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  1. #1
    Senior Member dbikingman's Avatar
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    how many miles before truing wheels

    How many miles would you ride before taking your wheels to be trued. When I bought my bike they offered to give me a tune up and true my wheels knowing that it will be needed to be done.
    WTB SPD pedals style???
    "I've been dropped a lot of times, but it's never been because of my bike." DXchulo

  2. #2
    SuperGimp TrojanHorse's Avatar
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    If they don't need to be trued... then never.

    if they're new, you should bring them in after about 200 miles to be retensioned.

  3. #3
    Big Boned Biker IAMAMRA's Avatar
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    My front wheel has been out of true for about 5 months...when it gets worse ill deal with it. As a Clyde, our wheels take more abuse and need fruit more often.
    www.BigBonedBiker.Wordpress.com

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    Senior Member Blue Belly's Avatar
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    Riding a wheel out of true is asking for trouble. It'd be good to find out why it is out of true. If spokes are coming loose, they aren't going to stop where they are. If they are pulling through, not good. If the rim is bent & for many of the above problems, you are causing stress unevenly, as you ride on them.(Can cause more damage) If they need tensioning, no big deal. At any rate, a wheel that is true should be a safe wheel & a wheel that lasts. & it should stay true, once "break in" is finished.

  5. #5
    Ancient Clydesdale 2 wheeler's Avatar
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    It depends on the run out, that is how much side to side variation there is when looking at the brake surfaces. If it's 1mm or more, I would get them checked out. If you don't see any variation in side to side play, then they are probably ok.

  6. #6
    Getting older and slower!
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    I check them every time I lube my chain, about every 100 to 150 miles. They are usually true but twice in the last two years they needed to be trued. (I'm currently about 210lbs.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2 wheeler View Post
    It depends on the run out, that is how much side to side variation there is when looking at the brake surfaces. If it's 1mm or more, I would get them checked out. If you don't see any variation in side to side play, then they are probably ok.
    1mm...really? 2mm is acceptable for the Tour de France teams.

  8. #8
    Senior Member dbikingman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrojanHorse View Post
    If they don't need to be trued... then never.

    if they're new, you should bring them in after about 200 miles to be retensioned.

    Thanks I should have said retentioned and not trued. They aren't out of true, but I'd like to be sure the tension is accurate. If they were handbuilt wheels I'd be less concerned. Since they offered the service I want to take advantage of it, so it doesn't become an issue.
    WTB SPD pedals style???
    "I've been dropped a lot of times, but it's never been because of my bike." DXchulo

  9. #9
    Ancient Clydesdale 2 wheeler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DX-MAN View Post
    1mm...really? 2mm is acceptable for the Tour de France teams.
    What a bunch of slackers those TdF guys are! They would never cut it around here!!

    I would be interested to see your source for the 2mm standard and that all teams adhere to it.

  10. #10
    Senior Member lolguy's Avatar
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    I've got more than 3,000 miles on my Roubaix and never had the wheels trued. They still look good, too.

  11. #11
    SuperGimp TrojanHorse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dbikingman View Post
    Thanks I should have said retentioned and not trued. They aren't out of true, but I'd like to be sure the tension is accurate. If they were handbuilt wheels I'd be less concerned. Since they offered the service I want to take advantage of it, so it doesn't become an issue.
    You can pluck the spokes and listen to the sound... if you dn't have a tin ear you can sometimes tell when spokes are getting dramatically different. Keep in mind the lacing pattern will affect the tone (so the spoke on the top will sound slightly different from the one on the bottom, where they cross, and the NDS spokes will have a higher tension than the DS spokes etc etc)

    If you have issues, take it in.

  12. #12
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    It will depend on the wheels.

    Hand finished and hand built wheels should not need anything while machine built wheels can be all over the place in quality.

    When I build wheels I aim for tolerances of 10 thousandths or .25mm which is attainable with good quality parts, I can often come in at 5 thousandths, and occasionally come in below that which really depends more on the quality of the parts than my skills in building wheels.

