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nomad

Squeeking wheel after going into deep water

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So I was going to work as usual, it's totally dark at 0630 in the morning and the street lighting was not that good. The headlight on the V5F+ is almost only good for being seen, not really for lighting up the way so much. I was coming from the other side so I didn't see the barrier in the photo below.. I took the photo on my way home from work yesterday when there was some daylight. Coming from the other way I just saw there was a lot of water ahead, I thought it wasn't so deep but well, I keep going into it and it gets deeper pretty quickly to the point where the pedals submerge and a wave of water washes all over my shoes! With the high pedals and the small 14" wheel I think this depth of water could very likely have been up to the wheel/motor axle! I stopped, jumped off into the water at least 15cm deep and lifted the wheel out. Wading back to dry land and continue my journey..

I didn't notice anything strange until I get to work and use the trolley. The wheel feels lighter to push than usual, maybe like when it was new without being full of dirt..  Well good I thought, some dirt was washed out! I put the wheel in the locker, put the soaked shoes and socks on drying and put on dry ones. So, after work when going home I notice this bird chirping noise, after a while I realise it's coming from the wheel.. It sounds kind of like an old bicycle that needs oiling! I passed a guy on a bicycle and he started laughing out load when I passed, he must have thought it was a bike by the noise from behind. I clearly heard "HAHAHAHA..... what the hell?"

I don't think it's a capacitor noise or some coil whine from the control board, it seems too loud for that. Also it's not the type of noise coming from the wheel when like usual when stationary. Anyway after a while I try to wiggle the wheel and it seems that makes a little more noise, when going perfectly straight it's mostly silent. Bumps seem to affect it sometimes not always..

At first I thought it might be a pedal arm scraping against the motor housing! But then I noticed this intermittent noise also when using the trolley so I don't think it's a bent or loose pedal arm.. Maybe the water washed away a lot of dirt but some piece of sand or something got stuck somewhere? I took the wheel to work today also and it still makes the noise so I'll take it apart and inspect it in the weekend. Also it's much quieter in the early morning so I now heard the motor making a constant very soft growling noise I haven't noticed before, maybe it's normal I'm not sure! It's very quiet so could probably not be heard going home in the afternoon with traffic etc.. I'll try to ride it backwards home from work today and see if that might help in any way...

Most of the incidents I've had was definitely due to poor visibility in the dark. I've come to realize this is a very important part of safety. I'm going to order an Olight X7 flashlight. Especially it's very dark here in Sweden during the winter months!

IMG_20170112_160944313_HDR-min.jpg

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Perhaps some very small sands with the water got into the Motor housing and squirrls now between magnet and coils?

Hmmm, Keep us updated...

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Try picking it up and letting it spin to maximum speed a couple times, maybe it will throw out the sand.

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I'd be wary of submerging the V5F+ past the pedal height, as that is approaching where the control board sits and where the gyro / motor clips attach to the board. While the board is coated to be water-resistant, the clips are not shielded, and the whole control board plastic encasing will not prevent water submersion penetration.

Also, I believe you would be subjecting any exposed motor & control board wiring metal elements to eventual water corrosion / rust.

Hopefully, the noise is only mechanical, but if I were you, I'd open it up and have a look.

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After going through deep water yesterday the wheel now has this squeeking noise... I tried bouncing the wheel against the ground and free spinning it out both directions in different angles to see if something stuck could be loosened.. Also rode it backwards for a while, but problem remains :( Can't see anything looking into the shell from the outside, I now see the shell is actually more spacious than I thought. There's at least half a centimeter clearence all around and I can see there's nothing around the axle or anything touching the motor housing. Except I see there's some hair stuck in the axle, I don't know if that could make this type of noise though.. I need to open it all up and inspect it closer. I'm not sure if this is the normal sound of the bearings aging, but it did not sound like this before. And of course this squeeking noise is definitely new. Maybe it's just worn and now also rusted, I'll put in some oil when I take it apart!

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5 hours ago, nomad said:

After going through deep water yesterday the wheel now has this squeeking noise... I tried bouncing the wheel against the ground and free spinning it out both directions in different angles to see if something stuck could be loosened.. Also rode it backwards for a while, but problem remains :( Can't see anything looking into the shell from the outside, I now see the shell is actually more spacious than I thought. There's at least half a centimeter clearence all around and I can see there's nothing around the axle or anything touching the motor housing. Except I see there's some hair stuck in the axle, I don't know if that could make this type of noise though.. I need to open it all up and inspect it closer. I'm not sure if this is the normal sound of the bearings aging, but it did not sound like this before. And of course this squeeking noise is definitely new. Maybe it's just worn and now also rusted, I'll put in some oil when I take it apart!

