Ask a Tech – Squeaky Rear Derailleur

Q)   I have a question about the rear derailleur on my road bike.  It is an Ultegra 6600 that has a squeak in it as you pedal.  It appears to be the lower pulley wheel.  I have replaced the lower pulley once and it solved the problem for a while – less than a season.   However, the squeak is now back!  Your comments are welcome…   -Allen

A)  Hi Allen,    The dreaded derailleur squeak!  If your derailleur pulleys are squeaking, a light lube such as Tri-flow, Finish Line Teflon or Boeing T9 can do the trick. Simply drip some lube in the center spacer/bushing area and that should quiet it right down. If not, we would disassemble the rear derailleur cage and pull the pulleys off for closer inspection of the bushings in the pulleys. Also check the rear hub. If the rear hub has rubber seals on the exterior of the hub that contact the hub body, they can sometimes squeak.

We have also been offering an upgrade from the basic pulleys found on the Ultegra rear derailleurs to the stainless steel, sealed cartridge bearings made by Hawk Racing or FSA’s ceramic pulleys.   In the case of the Hawk Racing units, the wheels themselves are made of lightweight aluminum for even more durability.   A new set of Ultegra pulleys will run $30 while the Hawk upgrades run at $69 for a set and the FSA ceramics are in the $130 range.   Thank you for the question and go fast.

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