yet another spoke thread

Yet another spoke thread from me. Well, my wheel is pretty true (maybe 1-3mm off), but I have noticed that some of the spokes are looser than others. Is this normal? Is it OK?

Ideally, the spokes should be equal in tension. In practice, it’s often not possible to keep the wheel true while also keeping the spoke tension perfectly balanced. Your wheel will definitely be more reliable for a longer period of time if the spoke tensions are close. Identify the loose spokes, and tighten them on alternating sides of the wheel so the tension gets more balanced without throwing the trueness off much.

In this picture you are looking at the rim head on. Not from the side. Is this what you are saying? I dont quite undestand you. (Tell me if the drawing doesnt make sense and Ill try to re do it)

spoke diagram.bmp (733 KB)

No, ideally what you want to do is find two spokes near each other which are on opposite sides of the wheel, which are both loose, and tighten them both.

Oh, ok. But then I still have random spokes around the hub which are still a bit loose, and your saying thats OK?

If you have to choose between the spokes being tight, and the rim being true, choose the former. If the rim is true but there are loose spokes, the rim won’t stay true long anyway.

just tighten all ur sopkes till they r the same… use ur head man…

Spoke tensiometer. Guitar pick works too, just not as well…at all.

Re: yet another spoke thread

Evan Byrne <> writes:

> Spoke tensiometer. Guitar pick works too, just not as well…at all.

I don’t think a tensiometer is useful when trying to even up spoke
tension, except maybe if you are deaf. Plucking the spokes with your
finger is all that’s needed. Higher pitch means higher tension, a
dull thud is a grossly loose spoke.

I learned a while ago that, for out of kilter wheels, it can be easier
to start over than to try to get even tension directly. Maybe a real
wheel wizard can do it efficiently, but I just loosen all the nipples
so one thread is exposed, then tighten them all the same amount to
moderate tension and then true, tension, and stress-relieve. That
way, the wheel will start very close to round, and as along as you
take care it will stay that way.

In practice, there will always be some variation in spoke tension.
You want them all in as narrow a range as you can get, though.