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Going downhill on my road bike with aero bars without applying brakes results in a terrible screeching coming from what seems to be the front wheel. Are the bearings going out?

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Are you saying that the sound doesn't happen when you do use the brakes? –  Jefromi Apr 22 '13 at 6:04
    
@Jefromi - Good point. If the sound goes away when you very lightly press the brakes then it's most likely the brakes. If it only goes away with a firmer press of the brakes (but no speed loss) then it's likely the hub. –  Daniel R Hicks Apr 22 '13 at 11:02

1 Answer 1

Could be one of a number of things.

Hub

If you grab the wheel and shake it from left to right is there noticeable play? If you hold it by the axle and spin it does it feel gravely or gritty? Does it make any noise when you do that?

Brakes

Are the brakes dragging on the rims? Is the rim buckled enough for the brakes to drag for only part of it? Is it worse in the wet?

Wind

Is it the wind in your ears, helmet or frame. Unlikely.

You

Are you going too fast ;)

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I know I always screech when I go above about 40 mph. (Actually, the wind isn't that unlikely a candidate. Could be a "flute" note from an open bar end, eg. But such a sound would sound more like that flute and not so much fingernail on blackboard.) –  Daniel R Hicks Apr 22 '13 at 11:00

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