Identifying a noise

I need a bit of help identifying a faint noise that I hear coming from the hub area. I can hear it when I flip the uni upside down and give the wheel a spin. It sounds a bit louder on one side than the other and it sounds a bit like exhaling out of your nostrils, a very faint hiss.

I cleaned some grime that collected around the bearings and I re-lubricated them (from the outside). The noise is still there, but very faint. I have to be careful not to have the pedal strike me in the head while I’m down there listening.

Maybe nothing to be concerned with, but I thought I’d ask.

Man I was just going to post a thread for the exact same problem I’ve been having on my Torker. So somebody please answer.:wink:

Sounds like a bearing issue to me, but it’s hard to be sure.

Give the uni a good look over to make sure it’s not something important that’s on it’s way out. If it’s a problem with a bearing I wouldn’t worry about it - maybe clean it. I rode on a completely shattered bearing for a month or so with no issues, so yeah.

very faint noise = don’t worry about it, probably stuff just wearing in.

loud crunching popping noise = your bearings blew up.

yes, probably will wear in. You might experiment with loosening the bearing retainers. One or both of the bearings may not have uniform support all of the way around resulting in the warping of a bearing race.

You should video your listening technique. The video probably won’t have any value unless there is a head strike. If that happens, please post.

Resp. ask your offsprings to post. Just in case you are no longer able to do so. :astonished:

What hub are you talking about? Just a normal one, or is it a Schlumpf hub? In latter case, there are other (not so pleasant) options where that faint noise could come from.
For normal hubs it is either the bearings or something is dragging (for instance at the frame). The bearings are not a big deal. In worst case you need to get new ones, which are pretty cheap.

No, just a normal hub. Yeah, I expect it is the bearings. I really don’t see anything catching on the frame. Bearings are cheap, I just lack the knowledge, tools, and confidence to replace them.

Aside from the noise everything appears to be in order. The wheel rolls free, there aren’t any clicks, etc. I guess I’ll just wait until clicks or other more ominous sounds surface.

  1. Bearings could be trashed.
  2. Bearings could be too tight.
  3. Bearings could be trashed from being too tight.

I would address it now to see if it is (2). Because of the lever arm of the wheel, it is difficult to evaluate bearings in-place.

Remove the bearing holders and take the wheel out (you can leave the cranks and pedals on). Spin the bearings by hand and see how they feel. They should be smooth with absolutely no roughness, noise, or free play. Verify that they are tight on the axle. If they’re good, reassemble. Do NOT over tighten the bearing holders; put some blue (medium strength) Loctite on the screws so they don’t need to be tightened to stay in place. See if the noise is gone…


Then go on riding your uni. If needed get some ear plugs. :roll_eyes:
If you need to replace your bearing, your local bike shop should be able to support you, I guess.