My biggest issue with my bike (2008 Trek Portland...custom built wheels with 32 spoke count) ) is not really with my bike but what I put it through. I'm a heavy guy and I ride to work (16 miles each way) with full panniers including my clothes and laptop. The front wheel stays very true but the back wheel, even when being super careful to avoid bumps, gets out of true after a few rides. It's a drag to bring it back into the LBS each time. Previously I did the "do it yourself" route and really screwed up my prior rims (way too much tension, cracked eyelits, etc.). I want to get really good at truing so I have watched a dozen you tube videos on the subect but still have some comments/questions:
1) I know you are supposed to tighten in small increments (1/4 turn preferred...half turn max) but what if the spoke is REALLY loose? Is it still just a matter of tightening the loose spoke a half turn then loosening the surrounding spokes to ease it back in?
2) I've ben told on rear wheels that the chain side needs somewhat more or less tension. Is that true and if so how much and why?
3) When do you decide to completely re-tension your wheels and how best do you do that?
4) When and how do you use a tension meter?
5) I carry my laptop on the chain side pannier. Is that the right call or does that even matter as far as where the load gets placed?
6) It appears from the videos that you loosen spokes by turning clockwise, and tighten counter clockwise...this has kind of thrown me off a little since I always thought "righty tighty, lefty loosey." Guess I need to retrain the brain.
Sorry...lots of questions and the videos I have watched only tell part of the story. I continue to use my LBS for most repairs...but given my frequent need for wheel truing I have to get this down because this is becomming a hassle for me and them as well. Thanks.