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Noisy fixie drivetrain

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Noisy fixie drivetrain

Old 08-17-20, 05:37 PM
  #1  
bicyclepost
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Noisy fixie drivetrain

Hello, I'm a complete newbie to single speed and fixed gear bikes. I recently got a fixie with a flip-flop hub and have been riding single speed with the freewheel for the past couple weeks. Today I flipped it around to fixed for the first time and it's quite noisy. The freewheel side was a perfectly quiet, smooth ride. I don't know if this is normal for fixed gears but it's pretty annoying because it sounds like there's something wrong. I tried different chain tensions but there was no difference. To my untrained eye, the chainline appears to be straight, but maybe slightly off. What else could be causing this? I also have two videos:

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Old 08-18-20, 06:35 AM
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I would check the rear hub bearings, cones, and races. I don’t think that there is anything wrong with chainline, chain, or gears.

Also check that there are no loose spokes.
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Old 08-18-20, 12:13 PM
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If it doesn't make that noise in single speed, but does in fixed, then it's something at the back end. So that means not the chainring, and the chain alone is not the issue.

It's not the chain line, and the chain looks well lubricated.

I wonder, is your chain the right width for your fixed cog? If it is a size too narrow (say 3/16 instead of 1/4) that may be the issue.
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Old 08-18-20, 12:29 PM
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I'm with Mikefule. I think the chain is not seating properly with the teeth of the fixed cog. It's (chain) probably been mated to the freewheel over the miles.
How old is the bike?
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Old 08-18-20, 02:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Mikefule View Post
I wonder, is your chain the right width for your fixed cog? If it is a size too narrow (say 3/16 instead of 1/4) that may be the issue.
Originally Posted by Speedway2 View Post
I'm with Mikefule. I think the chain is not seating properly with the teeth of the fixed cog. It's (chain) probably been mated to the freewheel over the miles.
How old is the bike?
From the research I did I thought that may be the issue. Perhaps the fixed cog is not the same size as the freewheel cog. How would I figure this out? Visually the chain appears to sit over the cog teeth fine but I'll flip it back to the freewheel side to see how it compares. I bought the bike used and have only ridden it myself for 2 or 3 weeks but the guy I bought it from built it himself from a road bike frame and I don't think it was used much. The chain appears to be brand new but the cogs look like they have some more wear on them. The fixed cog has fairly square teeth though.
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Old 09-02-20, 11:32 AM
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Fixed Gear is a completely noise-free operation. You can only hear one breath and a heartbeat.
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Old 09-02-20, 05:50 PM
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Originally Posted by bicyclepost View Post
Hello, I'm a complete newbie to single speed and fixed gear bikes. I recently got a fixie with a flip-flop hub and have been riding single speed with the freewheel for the past couple weeks. Today I flipped it around to fixed for the first time and it's quite noisy. The freewheel side was a perfectly quiet, smooth ride. I don't know if this is normal for fixed gears but it's pretty annoying because it sounds like there's something wrong. I tried different chain tensions but there was no difference. To my untrained eye, the chainline appears to be straight, but maybe slightly off. What else could be causing this? I also have two videos:
https://youtu.be/ZT4F6wD_IOs
https://youtu.be/v_Gdd_AzQJ8

sounds like you have Cheetos in your cog
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Old 09-02-20, 11:01 PM
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Rinse in a closed polyethylene bottle with gasoline or kerosene twice, dry. Lubricate with bike chain silicone lubricant. Clear the stars.
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Old 09-06-20, 11:48 PM
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Originally Posted by bicyclepost View Post
The chain appears to be brand new but the cogs look like they have some more wear on them. The fixed cog has fairly square teeth though.
If that's the case, the new chain might just need to be ridden a bit so it stretches to accommodate the teeth. Go climb hills.

Also, go ahead and measure your chainline. You might need to mount the chainring on the inside of the spider arms.