@nomad great demonstration of the problem.  The first time you picked it up I didn't hear any squeak, but every other time it got a little louder.  That is strange that it would make that noise.  But in the video it does not seem bad.  How many kilometers does the wheel have?  

It kind of sounds like a mouse is inside, you should open the wheel and look around, maybe something is stuck where it can't be seen, it sounds like the sound that rubber makes when rubbing against something.  Before taking it apart, maybe spray some silicone oil on the axle shaft if that is possible, silicone won't hurt rubber and might stop the noise.

Maybe the water washed away some lubrication and hopefully it is a minor problem, but to my ears it does not sound so bad, the motor spins up strongly and smoothly.

Hair stuck in the axle could make that noise maybe, how did it get stuck in the axle?  Maybe it is nylon thread or something, like from floor covering. 

I don't think the bearings ever wear out on these things.

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After watching a few more times, the wheel seems a little out of balance, not as smooth as I thought before but not bad at all.

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Of course I had to try the lift test with my Ninebot , it behaves differently.  First, it sounds like it spins faster, second, it tilts forward twice while holding it in the air, a little bit the first tilt, a little more the second tilt, then shuts off.  I wish I had the skills to video and post that:(

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Put some oil/lube on it, quickly.  Water and spinning metal doesn't mix.  What were you thinking when you decided to ride through the water?

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On 14 January 2017 at 1:07 AM, Wagtenor said:

Put some oil/lube on it, quickly.  Water and spinning metal doesn't mix.  What were you thinking when you decided to ride through the water?

It was dark, and his light was weak, and the street lighting is not good, and the barricade in the picture is not on the side he approached from, and it's his regular commute. Other than that yeah, what WAS he thinking! ?

Edited by Smoother

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If grit got in bearings, they are ruin, need to replace...But it looks like it's working out...

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On 01/13/2017 at 1:56 PM, KingSong69 said:

Perhaps some very small sands with the water got into the Motor housing and squirrls now between magnet and coils?

Hmmm, Keep us updated...

But if water got all the way into the coils and magnets wouldn't it be shorted? At least act strange or not being rideable, I didn't notice any difference in how it feels to ride. Anyway it seems ok except the noise.

 

On 01/13/2017 at 2:59 PM, steve454 said:

Try picking it up and letting it spin to maximum speed a couple times, maybe it will throw out the sand.

I tried this and also bouncing the wheel against the ground. Also letting it just fall to the sides on the ground can shake out a lot of dirt, once it tipped over in the supermarket and left a big pile of sand on the floor lol.

 

On 01/13/2017 at 6:20 PM, houseofjob said:

I'd be wary of submerging the V5F+ past the pedal height, as that is approaching where the control board sits and where the gyro / motor clips attach to the board. While the board is coated to be water-resistant, the clips are not shielded, and the whole control board plastic encasing will not prevent water submersion penetration.

Also, I believe you would be subjecting any exposed motor & control board wiring metal elements to eventual water corrosion / rust.

Hopefully, the noise is only mechanical, but if I were you, I'd open it up and have a look.

Very true, I know how it looks inside as I've dissassembled it before when I changed the tire. Normally I don't ride through water at all if it can be easily avoided, but I use it for commuting so it goes through some shallow water now and then on my way, usually the puddles are a couple of centimeters deep at most. I'm just somewhat worried when I get caught in the rain.

 

On 01/14/2017 at 1:00 AM, steve454 said:

@nomad great demonstration of the problem.  The first time you picked it up I didn't hear any squeak, but every other time it got a little louder.  That is strange that it would make that noise.  But in the video it does not seem bad.  How many kilometers does the wheel have?  

It kind of sounds like a mouse is inside, you should open the wheel and look around, maybe something is stuck where it can't be seen, it sounds like the sound that rubber makes when rubbing against something.  Before taking it apart, maybe spray some silicone oil on the axle shaft if that is possible, silicone won't hurt rubber and might stop the noise.

Maybe the water washed away some lubrication and hopefully it is a minor problem, but to my ears it does not sound so bad, the motor spins up strongly and smoothly.

Hair stuck in the axle could make that noise maybe, how did it get stuck in the axle?  Maybe it is nylon thread or something, like from floor covering. 

I don't think the bearings ever wear out on these things.

