How do you tighten your spokes?

The spokes on my uni are really loose haha, and I know it is bad so I am not going to ride it until I get them tightened I know you can take them to a bike shop, but can you do it yourself?

-also I have a Torker DX if that would make a difference, which it shouldn’t

You need a spoke wrench, you can buy one at any bike shop.

To tighten the spoke turn the wrench clockwise (if the spoke you are tightening is pointing towards you). Do this a little bit at a time going around the rim to keep tension even. If the rim is a bit too far to right tighten the spokes on the left and vice versa. Try to get an even tension on all the spokes. When you are doing your final tightening turn the wrench a bit past what you think would be right then back it off by that little bit again. This will prevent your spokes from being twisted when you are finished. You can check spoke tightness by plucking or hitting each spoke and listen to the pitch of the spoke; the higher the pitch, the tighter the spoke.

The first few times you do it it will probably be frustrating and take forever to get right but it gets easier with practice.

yah with a spoke spanner.

Make sure you think about what you are doing before you jump in tightening spokes just like that.

maybe some of the people on this website should buy skateboards as some of the questions i read are ridiculous… go to the bike shop and ask them.

how often should you tighten your spokes, i do like every 3 weeks?


If you’re having to tighten your spokes every 3 weeks, you might want to bring your uni to the LBS. Unicycles don’t require that much maintenance.

And, @uniska,
BE CAREFUL when you’re tightening your spokes. I tried fixing my bent 28" rim by myself, made it worse, and when I finally brought it to the shop I was told that it was beyond repair :o

they say that because of the way that they fix it. if you loosened all the spokes on one side they would tweak it away from that direction.

And, @uniska,
BE CAREFUL when you’re tightening your spokes. I tried fixing my bent 28" rim by myself, made it worse, and when I finally brought it to the shop I was told that it was beyond repair :o

Dude, you got jacked by the LBS monsters. All you had to do was unlace the rim and redue it, or find someone who knew what the frig he was talking about.

As far as loose spokes go, find someone who knows what thier doing and get them to do it, or use Sheldon Brown’s Tutorial and do it your self.

If the 28" was a steel rim, the bike shop was probably correct; basically, the only way to service a steel rim is with a hammer. That’s one of the reasons the cheap Sun 28" is not worth even the $85 charges for it.

ok to straighten a rim… if it is buckled to the right you need to loosen the spokes on the right side (side it is buckled towards) at the buckled area, probably 3 or 4 spokes will need attention on each side if the buckle is only small but if it is a progressive buckle that affects a large area of rim but isnt out of straight much then you will need to play with some more. once you have loosened the ones that the buckle is buckled towards (about a turn to start with) you then tighten the spokes on the opposite side and it should pull the wheel straight. you may not be able to get it perfect like this so then what you do is, keep the spokes that are pulling the rim straight pretty damn tight and keep the ones on the other side just a tiny bit loose and after riding for a fair bit the wheel should gradually work its way straight.

please note that bu sides i am talking about left and right, like towards the right pedal or towards the left pedal, and am not talking about something like the valve is on the opposite side of the wheel to the join in the rim.

if you have read all this carefully and read the paragraph above you will have no problems… but just make sure you dont get confused with what i am talking about by ‘sides’.

just remember that you are trying to pull it straight so if you think about it pretty well you should be right. but dont blame me if you root it up by playing with the wrong spokes.

if you are unsure about the procedure of tightening spokes you should ask at ya bike shop as them showing you and talking about it is going to be heaps easier to understand than a heap of text… but it is fairly straight forward.

good luck with all the spoke activitiesness

and yes i can and have built wheels, just so you know i ait feeding you bull$#!T

Alright thanks guys…I will have to go down to the local bike shop and see if they have any wrenches.

I am a pretty cheap guy and so most of the uni’s that I have in my stable to let people try or learn on are cheapo steel rim jobbies. One of the 24" steel rims completely tacoed on me and even broke a few spokes. I unlaced it, twisted it with plyers, pounded on it with a hammer and wedged it in between the coffee table and the couch to warp it back to almost straight. About an hour of spoke tweeking had it as straight as a 24" steel rim can be. Beats the hell out of the money and shipping to get an alloy replacement.