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Old 07-13-09, 09:02 AM   #1
rumrunn6
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truing a wheel without a spoke wrench

this shouldn't be too hard right? so long as I can turn the nipples a little

I'm thinking locking needle nose pliers would do the trick.
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Old 07-13-09, 09:09 AM   #2
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One time there was a guy here that wouldn't buy a chain tool, that was a very funny thread.
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Old 07-13-09, 09:13 AM   #3
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I would buy a spoke wrench, or 5. I keep one in my saddle bag, have one in my mobile bike tool box and have one hanging with my bike tools in the garage. Why screw up a nipple for the lack of a sub $10 tool?

Just my thoughts.
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Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.
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Old 07-13-09, 09:16 AM   #4
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Found it - breaking chain without chain tool
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Old 07-13-09, 09:18 AM   #5
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this shouldn't be too hard right? so long as I can turn the nipples a little

I'm thinking locking needle nose pliers would do the trick.
Don't do it. Nope.

You'll strip the nipples. It's way easier than you think. Sometimes it even happens with a spoke wrench if it's really tight and you're careless. Pliers are totally asking for trouble since their jaws are not perfectly parallel. I tried it (very carefully, I thought) before I had the right tools, and ruined a few spoke nipples.

Do yourself a favor and get some spoke wrenches. They're cheap. Can get a set of 3 from Performance for $12, and even department stores like Target often have small reversible ones with two sizes for about $3-5. I've used those and they're fine, if a bit harder to grip.

Last edited by moxfyre; 07-13-09 at 09:21 AM.
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Old 07-13-09, 09:36 AM   #6
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Needle-nose pliers will round-off the nipples - making further attempts unsuccessful. A spoke-wrench grabs the nipples squarely on 3 - 4 sides. With spoke-wrenches readily available, there is no excuse not to use them. Select the tightest-fitting one for any particular spoke-nipple.

I prefer the Park Tool SW-0, SW-1, and the SW-2. They makes others for sizes differing from these Big-3.

Last edited by Panthers007; 07-13-09 at 09:59 AM. Reason: 'N' key is shot
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Old 07-13-09, 09:36 AM   #7
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I'm thinking locking needle nose pliers would do the trick.
I'm thinking your going to need a new wheel.
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Old 07-13-09, 10:31 AM   #8
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If you take the tire, tube and rim strip off, you might be able to access the back side of the nipples and can true the wheel by turning the nipples with a flat bladed screw driver.
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Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.
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Old 07-13-09, 10:36 AM   #9
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If you take the tire, tube and rim strip off, you might be able to access the back side of the nipples and can true the wheel by turning the nipples with a flat bladed screw driver.
This sounds like another very good reason to buy a few spoke-wrenches. Unless you enjoy doing simple tasks in the most difficult fashion as possible.
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Old 07-13-09, 10:39 AM   #10
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If you take the tire, tube and rim strip off, you might be able to access the back side of the nipples and can true the wheel by turning the nipples with a flat bladed screw driver.
Only if the spokes are too short. If they are of the proper length, they stick out from the back of the nipple and you can't use a screwdriver after the initial tensioning process in wheelbuilding.
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Old 07-13-09, 10:58 AM   #11
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Only if the spokes are too short. If they are of the proper length, they stick out from the back of the nipple and you can't use a screwdriver after the initial tensioning process in wheelbuilding.
Not only that, the spoke would have to be way under-tensioned to be able to turn it with a screwdriver.
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Old 07-13-09, 11:18 AM   #12
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this shouldn't be too hard right? so long as I can turn the nipples a little

I'm thinking locking needle nose pliers would do the trick.


Entirely silly idea.

Thread closed!
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Old 07-13-09, 11:24 AM   #13
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you can cut a slot down the middle of the screw driver to compensate for the spoke poking through the back.
I'd have to say the spoke is too long if it's poking through the back and not flush with the nipple.
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Old 07-13-09, 02:31 PM   #14
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A Complete List of Reasons to Use Something Other Than a Spoke Wrench:
1.)
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Old 07-13-09, 02:38 PM   #15
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you can cut a slot down the middle of the screw driver to compensate for the spoke poking through the back.
True, I suppose . At that point, you're using a fairly expensive saw, and presumably a bench vise to hold things, to modify a $5 tool... to create an inferior, inconvenient alternative... for a different $5 tool.

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I'd have to say the spoke is too long if it's poking through the back and not flush with the nipple.
Yeah, ideally the spoke is very close to flush with the back of the nipple, so that all the threads are engaged.

But in a world of imperfect rims and home-built wheels with slightly wrong spoke lengths, they sometimes stick out a mm or two. That's what rim strips are for :-)
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Old 07-13-09, 02:46 PM   #16
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True, I suppose . At that point, you're using a fairly expensive saw, and presumably a bench vise to hold things, to modify a $5 tool... to create an inferior, inconvenient alternative... for a different $5 tool.
the only time I would use a flat screwdriver is when building a wheel.
faster to spin a driver than a wrench when you're doing the initial tightening.
won't work when the spokes come into tension however, not enough leverage.
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Old 07-13-09, 02:51 PM   #17
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the only time I would use a flat screwdriver is when building a wheel.
faster to spin a driver than a wrench when you're doing the initial tightening.
won't work when the spokes come into tension however, not enough leverage.
Absolutely, I agree. The flat screwdriver is the right tool when building the wheel, just to the threads into the nipples and all equally tensioned. But after that, it's the wrong tool for the job.
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Old 07-13-09, 03:04 PM   #18
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It seems like a slotted screwdriver might actually be really handy for the early parts of building, since slot drivers tend to pop out otherwise.
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Old 07-13-09, 03:25 PM   #19
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I have one of these.....

http://www.biketoolsetc.com/index.cg...item_id=BR-ND1

...And I never use it.
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Old 07-13-09, 03:32 PM   #20
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the only time I would use a flat screwdriver is when building a wheel.
faster to spin a driver than a wrench when you're doing the initial tightening.
won't work when the spokes come into tension however, not enough leverage.
Screwdriver will work, albeit slowly and imprecisely.

This is why they make dedicated nipple drivers, which will wind up fast and then automatically dis-engage, giving all the nipples identical thread engagement, necessary when starting tensioning by number of turns of the spoke wrench.

Classic hand driver:



For deep/aero rims:



For electric drills:

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Old 07-13-09, 03:37 PM   #21
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this shouldn't be too hard right? so long as I can turn the nipples a little

I'm thinking locking needle nose pliers would do the trick.
"if the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail"
abraham maslow
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Old 07-13-09, 03:38 PM   #22
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yup, exactly.
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Old 07-13-09, 03:41 PM   #23
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I have one of these.....

http://www.biketoolsetc.com/index.cg...item_id=BR-ND1

...And I never use it.
What do you use?

Actually, I use an old Yankee driver with a modified flat bladed screwdriver tip, cut/filed to have the center pin/ejector thingy.

Yankee driver:

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Old 07-13-09, 03:48 PM   #24
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It's also possible to true a wheel with a hammer...
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Old 07-13-09, 04:11 PM   #25
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.....or a large rock.
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