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Old 11-09-10, 10:45 AM   #1
trek330
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mavic Helium wheel spoke tension

I bought a tensionmeter and a truing stand to build some wheels for my Trek 330.I built the wheels and they came out great as I have reported elsewhere on the sight.I also have a Litespeed classic with Mavic Helium wheels and Hubs.The back has 28 1.8mm spokes and the front 26 spokes also 1.8mm.The wheels have been perfectly in true since i got the bike and I have rid the bike about 400 miles so far.I was surprised to see when checking spoke tension on the wheels,just out of curiosity,that they were much less than I anticipated.From 16-18 on the tension meter scale on the drive side rear.This translates to 59-72 kgf.and on the front something like 14-16 on the scale,or barely60kgf.The front are radially set and the back non drive side is radial and the drive side 1x crossing.Is this tension proper for this wheel set?My 3x pattern 2mmspoked wheels were tensioned between 90-110 kgf.The wheels feel greatr and as i said are in perfect true and hold true thus far.
Also I'm about 200 lbs.Is a breakdown on these wheels inevitable?Comments appreciated.
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Old 11-09-10, 11:29 AM   #2
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Sounds like they need more tension.
We had Heliums on my wife's bike and the rear wheel could not be trued properly because it was built with drive side spokes that were too long and the nipples had bottomed out on the threads.
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Old 11-09-10, 12:02 PM   #3
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If it ain't broke don't fix it.

If you bought the Heliums based on a reputation for quality, and they are holding up, you should leave them alone until there's a problem.

You might check with Mavic to confirm that they're within factory spec, and if so leave them alone, relying on Mavic's judgment about what's called for. To buy a high end product then decide the maker doesn't know what he's doing, is comparable to going to a doctor, then telling him his course of treatment is wrong.
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Old 11-09-10, 12:29 PM   #4
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The Heliums that we had were bought new. That was 12 years ago and I did not own a tension meter at the time but I'm sure they had more than 100 kgf from the factory.
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Old 11-09-10, 01:00 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
If it ain't broke don't fix it.

If you bought the Heliums based on a reputation for quality, and they are holding up, you should leave them alone until there's a problem.

You might check with Mavic to confirm that they're within factory spec, and if so leave them alone, relying on Mavic's judgment about what's called for. To buy a high end product then decide the maker doesn't know what he's doing, is comparable to going to a doctor, then telling him his course of treatment is wrong.
These wheels came with the bike and the bike was a gift so I can't even speak to the original owners.They are fine so far even excellent,however my concern is whether the wheel tension is incorrect and if so cause a breakdown or damage in the future.
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Old 11-09-10, 11:01 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by trek330 View Post
These wheels came with the bike and the bike was a gift so I can't even speak to the original owners.They are fine so far even excellent,however my concern is whether the wheel tension is incorrect and if so cause a breakdown or damage in the future.
If you're concerned, your first step should be to reach out to Mavic to find what the tension spec is. Measurement is useless, unless you have a target or specification to compare it to. Your second step is to confirm that you're measuring correctly. Interpreting tension meter readings depends on knowing the spoke gauge, and using the correct conversion chart.

Lastly I have a strong personal bias to heeding the premise of not fixing what isn't broke. I've seen to many people try to "improve" something that didn't need their help, only to cause problems were none existed.

It's also important to understand that there is not one single "correct" spoke tension, but there's a range, depending on a number of factors including rim strength, and spoke gauge. Like with drug dosing, more isn't necessarily better.
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Old 11-10-10, 08:29 AM   #7
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Radially-laced wheels generally don't like high spoke tension. I don't build radially-laced wheel due to the low-strength issue. Some people love the look and $ is not a factor.
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