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Old 08-29-11, 07:49 PM   #1
scozim 
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What's the deal - wheel true issue

I bought a 96 Klein Pulse II last year to ride on the local gravel/forest service roads and jeep trails. No jumping, drops, etc.

In the past year I've had to have the rear wheel trued four times - twice this year (once in May and once at the end of June). While riding tonight I noticed a wobble again in the rear wheel and sure enough there's another loose spoke on the drive side.

I'm not one who does my own wheels (pretty much can do everything else for repairs). I'm at a loss for why this is a consistent problem. Should I just have the wheel rebuilt and be done with it or could it be a bigger issue, like the rim.

Wheel is a 26" Matrix Swami mated to a Deore LX Parallax hub.
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Old 08-29-11, 08:13 PM   #2
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When they true the wheels what are the spoke tensions? If they are too low it is normal for truing to have to be redone often. If they are tensioned properly during the truing process they should hold a long time. Truing is only one of the factors in adjusting wheels. Besides radial and lateral true, the tension should be up around, 100Kg, the tensions should be relatively even (+-20% or better), and the wheel stress relieved.
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Old 08-29-11, 08:14 PM   #3
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Sounds like the time has come for you to buy a spoke wrench.

I bet you can make your wheel stay true once you get your head around the wheelbuilding deal.
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Old 08-29-11, 08:16 PM   #4
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Unless theres a flat spot in the rim, a bad joint, cracked hole...

...get a better wheelbuilder / mechanic.

=8-)
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Old 08-29-11, 09:17 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kimmo View Post
Sounds like the time has come for you to buy a spoke wrench.

I bet you can make your wheel stay true once you get your head around the wheelbuilding deal.
Probably so - I push the envelope with bike expenses already to keep the "fleet" fully operational and my wife hasn't been too happy. I do want to learn the wheelbuilding art some day.

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Unless theres a flat spot in the rim, a bad joint, cracked hole...

...get a better wheelbuilder / mechanic.

=8-)
I've wondered about that. They've built up 4 road wheels for me - three of them tubular ones for my vintage rides with no problem. Sounds like the tension just isn't right and re-doing it might be the best option.
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Old 08-29-11, 09:18 PM   #6
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Buy a tensiometer and report back. I'd say a good retension/equilibration job and some Spoke Freeze and the problem will be gone.....assuming the rim isn't bent.
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Old 09-01-11, 05:32 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scozim View Post
I bought a 96 Klein Pulse II last year to ride on the local gravel/forest service roads and jeep trails. No jumping, drops, etc.

In the past year I've had to have the rear wheel trued four times - twice this year (once in May and once at the end of June). While riding tonight I noticed a wobble again in the rear wheel and sure enough there's another loose spoke on the drive side.
The tension is too low in some (or all) spokes and/or you have a bend in the rim.

Quote:
I'm not one who does my own wheels (pretty much can do everything else for repairs). I'm at a loss for why this is a consistent problem. Should I just have the wheel rebuilt and be done with it or could it be a bigger issue, like the rim.
Lubricate nipples and sockets with oil.

Increase drive side tension to an acceptable level being sure to undo windup (I like a tape flag on a representative spoke in each group). You can use a tension meter (generally 110kgf, with Park's $50 TM-1 being the only model affordable to consumers). If the rim is a light aluminum box section (not deep) you can alternately increase tension and stress relieve (squeeze near parallel spokes together, or twist them around each other at the outer crossing with something softer like a plastic screw-driver handle/old left crank arm/brass drift) until the wheel deforms in waves at which point you back off half a turn (drive side, 1/4 non-drive side) and re-true.

Set the non-drive side tension to whatever it takes to center the rim between axle nuts.

Make it as uniform as it can get with the wheel still being laterally true (you need brake clearance, especially when frame and wheel flex climbing) and with reasonable radial run-out.

You can get to the same place you would with a tension meter plucking spokes for uniformity which is faster than measuring. You can get to the same absolute tension on suitable rims iteratively but it takes longer.
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