why do some rear hubs make a clicking noise freewheeling

Iain28 Posts: 22
edited November 2008 in Road beginners
Hey thanks for checking out my thread:

Went to buy a Cube Streamer this evening, was all set to buy it until I spun the rear wheel - cue hugely annoying clicking noise.

I queried this with the sales staff and they told me it was the make of the rear hub and that some people like the sound (to show off?).

Whats the deal with that clicking sound - is it only on cheap parts bikes?


  • Nick6891
    Nick6891 Posts: 274
    maybe its to annoy you so you carry on peddling lol
  • alfablue
    alfablue Posts: 8,497
    Shimano are very quiet, Campag are noisy (I believe), neither are cheap. One advantage of noisy is ped's hear it and might be aware of your presence(or slower riders), other than that I prefer to be quiet.
  • daniel_b
    daniel_b Posts: 11,579
    That'll be the campag hubs then, or is it other makes of hub as well that make the clattering noise?

    Same as you, I wouldn't buy a bike if it has noisy freewheel hubs on it, would drive me mad, and I would have to get new wheels, or a new bike!

    Felt F70 05 (Turbo)
    Marin Palisades Trail 91 and 06
    Scott CR1 SL 12
    Cannondale Synapse Adventure 15 & 16 Di2
    Scott Foil 18
  • I changed to shimano bikes (all bar one) and i just miss the sweet whirr of campag hubs). Not an issue now with my very sexy hope pro race 3 hubs which are the noisiest yet and still shimano fitment. Think quiet wheels just seem like they are missing something plus i love to ride in a chain gang and know that everyone around (and especially in front) can hear how little im doind to keep up. Mental warfare!
  • redddraggon
    redddraggon Posts: 10,862
    I don't really notice my campag freehubs. Although I did ride with some one wiith Khamsins and they sounded really loud.
    I like bikes...

  • Iain28
    Iain28 Posts: 22
    Its a crying shame as the bike was great otherwise, Fulcrum 7 racing.

    Looking at a trek 1.9 now it has Bontrager Race rear hub, does anyone know if this is silent or has it a click?
  • redddraggon
    redddraggon Posts: 10,862
    The Fulcrum 7s are pretty good wheels. The sound is ace.
    I like bikes...

  • alfablue
    alfablue Posts: 8,497
    Its a bit of a shame to choose the bike on this basis, if it bothers you you can always change the freehub body for a silent one (Shimano).
  • JGS
    JGS Posts: 180
    You can always take off the freehub, stuff a load of silicone grease in there and put it back on. The clicking is the pawls in the freehub engaging zipping past the hub body, this is essential for you to be able to go forward without the cranks turning. Be thankful you don't have Hope or Chris King hubs, they are noisy as hell (although I like the sound, it makes me feel safe that my hub is engaging).
  • Al_38
    Al_38 Posts: 277
    The noise is caused by the pawls in the mechanism being nudged by the ratchet. The Dt 240s I have on my race bike is one of the loudest I have ever heard especially compared to the shimano one on the other bike. However when riding them I can't say I really notice the noise any more and I am sure you would get used to it.

  • Rich-Ti
    Rich-Ti Posts: 1,831
    Daniel B wrote:
    Same as you, I wouldn't buy a bike if it has noisy freewheel hubs on it, would drive me mad, and I would have to get new wheels, or a new bike!
    You're not serious, surely? You would really avoid buying a bike because of a clicky freewheel?? Really??!!

    I honestly can't belive anyone would choose one bike over another based on such a normal and completely harmless aspect of bike noises!! :shock: :roll: :lol::lol::lol:
  • willbevan
    willbevan Posts: 1,241
    would say buy the bike, and you will ignore the noise after riding it for a few hours
    Road - BTwin Sport 2 16s
    MTB - Trek Fuel 80
    TT - Echelon

  • Lagavulin
    Lagavulin Posts: 1,688
    The Racing 3s and DT Swiss 1850s (DT240s hubs) wheels are noisy but at least the sound they make is a deeper sound, one perhaps of quality.

