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Old 05-12-10, 02:37 PM   #1
mr_nickos_jr
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Loose Spoke/Wobbly wheel

Hey so I noticed when I spin the rear tire it isn't even (as in it looks like some parts of it stick up further than others). I could take in my bike to the shop tomorrow for the loose spoke/wobbly wheel but I know they charge an arm and a leg.

I read up on how to tighten the spoke myself with a spoke wrench, but I'm unsure if that would fix the wheel itself appearing uneven. Is that something I should look into fixing/take it into the shop anyways? I've been riding it for a few weeks with the wheel being slightly uneven unsure as to why, and just realized it was because of the loose spoke.

My bike is a trek 7.2 fx
http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes/road/fx/72fx/

I use it for commuting all the time and often have somewhat heavy bags on the rear rack (which may explain the issues).
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Old 05-12-10, 02:49 PM   #2
Al Criner
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Your wheel needs to be properly tensioned and trued. A wheel has to be trued both side-to-side and radially (making it round). Your wheel is typical of machine-made OEM wheels which are built with inadequate spoke tension and the spokes then loosen up as you ride. Take it to a shop or do it yourself.

If you DIY, lubricate the nipples and get a good quality spoke wrench. If you take it to someone, make sure they will properly tension the spokes and not just do a quick truing to straighten and round out the wheel.
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Old 05-12-10, 03:56 PM   #3
cny-bikeman
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It worries me a bit just how much you've "read up" if you only refer to tightening one spoke, refer to the rim "sticking up" rather than being out of round or true, and you are "unsure if that would fix the wheel itself appearing uneven." Shops charge a lot for truing because doing so properly, especially with a used wheel with unknown cause of being out of true can be very challenging. It's best to learn truing on a wheel that has had at least one proper trueing.
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Old 05-12-10, 04:08 PM   #4
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Since you're into reading up on it, look at Sheldon's article http://sheldonbrown.com/wheelbuild.html#tensioning and Roger Musson's book "A Professional Guide to Wheel Building" http://www.wheelpro.co.uk/wheelbuilding/book.php. Wheel trueing and tensioning are a significant part of wheel building and they both have a wealth of info that will help you. If you learn to do it right you will, I'm sure, find it satisfying and rewarding. Plus, it definitely helps you understand one of the most important components on your bike - the one that holds you up and keeps you rolling along.
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Old 05-12-10, 11:37 PM   #5
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Thanks for the links wmodavis. And cny-bikeman yes I'm unfamiliar with it. I did read some but there's only so much you can get from these readings when you aren't familiar with what all the parts are they're referring to. I also wasn't aware of the term trueing and what it meant. I didn't have time this morning to read pages on it, so I simply skimmed and read that there are tools for doing it yourself. As far as I knew there was only one spoke that was funky but yeh seeing as I don't have time to mess around with it and it's my only bike I'm having the shop do it for me. Maybe I'll look into it more later if I get another bike/can afford to have it out for a while.
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