If i lift up my bicycle and spin the rear wheel, it sounds like its rubbing something, even though it does not have any direct contact with frame or brake pads. I checked it and its not rubbing anything, the wheel is also straight. When riding, i don't feel that noise. Appreciate any input. Just need to know what could be the issue before i take it up to my local bike shop.

Could this be a hub or tires?

  • I suspect the noise is coming from your hub, and only occurs when it's freewheeling. If so, and the noise is not too loud, it's probably not a problem. Apr 22, 2016 at 12:20

2 Answers 2


If it sounds like its rubbing, it probably is. The areas to check are

  • the frame - at the chainstays
  • the frame - at the seat stays
  • mudguards or fenders if you have them
  • rear rack stays
  • rim brakes, both the pads and the brake arms.
  • disk brakes could be a bent disk

Do you get the same rub noise when spinning the wheel forwards vs backwards? When you spin backwards the chain will engage and drive the pedals, when you spin forwards the freewheel/freehub will click and allow the wheel to move without driving the chain.

Other sources of rubbing noise could come from the rear derailer as the chain passes through it (going backwards)

Does the rubbing sound appear if you hang the bike up and make the wheel move with the pedals, or is it only while coasting?


If you have checked everything external as per Criggie's answer, then the problem could be wheel bearings.

I had the same issue as you describe last year and it was resolved by replacing wheel bearings (fair enough after 8000km).

  • +1 I had a vexatious problem similar to this, only with clicking, on my Roubaix. Turned out the rear wheel bearings had been improperly lubed at the factory (it happens). Grease and repacking did the trick.
    – Robusto
    Apr 23, 2016 at 1:24

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