TABLE OF CONTENTS
- Brake caliper or rotor -
- Some brake noise is normal. If you suspect it is not normal we can help you find the right solution.
- To determine if the brake caliper is causing the noise, carefully remove the rear brake caliper, secure it to the frame away from all moving parts. Test in a safe area. If the noise is gone, your brakes may simply need adjusted.
- Something embedded into the tire: glass, rock, nail, screw.
- Fenders - to verify, properly adjust, and in some cases remove. Even small debris and pebbles can rattle between the fender and tire causing noise.
- Wheel reflector - to verify, please remove (yes, they can resonate or shift causing a weird noise).
- Derailleur - if not properly tuned or derailleur hanger is bent.
- Loose spokes - Producing a clicking or pinging noise, but only when rider is on the bike.
- Drive Train - dirty chain, loose pedals or crank arms. Will sound different depending on the cause.
- Inner nuts - the nuts inside the drop outs may be too tight causing excess friction (see below for detail)
If you've checked that and still have noise; The Ride1UP support team put together this guide for diagnosing and treating most common causes of noises. Our five step process will walk you through how to keep your bike running smooth for years to come.
Step One - Brakes
Please keep in mind, some brake noise is normal. Many of the sounds we hear coming from the back of the bike can be caused by the rear brake. Sometimes the caliper is misaligned, this will sound like a metal scraping sound and will be consistent. Other times the rotor is out of true and will only touch in certain spots. This will sound similar but the sound will be intermittent and not constant. A fast way to check if the noise is brake related can be to remove the two bolts that hold on the caliper mount, ziptie the caliper to the fame, and then test. If find the sound went away then your brakes need to be adjusted, these two links can help with that:
Adjusting Brakes- https://www.parktool.com/blog/repair-help/mechanical-disc-brake-alignment
Adjusting Rotors- https://www.parktool.com/blog/repair-help/disc-brake-rotor-truing
Step Two - Fenders and Accessories
The second common cause of rear wheel noise is from fenders or other accessories rubbing on the wheel. All our models that feature fenders that are adjustable and they all adjust the same way. They have arms that plug in to plastic mounting brackets. By loosening that bracket it allows the rider to extend or shrink the support arms. By making the support arm on one side it pushes the fender to the other side. So in example; extending the left arm pushes the fender to the right. By balancing those arms the rider can achieve perfectly centered fenders that will not rub.
Step Three - Spokes
The third common cause of rear wheel noise can be from the spokes. The spokes are the metal rods that make up the support of the wheel. They are constantly under tension and that tension is what makes a wheel strong. The spokes can loosen up over time and do need periodic maintenance. Sometimes a loose spoke will make a variety of noises, ensuring all spokes are properly tensioned is the first thing to check. Fortunately this can be done by hand:
If any feel significantly looser than the others or are wiggly when touched, they will need to be tightened. This process is outlined in the following link:
Wheel Truing- https://www.parktool.com/blog/repair-help/wheel-and-rim-truing
In addition to being loose, spokes can also make noise where they interface with the rim. This sound typically occurs under load and sounds like a groaning sound. It is simple to alleviate and requires a little bit of lubricant placed at each junction. A light weight drip lube is preferred, TriFlow brand is our preference but many will work. The process is shown below:
Step Four - Lubrication
The fifth most common cause of rear wheel noise comes from lack of sufficient lubrication. Along with lubing your chain, there are other parts of the bike that need lube too. Hubs of all kinds need lubrication and routine application of lubrication prolongs component life. Here at Ride1UP we like to use a few different types of lubricant for our bikes. For internal hub lubrication we like to us white lithium spray grease. This stuff is easy to apply, long lasting, and inexpensive. For chains we like the Finish Line Wet lubricant, it is a robust lubricant for general riding conditions. While chain lube application is fairly intuitive, hub lubrication can be more complex. Fortunately with the spray lube it makes the process easy, apply a liberal amount into the areas shown below. Be careful not to get lube on the disc rotor or other braking hardware.
If after trying the five step guide you are still having rear wheel noises. Please reach out to our support team with video documentation of your issue along with your original order number.
Submit Videos - With Clear Audio of Noise:
For the fastest resolution, please make 2 videos as described below. Having both will result in the best understanding and fastest resolution. Please provide this video as an attachment or as a link: https://ride1up.com/contact/
1st Video with Rider off the bike:
- In a clear work space, in the garage or outside, with the bike unplugged.
- Carefully stand next to the bike on the side with the kick stand. Keep the kick stand down.
- Gently lean the bike towards you so that the bike is balancing on the kick stand and front wheel.
- You can now use the throttle to operate the motor, be careful and ready to apply the brake if necessary.
- Stop applying the throttle and let the wheel spin freely or coast to a stop.
- If abnormal noise is being made during this video, removing the brake caliper and other items noted in checklist above is the easiest way to rule them out.
- If no noise is present, this video is still very helpful for us to have a complete understanding of the bike and rule out issues.
2nd Video with Rider on the bike in a clear safe area:
- Have one person ride the bike, while another person records the rider as they go by demonstrating the noise and issue. This will allow us to clearly hear the noise and minimize wind noise.
- Again, depending on the noise, it may be best to remove the rear brake caliper, zip tie it to the frame away from the moving wheel. Then in a safe clear space test the bike and see if the noise is present. Carefully apply the front brake to slowly come to a stop.
Depending on what noise we hear, we can better determine what the issue is and the fastest resolution.