The first spin I just let it hang vertically, then I held it angled to the sides. On the last spin I held it up closer to the microphone to make it louder. As there is more squeeking when it's angled I think this shows it's the bearings, not the motor or control board. The wheel has 3359 km mileage. Since it does roll noticeably easier with the trolley handle now than before, it washed away dirt stuck in there for sure. Some dirt must have been stuck to the lubrication, maybe when the dirt washed out some lubrication went with it. I don't know how or when the hair or nylon thread got stuck in the axle. But I can say that most times when there was a chunk of mud stuck to the mudflap there was also slimey hair hanging from it.. I don't know if it's directly from outside or from trolleying over door rugs into work or into shops, probably the entrance carpets? I think the bearings can wear out if they are a the type of ball bearings used for inlines or skateboards.. You can definitely hear how those sound after a while. When they're new they're totally silent and if you spin the wheels by hand they stop pretty quickly. After a while they make a lot of noise and can keep spinning freely a pretty long time. However those are very small diameter wheels making many more revolutions than bigger wheels do for the same distance traveled.. I don't know exactly what type of bearings are used on EUCs but there's a lot of pressure on it as all the weight is on a single bearing. But it should last a long time anyway more like a bicycle perhaps...

 

On 01/14/2017 at 1:08 AM, steve454 said:

After watching a few more times, the wheel seems a little out of balance, not as smooth as I thought before but not bad at all.

It may be slightly out of balance still, as I changed the tire just a couple of months ago. Right after I changed it was definitely not even, the wheel was shaking all the time. I even got wobbling in the beginning and that's after 2500km on this wheel so it was not newbie wobbles! I guess it takes a while to even out a new tire and this has extra hard rubber. It's good now already but still not perfect, in a month or so it should be perfectly round I think. This maybe also explains the mystery of why everyone experience wobbles in the beginning! I got some wobbles on the Msuper v3 as well, but after some 100km it usually stops happening.

 

18 hours ago, MetricUSA said:

If grit got in bearings, they are ruin, need to replace...But it looks like it's working out...

I hope not, it still sounds smooth just a lot louder but not scratchy.

 

Thanks for all the replies, I'll let you know how it goes!

 

Oh, and the latest crash I had a few weeks ago I can blame on bad visibility also. It really looked like just flat tiles on the ground so I tried to just cruise over it.. I was going at full speed as usual with this line on the left next to me. Then when I tried to change lanes over this 'line', the shell hit the curb lol, it seems it was not tiles flush with the ground after all.. It was a 1dm high square corner curb! I managed to run off, the wheel deflected against this 'wall', the left front blue light was broken. after this. Today I ordered a Convoy L6 (5000K) flashlight from GearBest, plus a couple of KeepPower 5200mAh (protected) batteries and a Nitecore i2 (2014) charger from Illumn. When I first got the wheel in July it was almost never dark here so I didn't need any light. But in the winter months it's definitely needed, I should have gotten a proper light months ago already to be honest.

Edited by nomad

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@nomad after some heavy rain last fall I underestimated the depth of the puddle on the fine gravel path, which resulted in submerging the wheel up to my ankles and later in similar issues like yours (occasional squeaking noise and feeling that the wheel does not turn as smoothly as it should). Solution was quite simple - I've opened it, cleaned the dirt and sand, and then sprayed some WD40 around the axle on both sides of the wheel - it spins like new ever since. 

That Convoy L6 looks like powerful, but also sizable and heavy flashlight, how do you plan to mount that on the wheel or helmet (especially with external battery)?

I am using Lezyne front and rear light (Micro Drive 800XL and Strip Drive Pro). It's small but powerful, has various light modes and integrated usb rechargeable battery that lasts for hours if you are not using the very brightest mode. You can even use the handle in open position without any problems. I've got the set for 70 EUR on Amazon sale.

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Image00007.jpg Image00004.jpg

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@xebeche So I'm not the first with this problem, great to know some cleaning and WD40 solved it for you, thanks for the tip!

Great looking V5F+ you have, discreet bumper strips, sleek functional lights and I assume that is the Chao Yang H-5167 tire from your excellent tire testing thread. Whole thing has a professional look, nice job! That Lezyne Macro Drive 800XL looks great for mounting on the handle like that and even rechargeable without removing it if you want. Mounted higher up than the integrated headlight it's much better shining down from that position too.


