1. The most important thing about buying a new bike is to make sure it fits. The only way you'll know if the bike is right for you is to size up the bike and make sure that the bike's geometry matches your body's geometry. Ask questions and do some research.
mtn. biking 101
2. If possible, try to find a shop that will let you demo the bike on real dirt. Five minutes in a parking lot won't cut it. You wouldn't buy a car without a real world test drive, and a bike should be no different.
3. Don't belive the hype. Just because your favorite rider or best friend rides a certain bike, that doesn't mean that's the best one for you. Have an open mind and be realistic about your needs and ability.
Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. #1
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    How common is this?

    Not sure if this is the right place to post this, but I'm definitely a beginner with a noob question...

    I took my 2013 Specialized Hardrock disc 29er out on a local trail Friday. Had a great time, and also ran through some soupy mud for the first time at several different places along the trail. When I got home I wiped the bike and chain down because I could tell there was some grit in the chain causing some crunching sounds. All seemed well after riding around the neighborhood for a few minutes, no noises, everything seemed smooth.

    After going for a ride on a different local, paved trail yesterday, I notice a slight grinding sound when freewheeling after I get home. When pedaling the bike, it's as smooth as before with no grinding sound, only noticeable when freewheeling. I can only hear it when I'm walking the bike, it's just barely enough to notice. At first I thought it was that little plastic disc between the cassette and spokes dragging on the innermost gear, but it doesn't seem consistent with the sound.

    Is it possible that I have some grit in my hub? Should I expect this after riding through mud?

    Again, I apologize if this is a dumb question, but I've been searching and googling for answers and can't seem to find anything described exactly as I have noticed it.

    I'm taking the bike into my LBS for its first tune up this week (also starting to notice shifting, chain pop-off issues), and just wondering if this is expected based on the usage.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
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    I did two races this year in rain and mud -- so bad that things would totally clog and lock up, and I had to back-pedal to clear the mud. After cleaning everything with water, and lubing the chain and cables/derailleurs, it appears 100% OK.

    I find that the grinding sound usually comes from the brakes or rotors. But that wouldn't explain why it only does it when you are walking it. Maybe acoustical differences standing beside the bike as opposed to being on top of it or something.

    Put it on a stand, hang it up, or turn it over. Play with each wheel and the crank and see what you find.

  3. #3
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    How common is this?

    I turned it over and played with pedaling vs. spinning/freewheeling. That helped me nail down the sound only being present when the wheel was moving and the cassette was not. I also looked and felt to make sure the pads weren't dragging on the disc.

    Just hoping I haven't screwed something up after my first mud encounter. Also curious as to whether its expected to break down, clean, re-lube, and re-assemble after use in wet or muddy conditions.

  4. #4
    Just Ride
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    Do you have a cassette removal tool and chain whip? If not, just make sure you get the cassette cleaned out the best you can. Some light spray from a hose should work if it's not to gummed up in there.

    Might be some grit inside the cassette. It's not noticeable when your pedaling as the cassette and the plastic disc are moving together. When freewheeling/walking the cassette doesn't turn but the disc still does.
    SS ==> Nut up or Shut up!

  5. #5
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    I'm pretty new at this too, but I don't think you have to totally relube everything after getting muddy. You aren't supposed to get the hubs or bottom bracket underwater, but other than that.... I got my pedal shafts underwater, so took them apart to regrease, and they looked perfectly OK.

    What Cormac says makes sense. Mine doesn't have a plastic disk, so maybe that's why I never heard anything. Heck, if you can't get the cassette off, I'd spray some aerosol chain lube down in there to flush it. I use DuPont Chainsaver lube (made for motorcycles, cheap, avail at Wal-Mart) for my chain and most everything else.

    How common is this?-muddyafterrace.jpg

  6. #6
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    How common is this?

    Haha, that's a little more muddy than what I got into! I don't have a removal tool or chain whip. Thanks for the tip about the aerosol.

    I guess I'll find out more for sure after my trip to the LBS this week. Just want to make sure I'm not setting myself up for major maintenance in the future. Fortunately I have a years free maintenance that came with the purchase of the bike, although I don't want to feel like a trip to the shop is necessary after every mud run.

    I'll follow up after I get some feedback from the shop.

    Thanks for the replies!

  7. #7
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    Like outdoor cats, bikes ridden off-road have shorter lives.

    There's probably some grit between your freehub and your hub shell.

    These things are (more or less) sealed. It's up to you to decide whether to be stressed out about it or not, and how much trouble you want to go to after each ride, each muddy ride, etc.

    I wipe down my chain, suspension stanchions and inner sleeve, and call it good most of the time.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  8. #8
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    I guess I failed to follow up on this thread in a timely manner, but, better late than never I suppose. Needless to say, after getting the bike back from my LBS, I noticed the grinding was still present. I decided to purchase a chain whip and cassette removal tool and just dig in to check it myself. Turns out that I ended up squirting a ton of lube into the freehub bearing chases and that cleared the noise completely. I could also feel a decrease in the resistance while spinning the hub when the lube started getting into the bearings.

    So here I am a month later, with no grinding. I've ridden several miles (mostly paved), but I haven't noticed any further issues.

    Maybe this will serve to help someone in the future.

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