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  1. #1
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    How often do you have to true your wheels?

    This is probably a silly question, but I need to know. Here's the story:

    I went to a bike shop about 1.5 months ago to get me a bike to commute to work. I'm 6' and weigh 270, so I'm rather curvy ;d. I'm almost certain I mentioned my weight and asked if it would be a problem, but my weight was never brought up in bike selection. I ended up getting a Trek 1.2 road bike.

    Fast forward to last weekend. I took a bike safety class, and the first thing we went over is safety checks. Sooo, the instructor knew I was a rookie, so he came over to help me. Well, I just got the bike out of the shop Friday (had a 60 day tuneup), and the wheel was already out of true(untrued???). I had only rode it 10 miles Friday.

    Soooo, after we finish the class, one of the instructors told me that it may very well had been trued, but my weight is probably causing problems. So, I took the bike back in Sunday to ***** about it. They check it out, and true the wheel again. 3 days later, the wheel is out of true again.

    So, since I'm already passed the 30 day return policy, my options are to
    a. ***** and raise hell about being sold a bike that I"m too big for
    b. Learn to true the wheels myself

    I do like the bike, and want to keep riding it. I'm just wondering if this is a problem for anyone else, and how you deal with it?

  2. #2
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    When I bought my Trek 7.2fx, I was over 340 (don't know my exact weight - didn't weigh in until I had been commuting for five weeks already). It has a 32 spoke wheel similar to yours. By the time I took it in for a 30 day tune up, the wheels were slightly out of true. For the two months since, they have remained true.

    You might want to learn how to true the wheels yourself. I am no master wheel builder - I have yet to true or build a wheel myself- but it sounds like your lbs might not be putting enough tension on your spokes. If they've held up for me at 340+ and on down, I don't see why you should be having these problems at 270.

    A third option you have is getting a good set of wheels built up by hand from somebody who knows how to do it right.

  3. #3
    Gorntastic! v1k1ng1001's Avatar
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    I think the best play here is to ask nicely if they'll warranty the rear wheel for you or maybe rebuild it.

    If they refuse to help you, then raise hell and ask to return it on the basis that you were clearly informed that the bike would hold your weight.

    It sounds like a botched factory job to me. There's no reason for the wheel on a Trek 1.2 to come out of true like that.

    Meanwhile, make sure that rear tire is inflated at max pressure every time you head out. At 270, if you ride at anything less, you run the risk of banging up the rim while you ride.

  4. #4
    Bikezilla Mazama's Avatar
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    There is a problem. I weigh about 340# and my wheels are still true after 2,000+ miles.

    +1 on keeping the pressure at max.
    14,000 miles and rolling...

  5. #5
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    My front wheel (32h, I was 385 lbs at the time) came slightly out of true after about 50 miles. I had the LBS true and retension the whole wheel (the retension is important). I've had no problems with it since then. I'm approaching 300 miles on it now...

    I'd say that wheel needs retensioning by someone who knows what they're doing.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris D View Post
    This is probably a silly question, but I need to know. Here's the story:

    I went to a bike shop about 1.5 months ago to get me a bike to commute to work. I'm 6' and weigh 270, so I'm rather curvy ;d. I'm almost certain I mentioned my weight and asked if it would be a problem, but my weight was never brought up in bike selection. I ended up getting a Trek 1.2 road bike.

    Fast forward to last weekend. I took a bike safety class, and the first thing we went over is safety checks. Sooo, the instructor knew I was a rookie, so he came over to help me. Well, I just got the bike out of the shop Friday (had a 60 day tuneup), and the wheel was already out of true(untrued???). I had only rode it 10 miles Friday.

    Soooo, after we finish the class, one of the instructors told me that it may very well had been trued, but my weight is probably causing problems. So, I took the bike back in Sunday to ***** about it. They check it out, and true the wheel again. 3 days later, the wheel is out of true again.

