On that 90 mile ride the other day I developed an odd “whish, whish, whish” noise in my rear wheel. I was hoping it was something simple and goofy, it developed in the last two miles of the ride.
I went on a short recovery ride Thursday and the problem didn’t reappear until the last few miles.
The problem with an on again, off again mechanical problem is that they’re generally hard to nail down and following the normal manly approach, in these cases you simply wait till it gets worse. I can live with a mechanic giving me that recommendation when it comes to my truck but my bike is a different story altogether. Even so, I was reluctant to take it in because on one hand I don’t want to be a nuisance, on the other, I hate a noisy bike – and I’m using the word hate here.
In the end, I was at an absolute loss so I took it in to have Matt look at it.
After running through the normal “spin the wheel” to see if we can hear what’s wrong, we were just about to go for a spin around the block to see if Matt could identify the problem, when he stopped mid-sentence and said, “wait a minute, I think I’ve got something”…
My rear wheel has a rubber grommet to protect the bearing on one side of the wheel. Matt took a screw driver and pried the grommet back and placed a few drops of lube inside and on the edge of the grommet (see photo):
Sure enough, that fixed it. Half of me is bummed that I had to take the bike in for something so silly, but considering that I never would have gotten that figured out, I’m glad I did.
I’m posting it here in the hopes that should you run into this, you might save yourself the trouble.
Of course, I knew it was the wheel because the “whish, whish, whish” noise didn’t stop when I stopped pedaling – it had to be the wheel or cassette.
Finally, if I had to guess, the noise started because a few drops of Gatorade dropped directly onto the grommet and worked in between the rubber and aluminum… At least that makes sense.
UPDATE: I just checked my mountain bike – the back tire has the same grommet – and I’ve had th same problem with that noise in the past. I’ve had it in for that a couple of times and we weren’t able to figure out the cause of the noise… Guess what.