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Old 09-18-11, 09:01 AM   #1
pothound
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open pro wheel tension

i bought an open pro ultegra wheelset. the spokes are 14/15/14 doublebutted. the tension is too low,in my opinion. using my tm-1 tensionmeter, the rear drive side is 20-21, the non drive side is 10 to 15. the front wheel is 11 to 14. on the conversion chart, i'm using the 1.8mm table. it does not show a reading until it is 15 on the park tm-1 meter. 15 is 54 kgf,this is too low. driveside is 88 kgf. i feel like i'm missing something. any help would be appreciated.
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Old 09-18-11, 09:14 AM   #2
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typical machine built wheel. you have to fix it
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Old 09-18-11, 10:04 AM   #3
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The RDS seems okay. The RNDS needs to be tension balanced. The front wheel needs to be re-done altogether.
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Old 09-18-11, 10:15 AM   #4
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If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

You bought a new wheelset from what you assumed was a reliable builder. If it's true, ride it as and if it stays true none of your measurements are relevant. If it doesn't hold true, you can correct the tension as you re true it. That may be next week, next month or next year. In the meantime you'll have gotten use out of it and lost nothing.
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Old 09-18-11, 11:56 AM   #5
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When converted the drive side needs to be up around 110 kgf. When properly dished it determines the final tension of the non-drive side. However, as already noted - sound like the non-drive side is not balanced properly or of near equal tension spoke to spoke on that side.

For the front, you're aiming in the 95-103 range.

Most wheel builders want the wheels back a few days later for a check over...have you done that?

=8-)
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Old 09-18-11, 12:21 PM   #6
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thank you
these are 32 spoke wheels and i weigh 230 lbs. after reading these replies, i'm going to tighten the spokes up.i don't want to go to tight. i worry about braking spokes. correct me if i'm wrong. do i use the 1.8mm table.
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Old 09-18-11, 12:24 PM   #7
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thank you
these are 32 spoke wheels and i weigh 230 lbs. after reading these replies, i'm going to tighten the spokes up.i don't want to go to tight. i worry about braking spokes. correct me if i'm wrong. do i use the 1.8mm table.
pothound
You use the table that corresponds to the diameter of the spoke where you're measuring it.
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Old 09-18-11, 09:35 PM   #8
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thank you
these are 32 spoke wheels and i weigh 230 lbs. after reading these replies, i'm going to tighten the spokes up.i don't want to go to tight. i worry about braking spokes. correct me if i'm wrong. do i use the 1.8mm table.
pothound
Yes. You say your spokes are 14/15/14ga which is 2.0/1.8/2.0mm. The 1.8mm section is applicable and that is where you measure tension with your meter. At your weight you want to do a good job of balancing tension to avoid breaking spokes. I agree with mrrabbit on the recommended tension values having built several sets of Open Pro wheels.
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Old 09-19-11, 05:29 AM   #9
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thanks you all for your help. these are machine built wheels. i purchased them from an online retailer. cosmetically they are perfect. the tension is to low and they were out of true and out of round. i have them back in true and roundness. i'm working on the tension now. i have a little experience doing this or i would be in trouble.
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Old 09-19-11, 06:43 AM   #10
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I have a set of wheels bought 6 years ago with the same spec parts bought online and had approximately the same readings except the drive side rear were uniform but a bit low. I re-tensioned all of them and balanced the tension evenly. These wheels now have 6000 - 7000 trouble free miles. I say give them a proper tune and you should be good to go.
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Old 09-19-11, 06:50 AM   #11
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i weigh 230 lbs.
Wrong rim. Should've gone with the CXP-33 if you just had to have Mavic.
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Old 09-19-11, 07:02 AM   #12
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Wrong rim. Should've gone with the CXP-33 if you just had to have Mavic.
I have heard this too but I weigh in at 245 and have years of service on these wheels.
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Old 09-19-11, 07:17 AM   #13
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I have heard this too but I weigh in at 245 and have years of service on these wheels.
I didn't say it couldn't be done, but for most guys over 225lbs, especially given these are apparently machine built wheels that have likely not been equilibrated nor accurately stress relieved, there are better, more durable choices.
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Old 09-19-11, 07:26 AM   #14
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I understand and agree. If I were building new now, I have a preference for Velocity rims and would likely go for Aerohead OC but the OP already has these wheels and I wanted to let him know that they can provide great service if properly tensioned. For the average rider doing recreational rides rather than crits or hard core commuting or touring, these wheels can be fine.

