My road bike currently has a nagging wobble in its rear wheel that I've been unable to determine the source of. I probably would not have noticed this had it not been for an unusual (and annoying) sound that appears when the wheel rotates.
The sound is hard to describe, but I'd have to say it has to sound like a low-pitch popping noise - quick, with sudden boundaries. It appears probably every 5 or 10 degrees of rotation and causes noticeable vibration in the frame. It is also worth noting that this is not an issue that gradually built up over time - it appeared after the last ride, so it is almost as if something wasn't squared properly when I reassembled the bike afterwards.
In attempting to find the source of this, I checked to see if the wheel was rubbing up against the brake caliper or if the magnet was making contact with the speed/cadence sensor - both negative. The lateral deviation of the wheel is really too small to be of concern (other than the sound), and the noise seems to be coming from the rear axle/freehub area.
What I most fear is that the wheel may be out of true - the bike, around its last ride, took a few not-so-nice rides to a local park in the trunk of my compact car. While none of the suggested questions really seem to be describing my issue, it seems like a common culprit of rear hub noises is the cone parts.
Given all that, I suppose my question is twofold:
- Is there a way to either confirm or rule out the wheel true as the source of this issue?
- If it is not the wheel true, what is this problem likely to be caused by and how do I go about fixing it?