Are single speeds inherently noisy?- Mtbr.com
Results 1 to 36 of 36
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Posts
    968

    Are single speeds inherently noisy?

    Alright so hear me out, I get that in many regards ss'ing is quieter due to lack of drivetrain noise.

    That said, every bike that I've ss'ed has ticked or creaked from somewhere. I'm never able to pin it down either though I suspect it's the bb.

    On my new Kona, first ride out was silent, but second ride (today) it began to tick slightly.

    Has anyone noticed that the pushing/pulling that ss'ing requires makes for more noise?

    Maybe I'm unlucky?

  2. #2
    Rent this space for $
    Reputation: Oh My Sack!'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    3,591
    My steel rigid SS 29'r is pretty darned quiet aside from the seat creak that just cropped up and reverberates throughout the steel frame. If I pull the seat off the post, clean the bolts, grease, and re-torque, the noise goes away for quite a while.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation: mack_turtle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    9,034
    I can see how the additional torque put on the drivetrain of a SS bike could result in some noises if the bike was poorly assembled and maintained. install your BB, pedals, cranks, chainring bolts, etc. using the correct tools, thread treatments, and torque settings and you should not experience any problems at all until you start wearing stuff out over hundreds of miles of riding. but that is true of any bike and has little to do with the number of gears.

    I have assembled dozens and dozens of bikes directly out of the factory box and 99% of them need to be striped down and completely re-assembled to be done "right." until you take apart a few brand new bikes and see how badly they are slapped together, you don't realize that.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation: newfangled's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    3,320
    Which kona?

    I was always tracking down mystery creaks on my Unit. But I've had 5(?) other frames as ss or fixed, that never gave me problems.

    I do think that the lack of detailer/drivetrain noise makes it easier to notice annoying clicks on a singlespeed.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Posts
    20
    It's also my experience that the quiet of a single speed makes me hear things I ordinarily don't hear.

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Velobike's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    7,170
    Quote Originally Posted by noisebloom View Post
    It's also my experience that the quiet of a single speed makes me hear things I ordinarily don't hear.
    That.

    But proper assembly is important. I hate any inappropriate noise on my bike. Grease and oil are the magic juices that makes it go away. I apply it liberally during a build.

    But it's all relative. If you've ridden a properly set up belt drive bike, and then jump on your chain drive bike, you'll notice the noise of your chain.
    As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
    Latitude: 57º36' Highlands, Scotland

  7. #7
    Armature speller
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    3,022
    Nice and quiet.
    Annoying having my shoes squeak on the clipless pedals sometimes though.

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation: OwenM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    1,348
    Does hyperventilating my way up longer climbs count?

    I do have a maddening ticking noise that comes and goes. Can't replicate it, never happens early in the ride, and totally stripping and rebuilding/regreasing the bike from the frame up hasn't gotten rid of it. Just a little tick/pop here and there that always sounds like it's coming from the bars. Did I mention it's maddening?

  9. #9
    WillWorkForTrail
    Reputation: Cotharyus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    4,409
    The only noise my SS makes consistently that I can't seem to stop is the bar/stem interface. I'm beginning to think I need a new stem, because I know everything is torqued right. Of course, the reason it's making noise is pulling on the bars while standing and climbing, it would never make a sound on a geared bike. But the rest of the bike is basically silent. You just have to pay attention to places where parts interface - BB, sliders, seat/seat post, frame/seat post, etc.

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation: mack_turtle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    9,034
    My bars and stem were noisy. Try to twist your stem using your bars. Mie was FLEXY. new stem fixed that.

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Posts
    968
    Newfangled, it's a Wozo, their fat bike.

    I'll pull the crank today and make sure it's greased as well as torqued. Aside from that I've torqued everything else on the bike. I'll re grease my stem bolts and double check my headset.

    Thanks for the suggestions. I would say it's quiet enough to fall under the wouldn't-have-noticed-it-with-gears type of noise.

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    634
    My EBB was noisy on the Niner I built myself, but a careful reinstall fixed it. I do think the drivetrain being quiet contributes to hearing other noises, as has been said.

  13. #13
    One ring to mash them all
    Reputation: the one ring's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Posts
    1,244
    Sometimes I can hear my kneecap grinding.
    If only stupidity could be weaponized at a level sufficient to self-destroy its host.

