their new free hub or freewheel makes noise.

I take it you are in the second group. It's all about different manufacturers make them differently and what you were previously use to on your bike.
Some people simply post a question, whose phrasing can only be interpreted as a complaint with considerable effort and mental contortions.
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Old 07-11-22, 10:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Polaris OBark
Some people simply post a question, whose phrasing can only be interpreted as a complaint with considerable effort and mental contortions.
Some people take the word complaining as a negative thing.

Some people take the word complaining as a neutral descriptive term.

I take it that you are the former. To me it just made a separation of thought for a simple worded reply.
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