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I'm 99% certain the noise is coming off one or both of the derailleur pulleys, but not sure if it's to be expected or if it's irregular and something that should be fixed?


Just remembered - I tried removing the back wheel (including the cassette, obviously) and the noise persisted, so it's 100% certain coming from the pulleys. I just can't determine why, but I wouldn't be suprised if that's how it's supposed to sound.

  • Have you tried adjusting the cable tension slightly to see whether it makes a difference? Everything looks straight but if the derailleur is bent a bit it could also increase noise. A photo straight from the back could be helpful. Jul 18, 2018 at 15:25
  • Album updated with image from behind. By bent I assume you mean the cage plates? I did noticed that myself and it looks looks like it could make the chain rub a bit, but no indications of that.
    – Woodgnome
    Jul 18, 2018 at 15:53
  • Thanks for the update. In the last photo it does look as if the chain is touching the cage but I understand you checked this. By bent I mean: the jockey wheels need to be in the same plane at the cogs. If something is bent, this would not be the case. Jul 18, 2018 at 19:29
  • 1
    Well, you need to lube your chain. And the chain could be worn. Have you measured it with a chain gauge? Jul 18, 2018 at 20:05

2 Answers 2


The drive-train is a bit noisier than it should be.

The noise is not being caused by derailleur indexing being off though.

Chain seems clean, is it lubricated properly?

Things to check are chain and cassette wear. Also check that the derailleur jockey wheels are running freely.

  • 1
    It's all new stuff (less than 200 km), so wear shouldn't be an issue. Removed dirt and lubricated a bit to be on the safe side, but no sounds about the same.
    – Woodgnome
    Jul 18, 2018 at 15:59
  • With the chain out of the way the bottom pulley keeps spinning after turning it while the top one immediately stops. It can also move a bit from side to side, but I assume that's just the bearing.
    – Woodgnome
    Jul 18, 2018 at 16:06
  • Yeah, definitely just the bearing itself (ceramic bushing like the one pictured here: biketestreviews.com/…).
    – Woodgnome
    Jul 18, 2018 at 16:55
  • Top jockey wheels are supposed to have some side-side movement Jul 18, 2018 at 17:21
  • Yeah I realised that as soon as I sat with the pulley and ceramic bushing in my hand.
    – Woodgnome
    Jul 18, 2018 at 17:22

Having taken the derailleur cage plates and pulleys apart my conclusion is that this noise is normal.

With that said, it's definitely more quiet now that I have cleaned dirt/grease off the pulleys and chain as well as applied new lubricant to the chain, pulleys and bearings.

(I also tried to slightly unbend the cage plate, but I doubt it has any noticeable effect - looking at the pictures I'm not even sure it classified as being bent to begin with)

In any case it's probably always worth cleaning off dirt/grease and applying some new lubrication, but I'm sure there will always be a bit of chain/pulley or chain/sprocket noise.

  • Consider tightening the B limit screw to move the derailleur teeth away from the largest sprocket a couple more mm (total of about 6mm gap). I don’t think it will solve the problem but looking at top photo it could be beneficial anyway
    – Swifty
    Jul 21, 2018 at 7:01
  • There's no rubbing or other shift related noises, so while it looks a bit close I'm pretty certain it's all good.
    – Woodgnome
    Jul 28, 2018 at 16:59
  • @woodgnome, what type of Shimano derailleur was it and what chain were you using? I have a 2013 Shimano 105, so this might be specific to the brand + tier.
    – axva1663
    Jun 11, 2022 at 18:47

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