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I am wondering what is the correct solution to this problem and if I am diagnosing the problem correctly.

Recently, my front wheel started squeaking once per revolution of the wheel. I tried to address this by looking at the brakes, spinning the wheel without load and trying to see if I am noticing a sound. There is no squeak without load.

What I did notice is if I applied pressure to the front wheel (by leaning down on my bike while standing), the wheel would eventually squeak once a particular part of the wheel was touching the ground. I can then reproduce the squeaking sound by squeezing the side of the tire or pushing on the rubber tire at the point that causes the squeak.

I tried to fix this issue by replacing the inner tube, but the issue is unchanged.

It sounds like maybe the inner tube is rubbing against something, but I cannot quite explain what is causing the squeak. What should I try next or diagnose this problem? Should I replace the rim tape? Should I replace the tire/wheel?

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    Is it happening at the rim seam, ie 180 degrees away from the valve? May 13 at 19:46
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    Check any rubber seals at the hub, either visible or invisible. A quick squirt of something around the axle/hub interface wouldn't hurt. Unless it gets on your brake disc.
    – JoeK
    May 13 at 20:00
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    @NathanKnutson the squeak is happening at about 120 degrees away from the valve. Where I am measuring degrees from the center of the wheel. In regards to where the squeaking actually occurs on the part of the tire: it occurs when I apply pressure to the tire to the part that makes contact with the ground or if I apply the pressure to the side of the tire (part where the tire makes contact with the rim), but only in the localized part that squeaks.
    – Viktor
    May 13 at 20:41
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    @Criggie the sound can be reproduced by pushing on the tire at a certain point.
    – Viktor
    May 14 at 2:03
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    That is what causes the sound. It even causes a sound off the pick. This part is on the side of the tire. Between the part touching the ground and the rim. Sound is caused by pressure compressing the tire against the ground at this point which perturbs the spot. Nothing else is squeaking.
    – Viktor
    May 14 at 2:04

1 Answer 1

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Answering this question in case it is helpful for those struggling with a similar problem in the future.

This problem is caused by a hairline fracture in the rim. You can see it below: rim hairline fracture

However, I did not hear this noise by just pushing on the rim while the tire was removed because in order to cause this noise there needed to have been significant pressure on the other side (ie. the inner tube needed to be inflated and the sound was only caused by full pressure in the tube).

The sound can be reproduced by squeezing on the tire right above the tube or by squeezing very hard on the rim where the hairline fracture occurred.

Also, the sound occurs for some reason from a small part of the fractured part of the rim, but the rest of it does not cause a sound.

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Viktor is a new contributor to this site. Take care in asking for clarification, commenting, and answering. Check out our Code of Conduct.
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    That is excellent detective work ! The only downside is that the rim is now a write-off. You may be able to replace the rim only if the new one has the same profile and spoke count, otherwise a whole new wheel might be cheaper.
    – Criggie
    May 14 at 4:57

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