Noise from spokes(?)

The fact that I am not sure about it was indicated by my use of a question mark in my post. I know the people from many of our former colonies speak and write a variety of arcane dialects and I can’t memorise (with an s) them all. :wink:

Giving alternative US spellings or vocabulary has been a running joke of mine in this forum for many years. Spiffing banter and all that, what?

Over here, traditionally, all open ended or ring ended implements used to undo square or hexagonal headed nuts or bolts are called “spanners”. We even have “adjustable spanners” — and the very best ones have an adjustable head at each end: one end for metric (mm) and the other for Imperial (fractions of an inch).

The only time we use “wrench” traditionally in the context of a tool is a “monkey wrench” (adjustable spanner), a torque wrench, or a plumber’s pipe wrench. Oh, and I think the Torx equivalent of an Allen key has always been called a Torx wrench.

However just as our shops have mysteriously become “stores”, and places that used to repair cars now repair “autos”, our spanners are gradually becoming “wrenches”. No good will come of it, I tell you.:wink: Nevertheless, I can forgive much in recognition of the fact that the USA gave the world Hank Williams and Carl Perkins.

Because other paved surfaces have other names!

I know you like to call things by simple names but personally I can’t get on board with fall. Yeah leaves fall off trees, but it’s autumn. :smiley:

Yeah, like the verge! When I first encountered that word in Mikefule’s novel, I thought it might be the verge of a nervous breakdown. In the US, it’s called the shoulder, which I suppose is equally confusing.

People say “autumn” in the US too, just not so frequently, -except in New England, of course!

The word “spanner” in the US, if I am not mistaken, is only used to refer to a C-spanner, a tool for removing part of the bottom bracket on a bike. There’s also a channel called C-span on TV, where you can watch Capitalist A debate Capitalist B in Washington DC.

Thanks for the plug. :slight_smile: I hope you enjoyed it.

Verge: the grassy strip along the edge of a road, especially a minor road. The verge is often the strip of land that separates the road from the hedgerow. Although there is no absolute clarity of definition, a verge would usually be flat enough that a vehicle could park with 2 wheels on it, or even all 4. If it is too steep to do that, it would be a bank.

In the UK, we also have a “hard shoulder” which is a tarmac (or similar) strip as wide as a car and provided for vehicles to stop on when they have broken down.

In Australia, the verge is called the “nature strip” and lies between the “footpath” and the “road”. Between the footpath and the nature strip is the “gutter” where the water flows.

A nature strip covered with “bitumen” would be a “shoulder”.

Well I sent them two emails 6 days back (albeit via the kontact address, since that is how they confirmed my order) and never heard a single thing.

I have now tried sending a message via the form on their website, i.e. Kontakta oss på Stockholmkajak

Anyway, since I heard nothing for so long I ordered new bearings and a bearing puller from UDC Denmark ( UDC Sweden didn’t appear to sell a bearing puller anyway.

So I received the bearing puller and new bearings today. I quickly watched and went to work.

However, because the bearing casing is so completely broken, attempting to remove the broken bearings just resulted in the bearing breaking down further, leaving only the inner ring attached. The nimbus bearing puller cannot now fully get a grip on this inner ring. Only the absolute edges can contact the inner ring and attempting to extract is just resulting in damaging the bearing puller (the edged start to bend). So I am now well and truly stuck. I cannot remove the inner ring and I have probably damaged my bearing puller. What now?

if you have a dremel tool, or a small hand held motor tool you can use a cutoff wheel to slot the inner race of the bearing. I would go slowly, and stop before you go through all of the way to protect the spindle. once you get a slot into the race you should be able use a cold chisel, or maybe even a straght screwdriver to break it open, and then it should be easy to pull off. If it is still difficult you may need to make a second slot.

I don’t but I have a friend who would (currently on holiday). I shall update when i have tried this.

Just an update. Peter replied. I think I might have caused some confusion because of the fact that I used a different email address than the one I ordered from.

Anyway he (and hence UDC Sweden) have been very helpful and indeed offered to send replacement parts immediately. I felt I should mention this so that others are aware that indeed the service is good.

Nonetheless I have told them that since I have a new set of bearings now they need not bother.

We have a winner! Finally got around to meeting up with my friend, who had such a tool

Super neat!

Well that is the good news. The bad news is that I cycled it into work this morning and, again I could hear a noise. Not as loud and not quite the same. This time I was really convinced it was spokes so I dropped into a local bike shop (where one of the guys is kinda known to me, via mutal friends) and he confirmed that that several spokes were loose. I thought i checked well before but hey… shows what i know.