    So, since I'm already passed the 30 day return policy, my options are to
    a. ***** and raise hell about being sold a bike that I"m too big for
    b. Learn to true the wheels myself

    I do like the bike, and want to keep riding it. I'm just wondering if this is a problem for anyone else, and how you deal with it?
    A wheel that immediately goes out of true, has a spoke tension problem, the proper fix for this, is to drop the tension way down, true the wheel properly, then bring the tension back up to optimum. Spoke tension has 3 factors to it, rider weight, spoke count, and the maximum the rim/hub is designed for. Bicycle mechanics are not government or industry certified, so not all shops have someone who is good at wheels. The wheel at this point needs to go to someone who is good at wheels, to be done properly.....

  7. #7
    Triathlon in my future??? flip18436572's Avatar
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    I am a newby to this also. But, I bought the tools and trued my wheels a few months ago, because it is an hour drive to my LBS, and unless I am headed there for a purpose and can safely leave my bike outside, I don't go. So, I learned to true my wheels, and I have yet to do it again. I check them by spinning the rims, before I leave on any ride, but they haven't changed in the last 400 miles. I run my pressure at 120 and I am on 700 x 23 tires.

    Are you checking your air pressure regularly, and do you keep your cadence up also? I seemed to have more problems when I was mashing instead of keeping my cadence around 90 - 100. I have hit some major rocks/cracks/bumps/etc... while riding on the highway shoulders lately without any problmes.

    After talking to others, I will probably need to get the proper tools to adjust the tension of the spokes equally. I have always used the "ping" tests on my motorcycle rims, and was using a similar approach to my bicycle spokes. The difference was a metal wrench on my motorcycle rims and I use my finger with the bicycle.
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  8. #8
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    What Wog said. I've taken in pefectly fine bikes for a check and 30 day tune and received them back worse than what they were taken in. Not all shop guys know what they are doing. Some cause more damage by binding spokes while turning the nips. That's the reason I don't take them in for the FREE service. Do it yourself is the best way to keep your stuff nice!

    Plus stock wheels are never really that good but you shouldn't have problems this early. You will need a mor durable wheel after maybe 3-4,000 miles. That's my experience at 220- 240 lbs.

    I believe Trek has a pretty good warranty on the wheels. Look it up on the website. Then ask the shop to replace it under Trek's warranty policy. If they don't conact Trek!


    EDIT!! I looked up the warranty. Bontrager components have a 5 year warranty but the wheels on the 1.2 aren't Bonti. Alloy hubs and Alex rims But still the rims should not have this touble at this low mileage. I have little faith in Bonti stock stuff but your wheels are low end. Honestly, I'd invest in a better wheel for the sake of RIDING the bike. These low end wheels will never be worthy.....I built my own rear wheel using decent components, retensioned them after 200 miles and now have close to 15,000 miles WITHOUT a true! It's worth it just avoiding the hassle!
    Last edited by Mr. Beanz; 07-25-08 at 09:04 AM.

  9. #9
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    Soooo, after we finish the class, one of the instructors told me that it may very well had been trued, but my weight is probably causing problems.

    Bollocks. I'm 240 pounds now, and I've been upwards of 270. I've trued my wheels ONCE in the past 2500 miles, and it was reasonably expected that I'd need to. They were machine built wheels, so I detentioned them and retensioned/trued them right from the start. Around 300 miles they needed some minor truing adjustments, and they've been fine since then.

  10. #10
    Senior Member tabnlu's Avatar
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    What kind of wheels are they and what is the spoke count?
    2000 Trek 1000 (yellow bike)
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  11. #11
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    Spokes are getting "wound up" as the wheel is being trued. As your truing, you can either grab the spoke near the nipple with a padded pliers, or over tension 1/8-1/4 turn and back off. If you are new, a little tape, or even a simple mark from a Sharpie, will let you see this. After truing, lay the wheel flat on a hard backed, but padded, surface, and grab opposing portions of rim in your left and right hands, pushing the axle into the surface. You don't need to stand on it, but don't baby it either. You will be able to feel it flex a little. This will de-tension the spokes on the opposing side. Let go, turn the wheel 45 degrees, and repeat. Work your way all the way around the wheel, and don't forget the opposite side. Major "snap, crackle, pop" noises indicate windup issues and improperly bedded spokes. May have to re-true after this step.

