Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Central Jersey
Bikes: specialized roubaix, dawes sst ( steel single speed)
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I find it very useful for both building and truing wheels. On truing for instance -"going by the book"
you would normally work on a span of maybe five spokes to move the rim in one direction, tightening or loosing the spokes closest to the center of the "bend" the most, and adjusting them less as you go out. With a tensionmeter I find that a bend is sometimes largely caused by a single spoke significanly out of tension. By bringing that spoke within the proper range first, I have very little further adjustment to do.
Also since I am not a very experienced wheel builder, I find a tensionmeter absolutlly essential for building wheels. It is amazing how little truing you have to do if you start with the same amount of thread showing on all spokes and then make sure to keep the tensions equal as you tighten them.
In general if something is out of kilter radially or laterally I find that taking the tension of some spokes in the problem area frequently points to the problem. Without it I know I would just further screw up the wheel.