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  1. #1
    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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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.
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

  2. #2
    I ain't no newbie redirekib's Avatar
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    One time there was a guy here that wouldn't buy a chain tool, that was a very funny thread.
    "Never send a monkey to do a man's job." ~ Captain Leo Davidson ~

  3. #3
    You Know!? For Kids! jsharr's Avatar
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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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    I ain't no newbie redirekib's Avatar
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    "Never send a monkey to do a man's job." ~ Captain Leo Davidson ~

  5. #5
    cyclist/gearhead/cycli... moxfyre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
    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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  6. #6
    Great State of Varmint Panthers007's Avatar
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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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  7. #7
    Senior Member miamijim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
    I'm thinking locking needle nose pliers would do the trick.
    I'm thinking your going to need a new wheel.
    WWW.CYCLESPEUGEOT.COM 2005 Pinarello Dogma; 1991 Paramount PDG 70 Mtb; 1976? AD Vent Noir; 1989 LeMond Maillot Juane F&F; 1993? Basso GAP F&F; 1989 Terry Symmetry; 2003 Trek 4700 Mtb; 1983 Vitus 979

  8. #8
    You Know!? For Kids! jsharr's Avatar
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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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    Quote Originally Posted by colorider View Post
    Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.

  9. #9
    Great State of Varmint Panthers007's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsharr View Post
    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.
    How do you keep an idiot in suspense?

  10. #10
    cyclist/gearhead/cycli... moxfyre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsharr View Post
    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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  11. #11
    biked well well biked's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by moxfyre View Post
    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.

  12. #12
    use your best eye kenhill3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
    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!
    "I tell you, We are here on earth to fart around, and don't let anybody tell you any different." - Kurt Vonnegut jr.

  13. #13
    AEO
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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.
    Food for thought: if you aren't dead by 2050, you and your entire family will be within a few years from starvation. Now that is a cruel gift to leave for your offspring. ;)
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  14. #14
    Senior Member Joshua A.C. New's Avatar
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    A Complete List of Reasons to Use Something Other Than a Spoke Wrench:

    1.)
    Joshua A.C. Newman,
    Passionate lover of construction

  15. #15
    cyclist/gearhead/cycli... moxfyre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AEO View Post
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by AEO View Post
    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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  16. #16
    AEO
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    Quote Originally Posted by moxfyre View Post
    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.
    Food for thought: if you aren't dead by 2050, you and your entire family will be within a few years from starvation. Now that is a cruel gift to leave for your offspring. ;)
    http://sanfrancisco.ibtimes.com/arti...ger-photos.htm

  17. #17
    cyclist/gearhead/cycli... moxfyre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AEO View Post
    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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  18. #18
    Senior Member Joshua A.C. New's Avatar
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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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  19. #19
    Great State of Varmint Panthers007's Avatar
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    I have one of these.....

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

    ...And I never use it.
    How do you keep an idiot in suspense?

  20. #20
    use your best eye kenhill3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AEO View Post
    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:

    "I tell you, We are here on earth to fart around, and don't let anybody tell you any different." - Kurt Vonnegut jr.

  21. #21
    Peace and bicycle grease! une_vitesse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
    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"
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  22. #22
    AEO
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    yup, exactly.
    Food for thought: if you aren't dead by 2050, you and your entire family will be within a few years from starvation. Now that is a cruel gift to leave for your offspring. ;)
    http://sanfrancisco.ibtimes.com/arti...ger-photos.htm

  23. #23
    use your best eye kenhill3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Panthers007 View Post
    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:

    "I tell you, We are here on earth to fart around, and don't let anybody tell you any different." - Kurt Vonnegut jr.

  24. #24
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    It's also possible to true a wheel with a hammer...

  25. #25
    Great State of Varmint Panthers007's Avatar
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    .....or a large rock.
    How do you keep an idiot in suspense?

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