Orbea Gain rear hub noise when freewheeling

marvelman

New Member
Hi everyone. I’ve put about 900km on my Orbea Gain D50 (Ebikemotion X35 rear hub motor) since purchase last autumn, but it’s recently started to make a clanking/grating noise when freewheeling.

The noise is definitely coming from the rear hub - I’ve removed to wheel and confirmed.

I’m guessing it could be a bearings/dirt issue, but I have zero idea how to get to the hub!

How on earth do you get the magnetic lock ring tool off? I’ve got a standard Shimano cassette lock ring tool with a guide pin, so that doesn’t work (the pin just immediately contacts the protruding threaded axle before reaching the lock ring - there’s no inner ‘void’ as with a QR skewer setup) and while my Shimano freewheel tool can clear the axle, and seems to fit in the splines, it’s not a very satisfactory fit and I can’t budge the thing at all. (I.e. with serious pressure + chain whip). Plus, I thought it was a free hub on the Gain rather than a freewheel anyway, so probably wouldn’t work either way!

My other question: is the hub even serviceable with the Ebikemotion X35 motor, or is this a take-to-dealer job?

Cheers.

PS. Weirdly, while researching this issue online, I came across a YouTube video someone has posted that shows the exact same symptoms I’m experiencing:

(I left a comment asked the poster how he fixed it, but no response yet!)
 

TimJohn

Active Member
I am going to assume that this is a "geared" hub. There were some issues with a GRIN Bafang G310 motor where the magnets actually became un-glued because of over heating the motor. Not your motor obviously but maybe this will give you some ideas of what's wrong You probably would hear a rattling sound if the magnets became loose from their positions. This definitely will require a tear down.

So no noise when you are pedalling? Pedalling with some force = no noise then. Another possible issue could be with the gears themselves. Some motors used the helical nylon gears that can get stripped because of high stress situations. Long, steep hill climbs for long periods of time...over heating the motor. There are a few bearings (3 usually) in there for the gears and maybe one of them has failed.

Good luck with it.
 

J.R.

Well-Known Member
Hi everyone. I’ve put about 900km on my Orbea Gain D50 (Ebikemotion X35 rear hub motor) since purchase last autumn, but it’s recently started to make a clanking/grating noise when freewheeling.

The noise is definitely coming from the rear hub - I’ve removed to wheel and confirmed.

I’m guessing it could be a bearings/dirt issue, but I have zero idea how to get to the hub!

How on earth do you get the magnetic lock ring tool off? I’ve got a standard Shimano cassette lock ring tool with a guide pin, so that doesn’t work (the pin just immediately contacts the protruding threaded axle before reaching the lock ring - there’s no inner ‘void’ as with a QR skewer setup) and while my Shimano freewheel tool can clear the axle, and seems to fit in the splines, it’s not a very satisfactory fit and I can’t budge the thing at all. (I.e. with serious pressure + chain whip). Plus, I thought it was a free hub on the Gain rather than a freewheel anyway, so probably wouldn’t work either way!

My other question: is the hub even serviceable with the Ebikemotion X35 motor, or is this a take-to-dealer job?

Cheers.

PS. Weirdly, while researching this issue online, I came across a YouTube video someone has posted that shows the exact same symptoms I’m experiencing:

(I left a comment asked the poster how he fixed it, but no response yet!)
My Pedro's cassette lock ring tool doesn't have the guide pin, Park Tool also has some without guide pins.

The video sounds like a problem with the free hub, not the motor. My BH (geared hub motor) has a free hub/cassette and the free hub is unusually complicated, with 3 sealed bearings and 2 sets of loose bearings. I have to service that hub once or twice a year.

In the video the noise is pronounced when the wheel is free wheeling. Could the noise be the pawls? Damaged? Maybe mistakenly built without proper lubrication? I have heard the pawl spring clip can break and cause free hub damage. I've not had this happen, but I can see how that could happen.

This shows several tools. One should work.


https://www.parktool.com/blog/repair-help/determining-cassette-freewheel-type
 

marvelman

New Member
Thanks guys.

I actually used that Park Tool video to work out a possible tool - it’s Shimano gearing on the bike, 12 splines in the lockring so I opted for the corresponding tool... but to no avail.

It could be that I’m just not strong enough to shift it (although I tried pretty damn hard!), but it doesn’t actually feel like the tool is sitting in the lockring quite right to me.

I think I’ll need to contact my nearest Orbea e-bike dealer (Cyclerepublic) to investigate/repair - it’s still under warranty so if it’s not a wear and tear issue, but a fault, I’ll be sure to be contacting Orbea for a remedy without charge!
 

J.R.

Well-Known Member
Thanks guys.

I actually used that Park Tool video to work out a possible tool - it’s Shimano gearing on the bike, 12 splines in the lockring so I opted for the corresponding tool... but to no avail.

It could be that I’m just not strong enough to shift it (although I tried pretty damn hard!), but it doesn’t actually feel like the tool is sitting in the lockring quite right to me.

I think I’ll need to contact my nearest Orbea e-bike dealer (Cyclerepublic) to investigate/repair - it’s still under warranty so if it’s not a wear and tear issue, but a fault, I’ll be sure to be contacting Orbea for a remedy without charge!
Sounds like a wise move. Shimano specs that lock ring for 40 Nm of torque. I use a Pedro's 14 inch long cog wrench and a lock ring socket with a 12 inch adjustable wrench. It offers good leverage to break it loose. I still have banged my knuckles plenty.

