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Wheel truing question(5 posts)

Wheel truing questionCaseysdad
Sep 8, 2003 11:21 AM
Well, I took the plunge this weekend and decided to take that minor wobble in my rear wheel into my own hands. Read up on wheel truing and dedicated a few hours in the garage to geting it pretty well dialed in. One question though: Even though the rim is reasonably straight (probably less than 1 mm variance at any point), I realize that there's nothing guaranteeing that all of the spokes on the wheel - or more particularly, the ones that I adjusted - are equally tensioned. Should I be concerned about this? Am I running the risk of doing long-term damage to my wheel if I ride on unequally tensioned spokes, or will the wheel just be more prone to going back out of true?

How can I tell if the spokes are adequately/equally tensioned? I know that there's a tool that measures this, but short of that, are there any good rules of thumb? Plucking the spokes and comparing the tone they produce seems extremely low-tech and I'm not sure I'd trust my judgement using this method.
re: Wheel truing questionChen2
Sep 8, 2003 11:55 AM
Plucking spokes and using the tone is valid except that the spoke crossings usually rattle and, at least for me, make it hard to hear the pitch. With radial laced spokes I don't see anything wrong with using tone.
On the other hand. The new Park tension gauge (tensiometer) works great and is very cost effective. I recommend it highly.
~Al
plucking is prettyfor determing equal tension (for me)off roadie
Sep 8, 2003 6:08 PM
When I bought a tensiometer, I found out that the spokes on wheels I'd prevbiously built or trued / re-tenioned varied by maybe +/- 15 kgs, with an average tension over 110 kgs.

The tensiometer is a lot quicker than plucking spokes, and gives me a numeric label for the tension. That's very nice when building wheels, and lets me get more anal when truing, but my overall precision tension equality increased only by maybe +/- 5 kgs. I wouldn't recomnd it as "worth the money" for somebody who has one or two sets of road wheels to work on, unless a $50 toy is the kind of thing that you might normally buy anyhow.
Second Chen's Tensiometer thought... very useful nmtorquecal
Sep 8, 2003 4:08 PM
Are you tone deaf?Kerry Irons
Sep 8, 2003 4:26 PM
Otherwise, it's very easy to compare spoke tensions around the wheel by just "tonking" each spoke with anything metal. I find that my spoke wrench works well, as does the blade of a screwdriver. It's very easy to hear if things are out of whack. There will be some variation, but should not be a "ping, ping, ping, pooong" effect. Use a known good wheel (perhaps your front) to get a feel for the acceptable range of variation. Just don't try to get one wheel to the same pitch as another. Spoke gauge, length, and cross patterns will make wheel-to-wheel comparisons meaningless.