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Old 05-18-09, 05:35 PM   #1
xfimpg
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Can a "flexing" wheel be tightened up?

Not sure if my header was clear, this is what I mean:

I have a Madone 5.2 and with it came Bontrager Racelites, the 2008 wheelset model, not the older problematic model. Anyways I've had no problems with them - I weight 207 pounds - with 1000 miles on them.

I noticed a while back that they do tend to be quite flexy (I'm running at 110psi front / 120psi back).
I compared the spoke tension (simply by flexing them with my hand) with my other Mavic Aksium wheelset and the Mavic's are noticeably tighter.

My question: is it possible for an LBS to tighten the spokes on the Racelites to get rid of some of that flex?

EDIT: Regarding why ppl do not like Racelites; I haven't read anywhere that Racelites are flexy, just the spokes breaking too often... so I did do my homework before asking this question.

Last edited by xfimpg; 05-18-09 at 05:39 PM.
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Old 05-18-09, 06:07 PM   #2
Panthers007
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That's a big 'maybe.' First thing would be to find out what they are tensioned to now. This entails the use of a spoke tension-meter. Any good bike-shop that works on wheels will have one. Ask them to check this. If they are within proper tension, the answer to your perplexing flexing would be not really. If they are on the loose side - let's say 90Kgf - then they can be tightened-up a bit more.

Many rims are known to flex. And this is perfectly normal for them. Try to find out as much as possible about the rims you have. See what people have to say about riding them. If it's normal to have them flex - you can either accept this, or look for a new set of wheels with rims that don't flex as much.
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Old 05-18-09, 06:10 PM   #3
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Tightening spokes will not make the wheel stiffer. (unless the spokes are going completely slack as you roll over bumps, in which case you'd know because the wheel goes out of true, makes noise, etc.) The wheel flex is pretty much a function of not having very many spokes in the first place.
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Old 05-18-09, 06:13 PM   #4
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Take both the Racelite and Aksium to the LBS and sask them to measure the tensions. If the tension if the racelite is low it could lead to spoke breakage and also contribute to flex. You should then be able to bring the Racelite up to tension, plucking the spokes and using the3 Aksium for reference.
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Old 05-18-09, 06:44 PM   #5
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Thanks everyone, I appreciate the insights and the education.
I will bring it to the LBS and ask them to tighten the spokes to their maximum and take it from there.
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Old 05-18-09, 08:20 PM   #6
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The spokes on my wife's Bontrager Racelites had low and very uneven tension when the wheels were brand new. First thing I did was put them on my truing stand and fix them.
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