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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello! Lurker here. I have a 2004 Specialized Hardrock Comp Disc... in fact, I found Graphyfotoz's thread for this same bike here (http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?p=6124509#post6124509), but I have no idea what kind of rear hub it is. I assume it's Shimano, but that's about the extent of my brain powers.

This bike has been running superbly for the six years I've had it. Just a few days ago, I took it through some seriously muddy trails... including horse manure (I tried to avoid it)... and it was raining at the same time.

The bike is now sparkling clean and ready to go... except I noticed that the rear wheel sounds like something's not right. The disc brakes are not touching the pads. I don't have a cassette (is that the plastic thing on new bikes? I think a friend of mine busted mine off when I got my bike, I don't even remember). There are no bent spokes or bent gears or anything out of the norm.

If I spin the rear wheel backwards, it clicks like any normal bike does, but in addition, it sounds like metal balls scraping and falling on each other. Did I damage the ball bearings maybe? This MAY be long time coming, I mean I think I started hearing some weird sounds a while ago on a normal summery day ride on a recpath. But the wet and super-muddy environment must've just helped it kick the can.

So my question: can I repair this on my own? I've been to Park Tool and they seem to have a couple different ways of repairing a couple different hubs. Or (I'm a total noob), should this be left to the pros? I *could* record the sound of the wheel if it helps and add a link to an mp3 or something. But that's only if no one can help me out otherwise.

Thanks so much!!
 

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Not very descriptive, but stop washing your bike. Use a damp towel to wipe it off. Does it only make this noise when spinning backward, and the gears on the wheel aren't moving? (cassette). If so there's probably dirt in that mechanism. Depending on what hub you have it may or may not be easy, or even possible to fix.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi Nautilus, thanks for the quick reply. If I spin the wheel backwards (the cassette and pedals are not moving), then I can hear the sound recorded below (see link). If I move the pedals backwards (wheel not moving), then I can still hear the sound. If I move the pedals forwards and the wheel turns, the sound is dampened somewhat.

The sound is like a "knocking" somewhat.

Here is a five second MP3 of the sound: http://www.fileden.com/files/2006/12/2/451909/MySpace MP3s/rearhub.mp3

Um... I absolutely have been washing my bike; actually, I started a few months ago (after years of not washing it) and using a hose, though I've been careful not to spray with force, I usually let the water drop from above.

But, yes, I got into a cleaning kick and wash my bike at least once a week. Oi... that'd suck if that was the cause.
 

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local trails rider
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Apparently, Shimano hubs are very much repairable, rebuildable and adjustable. I think your hub should be disassembled and cleaned. Any shop should be able to do it, if you don't want to do it yourself. Probably won't cost a fortune either.

Do you feel movement or slack if pushing the rim sideways?
 

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nautilus said:
but stop washing your bike. Use a damp towel to wipe it off.
Mate, this is not good advice.
Washing your bike not only makes it look good but is essential to making components last.
There is no way you can adequetly clean a filthy dirty mud encrusted MTB just by "Wiping it off with a damp towel", how else do your clean the chain, cassette and chain rings unless you wash them? - not to metion all the intricate working parts of the front and rear deraileurs.
You have to get ride of the mud and crap that gets in to the moving parts
Not only that, but if you have any sort of appreciation for that nice glossy paint finish on the frame then you wont wipe the dirt off, that would be like wiping grinding paste in to the paint work.

Its not washing that damages components, its the amount of water pressure you use.
A light spray with a commercial, diluted truck wash and then a quick spray with a low pressure hose does the trick.
Taking care not to direct water in to shifters etc.
Correctly washing the drive train gets ride of the built up crud on the cassette and chain and makes it last.
Lightly spray the drive train with truck wash, rinse off, go for a quick spin to force the water out and dry off, then spray wth your favorite lubricant will make your cassette and chain last as long as possible.

Back to the OP.
First up , washing your bike DID NOT KILL the rear hub.
From your post it lasted 6 years - not bad for an MTB hub - ESPECIALY if its not sealed cartridge bearing.
If it is loose balls and cones then it may be toast as the cones get past the wear limit and thats it.
If its catridge bearings then they can be replaced easily.
If its the pawls in the free hub then again it may be toast.
Best advice if you dont have the tools to get the cassette off and pull the hub to bits is to visit your local friendly LBS
 

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The 04 Hardrock Comp....

came with Joy-Tech hubs laced to Alex DM-20 rims. If you've got the Alex rims then the wheels are likely stock. If so then the Joy-Tech hub is a loose ball bearing with cups and cones. It's very difficult to diagnose a problem with a hub just from sound. It also requires feel and visual imput as well. From the sound of it you either have a bearing or freehub problem, possibly both. I would suggest taking the bike (not just the wheel) to a shop and having them look it over. If you've been running the hub for 6 years and haven't done any maintenance to it, there is a very good possibility that it is indeed "toast". Then again it may simply need a rebuild. But it does take a bit of experience and knowledge to tell which. And it will take a tear down of the hub to find out for sure. It isn't rocket science and you can do it yourself. But only if you have the right tools and are willing to take it slow and lear to do it right, and learn the signs that the hub is dead and not worth the time. Your call though.