Good luck getting this sorted out. Update this thread when you do, it will help others.
 

marvelman

New Member
Sounds like a wise move. Shimano specs that lock ring for 40 Nm of torque. I use a Pedro's 14 inch long cog wrench and a lock ring socket with a 12 inch adjustable wrench. It offers good leverage to break it loose. I still have banged my knuckles plenty.

Good luck getting this sorted out. Update this thread when you do, it will help others.
40 Nm of torque :oops: That explains why I can’t shift it with my chain whip and pretty crappy adjustable wrench then!
 

MikeDee

Active Member
Sounds like the freewheel is shot. Why not take it to the shop you bought the bike from? Probably covered under warranty. You can remove and replace the freewheel, but Shimano ones are not user serviceable. Not sure what freewheel ebikemotion uses or if they are fixable.
 

cwriggy

New Member
Hi marvelman,

Any update on this. Pretty sure my freewheel is on the way out. It doesn't make as much noise as in the video but applying a lot of pressure at lights sometimes I get slippage which I'm pretty sure is not the chain jumping.

I got one of these to get the freewheel off IceToolz Cassette Lockring Tool the two tools I already had didn't work. This one is longer than average and as you say with no engagement aid in the middle.

Ideally I'd like to be able to service the hub myself - partly as I commute a lot I'd like to be able to keep on top of it and partly because I bought the bike second hand so it's unlikely to be covered on a warrant. On top of that the nearest dealer I can find is cycle republic in Manchester and not sure if I trust them. I probably need to get the wheel rebuild as l'm breaking spokes quite frequently.

The most I've found on how to get into the hub is the image shown on this page inside ebikemotion app this seems to imply the right side of the motor coms off to give access to the freewheel.
 

marvelman

New Member
Hi marvelman,

Any update on this. Pretty sure my freewheel is on the way out. It doesn't make as much noise as in the video but applying a lot of pressure at lights sometimes I get slippage which I'm pretty sure is not the chain jumping.

I got one of these to get the freewheel off IceToolz Cassette Lockring Tool the two tools I already had didn't work. This one is longer than average and as you say with no engagement aid in the middle.

Ideally I'd like to be able to service the hub myself - partly as I commute a lot I'd like to be able to keep on top of it and partly because I bought the bike second hand so it's unlikely to be covered on a warrant. On top of that the nearest dealer I can find is cycle republic in Manchester and not sure if I trust them. I probably need to get the wheel rebuild as l'm breaking spokes quite frequently.

The most I've found on how to get into the hub is the image shown on this page inside ebikemotion app this seems to imply the right side of the motor coms off to give access to the freewheel.
Hi cwriggy

I’ve just received my bike back from my nearest Orbea dealer (a decent independent LBS in Bristol) as they had an insanely long waiting list for repairs. Basically, they couldn’t find anything wrong in the hub - and couldn’t replicate the noise during their inspection, despite witnessing it on the stand when they first booked it in. Very odd.

Interestingly, the chap who posted that YouTube video of the same issue replied to my comment (I missed it a month ago!) and it sounds like his LBS couldn’t find much wrong either, just needed a simple tightening. Which makes me wonder whether, in the process of inspecting my hub, the LBS tightened things up and fixed my issue. But I’ll probably never know.

Living in fear of the noise surfacing again!

I’d be really keen to hear how you get on with that tool and servicing it - I too would like to be able to sort things myself as it’s a bit of a trek to take the bike to an Orbea dealer.

It would also be really interesting to learn if there is any hub damage on your bike or whether it is a simple case of tightening something!

Best of luck.
 

Bobak

New Member
I have a similar issue and check out my video:


I could eliminate the noise by taking the wheel off and putting it back on but after a 30 mile ride it comes back. It is very annoying while riding fast. Too me looks like a bad hub/freewheel.
 

wpottinger

New Member
I have a similar issue and check out my video:


I could eliminate the noise by taking the wheel off and putting it back on but after a 30 mile ride it comes back. It is very annoying while riding fast. Too me looks like a bad hub/freewheel.
Hi Bobak,

Your video is marked as "private" and can't be played back by others following this thread (or at least I can't view it). Is the noise you encounter similar to JR's video he posted above (8/1/2019)? If so I'd recommend your LBS take care of it, as it appears the problem is related to the pawls or other cassette driver-related problem.
 

Bobak

New Member
Sorry I made it public now. I asked the dealer i bought the bike and he is referring me to the mechanic. Since the lbs is 1.5 hours away i will probably take it to them this weekend if the problem persists.
 

wpottinger

New Member
Interesting! Much different than the sounds on JR's video. Yours sounds like a high pitched "chirp" and not the kind of noise a pawl would make. The noise pitch and frequency changes with the wheel's rotational speed, and though you don't let it spin for very long, it appears to slow down rather quickly, perhaps due to drag from the hub or elsewhere. Does loosening or tightening the axle nuts affect the sound? Could be something related to the bearings binding under excessive pressure but I doubt it.

I assume you are confident it has nothing to do with your disk brake, which could cause an intermittent sound similar to what you're hearing, and could be temporarily remedied by reinstalling the wheel as you did. My rear disk (also a D30) came from the factory sadly out of adjustment and was noisy. Recheck that your wheel is properly seated in the hangers and properly tightened, with a torque wrench if available. If you manage to eliminate the noise after reinstalling the wheel, take visual note of your rotor and pads so if the noise returns again you might be able to confirm or eliminate it as the source.

Good luck!