Last edited by blamp28; 09-19-11 at 07:27 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 09-19-11, 07:43 AM   #15
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Well, given that I think that for average, non racing cyclists, light wheels are just a way to sell more stuff, if he wanted Velocity rims, I'd have put him on Deep Vs. So done, in the hands of a skilled builder, he'd have a set of wheels that simply need no truing, pretty much ever. My favorite rim for big guys these days is the DT Swiss RR585. I've got numerous Clydes running those on 28 hole hubs with zero issues and no follow-up truing required.... :-)
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Old 09-19-11, 08:06 AM   #16
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I may have mis-read his post but I thought he had already purchased this particular set and was looking for advice. We can come up with lots of other things he should have done but I was instead advising that the wheels he did buy have worked very well for me for nearly 7000 miles. I prefer a hand built wheel myself and these are my only machine built wheels but they were a real bargain at $229 for the set. I re tensioned them right out of the box and have not touched them since. While my education on wheels would not have me in this particular combination again, they have hardly been fragile or unreliable in my experience.
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Old 09-19-11, 08:53 AM   #17
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Mavic calls for no more than 110kg on their rims. With your weight I would try to get a close as possible. No matter the anecdotale evidence a 36 spoke wheel is better for someone of your weight.
I rebuilt a wheel for a friend that came with that rim and a Powertap hub. He broke the first and replacement OPen Pro rim. They cracked at the spoke holes and on the edges of the rim. He is also a gym rat and strong as an ox and capable of generating over 850 watts for short periods.
I finally rebuilt it with a Sun CR18 and he has had no more problems with the rim. He did manage to drop the chain and cut half of the drive side spokes, but that is a different problem.
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Old 09-22-11, 05:08 AM   #18
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i'm concerned about the tension on the rear wheel. the drive side is at 22 on my tensiometer which is 111kgf on my conversion chart. ok. now the non drive side is 15 or less,which is 54 on the tensiometer. less does not show a reading at all. is this normal? i didn't like it, so i tensioned the non drive side another 1/2 turn giving me 16 on the meter, but dished the wheel off center in fork slightly. any advice would be appreciated.
thank you pothound
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Old 09-22-11, 08:00 AM   #19
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.....so i tensioned the non drive side another 1/2 turn giving me 16 on the meter, but dished the wheel off center in fork slightly. any advice would be appreciated.
thank you pothound
Well, duh!!!
No offense intended, but did you really expect that you could tighten all the left spokes without the rim moving over?

The ratio of the left to right tensions of a rear wheel is cut in stone. It's set by the ratio of the left and right center to flange distances of your hub. Now that you've tightened the left and moved the rim off center, you have 3 choices; live with it, loosen the left back to where it was, or tighten the right to bring the rim to the right.

Since your right side is already fairly tight (tightening the left has tightened the right more also) you'll find it difficult to tighten more without rounding off nipples or getting lots of spoke twist. If you want to end up with tighter left spokes than you originally had, I suggest backing off the left spokes by degrees back to where it was, then tightening the right, then finish by re-tightening the left to restore correct dish.
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Old 09-22-11, 08:15 AM   #20
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As I said above, I have not touched these wheels in years but if I recall correctly, those numbers may be where they are. It believe the drive sides were right arround 21.5 - 22 and the non drive side come out as a function of dish at around 60% or so of drive side maybe a little less. I can measure if you like tonight when I get home.
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Old 09-22-11, 09:27 AM   #21
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To the OP: Balancing the tension as evenly as is possible while maintaining true is also a big key as has been stated above - particularly for heavier riders looking to get max usage out of the wheels. You probably have already seen this but just in case, I'll post it again. This is Park Tool's repair help on the subject and the down-loadable excel spreadsheet is a cool way to visualize what is happening with spoke tension.

http://www.parktool.com/blog/repair-help/tcc-tension-conversion-calculator-for-tm-1

Also, make sure you stress relieve the wheels and re-check tension and true a couple of times to take out any spoke windup. This sort of attention is what makes wheels last ans what you miss when buying machine built wheels. Since these INTERNET retailers buy these components and or wheels in bulk, they can price them so competitively that you cannot buy the components separately for anywhere near the $250 or so these wheels are selling for. The best value is often found by buying the bargain priced - well spec'd wheel-set and fully hand tuning them. The fact that you are able to or learning to do this yourself puts you in a great position.

Last edited by blamp28; 09-22-11 at 09:28 AM. Reason: to add link
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Old 09-22-11, 12:23 PM   #22
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thank you
i just finished loosening the left side. i was able to tighten the right a small amount. the wheel is back to center. i expected the left side to be tighter than this, 13 to 15 on my tm-1, which does not show up on the conversion table. the right side is maxed out.
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Old 09-22-11, 12:49 PM   #23
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Make sure you balance the tension. 13 - 15 may ba able to balance out to 14 - 14.5 while still holding your right side tension and true. This will last longer than a swing of 13 - 15. Many consider the tension to be balanced if it is within 20% (all of the spokes on the same side of the rear wheel). While 13 - 15 is arount 15%, you may be able to get them closer.
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Old 09-22-11, 02:16 PM   #24
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I would tighten all the spokes until the NDS tension gets above 55 kgf. If you go over 110 on the DS it shouldn't be a big deal. Besides, once a tire is inflated on the wheel the tension will drop. IMO, Mavic's max tension recommendation is conservative and results a weaker wheel.
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Old 09-22-11, 06:48 PM   #25
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I thought Mavic allowed 120 kgf for their double eyelet rims. At least that's what I had heard when I was building Open 4 CDs and Reflexes (the clinchers, not the tubulars)
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