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Posts
    968
    Alright, so for the hell of it I'm having a grease-a-palooza.

    This bike has sliders similar to paragon chips. Should the interface between chip and frame be greased a bit or left dry? Greased the bolts and have had derailleur hangers stop creaking when the flat interface with the frame was lightly greased.

    Or is that asking for slipping?

    Edit: found my non drive bb cup wasn't totally flush and the spindle didn't have much grease at the bearing surfaces or splines. Pressed the cup flush and greased everything.

    Of course it's raining now but a quick ride around the garage is encouraging.
    Last edited by Shinkers; 10-16-2016 at 10:51 AM.

  15. #15
    Not really fixed.
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Posts
    167
    When two metal pieces touch, put grease on them.

  16. #16
    Armature speller
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    3,022
    Quote Originally Posted by pdxfixed View Post
    When two metal pieces touch, put grease on them.
    Unless it's an EBB?

  17. #17
    mtbr member
    Reputation: mack_turtle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    9,034
    Quote Originally Posted by Shinkers View Post
    Alright, so for the hell of it I'm having a grease-a-palooza.

    This bike has sliders similar to paragon chips. Should the interface between chip and frame be greased a bit or left dry? Greased the bolts and have had derailleur hangers stop creaking when the flat interface with the frame was lightly greased.

    Or is that asking for slipping?

    Edit: found my non drive bb cup wasn't totally flush and the spindle didn't have much grease at the bearing surfaces or splines. Pressed the cup flush and greased everything.

    Of course it's raining now but a quick ride around the garage is encouraging.
    I have a Soma with Tange sliders (Paragon knock-offs) and I have never needed to grease the dropout interface.

  18. #18
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Posts
    968
    Well I did end up greasing them. So far it's noise free after pedalling around the yard a few minutes between bouts of rain.

  19. #19
    SS Pusher Man
    Reputation: mtnbikej's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Posts
    7,477
    They are quiet....but they have a tendency to make noise.

    I went through a period of constant creaking on my Highball:
    2 times it turned out to be a cracked/broken axle on the CB Wheel.
    2 times it was a broken rear dropout.
    2 times it was a cracked chainring
    1 time it was a cracked seatpost
    1 time it was a cracked faceplate on my stem
    2 times it was a cracked frame

    My chainline was off quite a bit...trying to run a 10 spd chain creaked horribly....once I sorted that out, silence.
    Both XTR pedals were loose on the spindle...making for constant clicks...easy enough to service....silence

    Dry chains tend to make a lot of noise. Worn out chains/ring/cog tend to make a lot of noise.
    EBB's if not done properly....are notorious for being noisy.

    Some people just don't care and continue to ride them and just ignore the noise.
    Bicycles don’t have motors or batteries.:nono:

    Ebikes are not bicycles :nono:

  20. #20
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Posts
    20
    I can certainly attest to the silence of a belt drive, too. My chain drive SS sounds annoyingly loud in comparison.

  21. #21
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Crankyone's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Posts
    448
    Some people maintain their bikes diligently! Some don't. I fall largely in the second group!
    The beauty of SS and especially rigid, is that much less maintenance is required over other bikes. As mentioned, people are forced to ride the single speed using as much torque as they can develop, and that does put a larger strain on some components.
    When the SS starts making noise, it needs maintenance. As with any machine, put it off at your own peril and good luck finding the culprit!

  22. #22
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Velobike's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    7,170
    Quote Originally Posted by NordieBoy View Post
    Unless it's an EBB?
    Especially when it's an EBB IMO.

    I've greased all mine, and never heard a peep from them.

    I reckon they start creaking when people overtighten them, thus deforming the shell, after which creaking is inevitable.

    I work on the principle that I grease everything that may need removing later - especially if it is much later like a BB.
    As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
    Latitude: 57º36' Highlands, Scotland

  23. #23
    mtbr member
    Reputation: DualRollers's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    428
    I ran a Wheels EBB in my fat bike and never noticed any noises... a little creak can be traced down and fixed, a derailleur slapping around your back end is one of the most distracting things I have ever dealt with. Which is probably why I ride SS.

  24. #24
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    745
    SS bikes are known for being quiet. SS riders on the other hand...

  25. #25
    mtbr member
    Reputation: dbhammercycle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    3,377
    If I'm pedalin', you won't hear me. If I'm coasting... bees!

