How to: Oil down a uni and tighten the spokes

I really have no familiarity with either oiling a uni and tightening the spokes.

How and why do i oil a uni? What do i use?

How do i know if the spokes are loose? How do i fix that?

Thanks for any and all help.

The spokes should all be of similar tension.
The spokes should be tight enough to make a musical note if twanged & tight enough to be hard to push apart with your fingers where they cross.

If the wheel is badly out of true or damaged the spokes will be less evenly tensioned.


if you hear a creaking with each power stroke, you need to tighten your spokes.

if you don’t know th science of tightening your spokes, there’s a few ‘get-by’s’ you can do.

Pluck the spokes with yourfingers. if you find a spoke that is all of a sudden too loose, tighten it until it is no longer loose.

Go around the wheel until no spokes are loose.

If your wheel rubs for a second on the right side (rubs the frame) tighten the spokes, at that spot, to the left. (vice-versa)

You can get by with crappy true-ing, but every now and again, take your wheel in to get properly true’d.

No need to get it done al the time, but if you don’t realy know what you’re doing…take it in, every now and again…just to be sure.

Re: How to: Oil down a uni and tighten the spokes

When I’ve had a new wheel to make I’ve built them myself but taken them
to the bike shop to get them trued. The last place, however, didn’t do a
very good job of it, so my enthusiasm for learning how to do it properly
is renewed.

I can tighten the odd spoke if they’re a bit loose, but starting from
scratch when the wheel is all over the place is something I can’t do,
I’ve no idea where to start!

Sheldon Brown’s page covers building the things - that was very helpful,
I’ve used that page all three times so far - but doesn’t mention how to
true the wheel… are there any resources out there that would help?
Ideally a book on wheelbuilding would be super, but I could only find
one, and that was out of print. There have to be some somewhere, surely?



“Cattle Prods solve most of life’s little problems.”


It is quite important to loosen the opposite spoke when you tighten one in order to true the wheel. Otherwise you might end up with a interesting egg shape. If a spoke is obvious loose, tighten it, but when truing, find center of bulge, loosen spoke, tighten the one next to it about as much. It’s also a good idea to hold the spoke with a plier so it doesn’t twist

Re: Re: How to: Oil down a uni and tighten the spokes

The book "The Bicycle Wheel " by “Jobst Brandt” is available still, or you could get it from the library. It has short sections on:
Truing the wheel:
small & large errors
radial truing
lateral truing

I have a copy of the third edition (1993) but it is too old to have much mention of BMX wheels or downhill mountain biking wheels or any super strong wheels.