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As the weather is good I've been commuting on my carbon rims recently, which happen to have a very noisy freehub!

Riding home the other day on the cycle path I got some aggro from a cyclist in front of me, who I was perfectly happy to sit well behind until it was safe to pass. She thought I was hassling her because of the angry sounding wheel apparently. I tried briefly to explain that is just what they sound like and there is nothing I could do about it. What do you say to that? Is this person just a bit daft or should I expect some people won't understand why some wheels are noisy? Its not the first time I sensed people feel a bit intimidated by the sound, maybe I should only get them out on the open roads

65 comments

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Jack Osbourne snr [780 posts] 2 months ago
5 likes

Ignore the noise. 

Regardless of it being hub or mouth in origin.

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LastBoyScout [601 posts] 2 months ago
4 likes

Just keep turning the pedals  1

Had a chat with another chap this morning who had the loudest freehub I've ever heard, I think - Hunt wheels.

And I thought my Campag ones were bad.

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ktache [1700 posts] 2 months ago
4 likes

The new XTR will be reportedly silent.

Just setting up my new Rohloff build at this very moment, at last, I will see how noisy it is generally.

She must have been going a bit slow for you to be able to aggressively freewheel so much.  Think what she would have been like if you'd had to jam on your (squealy) brakes.

 

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Organon [270 posts] 2 months ago
7 likes

From the sound of my reassuringly expensive and loud sounding freehub and the reactions people have you'd think they were being attacked by a rattlesnake. 

This is normally followed by passive aggressive comments from middle aged women like 'don't they have bells any more?' No love you heard me fine, and if you did hear me it means I wasn't pedalling.

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ktache [1700 posts] 2 months ago
5 likes

Swinley used to be filled with the sound of angry bees, Hope mainly I believe, now it's more a case of the hiss of e assist, perhaps it's all rattlesnakes.

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The Gavalier [115 posts] 2 months ago
6 likes

I’ve got a set of Fulcrum Racing Zeros which are absolutely silent. Great when you’re getting an easy ride drafting in a group, they have no idea you’re freewheeling 

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Rick_Rude [234 posts] 2 months ago
1 like

I saw  a guy on a Cannondale today it sounded like he had a playing card in the spokes. That sort of thing was all the rage in the BMX scene for some reason but I can't see the point in it on road bikes. Quiet please. 

Not sure why some mong would view it as harassment though.

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StoopidUserName [656 posts] 2 months ago
0 likes

My Reynolds strike have taken the angry bees approach. Ok on open roads but on the moot (I'm inbetween commute bikes) they can be bloody annoying to me let alone those in front of me I reckon. But what else to do? At least I'm waiting until its safe to overtake...

...not a good idea for race wheels though, you dont wanna let people know you are there!

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a4th [9 posts] 2 months ago
1 like

It just seems silly to have a really loud hub. That’s a lot of energy to waste on making noise every time you aren’t pedalling. 

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mikepridmorewood [82 posts] 2 months ago
8 likes

Useful on shared use paths...

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inicholson [37 posts] 2 months ago
1 like
ktache wrote:

Just setting up my new Rohloff build at this very moment, at last, I will see how noisy it is generally.

I have a Shimano IGH (couldn't afford the Rohloff, maybe next time...) with a belt drive. It is amazingly quiet - but a bit of backpedalling can generate enough noise to alert sensitive pedestrians.

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jacknorell [1058 posts] 2 months ago
1 like
a4th wrote:

It just seems silly to have a really loud hub. That’s a lot of energy to waste on making noise every time you aren’t pedalling. 

That's because you should be pedalling...

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SellMatt [26 posts] 2 months ago
2 likes

I startle sheep with my Hunt 4 seasons

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rtw [60 posts] 2 months ago
0 likes

If you don't like it, squirt grease in there.

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srchar [1398 posts] 2 months ago
2 likes
tommyraleigh86 wrote:

Is this person just a bit daft

Assuming that you weren't furiously back pedalling, yes, ignore. They'd probably have had a go at you for sneaking up on them and giving them a scare if you'd approached in silence.

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OldRidgeback [3171 posts] 2 months ago
4 likes

Jeez, people getting irritated by noisy freewheels? They need to get a life. Think of it as a safety feature. A noisy freewheel alerts other riders and pedestrians to your presence.

Both my BMX race bikes have very noisy freewheels. It's common in BMX. I do commute short distances on my BMX bikes and I know plenty of other BMXers who commute quite substantial distances on their BMXs.

Seriously, I think I'd just laugh at them if anyone complained about this while I'm riding.

