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Wheel truing tools(7 posts)

Wheel truing toolssteveF
Jun 13, 2001 6:24 PM
I live 2 hours from the nearest bike shop so need to learn to true wheels out of necessity. I plan to start on old wheels until I feel ready to true my most critical wheelset (Record hubs, Open Pro rims, DT Revolution spokes). I plan to get a Park TS-2 truing stand. Do I need other tools such as a tilting base, 1554-1 centering gauge, or dishing tool? Would I be wise to use a tensionometer? Any special tricks to truing with Revolution spokes? Thank you!
re: Wheel truing toolsJohnG
Jun 13, 2001 10:41 PM
If you are referring to the cheaper Park stand it is a total POS. I think my Minoura is fine for building wheels.

I built my first set of wheels with Campy hubs, Airoheads, and Revo spokes. They are still perfectly true after about 1K miles.

A tensiometer is NOT needed! The only trick with the Revos is to be careful about spoke windup. I didn't do it but some folks recommend putting a dab of paint on them so you can see the spoke twist. Oh, if you "relieve" the wheel as you build it you probably won't have to re-true the wheel after you ride it. Many recommend using 14-15 on the rear drive side if you weigh more than 175# or are real powerful.

All that being said, I probably won't build another set of wheels. Unless you really enjoy this sort of stuff it's way cheaper to pay someone to do it for you.
good luck.... JohnG
Tool ideasCalvin Jones-Park Tool
Jun 14, 2001 7:20 AM
You have a good start on tool ideas. I would recommend a dishing tool over the 1554-1 gauge. The gauge will help the TS-2, but for accurate work the TS-2 should be used with a dishing tool. If you do not intend to bolt down the stand or mount it in a vise, I would recommend the tilting base.

I would also recommned a tensiometer. The Wheelsmith is the most affordable. Knowing the feel of spokes is imporatant, and even plucking can be useful to know relative tension between spokes. However, nothing can replace knowing the abslolute tension, if for nothing else but to communicate with other mechanics, rim and spoke manufacturers, and with others on the net about tension issue. The fact that people "get away without one" should not deter you from getting one.

See our tech page at
re: Wheel truing toolsgrz mnky
Jun 14, 2001 12:43 PM
I'd suggest the Park Professional truing stand with the tilting base. The base is pretty sweet for easing neck contortions, and it also has a handy-dandy try for storing spoke wrenches, nipples, etc. You can get it later, but I'd just do it. It makes mounting and removing the truing stand easier.

The dishing tool is a must.

Obviously spoke wrenches are a must - don't get the POS one tool for all - get the Park units - you will be glad you did.

Nipple driver is optional and only comes into play if you are building.

Get the books: Brandt and also a new one called the Art of Wheel Building. The DT/UBI manual is really nice.

A tension gauge is nice, but not required. I've heard mixed reviews of the Wheelsmith unit - lack of precision and accuracy, plus the numbers yielded don't relate to any other reference system. The unit made by DT would be a total luxury at $300+

Spoke prep from Wheelsmith or DT is nice.

Linseed oil for the spoke threads.
Dishing tool???Don in OKC
Jun 14, 2001 4:47 PM
Hello grz mky:

Once I got my truing stand 'dialed in'. I now true the wheel, take it out, flop it over to double check the dish, and it's done.

Seriously,is there some advantage to the dishing tool I'm missing?

Don in OKC
Sort Ofgrz mnky
Jun 15, 2001 11:15 AM
I agree that a properly setup quality truing stand pretty much removes the need for a dishing tool. However, if your stand isn't all square and dialed in you have a problem. The park instructions with the Professional stand advise one to use a true and correctly dished wheel to center and setup the stand. They now make a special jig for this purpose, but at $44 it's expensive for something that has only one use. A dishing gauge is cheaper and you can quickly check wheels and verify your work.

Reversing the wheel in the stand will get you there, but it's time consuming and can be a bit confusing. I guess the dishing gauge comes under the heading of another independant source of information. For that matter some would argue that both a dishing gaue and a truing stand aren't really required as long as you have a bike available. I've built a wheel this way but it's not as convienient.
Don't forget the bible...Jofa
Jun 15, 2001 10:20 AM
'The Bicycle Wheel', by Jobst Brandt.