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Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

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Old 06-08-09, 01:08 PM   #1
rumrunn6
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got thiiiiis close to buying a spoke wrench today

I saw a spoke wrench at REI during lunch today and was about to purchase it saw that they had 2, a green one and a red one. Each with a different measurement listed on the package. Visually they looked very similar.

I have mostly old 10-speed bikes with 27" wheels but also now a 700c bike.

Can someone clue me in about what sixe (or color) I require? THANKS!
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Old 06-08-09, 01:14 PM   #2
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Buy the circular ones that have all the usual nipple sizes. They are found in almost any good bike store and will not break the bank ...
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Old 06-08-09, 01:16 PM   #3
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well worth the money. I picked one up yesterday and trued my wheels today took all of about a 1/2 hour but it's dead on now =)
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Old 06-08-09, 01:17 PM   #4
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point me toward an inexpensive rack for truing a wheel?
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Old 06-08-09, 01:30 PM   #5
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define inexpensive.

You can use your fork and brakes (As guides) pretty effectively.
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Old 06-08-09, 01:34 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
point me toward an inexpensive rack for truing a wheel?
The Minoura / Spin Doctor one from Performance Bike and other sellers. Basic, stands up by itself (unlike Park's), self-centers, and folds to hang on the wall.

I have one. Works decently.
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Old 06-08-09, 01:35 PM   #7
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LOL, OK that's cheap! :-)

I saw a guy do some new wheels I bought - he checked them and adjusted them before I ran off with them. It was a nice setup with calipers and as he trued them he moved the calipers progressively inward. It seemed like the right way to do it.

I know "inexpensive" is a relative term. I figure anything that is not high-end would be affordable. Maybe not.
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Old 06-08-09, 02:24 PM   #8
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For a spoke wrench, most newer wheels will use the black Park Tool spoke wrench. My Dad's Trek 7300FX has WTB wheels that use the red spoke wrench though and the department store bikes that I've worked on have also used the red wrench. I own the green one but have never needed it. I prefer seperate wrenches as there is no chance of mistakenly using the wrong size like you could on a multi-size wrench. With seperate wrenches, I find the one that fits best and then keep only that one by my side.
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Old 06-08-09, 02:51 PM   #9
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Good bet it is the red.
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Old 06-08-09, 03:02 PM   #10
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Personally I would go with the newer Park Tool wrenches that grip the nipple on all four sides. The circular ones with multiple slots only hold the nipple on two sides and they aren't manufactured very precisely either. You'll end up rounding off spoke-nipples with those and will wished you bought the Park Tool model.

Use some calipers to measure what size nipples you have and buy the proper wrench.
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Old 06-08-09, 03:30 PM   #11
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Don't bother buying cheap spoke wrenches: you'll spend the few bucks saved on stripped nipples and frustration.

If they're Park wrenches, they make two different styles, the SW-2 and the SW-42 in Red and the SW-0 and SW-40 in Black, the two most common sizes. My advice: Buy them both.

The SW-4X is a four-sided wrench that gives much better nipple engagement to prevent stripping. Here's the difference:



The SW-4X also has a bit more cushion which is appreciated.

I'd recommend buying quality spoke wrenches, but as previously stated, almost any truing jig will suffice. I would also recommend the Minoura. I have a heavier duty shop jig, but I still use the Minoura for mobile work since it folds down compactly for travel.
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