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So I've been riding my Nishiki Manitoba for a bit over 400 miles. I stopped riding consistently when I started to feel resistance and a rough grinding feeling and noise from the front wheel. I have conducted maintenance both in the spring and fall so the bike is nice and clean, brake pads aren't rubbing either tire, chain is clean and lubed but I am hesitant to remove the wheel and risk messing up the brake caliper for no reason.

Ultimately, how likely is it that the front hub needs to be regreased?

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  • I'd suggest open the front wheel bearings and have a look. Its likely there's some grit, and the longer you leave it the more damage it does to the cones and cups. A photo of the open bearing area will help this question.
    – Criggie
    Commented Dec 30, 2022 at 23:04

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My guess is that it's not a grease problem, you probably have grease. Under "normal" riding conditions 400 miles shouldn't require regreasing. It's likely an adjustment or broken bearing problem. Often, bikes come with bearings adjusted too tight.

There aren't too many things that cause grinding and noise in the front wheel.
You have eliminated the rim rubbing on the brake pads.
The tire rubbing on the fork is another possibility.
If you've eliminated the obvious then the hub bearings being too tight or needing repair is the next place to look.
Without taking the wheel off you can see if it spins freely. With the wheel off the ground give it a small spin. A well-adjusted wheel will stop spinning slowly and smoothly and then move a little in the opposite direction.

I get being hesitant to pull the front wheel but it needs to be done.
You get better at what you do, this is good practice.
Taking off the front wheel (or a rear wheel) and putting it back on is part of maintaining a bike.
Let the air out of the tire and the wheel should slide right out.

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    Update The tire doesn't rub on the fork, but I did notice it's got a quick release skewer, I loosened it by one and a quarter turns. It spun much better after that so I took a quick test ride around, about three miles. Feels good as new. Thank you!
    – acekat93
    Commented Dec 29, 2022 at 23:45

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