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wheel advise(12 posts)

wheel adviseNoam
Sep 10, 2002 2:53 AM
Today I took a ride on two wheels that came back from the LBS after simple truing. It felt like riding on concrete wheels – very stiff and bouncy. What could the LBS done wrong?

Wheels specs:
Campy Montreal
36 2x front
36 3x rear
Record hubs
Too much tension? Too many spokes? Fat Spokes?Spunout
Sep 10, 2002 3:48 AM
Those look like a bomb-proof setup. Butted spokes will lessen a harsh ride.

A sweet hand-made set of wheels may have lesser tension, and work better. Ask your LBS if they used a tensionometer on the spokes, maybe you could lessen that. Or, go for butted spokes, you have 36s. Looks like a good set of crit wheels to me, wouldn't want to ride them 100k though.

BTW, I use 32h, butted, 3X, Chorus hubs, Open Pros, and find them great over distance. Very low tension in the spokes, yet never rub when hammering.
Too much tension? Too many spokes? Fat Spokes?Noam
Sep 10, 2002 4:42 AM
The spokes are butted. Will too much tension cause them to be so rigid>

nothing wrong...C-40
Sep 10, 2002 4:51 AM
Your wheels were probably under tensioned when they were built. Any wheel that's built with so little spoke tension that it provides a cushioning effect is doomed to early spoke failure. An under-tensioned spoke cannot support the rider's weight as it approaches the 6 0'clock position. If the spoke flexes on each revolution of the wheel it will fail from fatigue pretty quickly.

Your LBS did you a favor and brought the spokes up to proper tension.
Sep 10, 2002 5:37 AM
Very unlikely that the wheels are undertensioned. It's the loose spoke that usually breaks.
More likely overtensioned in my opinionNoam
Sep 10, 2002 5:42 AM
Is ther any rule of thumb for quick test overtensioned vs undetensioned.

re: wheel adviseeddie m
Sep 10, 2002 5:07 AM
Did you check the tire pressure? tire pressure has way more effect on how the wheels than anything else. Don't de-tension the spokes. That will not change the way the wheels feel unless you loosen them so much that you make the wheel unstable, and will probably cause an early failure.
re: wheel adviseNoam
Sep 10, 2002 5:36 AM
Tire pressue is the same as before truing. The spokes will not move at all when pulling two together/
I can squeeze spokes together 1/4" no problem (nm)Spunout
Sep 10, 2002 6:45 AM
maybe too loose...C-40
Sep 10, 2002 8:01 AM
You should educate yourself on proper wheel fabrication. Jobst Brandt's book "The Bicycle Wheel" is a good one. Loose spokes make for a weak wheel with spokes that won't last long.

A tensionometer should be used to insure uniform and adequate tension.
not over-tensioningoff roadie
Sep 10, 2002 8:09 AM
Once tension is higher than needed to prevent the spoke from going slack from compression (in the 6 o'clock poistion), more tension will not increase wheel stiffness. Barring deformation, the elastic response of a spoke to a given change in its load is the same no matter what tension it is under, so how would "to much" tension make a wheel feel any stiffer than normal, healthy tension?

I'm suprised they were not stiff before. Propperly built 36 spoke wheels with strong rims (like yours) will be pretty stiff, unless you have a really high load on them. If you are used to riding them on a loaded touring bike, and are trying them without a load, that could be the answer...

Did you check your tire pressure? If they were checking the tension to make sure it was high enough, they might want to do so with the tube at max pressure because that slackens the spokes slightly.
Overtensioning? No such thing!!!cyclequip
Sep 16, 2002 5:19 AM
Simple rule - tension spokes as tight as you can. You'll know you're getting there cos the nipples start to deform esp with alloy nipples. If the rim can't take it - get a better rim. There is no relation between tension and vertical stiffness in a properly tensioned rim. Loose tension = spoke breakage.