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Truing a wheel with steel rims.....(4 posts)

Truing a wheel with steel rims.....bent_spoke
Jun 29, 2003 3:39 AM
I'd appreciate some help with a wheel project.

I'm trying to true steel rims on an old bike to maintain the integrity of the original as much as possible. In my first attempt the wheel warped. I was wondering if this is because I didn't replace the spokes/nipples or is was this do to over tightening? Where do I go from here? tks
re: Truing a wheel with steel rims.....Spoke Wrench
Jun 29, 2003 4:40 AM
When trueing a wheel there are two objectives:
1. To make the wheel as straight and round as practical.
2. To equalize the spoke tensions as far as is possible.

Generally the way to accomplish both objectives is to work with pairs of opposing spokes tightening one and loosening the other an equal amount. If your rim has been bent, you might be able to adjust the spoke tensions enough to pull it straight, but you will never be able to equalize the spoke tensions and you will never be able to make it a reliable wheel.
Steel rims have nothing to do with itKerry Irons
Jun 29, 2003 4:57 PM
As noted by another poster, it is all about round, true, and even tension. When you say "warped" do you mean it is out of round/true, or that you taco'd the wheel and bent the rim? If the former, I would suggest to detension the wheel and start over by bringing it up to tension in an ordered fashion. If the latter, you might well have overtensionned the wheel. You don't provide very much information. It could be that the rim is bent, in which case it will be impossible to get even spoke tension, though you may still be able to build a rideable wheel. If you have old spokes in this old wheel in this old bike, it's quite possible that several nipples are frozen, and that when you turn them, you're only winding up the spokes, not actually changing tension. It's good to learn wheel truing/building on old wheels - just go about it in a methodical, common sense way: 1) correct any deflection with at least two, and preferably 4 spokes at a time, 2) when correcting for true, both tighten and loosen to keep overall tension even, 3) alternate between getting things round and getting them true, 4) stress relieve often, 5) adjust in 1/4 turn increments, 6) bring the whole wheel tension up by going all the way round in 1/4 turn increments. If you don't understand what's being said here, you need to get a book and study it hard or find someone to teach you.
Additional info...bent_spoke
Jun 29, 2003 6:28 PM
I think what you said about the spokes unwinding is probably what happened & cause the wheel to go out of true in a big way. This is what the guy at the LBS said with my 1st wheel. I lubed the second one but with the same result, but less drastic. I was using a Parks tensionimeter & was using the mid-range value for the spokes that I have. I relaxed the tension on the 1st wheel, with major wave & it still looks pretty bad. It may be done. At this point, it looks like I should definitely try again with new spokes/nipples & apply less overall tension. Any other thoughts? tks