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My mate and I purchased bikes. I got a Norco HT 2 and he has a Norco FS 3.

On paper we have the same hubs but mine is silent, and his is decently loud when coasting. Why is that?

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    Possibly manufacturing tolerances? One thing for you to try is to swap rear wheels for a bit, and see if the noise stays with the frame, or follows the wheel in which case one's just noiser. In the former, could be part of the frame is resonating, and some sound damping foam on the frame may stop it. That one is hard-tail and the other is full-squishy will also absorb some noises. – Criggie Nov 10 '20 at 0:26
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Something happening inside the freehub is different. Possible variants that I can think of:

  1. One hub has more or different thicker grease on its pawls (or equivalent parts responsible for enforcing the one-way rotation). The grease adds "liquid" friction between the parts, preventing them from smashing as fast against each other with every step of the ratcheting mechanism. Without enough kinetic energy present in pawls to be dissipated as heat/sound, the clicking is not as loud.

  2. One hub is older/newer, and its pawls are worn/fresh. Again, the pattern of the pawls striking against their counterparts may affect how loud the sound will be.

  3. Hubs have slightly different internal design even if they are marked with the same model name. Their internal components may be from different production batches, or minor revisions can be made without changing publicly visible names of products.

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This exact thing happened to me when my wife and I bought new bikes. One bike clicked more loudly when rolling. The bike store employee said it was most likely due to the internal grease amount or location, and would not affect wear or performance.

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