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  1. #1
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    Mystery rear wheel issue

    I am a relatively inexperienced bike owner. I recently had my local LBS in Tokyo install Mavic Ksyrium wheels on my Specialized road bike with 105 components. To save money, I purchased the wheels online from an auction site. They were "new" when I got them. I had no issues with my bike prior to these wheels being installed.

    Now, only when I descend a pretty steep slope, or, ride across very uneven road, a pretty strong, audible vibration from the rear kicks in and slows the bike down. It feels like it could theoretically be the brakes grabbing, but the grabbing or friction is very constant and uniform, not intermittent like brakes rubbing the wheel in one spot due to a lack of wheel alignment (which there is a bit of) seemingly would cause. And, the brakes etc. were just fine prior to the new wheels being installed. This happens 4-5 times every ride. When the slope or pavement evens out, the rubbing goes away.

    The local LBS now refuses to discuss since they can't reproduce the problem up and down their block, and another higher end LBS won't deal with any bike they didn't sell. So it looks like I might have to figure this out myself. Has anyone experienced this? Given the history of the problem, it seems like the cause would be either in the wheel itself or in the installation of it.
    Last edited by Tokyoeasyrider; 5 Days Ago at 06:59 PM.

  2. #2
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    If the brakes were grabbing you'd be able to look back and see the pads not fully retracted.

    I doubt that's your problem.

    Does this problem occur only when pedaling, only when coasting, or both?

  3. #3
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    Both, it's not a pedaling issue. A steep down slope or rough road is enacting a force on the bike such that the rear is acting up in this way. I even fully opened the rear brakes up and still had the problem. The friction sound is like a "grrr..." although difficult to write exactly or even mimic.

  4. #4
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    Maybe the hub isn't "freewheeling" properly?
    Does the chain go slack when this happens and you are not pedaling?

  5. #5
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    You're description rules out what I would have guessed for 'grabbing'. That being the rim isn't uniform width so would have a pulse or grab once per revolution.

    Check your brake set-up and make sure your pads are centered and hit the brake track and brake track only. If the dish of the new wheel is off compared to the previous that they were set up for that's possible. Although your description doesn't sound like that either but worth looking.

  6. #6
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    Sounds like the cassette mechanism or the rear hub bearings. If the axle turns smoothly with your fingers, the hub bearings are fine.

    Mavic freehubs are serviceable, and there is a seal between the cassette body and the hub which tends to dry out, requiring lubrication. This is my next guess.

  7. #7
    Russian Troll Farmer
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    I'm betting that it's a poorly-freewheeling freehub, and the fact that your rear wheel is less heavily loaded on a steep downhill is just allowing the rest of the wheel to vibrate more than when fully loaded. Either lubing or replacing the freehub SHOULD get rid of the problem, but then, it's a Mavic....
    "L'enfer, c'est les autres"

  8. #8
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    Maviks need the freehub lubricated at least yearly. Open that baby up and fill it with tri-flow or ? (the area where the paws are).
    If you ride in rain, probably more frequent service is required. You can tell when you need it as when you stop pedaling, the noise starts.
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  9. #9
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    Thanks for your replies

    Great insights to work with to solve this issue.

  10. #10
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    If the freehub was binding enough to cause a loss of speed, wouldn't it also cause the chain to wrap round the cassette?

    My money is on an issue with the wheel bearings.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by dir-t View Post
    If the freehub was binding enough to cause a loss of speed, wouldn't it also cause the chain to wrap round the cassette?

    My money is on an issue with the wheel bearings.
    Yes it does, but the chain is on the front ring, which limits the movement.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by duriel View Post
    Yes it does, but the chain is on the front ring, which limits the movement.
    No it doesn't as the chain isn't rigid. Imagine what would happen if you were backpedaling and someone grabbed the chain near the top of (and behind) the ring - you would keep pedaling until the slack was taken out of the chain/der cage, and you would have a bunch of slack in the chain between the that person's hand and your chain ring.

    If the freewheel binds, causing drag on the cassette, the cassette will spin with the wheel and the chain would then wrap around the cassette - unless the rider pedals fast enough to match the rpms of the cassette. The OP doesn't describe this happening. This is why I think the problem is with the bearings.

  13. #13
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    OK, well I've had mavic wheels before and when it drags, it don't just lock up, it drags until it reaches the max limit of the drag which is not like grabbing it with your hand as your going down a dangerous decent and approaching a hairpin corner.
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