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Old 10-18-09, 07:43 PM   #1
mr.korea85
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First attempt at truing, need some help.

Today I noticed a bit of a wobble and decided to go search on the web on how to true a wheel. A few hours later I felt like I had the gist of it. Went at it and stumbled

There's a lateral wobble to the right so I tighten the spokes on the left a quarter turn and loosen the ones on the right a quarter turn and repeat. From my point of view it did seem like it was getting straighter and straighter, but I checked the tension and the opposing sides were way different. On the left it was extremely tight and on the right it took very little to bend the spokes and there's still a ways to go just to straighten out that section.
Wondering if I screwed something up, because it doesn't seem like I'm doing it right
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Old 10-18-09, 07:45 PM   #2
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Get the rim true before you worry about tension.
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Old 10-18-09, 07:49 PM   #3
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If this is a rear wheel let's not use right and left but rather use drive side (this is where the freewheel/hub is) and non drive side which is where there is no drive cogs.

If this is a front wheel we can use right and left since a front wheel has no dish.

What are we working on here ?

Please describe the wheel... knowing how many spokes it has is important.
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Old 10-18-09, 07:49 PM   #4
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It's getting very difficult to turn the tension the spokes on the left without stripping the nipples. But I'll try it out tomorrow in the morning.

Last edited by mr.korea85; 10-18-09 at 07:55 PM.
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Old 10-18-09, 07:49 PM   #5
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If this is a rear wheel let's not use right and left but rather use drive side (this is where the freewheel/hub is) and non drive side which is where there is no drive cogs.

If this is a front wheel we can use right and left since a front wheel has no dish.

What are we working on here ?

Please describe the wheel... knowing how many spokes it has is important.
You mean if it's a front wheel. It's obvious what's right/left on a rear wheel.
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Old 10-18-09, 07:50 PM   #6
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It's getting very difficult to turn the tension the spokes on the left without stripping the nipples. But I'll try it out tomorrow in the morning.
I would advise you to stop immediately and check the dish of the wheel.
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Old 10-18-09, 07:55 PM   #7
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It is the front side and it's a 32 spoke wheel. Stock from the Motobecane Messenger, originally had a it trued at a bike shop but that was a pretty long time ago.
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Old 10-18-09, 07:56 PM   #8
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You mean if it's a front wheel. It's obvious what's right/left on a rear wheel.
Obvious to you, obvious to me... but we're working blind here.
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Old 10-18-09, 07:57 PM   #9
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I would advise you to stop immediately and check the dish of the wheel.
What op said... stop what you are doing.
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Old 10-18-09, 08:04 PM   #10
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How would I go and check the dish? From a few quick searches it seems like I need a tool to do so. But I'm still not entirely sure what dish is at the moment.
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Old 10-18-09, 08:36 PM   #11
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How would I go and check the dish? From a few quick searches it seems like I need a tool to do so. But I'm still not entirely sure what dish is at the moment.
It's centering the rim between the locknuts of the hub. If you flip this wheel in a stand, if the rim isn't situated in the middle it will apear to be offset to each direction as you do this test.

With truing there's a natural tendency to mow down the spots that are out, and then continue until the rim is out of dish if you are not careful. This is assuming that what you're saying is true - more overall tension on one side of the wheel spokes than the other.
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Old 10-18-09, 08:54 PM   #12
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Sorry there may have been a misunderstanding. I didn't mean an entire side of the wheel was over tensioned. But rather the section that I was trying to fix had one side that was extremely tensioned while the other side wasn't

For instance the bump spans 2 spokes (it had originally spanned 4) the spoke leading to the left flange is tensioned while the spoke leading to the right is very loose. The rest of the spokes on the wheel are all pretty closely tensioned, regardless of side. As far as I can tell that is.
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Old 10-18-09, 09:05 PM   #13
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That means the rim is bent.
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Old 10-19-09, 04:12 AM   #14
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Photos are practically a necessity when we're talking wheels and rims. But do look (and feel) for any notable bend on the rim - like something hit it or it hit something. And do stop playing with the spoke-wrench. It sounds like you likely over-torqued the wheel. Got a tension-meter?
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Old 10-19-09, 04:37 AM   #15
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How would I go and check the dish? From a few quick searches it seems like I need a tool to do so. But I'm still not entirely sure what dish is at the moment.
If you're not sure what dish is then you should not be playing around with those wheels. Do some reading first. I have two resources for you -

My wheelbuilding info and -
Roger Musson's wheelbuilding e-book.

Roger's e-book is the finest single source of wheelbuilding info.
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Old 10-19-09, 07:52 AM   #16
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What tools do you have? The pros use feel and the sound of the spokes when plucked to check tension, but I didn't want to screw anything up so I bought a tension meter from Park. I also bought a truing stand.

My recommendation would be to go to a good mechanic and have him/her check the wheel. It's usually pretty cheap. My local guy will talk to me while he's doing it. I can ask him questions and he's happy to share his knowledge. I can learn more about the process for when I try it on my own.
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Old 10-19-09, 09:20 AM   #17
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Will do, trying to true was kind of a spontaneous thing I wanted to try and do. The wobble isn't bad, that I can feel it while I ride. It's just a little irksome knowing that it's there. Kind of like buying something new and seeing a tiny little imperfection. Nothing that screws you over, but just bothers you.
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Old 10-19-09, 09:39 AM   #18
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Operator may be right about the bent rim- when getting it really straight leaves some spokes overtightened and others too loose, often it's a bent rim you're trying to straighten with spoke tension. If that's the case, then it's better to have some wobble than really tight/loose spokes.

But, don't be discouraged- bring the mechanic a six of some good beer and see if he'll let you watch while he trues up your wheel. Just watching a pro do it is invaluable, especially if he'll answer questions while he does it.
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Old 10-20-09, 12:25 AM   #19
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That means the rim is bent.
agreed. when I first read your post it sounded like the rim was bent. if the spokes are too tight on one side, too loose on the other, and the rim is still off to the side on which they're loose, the problem is most likely a bent rim, rather than mis-tensioned spokes.
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