    So maybe there is a little creak here and there, perhaps the chain bolts or maybe the stem and handlebar junction when I'm mounting... but once in motion I only hear the wind in my ears.
    I don't know why,... it's just MUSS easier to pedal than the other ones.

  26. #26
    mtbr member
    Reputation: socal_jack's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    1,383
    Quote Originally Posted by OwenM View Post
    Does hyperventilating my way up longer climbs count?

    I do have a maddening ticking noise that comes and goes. Can't replicate it, never happens early in the ride, and totally stripping and rebuilding/regreasing the bike from the frame up hasn't gotten rid of it. Just a little tick/pop here and there that always sounds like it's coming from the bars. Did I mention it's maddening?
    Had one recently that turned out to be a cracked chainring bolt, only found in the process of tearing everything apart and reassembling it snapped. Had a creak recently that ended up requiring grease for the 142x12 TA.

  27. #27
    mtbr member
    Reputation: coke's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    1,492
    My singlespeeds are silent. Every now and then one of the bikes will start making noise, but I'm usually able to find the cause and fix it. Most recent was a cracked crank arm bolt. 2 of mine have EBBs, and making those silent is just a matter of finding the right amount of carbo grip to use. Too little and it creaks, too much and it won't rotate.

    The bike with the Onyx hub is my favorite. It's totally silent except for the sound of tires on the trail.

  28. #28
    SSolo, on your left!
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    2,577
    Quote Originally Posted by Shinkers View Post
    Alright so hear me out, I get that in many regards ss'ing is quieter due to lack of drivetrain noise.

    That said, every bike that I've ss'ed has ticked or creaked from somewhere. I'm never able to pin it down either though I suspect it's the bb.

    On my new Kona, first ride out was silent, but second ride (today) it began to tick slightly.

    Has anyone noticed that the pushing/pulling that ss'ing requires makes for more noise?

    Maybe I'm unlucky?
    Both my Haro Mary SS and my Nashbar SS 29er have been very quiet, only hear the hub when coasting.
    Get off the couch and ride! :)

  29. #29
    Armature speller
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    3,022
    Quote Originally Posted by Velobike View Post
    Especially when it's an EBB IMO.

    I've greased all mine, and never heard a peep from them.

    I reckon they start creaking when people overtighten them, thus deforming the shell, after which creaking is inevitable.

    I work on the principle that I grease everything that may need removing later - especially if it is much later like a BB.
    The faintest touch of grease on the EBB on my Chameleon and it'll slip.
    Some carbon paste and it doesn't slip but does gain a slight creak.
    The creak is going to stay until I get the rounded off bolt out
    Who specs a 4mm allen bolt in something you need quite a bit of torque in?

  30. #30
    SSolo, on your left!
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    2,577
    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    I can see how the additional torque put on the drivetrain of a SS bike could result in some noises if the bike was poorly assembled and maintained. install your BB, pedals, cranks, chainring bolts, etc. using the correct tools, thread treatments, and torque settings and you should not experience any problems at all until you start wearing stuff out over hundreds of miles of riding. but that is true of any bike and has little to do with the number of gears.

    I have assembled dozens and dozens of bikes directly out of the factory box and 99% of them need to be striped down and completely re-assembled to be done "right." until you take apart a few brand new bikes and see how badly they are slapped together, you don't realize that.
    Yes.

    Quote Originally Posted by noisebloom View Post
    It's also my experience that the quiet of a single speed makes me hear things I ordinarily don't hear.
    X2, love the quiet.

    Quote Originally Posted by NordieBoy View Post
    Nice and quiet.
    Annoying having my shoes squeak on the clipless pedals sometimes though.
    Yes and that's hard to stop.

    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    My bars and stem were noisy. Try to twist your stem using your bars. Mie was FLEXY. new stem fixed that.


    Quote Originally Posted by Shinkers View Post
    Alright, so for the hell of it I'm having a grease-a-palooza.

    This bike has sliders similar to paragon chips. Should the interface between chip and frame be greased a bit or left dry? Greased the bolts and have had derailleur hangers stop creaking when the flat interface with the frame was lightly greased.

    Or is that asking for slipping?

    Edit: found my non drive bb cup wasn't totally flush and the spindle didn't have much grease at the bearing surfaces or splines. Pressed the cup flush and greased everything.