    Its not a bad idea to check with a spoke tension meter. Proper spoke tension is especially important for us Clydes. Most every machine built wheel that I've seen is under tensioned. The spokes on a properly built wheel, will never go completely out of tension as they roll. In addition, even spoke-to-spoke tension makes for a good build. If the rim is straight there is no need for variations beyond 10%. Note: there will be a greater difference between the drive and non-drive sides of the rear wheel.

  12. #12
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tabnlu View Post
    What kind of wheels are they and what is the spoke count?

    I looked it up on the Trek sitre. Low end alloy hubs and alex rims. Pretty low end and only enough to sell the bike. He's better off buying a new wheel. The stock low end will be nothing but a pain and a real downer if the op wants to actually RIDE the bike. Issues like this can be such a dwner that many riders will give up riding rather than dealing with wheel issues. Get a good wheel is the only solution.

    A 10 with a somewhat decent rim will be MUCH better than what is equipped on the bike.! SOmetimes you can find one online for a hundred bucks, maybe a friend has one laying around, maybe a Performance deal. I'm thinking anythinng will be better than whatt he has!

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by mesasone View Post
    You might want to learn how to true the wheels yourself. I am no master wheel builder - I have yet to true or build a wheel myself- but it sounds like your lbs might not be putting enough tension on your spokes.
    I just trued my own wheels tonight for the first time. I didn't have any tools except for a spoke wrench. It was a wheel that was knocked out of true after an accident. I was surprised at how easy it was.

    Having said that, other people here bring up excellent points about spoke tension. I made the wobble go out of the wheel, but that's about it. Even so, if the tension is okay minor truing isn't really that hard. Just remember you turn the spoke nipples the opposite of what you're used to (clockwise loosens the tension).

  14. #14
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cooleric1234 View Post
    . Just remember you turn the spoke nipples the opposite of what you're used to (clockwise loosens the tension).


    Uhhhh I wonder what kind of wheels you deal with? You are screwing the nipple onto the spoke threads. It turns clockwise on and counter clockwise off!
    Last edited by Mr. Beanz; 07-26-08 at 08:39 AM. Reason: Was not edited:D

  15. #15
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Beanz View Post
    Uhhhh I wonder what kind of wheels you deal with? You are screwing the nipple onto the spoke threads. It turns clockwise on and clockwise off!
    Those must be some interesting threads, there, Beanz! Same direction for both on and off?
    on light duty due to illness; please contact my assistants for forum issues. They are Siu Blue Wind, or CbadRider or the other 3 star folk. I am currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes. I am making good progress, happily.


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  16. #16
    Senior Member vorkus's Avatar
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    I replaced my stock (24 spoke) wheels on my Giant TCX 1 after breaking a spoke on the rear wheel. It probably wasn't tensioned properly. I got a set of wheels with 32 spokes. After my first ride, I trued both wheels and here's the important part, checked the tension. For us big folk, spoke tension is the most important. I ended up increasing the tension on quite a few spokes that were low (rear wheel especially). Its the low tension ones that break.

    I retensioned/trued one additional time after 3 more rides and I haven't had to mess with them since. I think I have about 250 miles on those wheels since the last time I had to true them. I due check once in awhile to make sure.

    I'd recommend getting the tools and doing it yourself. I think someone said it here before "never loosen a spoke". Your wheels should stay true after that.

    John

  17. #17
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Stormcrowe View Post
    Those must be some interesting threads, there, Beanz! Same direction for both on and off?

    Whatcha talkin' about Willis?

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