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Loose spoke and 'ping'(3 posts)

Loose spoke and 'ping'mleptuck
May 21, 2003 6:17 AM
Out on a 50-miler last night, I noticed that when I was out of the saddle (climbing, say) and pedaling fairly hard, I would hear a cyclical 'ping' coming from my rear wheel (Shimano WH-R535 16-spoke). Now, I'm not a little guy (6'2", 208#) and had my doubts about the wheels when I bought the bike, but was assured buy the mechanic at my LBS that they'd hold up.

The bike has been 'laid-down' (I wouldn't call it crashed, both were at < 5mph on loose gravel at intersections) twice, and I've got about 1400 miles on the wheels. The wheels are damn near perfectly true as far as I can see.

I did the 'finger-flick' on each spoke to get a rough idea on individual tensions, and found one spoke which is definitely resonating at a much lower freq. than the others.

Now, finally my question:
Would there be any harm in tightening this renegade spoke (up to pitch with the others)? I do not want to knock the wheel out of true, but a loose spoke in the bunch isn't doing me much good either, I'd think.

Thanks in advance for the help!
You're lucky you didn't hear pingpingpingpingping. . . .retro
May 21, 2003 7:39 AM
You weigh 200+ and you ride a SIXTEEN spoke wheel? You must float like a butterfly--I'm only a little heavier, and I've about given up on anything with fewer than 36, or at least 32. But, sure, I'd tighten the loose one until everything on that side has the same tension. Otherwise you're riding a 15-spoker....
For what it's worth, I tend to be suspicious of claims from 130-pound bike mechanics about what will hold up under a 220-pound rider. They mean well, but a lot of them just don't know.
May 21, 2003 9:24 AM
Well, like I said, I was REALLY apprehensive about 'em too, but he assured me he'd seen a 240+ pound guy crash a set HARD and the wheels stayed true.

And in all honesty, I'd expect a set of wheels to need some adjustment after the first couple of hundred miles. I guess maybe I'm fortunate enough that the couple of hunderd turned into 1400 miles...

I'll give the offending spoke a couple of turns and see how I make out...