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Old 06-17-09, 06:48 PM   #1
FrenchFit 
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Wheel Wobble due to Spoke Tension

For someone's future search, solved a very slight wobble problem on my cross bike. One of those things you can feel but can't put you finger on the source. I figured it must be the read wheel, but the axle and seat of the wheel was OK, tire OK, wheel was true side to side, ...but when I strummed the spokes with a plastic pick there were big pitch variations spoke to spoke, and a couple of those guys were almost at zero tension. (Last trued by a LBS, foolish me.)

My solution was to tension up / pitch up each side's spokes to the same tension or musical note pitch when strummed. It's a different pitch on each spoke side of the rear wheel due to the dish - higher on the flatter cone, non-cluster side. I appoximated the correct pitch, it's what seemed to me to be about the right tension for that size wheel compared to my other bikes. The charts I found on the internet for correct pitch "note" determined by length of the spokes were pretty much worthless, just too many variables in design and materials I'm thinking.

After tensioning/loosening by sound the wheel came out to be roughly true following a relatively even spoke pitch on each side, which is logical but it was a nice surprise anyway. I finished trued the wheel by making very small and fairly uniform tension or pitch adjustments in a 3 or 4 spoke series on side of the wheel.

The wobble is gone, the wheel feels rock solid. A tension meter would be nice to have, but the 'old school' pitch method seems like a decent alternative to me, and cheap.
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Old 06-17-09, 06:51 PM   #2
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Interesting discovery.
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Old 06-17-09, 07:16 PM   #3
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I had a paired spoke front wheel that I had a hard time riding no hands on, and lo and behold - low spoke tension all around - albeit still true. It's much better now tightened up.
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