    My Racing 7s sound like football rattle and do get on my t!ts a bit. That said, I wouldn't not but a bike because the supplied wheels had a raucous rear-hub.
  • Yeah campag hubs are too loud in my opinion.
    Shimano hubs are like the opposite... very stealthy!

    Rolf hubs are loud enough for me.
  • fluff.
    fluff. Posts: 771
    I have nearly run over a cat on account of my hope hubs, it was crossing the road .. I freewheeled, it stopped dead in its tracks wondering what the racket was, avoiding action had to be taken.

    The noise doesn't bother me though, it's an incentive to keep pedalling :)
  • whyamihere
    whyamihere Posts: 7,702
    The only time my Khamsins bother me is when I go out riding early in a morning. Until I get off my estate, I won't freewheel in case I wake people up. They never bother me at other times though.
  • croggy
    croggy Posts: 116
    After using Shimano hubs I found my Hope Pro 3s to be very loud so I packed the ratchet with grease which silenced it for about 10 seconds.Now I've got used to them I really like them,especially on long,fast descents.Plus they make pedestrians aware of your presence.
  • i was thinking of posting this query myself. is there any other reason than making a noise to alert pedestrians?
  • neeb
    neeb Posts: 4,467
    Campag hubs make a lovely noise. Silent hubs (like my Ksyrium after I regreased it) are creepy.
  • Considering all sound is wasted energy doe this make Shimano more efficient hubs?
    To err is human,
    but to really screw things up you need a shimano - campag mixed drivechain.
  • ARob
    ARob Posts: 143
    couldn't ride with the noise of a clicking hub - i like the silence its part of the ride! worse still to be behind a 'clicker'.

    go quiet option and do your fellow riders a favour...
  • Considering all sound is wasted energy doe this make Shimano more efficient hubs?

    I was just going to say the same. Sound is energy. Unless it is Queen or the Eagles, its wasted.
    I have only two things to say to that; Bo***cks
  • The sounds isn't an awful lot of energy though, compared to the heat due to friction in the hubs... so all else being equal, more sound means more wasted energy, but in reality just because a hub is noisy doesn't necessarily mean it is less efficient than a quiet one.
  • I like the sound - it's the sound I associate with road bikes -I have khamsins/campag on the winter bike and Fulcrum R7's/shimano on the dry bike - both make a noise, I don't have a problem with it at all. I tend to try and pedal all the time anyway, only freewheeling round a corner.
    It's a useful sound which I use like a bell - horse riders, pedestrians, all recognise the sound as a bike and look round and let me pass - I've found calling out or saying excuse me, or "bike on your right" sometimes rubs people up the wrong way.
  • Iain28
    Iain28 Posts: 22
    I'm glad I'm not alone in thinking its daft to have a clicking sound freewheeling. I want all my energy to be converted into kinetic (ie moving fwd), rather than some of it being wasted on making a pretentious clicking sound. (trust me every joule of energy counts!)

    Where I cycle the pedestrians are fair-game if they get in the way anyhow;)

    Does anone know if the new Bontrager Race rear hubs make a racket? Would really like to know.
  • nipon
    nipon Posts: 68
    Surely how a hub sounds depends on the type of grease used and how much.Cant understand the comments about campag being noisy,i ride with two shimano riders and they have both commented on how much more quiet my campag is.But to not buy a bike because it is too clicky,surely there are more important things to think about. :D
  • father_jack
    father_jack Posts: 3,509
    Don't freewheel?
    Say... That's a nice bike..
    Trax T700 with Lew Racing Pro VT-1 ;-)
  • Jez mon
    Jez mon Posts: 3,809
    ARob wrote:
    couldn't ride with the noise of a clicking hub - i like the silence its part of the ride! worse still to be behind a 'clicker'.

    go quiet option and do your fellow riders a favour...

    No, do your fellows riders a favour and pedal smoothly, i.e. with as little free-wheeling as possible.

    Seriously, there are a million more important things to worry about on a bike.
    You live and learn. At any rate, you live