Last edited by Rolla; 09-07-20 at 04:13 PM.
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Old 09-08-20, 11:24 PM
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I'm with Rolla here.
Is it possible that you just put a new chain on a cog/ring you've been riding already? The chain will need to wear in to fit the worn (even if only a little bit) teeth. In bikes with gears, you generally change your cassette when you change your chain so everything wears evenly. That way your chain isn't wearing out your cassette, or your cassette isn't wearing out your chain.

Best of luck
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Old 09-09-20, 12:03 AM
  #11  
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Make sure everything is clean first. And only then carefully measure and examine the wear of all components. As an option: throw all this household into the trash and buy a new one.
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Old 09-09-20, 05:07 PM
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Maybe the chain is too tight ?
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Old 09-09-20, 05:58 PM
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Originally Posted by bicyclepost View Post
The chain appears to be brand new but the cogs look like they have some more wear on them. The fixed cog has fairly square teeth though.
That right there is likely the culprit. I can see those squared off teeth in the photo on the fixed cog.
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Old 09-12-20, 12:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Rolla View Post
Teeth don't get squared off through wear. Sometimes they are made that way.


Right. Never meant to imply that teeth did square off from wear.

But, that square tooth sprocket sure doesn't mesh well with that particular chain in the first post.
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Old 09-12-20, 12:42 PM
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Originally Posted by FiftySix View Post
Right. Never meant to imply that teeth did square off from wear.
Thanks - I re-read your post and deleted mine just before you posted this.

Originally Posted by FiftySix View Post
But, that square tooth sprocket sure doesn't mesh well with that particular chain in the first post.
Yeah, I don't know if it has anything to do with the square aspect, but something's up with the chain/cog/chainring interface.
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Old 09-13-20, 05:41 AM
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I believe it is a new chain being used with a worn cog. I did this once and the noise was incredible! It was worse when under power. I only rode a couple hundred yards and turned around to put the old chain back on. Install a new rear cog and you should be quiet.
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Old 09-22-20, 08:39 PM
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Sources of sound can be many many thing.

-Your pedals bearing loose, its crazy but its true for me, try remove pedals and spin it, for me its gone. So I end up buy quality pedals to replace it.
-Too tight chain
-New chain (most new chain need some sitting before its quiet down)
-Out of chainline, freewheel and fixed flip-flop often not have the same chainline, you may get fine line freewheel, when filpped to fixed, you are out.
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Old 09-22-20, 09:19 PM
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It's completely insane that so much over-thinking is done over such simple machines.
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Old 09-23-20, 05:45 AM
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I had the same problem with my Fixed Gear. I've tried everything. What made it run better is some good lube. I'm using Finish Line right now and that seems work fine.
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Old 09-23-20, 12:20 PM
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sometimes a 1/8 chain rattling around on a 3/32 cog makes that noise
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Old 09-23-20, 12:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Scrodzilla View Post
It's completely insane that so much over-thinking is done over such simple machines.
Absolutely agree! The fixed mechanism is absolutely silent. There are times when it seems that the bike disappears under you and you run fast, fast, as if in sneakers.
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Old 09-23-20, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by y0x8 View Post
Absolutely agree! The fixed mechanism is absolutely silent. There are times when it seems that the bike disappears under you and you run fast, fast, as if in sneakers.
I love that pic! How nice to not have to worry about aesthetics. Bar tape wouldn't matter, components needn't match. Awesome!
On a serious note, in the rare event I am biking near pedestrians I always have to announce my presence. If I don't, they never hear the bike coming and are startled as I pass by.
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Old 09-23-20, 02:59 PM
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Originally Posted by y0x8 View Post
Nice to finally see the Emperors' new bike on the road!
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Old 10-04-20, 07:28 PM
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Originally Posted by bmwjoe View Post
I believe it is a new chain being used with a worn cog. I did this once and the noise was incredible! It was worse when under power. I only rode a couple hundred yards and turned around to put the old chain back on. Install a new rear cog and you should be quiet.
Experienced the exact same thing. The noise was unreal. Replaced with dura ace and its buttery quiet.
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