question about spoke tension

what happens if you true your wheel, get it nice and solid, and then keep going around the rim 1/4 turning the spokes to keep making them tighter?

If you rim is nice and true, wouldn’t more tension on them, even, all the way around, make it better?

Eventually the nipples round off.

But seriously, I’ve been wondering this myself as I’ve just built a 36" wheel. Presumably if you got tensions high enough the forces in the rim would start to be significant and the rim would become more likely to fail. Also nipples pull out, spokes strip or possibly even pull out of the hub.



I think your nipples would give in. Something would strip.



The truing process starts to gracefully fail at a certain point, so that at that tension the wheel trueness won’t zero in when you stress-relieve it. At this point, back off a 1/4 or 1/2 turn on all the nipples, and you’re at the highest stable tension that wheel can handle, which is the strongest that wheel can be. Stress relieve and true that, and basically you’re done.

U-turn, so you have any more info online about stress relieving spokes? I’ve been using sheldon brown’s tutorial to build a 36" wheel but didn’t really understand his comments about stress relieving.

You could do a lot worse than acquiring a copy of “The Bicycle Wheel” by Jobst Brandt:

It’s not cheap, but if you want to build wheels then it’s a worthwhile buy, IMO.

Another really good book is, “The Art of Wheelbuilding” by Gerd Schraner $15.98 from Amazon. I used it to help me build my Coker Airfoil wheel.

That recently happened to a Friend of mine. First He tightened the spokes. Then he rode for about 15 minutes and did a couple of rolling hops and the first nipple pulled straight through. I don’t know anything about tension but I am leaving mine alone. :roll_eyes:

I developed my own approach using a combination of Sheldon’s, Jobst Brandt’s, and Gerd Schraner’s approaches.

Sounds like you need to make a book :slight_smile:

I’m still an armature to truing the wheel, I rebuilt a few 36" wheels a year ago, and since it all worked out, I sorta enjoyed the process. This is how I remember it,

It was cool the way truing the wheel works with adjusting the spokes and relieving the tension. It’s no use to adjust the spokes alone. Have the hub securely captured by the axle, after adjusting the spokes, grab hold of the rim, each hand ~180 degrees from the other, and give it a push-pull. You’ll hear the spokes creak as the stored tension of adjusted spoke is released and distributed across the wheel. You’ll notice the tension balancing out as you then move your hand position’s by ~90 degrees and push-pull again. Between each step of tightening the spokes, or adjusting to true, this flexing of things is necessary.

As things tighten up, you should feel the wheel stiffen up with each push-pulls. I said push-pull, but it can really be more of twisting action, so your not pushing over your stand. Your just trying to move things a bit to break the friction, not break the wheel.