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Nov 22

Bike Help

After my bike ride today, I decided to give my bike a much needed cleaning.  However, while cleaning it I discovered that it is making some less than pleasant noises.  So, I am hoping that some of the bike people out there can help me diagnose the problem and save me a trip to the LBS. 

Here is the first video.  In this video, I start by simply turning the pedal in reverse.  Now, I know that some clicking when pedaling backwards is normal, this seems excessive.  Half way through, I switch to holding the back wheel off the ground and spinning it by hand.  When moving forward, there is no noise.  However, when spinning the wheel backwards, there is a definite crunching noise.  Also, if I turn the pedal backwards for a while, the chain will eventually bind up on the big sprockets.  When this happens, I have to pedal forward to reseat the chain.

Here is the second video.  In this video, I lifted the rear wheel off the ground and spun up the wheel using the pedal.  I get a louder than normal whirring along with some of the crunching sound intermixed.

My initial thoughts that I have sort of dismissed.  The first thought I had was the wheel bearings.  I last overhauled the rear bearings at  the beginning of the summer (about 2,500 miles ago at 3,500 miles).  At the time, I repacked the bearings simply because I was replacing the cassette and chain and figured I would just do the works.  There really wasn’t any evidence that the bearings were in need of an overhaul at that time.  So, it seems like needing another overhaul only 2,000 miles later seems too soon???

In the second video, the whirring noise sounds a bit like the wheel being out of true. However, I just had the wheel trued up about 2 weeks ago when I had a broke spoke fixed at the LBS, so that seems unlikely.

So, what do I think it is?  My semi-educated guess is the freehub body – mainly by process of elimination.  What do you think?  Have you ever had a bad freehub body?  What are the signs that is is wearing out?

I’m hoping this is an easy fix.  Although, Jennie’s suggestion was that it might just be time to replace it with a new bike!! Can’t argue with that!

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Permanent link to this article: http://www.ironmanbythirty.com/2010/11/22/bike-help

7 comments

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  1. lindsay

    you have to do something with bearings? why can’t bikes just be easy. give it a wipedown and be done. haha. umm so clearly i am no help here, just thought i’d get your hopes up with a *ding* in the inbox as if it was a real suggestion.

    1. Ironman By Thirty (Kevin)

      Haha… way to get my hopes up! Don’t worry, I already checked the chain thingy and that isn’t the problem. :)

      Actually I worked with Jon tonight via IM and think I have the problem figured out. Still going to require a trip to the LBS though. It will give me a chance to check out the new bikes which could be dangerous.

  2. Matt Oravec

    I am absolutely no help to this area. I failed my bike fixing class haha.

    Good luck hope its a cheap fix!

  3. BDD

    Ok Jeannie, the problem with Kevins bike is that belt drive is making a sound with the bottom bracket and bearings while running it with the cogset behind the chain stay, now its important to know if his derailleur is braze on or on a derailleur hanger. You can remove the rear dynamo from the seat tube and check if lockring and locknut but are properly attached to the free hub, now if that looks good, I would remove the fairing and see if the coupler and cotter are indeed clean and working right. But after looking at all of that, you are still looking at a repair bill of at least $25,000, Yes I agree with you, Kevin needs a new bike with out a doubt.

    Ok Jeanie you can stop reading now

    Kevin, I don’t know what is wrong, to me, I would say something is up with the bearings in the bottom bracket and your hub.

    1. Ironman By Thirty (Kevin)

      HAHAHAHAHAHAHAH… I love it!

      Well, I have some good news to report on the problem. I took the wheel in to the LBS today after calling them. I worked with the mechanic and he helped me remove the freehub (which took an 11mm allen key, not the standard 10mm). This brings up a whole other issue about the bike in general. But back to the freehub. Once removed, he said that it definitely had some play to it and was in need of eventual replacement. That said, we were able to completely clean out the freehub and lubricate it. After doing that, the noise has pretty much completely disappeared. I will eventually need to replace the entire hub if it gets worse b/c finding a matching hub body for the particular hub will be near impossible based on the brand/model (at least according to the mechanic). I’ve broken a couple spokes in the last couple months as well and he recommended re-lacing the wheel if they continue to break as it is a sign of fatigue. I figure that I will keep an eye on the spokes and do the hub at the same time. The best part – the LBS didn’t charge me a penny! He basically let me into the shop, access to the tools, and assisted me for free. I was shocked and thoroughly impressed.

      About the bike in general. I am finding that the bike is not stock by any means. So when I look at the specs on Fuji’s website, they don’t match what my bike has. They are the general specs – 9 speed, Shimano components, etc. But Fuji lists the hub as being a FH-4500 which is not what is on my bike. I had the same issue with the cassette. It listed a Shimano something or another and I have a SRAM cassette. I’m not saying that the parts on my bike are any better/worse than the specs, but it is frustrating not knowing the exact part numbers.

      I’m definitely not going back to the place I got my bike and buying from the new LBS instead. After many bad experiences at the other shops in the area, they have restored my faith in the brick and mortar LBS and I don’t have to do all my part shopping online.

  4. BDD

    Ok Jennie, the problem with Kevins bike is that belt drive is making a sound with the bottom bracket and bearings while running it with the cogset behind the chain stay, now its important to know if his derailleur is braze on or on a derailleur hanger. You can remove the rear dynamo from the seat tube and check if lockring and locknut but are properly attached to the free hub, now if that looks good, I would remove the fairing and see if the coupler and cotter are indeed clean and working right. But after looking at all of that, you are still looking at a repair bill of at least $25,000, Yes I agree with you, Kevin needs a new bike with out a doubt.

    Ok Jennie you can stop reading now

    Kevin, I don’t know what is wrong, to me, I would say something is up with the bearings in the bottom bracket and your hub.

  5. Mandy

    I totally agree, you need a new bike! I like the way Jennie is thinking!

    I would love to help but I am learning bike stuff right now myself – if you figure it out let us know!

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