Hi. I’ve had my KH20 for a year and a half. Do I need to be concerned about spoke tension? I am not super hard on the wheel. I do some drops and a lot of hopping/flatland type tricks but nothing major. I do use the uni almost every day.
If so, what do I need? A meter? Does wheel truing and spoke tension go hand in hand?
Maybe. Spin the wheel. Check it for wobbles. Try to wiggle the spokes. If it wobbles or they move by hand, time to get out the spoke wrench.
You will have a difficult time getting a lower end meter to work with a 20" wheel. The spokes are too short. Unless you do a lot of bike wheels too, there isn’t much of a need to buy a truing stand unless you want to. Use the uni frame as the truing stand and affix something temporarily to the sides to check for side to side wobble. To get the uni frame to work as its own stand, I’ve removed the seat and bolted the top of the seatpost to a piece of plywood before. The wheel sticks up in the air and I can easily adjust the height too.
Wheel truing and tension does go hand in hand as adjusting the spokes changes both of them. In practice, a 20" wheel is a good place to start. They’re durable because the spokes are short and the rims have a small diameter. Having a reasonable amount of tension (no loose spokes) along with trueness isn’t too hard to accomplish in comparison to larger wheel sizes.
Above all: Don’t Panic. If it seems true and the spokes aren’t loose, just keep checking the wheel occasionally.
I only check spokes when I notice a problem, usually a click at a certain point during the wheel’s revolution. Then I go around and squeeze all of my spokes, trying to locate the loose one. If a wheel is abused, it would probably be good to check regularly.
I have, however, also broken spokes, and not even realized until I got home. Weird.