Good Dirt
 

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jeffgre_6163 said:
Mate, this is not good advice.
I have to be honest, I disagree (at least somewhat).

His advice is exactly what some people need to hear, because no matter how many times you tell some people to ease up on water pressure, it doesn't always set in. He didn't say (and I don't advocate) stopping cleaning the bike, just washing it. Sponge on the frame and a rag to clean up the moving parts, that's all most bikes will need. And if you're from where I'm from, you never ride when the trails are wet because you will damage them badly (not everyone is in the same boat, I understand).

OP, I'm not sure you can get replacement freehub bodies for Joytech, it might be worthwhile to learn how to take the thing apart, see how it operates, lubricate it and attempt to put it back together yourself this time. The way I see it, you may not be able to replace the part of the hub that makes it function as a ratchet, so it wouldn't hurt to learn how to service and adjust a hub on something you'll possibly have to replace anyway. That being said, if you're not able to replace the hub and have the wheel rebuilt around a new hub right now, then it may be best to let the shop take this one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hey all, thank you for the replies. I read this thread twice and then decided firmly to take the bike in. Turns out, there was nothing majorly wrong; in fact, the hub (a Shimano, I was told, though this name may've been used as a generalized trademark (like Coke instead of soda?)) was still in great condition. The noise, it seems, was a slightly loose cassette, which we tightened, and possibly a hand-tightened bottom bracket, which was tightened as well. The place deserved to get *something*, so I purchased a couple of tools to help fight the good fight in the future. I was also shown how to take apart the hub, and everything suddenly clicked. A bit easier to understand in real life than ParkTool.com (great site, but I'm more hands-on).

As for the cleaning bit lol, great advice from everyone. I think I was told I was safe with dribbling water/mist spraying to get the bike soaked before cleaning.

Perttime, two others asked me about checking slack/movement in the rim, so excellent question. The answer was no.
 

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Squash said:
came with Joy-Tech hubs laced to Alex DM-20 rims.
Sorry took me so long to get back here....
This is exact rims that's on my Son's bike it too has just a tad of play in it also.
It needs to go to the shop for some tuning so I was gonna ask there.
Must be a common thing with this rim setup?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for responding and corroborating the hub/rim. I've read online the term "Shimano-style" used, but I really don't know what that means.
 

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jeffgre_6163 said:
Mate, this is not good advice.
Washing your bike not only makes it look good but is essential to making components last.
There is no way you can adequetly clean a filthy dirty mud encrusted MTB just by "Wiping it off with a damp towel", how else do your clean the chain, cassette and chain rings unless you wash them? - not to metion all the intricate working parts of the front and rear deraileurs.
I was referring to the frame and wheels and such with the damp towel, not components.

The proper way to clean a cassette is to take it off your hub then use some wd 40, or similar solvent and a brush or towel. The proper way to clean a chain is to spray it with a solvent, or chain lube, then run it through a towel until clean. Same with chainrings, use a solvent and a brush and or towel, this is easiest if you take them off the bike. It's not only high pressure that kills moving parts, but using a hose to clean your bike will liquify the stuck on mud allowing small pieces of the dirt to flow into places you want them least (hubs, bottom bracket, ect). Your'e right about the paint though, if that's real important to you washing your bike like a car is the best way to clean the paint. I even cringe when water gets near my sealed CK hubs. Your paint might be more important to you than your components, but that's not the case for me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks nautilus for your response. I think you're both right; obviously, care must be taken when washing your bike. Easily removable components should be cleaned separately, and the bike's mechanics should be cared for constantly to keep them in top shape.

Doesn't hurt, either, to have a nice looking bike. I'm not so hardcore of a biker, and I do, once in a while, take my mountain bike on a recpath "constitutional" on a hot summery Sunday afternoon, when it's too hot (for me) to hit dirt and ride up mountains. I like coasting around with other people biking and watching my bike gleaming in the sun.

But when it comes time to get the thing stinkin' filthy dirty, I'll do it. And the paint job will definitely take a backseat to the components, which need to be looked after.

You make a great point though: wash carefully so as not to make your bike "dirtier" on the inside than it is on the outside.
 
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