Problem with Jockey Wheels

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by sergen, Feb 5, 2007.

  1. sergen

    sergen New Member

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    I've been noticing a sqeaky sound coming from the drive chain on my last few rides. Yesterday I gave my winter bike a good clean and noticed that there is now a significant amount of play in the upper jocket wheel. It's wobbling a fair bit with lots of lateral movement and it definitely isn't normal.

    I took the chain off the bike and spun the lower jockey wheel around with my finger - it's very firm and only spins for 2/3 revolutions. But when I spun the upper jockey wheel it did about 5 revolutions, which again shows that all is not well.

    What is the best solution to this problem? Is there a way I can manually tighten the jockey wheel myself, even though I am not particularly technical in bike maintenance matters? I don't think it can be done using a small allen key.

    Or is this a job for the LBS? The whole bike was bought new and is 4 months old with approx 1,300 miles.
     
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  2. sogood

    sogood New Member

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    I would have thought your lower jockey wheel has problems.
     
  3. Insaneclimber

    Insaneclimber New Member

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    Undo the small alen key, get the jocky wheel out, check it to confirm its buggered, then buy a new one and install. a very easy job even for a dummie. The harder thing to do is determine why its worn out so quickly, make sure everything is in alignment. check that the derailleur hanger is not bent. It is possible that the small bolt just came loose.
     
  4. HowardSteele

    HowardSteele New Member

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    Its easy to replace the jockey wheels,with various options available not only the maufacturers replacement but other companys providing alternetivelly priced product.
    The screws only tighten to a point so its a pretty simple poceedure you can put a little lock-nut glue on the thread to prevent the bolt working its way loose.
    Cleaning the bearings with some parafin and making sure the bolts were tightened properly might just sort out the problem and only cost a little time on your part.
     
  5. dhk2

    dhk2 Active Member

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    The top wheel is designed with a lateral float of 1-2mm, at least on Shimano.

    They won't spin a long time since they have very little mass. 5 revs sounds right to me, but agree 2/3 rev on your bottom wheel is serious drag. I'm sure you've checked that it's not rubbing the cage.

    Normally these required no maintenance and last a long time, unless they are a victim of solvent-cleaning or used in a dirty/sandy environment. A buddy of mine (who should know better) recently sprayed his drivetrain down with solvent for "winter cleaning" and was surprised the jockey wheels were squeaking on the next ride.

    Would try taking them out, cleaning the sleeve bearings and relube before just buying new ones. LBS should be able to do this for a small charge if you don't want to mess with it.....although some like to sell us new parts at every opportunity :)
     
  6. sergen

    sergen New Member

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    Thanks for all the replies. As the bike is fairly new my LBS have agreed they'll look at it free of charge. I'll make sure I watch the mechanic carefully so I know what to do next time.

    But I won't be able to take the bike in until Wednesday morning, which is a problem since I have a training ride scheduled for Tuesday evening. If I decided to stick to my schedule and ride on Tuesday is the worst case scenario that I do further damage to the jockey wheel? If so then I'm not worried as I can get the jockey wheel replaced on Wednesday. I'd only want to cancel Tuesday's ride if I knew I might be doing more serious damage to other parts of the drive chain, eg. rear derailleur or chain. Can anyone advise please?
     
  7. artemidorus

    artemidorus New Member

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    If your bike is shifting properly, then your only problem is the lack of lubrication. Loosen the bolt securing the lower jockey wheel but do not remove it. Undo the bolt securing the upper wheel and slide it out. Take it apart, clean the sleeve bearing surfaces up with a rag and then relubricate the bearing with grease (not oil). Put the wheel back together exactly as it was and slide it back into the cage. Reinsert the upper bolt and retighten both bolts. Done.
    It's easier if you can undo your chain first, but this is optional. Even if you do nothing, and you ride the bearing into oblivion, you will be ruining an A$10-15 part. No big deal. They can, however, make a VERY loud and embarrassing squeak if you do nothing.
     
  8. Aussie Steve

    Aussie Steve New Member

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    I don't believe side to side movement is an issue, because the jockey wheels are so light, and the chain keeps them under tension. The important thing to remember, and it has been mentioned here, is not to do up the bolts tightly. if you do, the derailleur cage will squeeze the wheels and they won't spin at all !
    Put some lock-tite compound on the threads of the hole in the cage, before you put the bolt in, and tighten just enough to have the threaded end of the bolt flush or level with the cage.
     
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