Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Daan

Chain noises and multi speed chains (industry nine hydra hub woes)

15 posts in this topic

Got some chain issues going on. Used to use a KMC Z1eHX narrow chain on my Inpired Hex, which occasionally gave me popping/clanging noises from the drive train, like your chain is ever so slightly crooked on the ring's teeth and pops back to the center when putting the pressure on. Now I got a K1SL chain for Christmas, gold obviously for bling, and put it on my street trials bike. This was before I read the death-trap warnings about them :) Anyway, with this chain the popping noise is more frequent, and it drives me a bit mad.

Chain line is perfect. The bike has a chain tensioner and the problem is there with both the stock tensioner (less often), as with the Ali C style simple pushing tensioner I cut from some titanium (more often, maybe not surprising as chain wrap on the sprocket is less). To try and remedy the issue, I've installed a narrow wide chain ring up front, even splurged for a narrow wide Absolute Black sprocket in the back, and with those installed the noise is there less often. However, it still occurs occasionally, usually after a few good bounces or spins and then putting pressure back on the pedals. So obvious first question: is this something that just happens on a bike that uses a chain tensioner (I always had a proper single speed setup before this)? Secondly, I reckon going for a multi speed e-bike chain like the KMC e9 might remedy this issue, but are they reliable enough?

Edited by Daan
Title

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Are you sure it's the chain and not the freewheel mechanism of the hub? If it's doing it with multiple chains, perfect chain line and different tensioners then I would look at the hub to rule that out too

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's what I thought too, but did a quick inspection and it seemed fine. But to be sure I just took apart the freewheel of the hub again and this time gave it a good cleaning. The teeth look the be in good shape, as do the pawls, no markings of possible slippage. So I find it hard to imagine it's the hub (and I sure hope not, it's a rediculously expenisve Industry 9 hub). Will give the cleaned and freshened up hub a go if it stops raining. I've also ordered in a KMC E9 chain for the sake of science, should hopefully be here this week. Figured they can't be less reliable than the K1SL with its hollow pins and cutouts :) Will report back here on anything I find.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This all sounds pretty normal to me, I think maybe you're just very sensitive to the drivetrain and what it's doing (no bad thing!). I'm the same, often have to just remember no harm is being done and it all still works fine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Haha cheers Adam, you might be on to something. I just hate those little noises coming from my bike, creaking stem, rubbing brakes, pinging spokes, aaargh :D Good to hear you think it's pretty normal and I'll try and keep the no-harm-being-done in mind.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had an I9 torch hub (I have a hydra now) that didn't skip for over 2 years, but it did start skipping. I tried to convince myself that it was anything but the hub too until I finally put a different wheel on and the noise went away. I'm not saying it is your hub, but if that's a possibility for troubleshooting, you should try another hub/wheel just to rule that out. My I9 torch was out of warranty when I finally sent it in (drivering was slightly cracked), but they replaced it with a brand new hydra anyway. I only have good things to say about I9 overall. I'm waiting for my second hydra hub now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Clean and fresh hub (it's a Hydra btw), everything else still the same, short ride, only one single pop almost right at the start. Usually happens like four times. N=1 is nothing, so we'll see how this develops. As I wrote, hub looked perfectly fine inside (I guess if it was slipping, wear marks should be obvious to spot?), so still have good hope that Adam is right and this just happens ocassionally. Mind you, it hasn't happened under massive power when gapping for example, it's usually when lightly engaging the pedals from a standstill/slow roll.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tried the multispeed chain, no difference. Before I have peace with the fact it could just be me being too sensitive, a question for the guys that also use an i9 Hydra hub, should you find a moment to have a look: can the pawls in your freehub also move this much? It's way more play than on my Hope hub.

https://youtu.be/juzsIhsSMuw

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hmm. Thats more than I'd expect or like to see, but it wouldn't cause the hub to skip, it will just increase the amount of time between pawl clicking in and drive being taken up (because the pawl gets dragged out of its seat while coasting, then has to re-seat when you put the power on).

As an aside, when they released this freehub system that is exactly what I anticipated would happen, there's no way one pawl seat can take all that load and not stretch / wear.

That's the other thing with all these hubs with a bazillion engagement points, none of them take up instantly. There is always a delay while the mechanism engages, so you could actually have more delay at the pedals on a hub that technically has more EPs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, it has me concerned, especially as it's only like 6 months old. Thinking with the pawls being pushed back in their seats when you put the power on might sometimes make some noise, especially if the timing of the pawls relative to eachother is starting to get a bit off due to uneven wear? And to think I was raving about this hub initially, big wad of cash too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nah, the pawl are completely free to move in that situation, so no noises caused, just a delay in engaging.

The wear should be even in theory, the chance of each pawl being 'the one' is equal.

Again, doesn't sound like anything to worry about, perfectly normal given the design.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cheers Adam. Will try to keep my mind off the noise. But I have dropped the video in i9's inbox, as as you say, a bit more wear than I'd like to see after a relative short period of time. Might give them something to think about, for their hub design.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Alrighty, got a message back from i9, sent them some pics of the drive ring too (on close inspection, some teeth look a bit more shiny than others), and they told me it's definitely missed some engagements. At least we know where the noise comes from then. Bummer. They reckon maybe some pawls where slightly on the lower side of the tolerance spectrum, causing the stretching of the pawl pockets and the engagement issues. Their customer support does sound very responsive, wanting to either fix up a new hub and manually remeasuring the moving parts to make sure tolerance is perfect, or replacing the innards. Hopefully the latter is possible, not looking forward to yet another wheel rebuild. But, at least case closed on the noise. Time will tell how long the fix will last, hope they're right about the tolerance, and it's not the actual design.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh darn. That's what happened to me too. But, yes, great customer service. Like I said, I had an out of warranty Torch and they replaced it with a new Hydra hub anyway. Yes, there was the whole unbuilding the wheel and rebuilding it again and the shipping back and forth, but I had a spare wheel to pass the time luckily. Hopefully my Hydras will last forever ;-)

How old is your Hydra, Daan?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's definitely great they respond so quickly. Hopefully they'll just send me new innards and the tool to replace the drivering so I have no down time, and then I can send the broken stuff back.

But yeah, its age, that's the thing that has me quite worried: my Hydra is only 6 months old. And the skipping sound has been going on for at least half of that. Add to that I've seen a couple of Hydra's now that have exactly the same wear, one dude's even cracked the freehub in one of the pawl pockets. So I'm not sure how much of it can be chalked up to tolerance issues, or if it's inevitable they'll all start skipping after not too long. Maybe many people won't notice, as the skipping doesn't really feel like a classic skip, because there's so many engagement points. Plus I think because of the design it won't happen too much under real power, only when there's half power applied, the stage when there's still little flex and only one pawl engages. I sure hope that's all not the case. How does yours look inside?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.