I suspect that before the broken bearings accentuated the problem. So anyway, I have decided I’ll hand the uni over them to fix it up, cause I clearly don’t know what I am doing.

Well they took it and gave it back to me within one day. Sorted out the spokes while truing the wheel (which was apparently slightly off). I think they had to get creative with regards to truing it because their stand was not big enough. Anyway, it looks like they worked it out because I cycled it home after work and no noise, bar the normal tyre roar from that big nightrider. Very satisfying!

Get yourself a Park Tool spoke tension meter along with 4 or 5 spokes for spares.
Well worth it.

Then you can keep an eye on your spoke tensions or replace them when needed.
So easy to check after every so many rides or whenever you feel something just isn’t right.

You’ve got everything else… right?

De-mystify it and buy it.

Yeah, I probably should but for now I am just focussing on riding again.

One thing I did notice, riding the 36"er again after having spent the last few weeks commuting on a 26" with 102mm cranks is that the 150mm cranks felt absurdly big. I felt like I was doing massive, gangly movements.

I have a selection of cranks so I dropped them down to 140mm. This has helped but they still feel pretty long. Nonetheless, there are hills around here so I dare not drop down to 125mm or I reckon I might struggle getting up and my knees won’t enjoy the rides down (no brakes).

Maybe it is just a question of getting used to it again. :slight_smile:

Nah!.. That’s just your body saying “no more!” to long cranks.

Those tension meters are great for setting relative tension, but if you want to use them to measure absolute tension then they’re a bit more tricky.

Since they rely on deflection for measurement you need to calibrate them off the wheel using a spare spoke. The calibration spoke will need to be exactly the same length, diameter and material as those in the wheel. Find a weight representing your target spoke tension, suspend it from the calibration spoke and record the tension meter deflection. Then bring up the spokes on the wheel up to that same deflection number and you’ll know where you’re at!

I bought one of those Park tension meters years ago too, thinking it would be really handy, but actually I’ve never used it since I realised that it’s not so good for absolute tension without calibration, and it’s pretty easy to set relative tension by feel and tone. If I was building a new wheel then I would probably use it to get the absolute tension in the ballpark (after calibrating on a spare spoke).

I’m of the “more is better” school of spoke tension (“crank it up until something breaks and then back it off half a turn” :p). Both my current unis came with pretty slack and uneven spokes, and the 36er in particular used to creak and click while riding. I added a bunch of tension and evened them out ~3 years ago and they’ve been silent ever since.

Wow, that turned into a long post :thinking: .

If the spoke tension is correct you shouldn’t need to re-tension the wheel. The shop should have it sorted out for you. If spokes are loosening from riding it is a sign that the tension is too low allowing the nipple to move when it is slack.

On the other hand:

The spokes on a 36er are really long, and difficult to tension correctly without a tension meter, so if you do decide to have a hand at it in the future I do recommend a tension gauge. The problem is that even when they have the correct tension they feel soft compared to other wheels due to the length.

I just saw lightbulbjims post. I agree with most of what he said. Still Ti spokes, and 36ers are pretty hard to get even tension without a spoke meter due to the overall “rubber band” quality that they have. Old rims used to deform under too much tension, so you could back off when you saw them “dimpling.” Modern rims don’t do that, they just look okay, and then crack at the spoke holes after you ride it for awhile. It’s really not a good idea to overtension modern rims.

There is a bit more to calibration than was let on in the last post, but my hope is that if anyone is planning on tweaking the calibration of their tension meter they will read up on proper technique. It’s a good idea to make a calibration rig with a spoke when you first get your meter so you have something to use in the future to check calibration, and to re-calibrate with if necessary.

As a side note, I think it is interesting that several people have mentioned having wheels not setup correctly when they receive them brand new. Is this a problem for all 36" unicycles (Kris Holm, QU-AX, the old Cokers) or just a UDC/Nimbus problem?

P.S. I know that Kris Holm 36" also use a Nimbus rim but since it has a KH ‘Spirit’ ISIS Hub, I presume the wheel is put together in a different factory, while I would expect that the UDC and Nimbus branded unicycles are all done in the same place. But of course, I am just guessing!

Wheels that come on cycles tend to need work to get them as strong as they can be. For bikes it’s because they are machine built, and the final tensioning is generally not high enough (unless they are finished by hand). I would guess that for unicycles it has more to do with the people building the wheels since I’m not aware of a wheel building machine that would accept a uni hub. Probably in the production line the workers just don’t take the time to tension them properly.