Horrible noise in small gears - 12 speed SRAM

I’m at a bit of a loss here. Bike is an SL7 with Force groupset.

I have three different cassettes - Rival 10-36 on my trainer, Force 10-33 on training wheels, Red 10-33 on my nice wheels.

All of them make a notchy grinding noise in the lowest four gears. Definitely worse on the trainer, but I don’t know if that’s the cassette or the extra load.

Out on the road you can feel it more than you can hear it.

I’ve adjusted B-screw to sram recommended with the sram tool

I’ve checked hanger with alignment tool

I’ve replaced the hanger

I’ve tried microadjust across it’s full range - to the point it starts shifting at either end.

I’ve replaced the chain.

I’ve checked it’s not rubbing on the front mech cage.

Happens in small and big ring equally.

Nothing seems to improve it. I’m totally baffled and unsure what to try from here.

I don’t have a local bike shop since they closed down. I’m trying to find a shop further afield but asking here as a last resort before I give up my bike for a few days.

Any ideas? It’s gotten to the point where I’ve started pricing up an Ultegra groupset :see_no_evil::rofl:

Video: Noisy sram - YouTube

Is your cassette all the way on? Sometimes XD cassettes feel tight before they’re all the way on causing the chain to rub the hanger or frame.

Edit: nevermind that’s probably not your issue.

Well lubed chain? New waxed chains and knc chains can be noisy early in. It’s a head scratcher for sure.

Have you checked the limit screw? Could it be wound in too tightly and thus not allowing the mech to move outboard enough?

Sounds the same as mine and I have seen a few other clips with the same problem, never found a solution. On the road everything is quiet

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Does the noise change at all with a change of cassettes? I’ve found some of the Rival and Force cassettes to be louder than the Red cassettes. The Red cassettes have “stealth rings” which help but also show that it’s a common problem that Sram knows about.

What chain are you using? Waxed or lubed?

That’s a very good point. I never used the bike on the trainer for more than a few minutes with another cassette, but I don’t recall the same noise.

That would explain why it can be felt but not heard on the road.

This is with lube, although I’m just about to switch to wax.

Just from sound, that sounds like it’s routed on the wrong side of the tab on the derailer. If it’s not that, it’s a mystery!

Fair warning… It will likely get louder with wax. And if it doesn’t immediately get louder faster than any other chain. This has been my experience with Sram 12 anyway. I still wax though. I just wax my Sram equipped bike far more often than the others.

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Sorry, I don’t have an answer but I feel like I hear/feel a similar noise from my Campagnolo drivetrain. In particular, only when it’s in the 11 tooth cog (the smallest) and it’s more noticeable on the trainer. Since I hardly use the 11 I’ve never really made an effort to sort it out.

My hunch is that it has to do with the wrapping of the chain around the smallest cog in a high force area.

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Yeah, this is what I’m expecting to be honest.

So long as the wax fulfils its promise of drivetrain component longevity, I don’t mind it being a bit noisier.

I avoid those gears and use ERG in the middle gear on the trainer anyway. The noise is fine there

@mikehhhhhhh I think the chain may be rubbing against the FRONT derailleur when in the lowest gears. Were you in the big chain ring when filming the video? The noise also coincides with your pedal stroke. I recommend you check your front derailleur setting, bottom bracket, chain rings, and tightness of your cranks.

This was my first thought, but I can’t see it rubbing.

I think the noise just gets worse with more load but you could be right. I’ll check again with someone else pedalling

Put it in the smallest or second smallest cog and take a pic from the side. I think your chain is too long and it’s rubbing on itself/the upper pulley in those gears.
Is the trainer being used with the right 12mm adapter? Do you have it on 148 instead of 142?
Is the trainer’s freehub body seated all the way in? the cassette may be tilting in the smaller cogs.
Are you using an XD or XDR driver? A spacer behind the cassette?

Is that an Elise?

I’ve had the chain rubbing on the front mech, on the trainer, because of the bike flexing sideways under load. It doesn’t happen outdoors, because the bike leans. I could also not see it when just pedalling by hand, because the frame didn’t flex then.

Normal. This is how it sounds.

I just got a bike with Sram Red AXS, have used both the Force 10-36 and Red 10-33 cassettes with 46/33 up front. No noise at all, silent. Quieter than my Campy 11 and Campy 12 bikes.
I tried to see which chain you are using. Is it a Sram flat top chain?

Yeah it’s a Force flat top

Yeah it’s on 142, no running on it’s self, body all the way in and xdr driver.

No spacer behind the cassette though. I thought that was just for running xd on an xdr body?

And yeah, it’s a S1 race car!