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Wheel build followup (or "Should I be leery of my LBS.....")(10 posts)

Wheel build followup (or "Should I be leery of my LBS.....")Kurt H
Jun 27, 2002 11:26 AM
I posted a message the other day on the regular board asking for advice about whether i should have the rear wheel on my commuter completely rebuilt after having spoke breakage problems. End decision: I had the wheel completely rebuilt. It's a CODA (yeah, I know..) Expert hub, laced 36 spokes 3-cross to a Mavic T-519 rim. I took possession of the wheel two weeks ago today. I rode in all of last week (I think) and so far this week. I noticed last night while threading my cable lock through the wheel at the gym that one of the spokes was loose enough that it rattled around in the eyelet. It was loose enough that I snugged it down BY HAND to keep it from rattling.

My question: Is this a bad sign about the build? The shop I took it to is generally regarded as one of, if not the, best in town. I don't have enough experience to know if this is a normal thing for a newly built wheel. My guess is no, if it was properly tensioned to start with. The good news is that even with one very loose spoke, the rim is dead true when I use the brake blocks to sight along. Anyone with more experience wanna drop an opinion or thought here? BTW, the wheel is going back to the shop either this afternoon or tomorrow for them to take care of. I will give them that, I just wanna know if I should be leery of trusting them with my stuff in the future based on this experience.
TIA,
Kurt H.
Spoke prep might have been missed on that spoke.Quack
Jun 27, 2002 11:36 AM
I'm not familiar with a Coda hub design but have never had much luck having non-drive spokes stay put on wheels with a lot of dish. The closer the non-drive flange is to center, the higher the tension and the greater the chance that the spokes will stay where they are. I always apply spoke prep or low-strength threadlocker to all non-drive side spokes to prevent them from losing tension. I think if you request that the LBS put spoke compound on the non-drive spokes, you should be set.

Good luck!
re: Wheel build followup (or "Should I be leery of my LBS.....")curlybike
Jun 27, 2002 11:52 AM
If the wheel is dead true with a slack spoke, then I suspect that the spoke was way too loose to begin with. The drive side spokes are likely too loose which makes the non drive way too loose. Go around the wheel and pluck the spokes one side at a time and compare each spokes sound to the next one on that side. if there is much variation in the pitch, the tension is uneven. The sound on the drive side should be a fairly high freq. The non drive will be lower, but should be equal spoke to spoke. You can check them out before you take the wheel out of the shop. They can add a locking agent but that is only good if the wheel is tensioned properly. I have no musical skills whatever but I can notice even minor differences in tension by ear, i verified it by a tensiometer which is my major tool. I can't remember all the different tones as I go around the wheel and the tensiometer needs no memory.
This sounds very unusual.Chen2
Jun 27, 2002 2:13 PM
It's hard for me to understand how a wheel can be "dead true" with one loose spoke. I'm wondering if the rim had a flat spot on it and one or more spokes were left loose, with the builder hoping it would round itself out. In any event, the shop should be able to fix the problem. I would suggest that you ask the shop to check for radial true as well as lateral true.
~Al
This sounds very unusual.Spoke Wrench
Jun 28, 2002 5:31 AM
The first time I road my Klein with Vector Comps the same thing happened to me. I found one or two spokes that were so loose I could turn the nipples with my fingers. I checked every spoke with my tensionmeter, retrued the wheels (didn't take much) and havn't touched them since.

I kind'a think you'll be OK, but after the next few rides I'd squeeze pairs of parallel spokes to check the tension just to be sure.
You never know what you're going to getB2
Jun 27, 2002 3:07 PM
Based on my experience, I would be a bit leary.

I just picked up a newly rebuilt wheel last week from my LBS. Went to put it on the frame and it wouldn't fit??? I checked the dish and it was out 3/4"+.

Took it back to the shop and they agreed that the dish wasn't even close. The guy started to work on it and then said #%#^^%@%... we're going to have to rebuild it again "the guy who built it put the drive side spokes on the non-drive side and visa versa". When I commented that the dish should have been checked, the response was that the guy who built the wheel was new to wheel building. AAARRRRRGH!

The rebuild of the rebuild seems to have even tension throughout and the dish is correct. I've ridden about 50 miles on it and so far so good. The problem is that there's really only one or two other bike shops in town and this one probably has the best reputation. Maybe I should have sent it to Colorado Cyclist??

Bryan
You never know what you're going to getSnowBlind
Jun 28, 2002 12:40 PM
ya know, I am so lucky. When I bring my bike into the shop, only two guys are even allowed to work on it, and a few are'nt even allowed to touch it. (one is his nephew, 'nuf said)
The funny thing is, I have not ONCE said anything to them, or complained about the workmanship/attitude of any of the employees. He just knows that someone who has a $2000-$5000 bike does not want anything less than a master mechanic to work on it. He even has a seperate storage area for high end bikes. He lets the newbee's cut their teeth on the BMX and crusiers that come in the shop.
It is nice to have a LBS that caters to the clientel effectively. They treat everyone the same, even working on the hard luck, and even homeless, guys bikes without question.
That was not a hand-built wheel!Alexx
Jun 30, 2002 5:41 AM
If the wheel was dead-true with one spoke completely slack, then there is no question-the wheel was built by a machine, and that machine was not connected to one of the spoke nipples! Even an idiot building a wheel couldn't miss the same spoke every time he trued or stress-relived the spokes! No, more likely that some wheel machine operator in China broke one of the nipple-screws on the machine, but kept on building wheels, in order to meet the commune's productivity requirements.
If they told you is was hand built, they were lying to you.
Re:That was not a hand-built wheel!Kurt H
Jun 30, 2002 8:23 PM
Alexx, take a look back at my original post. The wheel was originally a machine built POS direct from Cannondale. I wasn't especially surprised by its initial quality. However, I did have it rebuilt by my LBS. That's where the hand-built part comes in. I didn't notice the spoke was loose until threading my lock through the wheel after commuting on it for a week or two. Could it have been that loose initially? I doubt it. My real question was if it was possible for a spoke to come loose like that shortly after the fresh build if the build was done correctly. Oh, and it was definitely rebuilt while they had it (not just a couple of spokes replaced to make it look like they had rebuilt it), they used a different color of nipple on the spokes.
A spoke might come loose if you've already put a big flat spotBarnyard
Jun 30, 2002 4:00 PM
in the rim, but if this is not the case, someone did a shitty job building the wheel.