My plan is to simply hold the flashlight in my hand. I guess it could be mounted on top of the handle too somehow but it probably won't look as sleek due to the shape and size.. As the batteries also need to be removed for charging the Convoy L6, it would need a mount so it can easily be clipped on and off, or maybe some velcro.. However holding it in the hand should still give some better illumination than mounted lower down on the wheel. I also suspect the L6 might just be too powerful to mount on the wheel, I'll see when I get it, but I think going in the bicycle lane with a beam over 3000 lumens probably dazzles oncoming cyclist! I much prefer the warmer white (5000K) tint, not the biggest fan of cool white (bluish) lights.. Holding the torch I can easily point it down and adjust the angle so not to blind people. My regular commutes are not that long so I don't think holding it will be any real problem, I can switch hands if it gets heavy. So that's my thinking but I've never really used a flashlight regularly before, we'll see how it works out!

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2 hours ago, nomad said:

@xebeche So I'm not the first with this problem, great to know some cleaning and WD40 solved it for you, thanks for the tip!

I used small paint brush and vacuum cleaner to remove fine dirt around the axle and to avoid pushing small particles inside the bearing. Then WD40 spray (with that small "straw" extension) when it looked clean enough and wiped remaining fluid to avoid dust / dirt buildup.

2 hours ago, nomad said:

Great looking V5F+ you have, discreet bumper strips, sleek functional lights and I assume that is the Chao Yang H-5167 tire from your excellent tire testing thread. Whole thing has a professional look, nice job! That Lezyne Macro Drive 800XL looks great for mounting on the handle like that and even rechargeable without removing it if you want. Mounted higher up than the integrated headlight it's much better shining down from that position too.

Thanks :) , but trust me there is nothing professional about it, current look is just a product of finding appropriate ways to patch various scratches and protect the wheel from further damage as much as possible. I choose that Lezyne light set because it looked like it would be possible to mount them on the handle - turned out better then expected. Higher mounted headlight certainly helps to get better light angle and spread, and the beam itself is really strong and bright on 400 lumen setting. Reflector and lens on the headlight is made in such way that it does not blind incoming vehicles, it focuses most of the light slightly downwards.

2 hours ago, nomad said:

My plan is to simply hold the flashlight in my hand. I guess it could be mounted on top of the handle too somehow but it probably won't look as sleek due to the shape and size.. As the batteries also need to be removed for charging the Convoy L6, it would need a mount so it can easily be clipped on and off, or maybe some velcro.. However holding it in the hand should still give some better illumination than mounted lower down on the wheel. I also suspect the L6 might just be too powerful to mount on the wheel, I'll see when I get it, but I think going in the bicycle lane with a beam over 3000 lumens probably dazzles oncoming cyclist! I much prefer the warmer white (5000K) tint, not the biggest fan of cool white (bluish) lights.. Holding the torch I can easily point it down and adjust the angle so not to blind people. My regular commutes are not that long so I don't think holding it will be any real problem, I can switch hands if it gets heavy. So that's my thinking but I've never really used a flashlight regularly before, we'll see how it works out!

I hope that works out for you. Would be little bit worried to have unexpected fall with something in the hands. Also take that specified 3000 lumens with the grain of salt :), but it will certainly be way more better and brighter than the light on V5. Let us know how it turned out when you receive the equipment.

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34 minutes ago, Paddylaz said:

Oh man.....every time I see a black v5f+ I get jealous. Beautiful.

?

Since you already have white v5f+, all you have to do is order external shells and pedals in black color from @Jason McNeil and change your v5 to black version in 15 minutes :) 

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14 minutes ago, xebeche said:

Since you already have white v5f+, all you have to do is order external shells and pedals in black color from @Jason McNeil and change your v5 to black version in 15 minutes :) 

Oh yeah...........Could be a plan but disassembling my wheel scares the bejesus out of me.

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12 minutes ago, Paddylaz said:

Oh yeah...........Could be a plan but disassembling my wheel scares the bejesus out of me.

Pedals are super easy, removing external shell could be little bit tricky especially the first time, but then again the worst thing that can happen is that you brake one of the plastic clips on the outer shell - which is not so important if you want to remove white shells anyway. You don't have to deal with any cables or electric parts. This video will help: 

 

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18 hours ago, xebeche said:

worst thing that can happen is that you brake one of the plastic clips on the outer shell - which is not so important if you want to remove white shells anyway.

At least one of the center clips nearly always breaks off for me (there's three per side). The clips aren't all that important, since they're also secured by screws at the top and bottom of the panel as well. For me the annoying thing is it goes against the principle that stuff shouldn't break during routine repair work...