    Of course it's raining now but a quick ride around the garage is encouraging.
    Grease it all. Do not over-tighten EBB setscrews, but grease the heck out of it all, I pack mine full of grease, assemble, adjust, snug set screws and your done. Track ends is the way to go.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shinkers View Post
    Well I did end up greasing them. So far it's noise free after pedalling around the yard a few minutes between bouts of rain.
    Awesome!
    Get off the couch and ride! :)

  31. #31
    The White Jeff W
    Reputation: jeffw-13's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    5,622
    Mine is very quiet after a service but the ebb creaks after a few rides. If I dont have time to pull it to clean/grease I'll lay the bike on its side and shoot a little WD40 or PB Blaster between the shell & ebb & let it soak in. Good to go for a couple more rides.
    No moss...

  32. #32
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Posts
    39
    Glad you got the noises sorted out. While various parts of my two singlespeeds creak occasionally, for the most part it's silent running. As others have said, the virtual silence of the singlespeed is part of the allure.

  33. #33
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Posts
    968
    Maybe not so fast. I still noticed an occasional ticking noise on my last ride.

    I wonder if my chainline could be a tad off. I need to swap a spacer anyway so I'll find out.

    I'm also swapping my squishy fork for some carbon so that'll take that out of the equation. The geometry on this bike feels so dialed I'm thinking full rigid will be fun.

    I also get an occasional chain pop but I think that might be from my heel hitting it once in a while (Uber short stays on a fat bike).

    Still way more silent then a derailleur bike.

    Also, I'm torquing my sliders to 15 nm. Too much? Not enough?

    Thanks guys.

  34. #34
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Posts
    39
    Quote Originally Posted by Shinkers View Post
    Maybe not so fast. I still noticed an occasional ticking noise on my last ride.

    I wonder if my chainline could be a tad off. I need to swap a spacer anyway so I'll find out.

    I'm also swapping my squishy fork for some carbon so that'll take that out of the equation. The geometry on this bike feels so dialed I'm thinking full rigid will be fun.

    I also get an occasional chain pop but I think that might be from my heel hitting it once in a while (Uber short stays on a fat bike).

    Still way more silent then a derailleur bike.

    Also, I'm torquing my sliders to 15 nm. Too much? Not enough?

    Thanks guys.
    "Ticking" does sound more like drive train than fork, but rigid is awesome regardless (at least on my 29er SS; on my 26" SS I might not be as eager now that I'm an old fart). Chain pop, however, does sound like a worn drive train part or incorrect chain tension. Not sure about the slider torque. My 26 is a conversion with vertical dropouts and my 29er has an elliptical BB. Grrr. But for the money it's a great bike, until I have to adjust the chain tension.

  35. #35
    SSolo, on your left!
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    2,577
    Quote Originally Posted by noisebloom View Post
    It's also my experience that the quiet of a single speed makes me hear things I ordinarily don't hear.
    X2, but all my SS bikes are and have been SS specific frames. Shouldn't really matter though, should still be quiet if assembled properly.

    Quote Originally Posted by Velobike View Post
    That.

    But proper assembly is important. I hate any inappropriate noise on my bike. Grease and oil are the magic juices that makes it go away. I apply it liberally during a build.

    But it's all relative. If you've ridden a properly set up belt drive bike, and then jump on your chain drive bike, you'll notice the noise of your chain.
    X2
    Get off the couch and ride! :)

  36. #36
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Posts
    968
    Found my chainline was slightly off. So reset and we'll see what happens.

    Rigid feels great.

Similar Threads

  1. Titanium single speeds?
    By boulderse92 in forum Singlespeed
    Replies: 157
    Last Post: 12-17-2017, 08:59 AM
  2. Which one: 27.5 vs 29er Single speeds?
    By jimx200 in forum 29er Bikes
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 08-09-2014, 02:32 PM
  3. Single speeds on the Helipad?
    By K3N in forum Arizona
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 11-11-2012, 06:22 PM
  4. Has anyone seen the single speeds at Wal-Mart?
    By RichieRichRK in forum Singlespeed
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 06-24-2012, 08:25 PM
  5. Single Speeds at Da Moon!!!
    By motoman465 in forum Pennsylvania
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 06-18-2012, 04:52 AM

Members who have read this thread: 1

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

THE SITE

ABOUT MTBR

VISIT US AT

© Copyright 2019 VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.