Any Advice, "Clanking" noise while riding

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Buster1

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Oct 23, 2011
856
Las Vegas
Okay guys, the Elgin has developed an odd "clanking" noise when riding lately. I can't seem to pinpoint it. If you have any clues, here are the specifics.

Sounds like metal hitting the frame, like a hammer or something.
It is irregular. So while pedaling, or coasting it happens.
Not the seat springs, no fender rubs, nothing stuck in the wheels or tires.
No loose fender nuts.
It started at the end of a 3 mile ride with no warning

I thought it was the hub so I disassembled the whole thing. It looked fine. Now it clanks only when I'm riding the bike. With it sitting on the drop stand I can pedal it all day and it's smooth and sweet.

Thoughts:
A bad frame break somewhere yet to be found
My skip tooth chain is stretched a little, but I'm not having any chain jump or slippage under load...could it be this?


IMG_4469-1.jpg
 

jpromo

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
May 26, 2011
3,881
Plymouth, Michigan
My opinion lies in the dropstand clicking inside of the hanger. Metal on metal when you hit a bump. You can try bending the clip inward so that the stand sits tighter in there. If that doesn't work, you can try putting a little something in there to cushion it (electrical tape, chunk of tire tube?) or accept it.

Good luck! Hopefully it's as simple as that.
 

jpromo

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
May 26, 2011
3,881
Plymouth, Michigan
Chain stretch is a good thought, too, since it's only under a load. If it's stretched badly enough, you'll definitely feel it in the pedals when riding. You'll feel the links roll onto the teeth instead of just slotting on. If you don't really feel anything, you can remove the chain and put a tape measure on one of the pins. You should be able to follow down the links with the pins lining up on each inch mark. If, by the end of the chain, it's within 1/8" or so, you're well within the limits. If it's out 1/4", you'll probably start feeling it. Any more, and you might want to find a replacement chain.
 

abe lugo

I live for the CABE
Sep 6, 2010
1,603
Los Angeles,CA
two things i would check

It could be the hub driver inside the rear hub clicking back and forth as the hub engages, or it could be the brake arm, with a too loose brake are clamp. On the stand would probably wouldn't hear some of these as there is not pressure on the rear wheel, it acts differently with 150+ lbs on top of it.
is it in the front of rear?
Kickstand? Maybe the crank hits the kickstands sometimes?
Maybe the headset is loose or the bearing is sheared and the top nut is tightened too much?
Maybe the hub nuts is loose?
How about the pedal shafts?
Or it could be a kink in the chain.
 
Last edited:

abe lugo

I live for the CABE
Sep 6, 2010
1,603
Los Angeles,CA
two things i would check

It could be the hub driver inside the rear hub clicking back and forth as the hub engages, or it could be the brake arm, with a too loose brake are clamp. On the stand would probably wouldn't hear some of these as there is not pressure on the rear wheel, it acts differently with 150+ lbs on top of it.
Maybe the kickstand sometimes gets hit by the crank?
Pedal shafts? check the BB and the neck bearings?
Maybe a kink in the chain?
 

Buster1

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Oct 23, 2011
856
Las Vegas
Thanks guys.

Definitely not the drop stand in the clip. I had that prob 1st and remedied it a few weeks ago.

Not feeling anything in the pedals, and again, just coasting it clanks every so often. I had the chain off and will check the stretch, however it is very free and 95% of the rollers work great.

I thought if the brake arm and will check that in the am along with the tightness of the axle nuts. The dropouts are stretched a little, do maybe everything is slipping in there?

Why would the hub sound fine with just pedaling, then clank with my 175# on the bike?
 

Buster1

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Oct 23, 2011
856
Las Vegas
Neck bearings? Really? Didn't think of that.

The sound seems to be becoming from below and to the rear.
 

okozzy

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Mar 31, 2011
881
Upland, United States
Process of elimination

Not the chain, since it also does it while coasting.
Not the kick stand, you already took care of that.
Not the frame, I think that would be really obvious.

Only does it when your weight is on the bike intermittently with or without a load.

**Could be over-tightened hub cones that are putting too much force on the ball bearings, especially if those are the original ball bearings, i.e., not perfectly smooth. If things are too tight and you have a ball bearing / cone with a flat spot, then it will catch every now and then especially if is too tight.

Always:
step1 snug tighten the cones onto the ball bearings
step2 back out the cone a 1/4 turn before locking it in place.

**You may also want to check your rear spokes, if the wheel was laced too tight you will get popping sounds coming out of the back.

My .02c's
 
Last edited:

mre straightbar

I live for the CABE
Mar 10, 2007
1,515
Las Vegas, United States
its the knuter valve adjustment screw

Tighten a 1/4 turn till snug then loosen a full turn
should solve problem
 

Buster1

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Oct 23, 2011
856
Las Vegas
Update:

I had the bike upside-down and started to pedal it. The noise still occurred and seemed to really be coming from the hub. No parts were hitting anything as the wheel spun, but the clanking still occurred.

I loosened the pre-load more and more, stopping and checking at interval, until the rear wheel was pretty wobbly and at my limit for "safe." It still did the clanking.

I have the hub entirely apart now and soaking in gasoline. Today I will clean it up, look for odd wear or bad bearings, and re-grease.

Straighbar, how could it be the knuter valve? It's flush or very slightly recessed looking inside my now exposed hub shell.
 
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Buster1

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Oct 23, 2011
856
Las Vegas
Update:

Okay, what do you guys think. De-greased everything and found this wear on one of the races. It's right where the bearings ride.

IMG_4567-1.jpg

IMG_4566-1.jpg


Kinda makes sense that with my weight on the bike it clanks, and with no weight in the bike it's sorta fine. Next question, does anyone have this part, or a whole Elgin rear Air-Cooled hub?
 
Last edited:

Andrew Gorman

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Jun 15, 2008
3,021
Pasadena (Hastings Ranch), United States
That cone has problems... Aren't the Elgin hubs the same mechanically as Musselman's?
 

mwaltke

Look Ma, No Hands!
Oct 4, 2012
29
Make sure the axle is straight by rolling it without cones on a flat surface, then if its straight replace the bearings, one could be cracked and you cant tell.
 

Buster1

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Oct 23, 2011
856
Las Vegas
Thanks MW. I have seen that and may try to get it.
 
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