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  1. #1
    Senior Member peripatetic's Avatar
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    'nother wheel truing neophyte

    So I just re-read Sheldon Brown's article on wheel truing only after having maybe messed the wheel up more. I finally understand about bends in rims and the need to straighten them before taking a spoke wrench to the nipples. But now I've gone and adjusted some--perhaps incorrectly--can someone tell me a decent, sure-fire way to undo any badness I may have wreaked? Is there any way I can loosen and then re-tighten all the spokes, or is this just going to make things worse? I tried, per sbrown's advice, to tighten all the spokes first, but a few just won't tighten. But then a bunch seem quite a bit looser than those. So where do I re-start from?

    I really want to learn to do this right, it's driving me crazy, and the wheel's just looking really ********.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    been ridin? shaq-d's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peripatetic
    Is there any way I can loosen and then re-tighten all the spokes, or is this just going to make things worse?
    yeah, start over. unscrew/loosen all of them. lube all the joints with a few drops of whatever you use for lube. then tighten it all up again and make sure it's true. as a general rule, never tighten any one spoke by more than half a turn; rather, tighten up a group of spokes together by 1/4-1/3 turn. however, in your case, with the spokes so out of whack, you'll have to just see how it goes and use your best judgement.

    my best advice? _take your time_ with it.

    sd

  3. #3
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shaq-d
    yeah, start over. unscrew/loosen all of them. lube all the joints with a few drops of whatever you use for lube. then tighten it all up again and make sure it's true. as a general rule, never tighten any one spoke by more than half a turn; rather, tighten up a group of spokes together by 1/4-1/3 turn. however, in your case, with the spokes so out of whack, you'll have to just see how it goes and use your best judgement.

    my best advice? _take your time_ with it.

    sd
    All good advice. Loosen all of the spokes until you can see just one spoke thread. That way you'll know that you're starting with all of the spokes equal. Build up tension by gradually tightening all of the spokes an equal amount. Do your final trueing by tightening and loosening opposing pairs of spokes by an equal amount.

  4. #4
    Senior Member peripatetic's Avatar
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    Great, thanks for the info. So since my rim's probably a bit bent, I should loosen the spokes, then tighten a bit, then try and bend the rim a bit before truing, right?

  5. #5
    Senior Member onbike 1939's Avatar
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    WOW! You're a neophyte? How do you find the time to re-build wheels?

  6. #6
    Senior Member peripatetic's Avatar
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    Huh? "Neophyte" = novice. As in, to wheel truing, not re-building.

  7. #7
    Pro wheelbuilder UK
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    Listen to Retro Grouch - he speaks with a wise keyboard. As the spokes get tighter they will start to give off a sound when plucked with your fingernail. Tension the spokes evenly so that on each side of the wheel each spoke gives off almost the same note when plucked. Gradually eliminate lateral and radial wobbles. Think of it like a pendulum swinging, eventually it stops. As you gradually get the wheel up to tension the wobbles are gradually reduced to zero. Give everything a half-turn and then eliminate wobbles again and again etc until the wheel is true and 'sings' to you. Don't forget to stress-relieve and remove spoke twist as you go.

  8. #8
    Senior Member peripatetic's Avatar
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    Done. Thanks for the info all. There's still a little wobble, but for my purposes, that's good enough. Some of the spoke nipples seem pretty tight, and my wrench isn't the best (Lifu, multi-sized), so I think that with less than 1mm on ea. side, that's about as good as I can hope to get it with this fairly old Araya rim. My finals are over, and today was the chill out day, so I did as you all said, and took...my...time. Very good advice. Never spent more than 10-15 minutes at the wheel.

    I'm now wondering what was going on when my LBS guy (he's just one) told me there was no hope for the front. It had lost a spoke, and I asked him to replace it; he did, then said that the rim was shot and untrue-able. I'm wondering, though, if he just meant he didn't have time to do all that work (it was pretty cold, he was working outside.) I don't see any huge dents or bends. Just a lot of hops and wobbles. I think that it was being ridden with the broken spoke and the previous owner hadn't realized it (I discovered the spoke myself--broke cleanly by the hub. Should I loosen everything up again and try it? If the rim is bent, should I try to get the bends out before re-tightening?

    On the other hand: do I need to just throw the thing out and avoid souring myself on the experience by confronting a cascade of overwhelming frustration?

    (I think I'm just in the mood to true. )

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