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peted76 [1457 posts] 2 months ago
5 likes

I get a bit embarrassed by my passive aggressive hub noise,  in a paceline, if I freewheel, it shouts 'HURRY UP SLOWCOACH' to those in front.. which just means I pedal more and rest less (which is not what I think and not helpful).. 

On the other hand I 'appreciate it' when used instead of a 'bell'..  it sure does alert people to me coming. 

 

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Scoob_84 [482 posts] 2 months ago
2 likes

It definitely sends out a passive aggressive signal, especially if your cruising close behind the person in front. 

You can add to this nuisance by back pedalling half a turn to momentarily raise the pitch levels. 

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a.jumper [853 posts] 2 months ago
1 like
jacknorell wrote:
a4th wrote:

It just seems silly to have a really loud hub. That’s a lot of energy to waste on making noise every time you aren’t pedalling. 

That's because you should be pedalling...

If I wanted to work for the whole journey, I would have taken up jogging!

Well-tuned bikes should be silent. Riding with a hub that sounds like it's dying should shame you.

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OldRidgeback [3171 posts] 2 months ago
1 like
a.jumper wrote:
jacknorell wrote:
a4th wrote:

It just seems silly to have a really loud hub. That’s a lot of energy to waste on making noise every time you aren’t pedalling. 

That's because you should be pedalling...

If I wanted to work for the whole journey, I would have taken up jogging! Well-tuned bikes should be silent. Riding with a hub that sounds like it's dying should shame you.

Well you'd hate being at a BMX race then as there are plenty of well-tuned bikes with noisy freewheels, mine included.

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ktache [1700 posts] 2 months ago
4 likes

Some hubs are noisy, I understand that Chris King's are exceptionally loud, yet everything he makes is proper good.

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domats [9 posts] 2 months ago
4 likes

I loves a noisy hub I dos.  Recently in Holland, going through the dunes on the coast, I thought my Hope was nice and loud, and up comes this Duchy in his Lotto-Jumbo replica kit, overtakes me and coasts for a bit in front of me's like saying "my CK hub is noisier and more expensive than yours mate". 

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rws [2 posts] 2 months ago
1 like
a4th wrote:

It just seems silly to have a really loud hub. That’s a lot of energy to waste on making noise every time you aren’t pedalling. 

Really? https://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/sound-power-level-d_58.html Even an air compressor is just 0.01 W sound power. Marginal gains indeed

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hawkinspeter [3737 posts] 2 months ago
3 likes

I'm sure my carbon wheels and frame amplify my hub, but it's not nearly loud enough.

Are there any 3rd party add-ons to increase the noise? Something like spokey-dokeys but for the hub.

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kil0ran [1511 posts] 2 months ago
1 like

I like my bike to be utterly silent, pretty obsessive about it if I'm honest. My Vision 35s are clicky-clacky, I resolve that by never freewheeling  4

When I returned to cycling a few years ago I was out for a quiet pootle when this lycra'ed adonis came flying by on a downhill section. Thought it was a motorbike at first, then assumed he'd fitted spokey-dokeys for some reason.

Is there are point performance-wise to a loud hub? Is it that they've got more/stronger pawls so they engage quicker?

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BBB [502 posts] 2 months ago
4 likes

What I find rude is walking, cycling, running, playing with a dog etc... in the middle of a shared cycle path, while being completely oblivious of oher users and the world around.

People offended by loud freehubs are idiots. 

 

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don simon fbpe [2989 posts] 2 months ago
1 like

Just like the battle of the lumens, I'd just get myself a louder hub than yours.

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Welsh boy [652 posts] 2 months ago
3 likes
SellMatt wrote:

I startle sheep with my Hunt 4 seasons

As a Welsh man I can honestly say that I have never heard about that method of "startling sheep" before (or is Hunt 4 seasons a euphemism?)

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OldRidgeback [3171 posts] 2 months ago
2 likes
hawkinspeter wrote:

I'm sure my carbon wheels and frame amplify my hub, but it's not nearly loud enough.

Are there any 3rd party add-ons to increase the noise? Something like spokey-dokeys but for the hub.

There are these:

https://laughingsquid.com/turbospoke-a-fake-exhaust-system-for-bicycles/

It'd be a hoot if a pack of road riders had bikes kitted out with these.

 

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hawkinspeter [3737 posts] 2 months ago
1 like
OldRidgeback wrote:
hawkinspeter wrote:

I'm sure my carbon wheels and frame amplify my hub, but it's not nearly loud enough.

Are there any 3rd party add-ons to increase the noise? Something like spokey-dokeys but for the hub.

There are these:

https://laughingsquid.com/turbospoke-a-fake-exhaust-system-for-bicycles/

It'd be a hoot if a pack of road riders had bikes kitted out with these.

Intriguing ... do they do one in carbon fibre?

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