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Spoke Tensioning - How to?

Posted: Tue Apr 22, 2008 9:54 am
by glawrence2000
Hi folks,

I've managed to convince a frind that it is agood idea that he pulls his bike out and come riding with me (it is a good idea - I don't care what you've heard about me riding style!).
My friends says that he'll need to tension his spokes before he goes because they are ' like spaghetti' which can't be good.
I've got the tool which I will take around tonight and we'll have a crack but:
Q. Are there any tricks to the the process?
Q. Should one alternate opposite sides of the wheel all the way round,or
Q. Should one tighten one side a little (say 1/4 turn each spoke) first?
Q. What's too tight, what's too loose?

Clearly I have no idea.

Thanks for any help.


Posted: Tue Apr 22, 2008 1:58 pm
by mikesbytes
Have a surf for some guides, here's sheldon brown

Posted: Tue Apr 22, 2008 3:09 pm
by Kalgrm
Apart from looking at Sheldon's site, I've got a few tips which may help.

Assuming there are no buckles, mark a spoke with a piece of sticky tape as the starting spoke and progress your way around the wheel, doing each spoke in turn. That tensions both sides at once.

Do only half a turn of the nipples per wheel rotation (leave the wheels on the bike and turn it upside-down.) If the wheels were well built in the first place, you probably only need half a turn per nipple anyway. If not, you may need to go around a second time. Any more than that and you should progress in 1/4 turn increments.

If your work has off-set the rim (ie the dishing has been disturbed), tighten the appropriate side by 1/4 nipple turn, repeating until the rim is centred on the frame again.

How tight? Take your own wheels with you for comparison. The tension will be different on the drive side compared with the non-drive side of the rear wheel, and if your mate as disc brakes, the same will be true for the front.

Keep a clothes peg handy to mark the last spoke tensioned when you drop the spoke spanner.

Use cable ties around the frame or forks as a guide for truing.