Why Are My Nicer Wheels Louder?

author : Team BT
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First set of race wheels and it sounds like something is wrong

Upgrading from stock wheels to a nicer, lighter set of wheels is an expensive proposition. And it means you're becoming more serious about the sport. So now that you've put the new wheels on, why does it seem like the bike is noisier?


The Clicking Sound


You may remember when you were a kid and had an old 10-speed, it would make a clicking sound when you were coasting. The cause of this is the "pawls" which are spring-loaded parts that engage a set of teeth when moving in one direction, but slide over them when moving in the other direction.

This is what makes it possible to coast.

It seems like your new, fancy race wheels should be farther from your 1988 10-speed, but often carbon fiber and/or discs will amplify what would otherwise be a pretty quiet ticking.

Various manufacturers of freewheels make them differently, so SRAM, Shimano and Campy parts will make different amounts of noise, and it can vary among component models.


Want to Make it Go Away?


Stop coasting and work harder!


Although many people like a bike that makes a loud noise when coasting because they can stop pedaling on the bike path before a pass and it helps walkers and runners hear them coming.

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date: May 31, 2017

Team BT