Hushing my Hitchhiker

posted Thursday, November 20th, 2008 by Sarah

Earlier this week I formed a plot to quiet my Hitchhiker’s noise while spinning.  Almost anyone who has spun on or been near one of these wheels spinning knows that they do indeed make a bit of noise.. and I’m determined to do some problem solving and fix most of where the noise is coming from.  I’ve identified several areas on my Hitchhiker that I can say contribute:

  1. Mother of all bearings – mine are plastic, not sealed, and they sound like roller skates unless I drench them in oil… say every 20 minutes.  That’s far from ideal, and eventually they get gummed up and even noisier (soaking in hot soapy water and washing seems to help, but the cycle repeats).  I’m replacing these with sealed metal bearings, assuming I’ve ordered the correct size.
  2. Brake band.  I noticed that mine makes a specific chattering noise, that I was able to troubleshoot down to blaming on the spring itself.  The monofilament wasn’t the quietest material in the world either, but a majority of the noise was in fact due to the necessary spring.  Monofilament on it’s own doesn’t really work out so well.  So I’ve replaced my brake band with 1mm stretch bead cord.  So far it’s working out *really* well.  It’s elastic, so no spring required, and it’s smooth and slick like the monofilament.   Time will tell how well it holds up, but I’m encouraged by how well it’s performing so far.
  3. Whorl against the wheel.  This isn’t actually noise caused by the whorl traveling along the wheel (which does make some noise, but it’s not bad) but rather by the fact that the whorl isn’t held against the wheel with enough tension, causing is to bounce a bit as I spin.  This is impart due I think to a slight imbalance with the flyer, but neither flyer I have works any better, and some extra tension on the mother of all seems to solve the problem.  I’m somewhat convinced that this is due to the single spring hinge, so my plan is to replace the non-springy hinge with a spring hinge when I can find a replacement (I’ve found them online, but shipping is more than the set of 2 hinges is).

It will be interesting to see how much of a difference the new bearings and second spring hinge will make.  I will update as soon as I have replacements and can swap those out.

I’m also working on refinishing a few rough areas of my wheel, and finishing up a few parts I feel like I sort of left half-completed.  I have only been about 90% happy with how it turned out after painting it, but never really got motivated enough to fix what I didn’t like.  Now that my HH has reached 2 1/2 years old, I think some maintenence is due 🙂

  1. 3 Responses to “Hushing my Hitchhiker”

  2. How clever! these hitchhiker improvement posts are wonderful … glad to have the mystery investigated and even, resolved. Wow. And bead cord for the brake band … hmmm, that’s a good idea to try on some other wheels of mine 🙂 thanks!

    By Amelia Garripoli on Dec 19, 2008

  3. It’s been working really well, and my HH is spinning smoother than ever – unfortunately it’s also recently developed some sort of clatter with the medium whorl, which is the one I use most often – I’m going to have to replace or redesign that too now 🙂

    By Sarah on Dec 19, 2008

  4. roller skating is a very enjoying sports and past time too ”

    By Pinoy Love Advice · on Nov 9, 2010

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