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Old 09-24-11, 02:43 PM   #1
I_Like_Bike
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Spoke tension question

I have noticed this odd noise when pedaling in the lowest gear at a low cadence. I thought it was chain rub, but today I was oiling my chain when I noticed that my rear wheel seem out of true. I have never trued a wheel, but I spun it near the brakes a few times and grabbed a spoke, it was lose. Very little tension.

I tightened it and then trued it by bringing the brakes closer and closer. It seems true, but some of the spokes are still somewhat lose (like two and just not really high tension). They are tighter then they were, but still not immovable like the other spokes. Is that normal, or have I done something wrong.

Wanted to go on a ride today, but am not sure it is safe now. What do you think?

Also, could this (lose spokes) have been the noise I was hearing?

Last edited by I_Like_Bike; 09-24-11 at 02:47 PM.
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Old 09-24-11, 03:35 PM   #2
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It's hard to say without seeing the wheel or having an actual tension measurement other than some spokes feel loose. One thing you should be aware of is that on rear wheels the left side spokes usually have only about 60% of the tension of the right.

At issue is the overall tension, the evenness of tension on either flange and whether the wheel runs true , both side to side and radially (hops and dips) and is centered on the hub (dish).

It's hard to give you a decent guide to how loose is too loose on the left, or how tight is too tight on the right, but you might feel other wheels to get a sense of it. If you have uneven tension on either side, especially when crossed spokes are mis-matched, you might try to transfer some load from one to the other, but be aware that sometimes the rim itself is bent, and some unevenness is the result of the spokes forcing it back to line.
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Old 09-24-11, 07:15 PM   #3
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I'd take it to a bike shop, which will have the proper tools to diagnose the problem. Uneven spoke tension will just result in more broken spokes.
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Old 09-24-11, 07:28 PM   #4
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What ever I did made the noise worse. So, I tightened the spokes some and will give it another test ride tomorrow. If it still makes noise then I will take it to a shop. Thanks guys.

Also, I should mention that the wheels are new. Only a few hundred miles on them.
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Old 09-24-11, 09:54 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by I_Like_Bike View Post

Also, I should mention that the wheels are new. Only a few hundred miles on them.
New wheels don't necessarily mean they are in top condition. Especially new factory built wheels.
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