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4 hours ago, Jason McNeil said:

At least one of the center clips nearly always breaks off for me (there's three per side). The clips aren't all that important, since they're also secured by screws at the top and bottom of the panel as well. For me the annoying thing is it goes against the principle that stuff shouldn't break during routine repair work...

That is interesting. I had no problems with the center clips, but I managed to brake the top clip on both sides. It seemed like they were squeezed too tightly between the inner shell and battery and I couldn't get them released no matter how carefully and patiently I tried. But as you said, it's good that they don't matter so much since there are enough screws to hold that thin and light outer shell in place.

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Hmm really? I remember getting the shell off got ridiculously difficult and pretty frustrating, so much force needed I thought it would almost brake in half or something! Those outer shells are definitely stubborn, but I guess losing a clip or two makes it easier the next time! But indeed one of the clips broke for me too when I opened it for changing the tire before. The rest was much easier to do, many screws but not hard to understand. I don't remember which clip was broken off but maybe it was at the front left side.. If so that might explain why my shell got a small crack and there's a little mm gap against the bottom of the middle part under the headlight. It doesn't hold together completely flush in that place (after my curb crash in the dark...) Then again that's where the main blow was and it hit hard so I'm not surprised about that, clip missing or not!

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I didn't have time this weekend to take the wheel apart so today I went to a store they had WD40 (and the european equivalent CRC 5-56). They also had white lithium grease. All were standard spray can versions with those thin straws for applicating it (that can be attached to the lid when not used). So I googled to see which one of these would be best to use.. Firstly it seems anything spray based is not recommended on bearings. Secondly it seems WD40 is not good at all as a bearing lubricant. And some types of lithium grease can cause chemical problems if mixed with some other types of lubricants, so you should either clean out the original lubricant completely first, or make sure it's compatible with whatever was used in the first place. The more I read the more complicated it got... So I left without buying anything and my wheel will be waiting until I can find out what I want to use on it.. I have not ridden since friday.

It seems logical that for a bearing that is made for spinning, the choice of lubrication is more critical than for example on a door hinge. WD40 is also a solvent that cleans dirt not just an easy fast (temporary it seems) lubricant. It might be a good quick fix for stuff moved once in a while, but it also cleans and dries out lubricants! So in fact it's not a long term lubricant at all, if you use it be prepared to use it many times.. For big vertical bearings like on a wheel, with relatively low rotation speed, that has load/pressure on it and shocks/vibrations, many starts/stops etc. probably a thicker solution should be used, than for example in a small high speed computer fan.

I didn't educate myself for hours with this but from what I found at least it looks like it might be a bad idea to spray EUC bearings with WD40 or CRC 5-56. Now I don't even know if I need lubricant just for around the shaft or if that also seeps inside the bearings, if that makes the choice less important. For example there are shielded bearings and sealed bearings.. I don't know what type is used and am no expert on this stuff. But, I think going into the water it's probable the wheel axle went submerging for a moment or two, while it was still spinning I might add. I don't find it strange if that could wash out lubricant! Submerging the shaft in any way is probably too much to ask from the electrical motor, considering how EUCs are usually designed so far when it comes to water ingress... I'm just happy it seems to have survived with no other effects than noisy bearings.

I think a safe bet with less risk of making anything worse long term, would be some standard oil (not grease) with suitable properties for applying to bearings. Although if this didn't happen it would probably be maintenance free. Otherwise, maybe it's possible to get an answer straight from Inmotion on what type of lubricant should be used, what they use for their wheels? Maybe all current EUCs have the same?

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I agree that WD40 is not for bearings. On the other hand, if you would already have water in the bearings it would probably still be an improvement from there. My hunch is that the noise is not from the bearings themselves, but from two parts which rotate against each other with only small forces involved. In this case WD40 would probably be fine, but I wouldn't force it into any bearings, at least for the first try.

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1 hour ago, nomad said:

I didn't educate myself for hours with this but from what I found at least it looks like it might be a bad idea to spray EUC bearings with WD40 or CRC 5-56.

I only had WD40 and silicone oil at hand when I was cleaning the wheel. Since I always used WD40 to lubricate and protect bearings on my bicycle (not the chain!), it seemed more appropriate to use - but this was only my uneducated guess. I sprayed shortly two times directly onto the bearing on each side. As @Mono mentioned in the post above, if you already have water and potentially even dirt in your bearing, I honestly doubt that WD40 can hurt? Due to cold weather I only had a chance to ride about 200km after that cleaning / lubricating, and everything seemed more than OK. @Jason McNeil could you please share with us what type of lubricant are you using when servicing the wheels?

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