Spoke rub? Something else?
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  1. #1
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    Spoke rub? Something else?

    About 2 weeks ago I noticed a nipple on my rear wheel had come loose. It didn't break, it just unscrewed. I had my LBS repair it. Ever since then, I have heard a rubbing-type noise, but only when pedaling. I couldn't quite tell from where this creak/rub/whatever noise was coming, but a guy on my group ride this morning said it was coming from the rear of the bike.

    I have checked my rear thru-axle, the rear caliper (disc), the pedals, and the cranks. Nothing of note or nothing loose. I called my shop and asked what else I should be looking at before bringing it in and they suggested removing and reinstalling the rear thru-axle. When doing that, I was checking my rear spoke tension when I noticed that when squeezing the spokes, it made a similar noise (squeezing the spokes that cross to check tension). I put a dot of lube on the point where the spokes cross and touch and that MAY have alleviated the issue?

    Is spokes rubbing together a thing? Could that be my mystery noise? Am I crazy thinking some lube helped?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    The spokes can't possibly move enough to create that noise.

    I don't have an answer as to what it may be.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter P. View Post
    The spokes can't possibly move enough to create that noise.
    This statement is completely false. While not common, noises from spokes moving against each other at the cross is well-documented. A touch of grease at each cross (work it in and wipe off the excess) is a known fix, if that indeed is the source of the noise. However, the fact that it comes only when pedaling could point to a host of other sources. The wheels I had that did this made the noise whether I was pedaling or coasting.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kerry Irons View Post
    This statement is completely false. While not common, noises from spokes moving against each other at the cross is well-documented. A touch of grease at each cross (work it in and wipe off the excess) is a known fix, if that indeed is the source of the noise. However, the fact that it comes only when pedaling could point to a host of other sources. The wheels I had that did this made the noise whether I was pedaling or coasting.
    I figured that when pedaling a higher load was being put into the rear wheel. It could very well be making the noise when coasting, but the freehub drowns it out.

  5. #5
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    In the time it took to post that, you could have oiled all your spokes.
    BANNED

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by lightning33 View Post
    About 2 weeks ago I noticed a nipple on my rear wheel had come loose. It didn't break, it just unscrewed. I had my LBS repair it. Ever since then, I have heard a rubbing-type noise, but only when pedaling. I couldn't quite tell from where this creak/rub/whatever noise was coming, but a guy on my group ride this morning said it was coming from the rear of the bike.

    I have checked my rear thru-axle, the rear caliper (disc), the pedals, and the cranks. Nothing of note or nothing loose. I called my shop and asked what else I should be looking at before bringing it in and they suggested removing and reinstalling the rear thru-axle. When doing that, I was checking my rear spoke tension when I noticed that when squeezing the spokes, it made a similar noise (squeezing the spokes that cross to check tension). I put a dot of lube on the point where the spokes cross and touch and that MAY have alleviated the issue?

    Is spokes rubbing together a thing? Could that be my mystery noise? Am I crazy thinking some lube helped?

    Thanks!
    Quote Originally Posted by duriel View Post
    In the time it took to post that, you could have oiled all your spokes.
    Thanks for the help.

    But seriously, is this a long-term kind of issue or just use grease/oil every time I hear it?

  7. #7
    'brifter' is f'ing stupid
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter P. View Post
    The spokes can't possibly move enough to create that noise.

    I don't have an answer as to what it may be.
    They absolutely do move enough to make noise. It nearly always happens w/ black spokes.
    #promechaniclife

  8. #8
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    Are the spokes bladed spokes? The wheel builders here will have to chime in and say if I'm way off here or not... If they are bladed spokes could the spoke that was re-tensioned be turned into the crossing spoke and making the noise?

    Or...

    If one nipple unwound perhaps others did too (just not as much) and the spoke tension across the wheel is now not uniform. More flex in some sections of the wheel than others. I have heard of cases where shops will true a wheel or replace a spoke but not make sure the wheel is relatively uniform in tension leading to other issues. Which I assume is why I sometimes see it recommended to de-tension all spokes completely and build it back up from there. Of course I could be WAY off here...

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    They absolutely do move enough to make noise. It nearly always happens w/ black spokes.
    True or are you joking? I can't say I've heard this sound myself except while I'm stress relieving a wheel.
    "COMPLACENCY IS LETHAL - VOTE in November." - System Shock.

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    bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."
    -- DCGriz, RBR.





  10. #10
    'brifter' is f'ing stupid
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    True or are you joking? I can't say I've heard this sound myself except while I'm stress relieving a wheel.
    Black oxide coating makes more noise than a shiny, smooth 'polished' spoke. It's not the same noise you're talking about.
    #promechaniclife

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    Black oxide coating makes more noise than a shiny, smooth 'polished' spoke. It's not the same noise you're talking about.
    I knew there was a good reason to always use polished spokes on my wheels.👍👍😀

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    Black oxide coating makes more noise than a shiny, smooth 'polished' spoke. It's not the same noise you're talking about.
    What can I say? Maybe it's never been a problem for me because my aging ears don't hear that.

    I always use black DT Swiss spokes. Maybe it's a Sapim thing.
    "COMPLACENCY IS LETHAL - VOTE in November." - System Shock.

    "With
    bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."
    -- DCGriz, RBR.





  13. #13
    'brifter' is f'ing stupid
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    What can I say? Maybe it's never been a problem for me because my aging ears don't hear that.

    I always use black DT Swiss spokes. Maybe it's a Sapim thing.
    You probably take good care of your bike. People that don't clean, leave their bikes outside, ride/live close to salt water...they get more corrosion.
    #promechaniclife

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