    I used to work as a machinist and anything over .025 (thou) or .1 mm runout makes me crazy.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Bill Kapaun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dbikingman View Post
    Thanks I should have said retentioned and not trued. They aren't out of true, but I'd like to be sure the tension is accurate. If they were handbuilt wheels I'd be less concerned. Since they offered the service I want to take advantage of it, so it doesn't become an issue.
    Are you sure the LBS is offering to retension?
    Typically, they'll spend 3-4 minutes/wheel and just do a "touch up" true.

    As far as tensioning, I'd do that ASAP.
    If they need it, they need it NOW. Consistent tension is more important than absolute numbers, within reason.

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    I’ve haven’t needed to true any wheel that I trued initially from new and now I have several thousand miles on my mountain bikes.

  15. #15
    Senior Member digibud's Avatar
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    If they are still true then they were probably tensioned properly to start with and I would not touch them. If a wheel is properly tensioned and true it can run for many thousand miles without being touched. I have nearly 8,000 mi on my most recent wheels and have never touched them. If the wheels were true to start and remain true, leave well enough alone.
    Alaskans for global warming.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Bill Kapaun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by digibud View Post
    If they are still true then they were probably tensioned properly to start with and I would not touch them. If a wheel is properly tensioned and true it can run for many thousand miles without being touched. I have nearly 8,000 mi on my most recent wheels and have never touched them. If the wheels were true to start and remain true, leave well enough alone.
    They may be EVENLY tensioned, which would tend to keep them true, but they may have inadequate tension that could result in shorter spoke life and a general "sluggish" feeling.

  17. #17
    The Left Coast, USA FrenchFit's Avatar
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    I depends on the wheel, as had been noted. My 16 to 24h wheels have never gone out of true. My 36h Wolbers, which I referred to as Wobblers, needed to be trued every few weeks. MTBs wheels, seems like every month if they are ridden hard. I built up a set of 27"ers with Sun rims for commuting, after the original build they've been spot on perfect. For long rides I take a Park spoke wrench with me, do a little tweak on the road if necessary but it's rarely needed. Even tension is a mis-nomer, I occasionally use a tension meter and there are alwyas small variations between spokes; you can get in a safe ballpark by just plucking all the spokes on the same side and see if they sound about the same. If they look true spinning and you don't have any loose spokes I would leave them alone.

    I did take a wheel to an LBS for dishing and tensioning, once, and they pretty much destroyed the wheel. One of the owner-"gurus" worked on it, he just had a bad day I guess. If you work on it yourself you get familiar with the tendencies of that wheelset, I think you end up with better results.
    Last edited by FrenchFit; 10-14-13 at 09:05 AM.

  18. #18
    Klaatu..Verata..Necktie? genejockey's Avatar
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    I had one wheelset built by a local high-end shop years ago. Needed re-truing after 100 miles, because he hadn't done a proper job with spoke tension and destressing. They were visibly wobbly and some spokes were almost loose. Started popping rear spokes at about 1500 miles, so I had that one rebuilt by a better wheelbuilder.

    Another wheelset, I had built by a local wheel specialist. 2000+ miles on them and they are perfectly true, and never needed any tweaking.

    So, the answer is, if the wheels need truing, they need truing. If they don't, they don't.
    "Don’t take life so serious—it ain’t nohow permanent."

  19. #19
    Senior Member CommuteCommando's Avatar
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    I have had wheels go out in a couple of hundred miles, others only needed a little tweak after a couple of thousand. It depends on how well the wheels were built. Just keep an eye on them. I had to readjust the shifter cables on my new bike, and when I had it on its back I spun the wheels to check for true. If you do this every time you fix a flat, it should be enough to tell if every thing is good. If they have gone 500 mi, like mine have, they'll probably go thousands.
    As much as you paid for that Beemer [Mercedies, Audi, Escalade], I'm surprised it didn't come equipped with turn signals.

  20. #20
    Senior Member skilsaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2 wheeler View Post
    What a bunch of slackers those TdF guys are! They would never cut it around here!!

    I would be interested to see your source for the 2mm standard and that all teams adhere to it.
    They do that so that when they add gatorade powder to their water bottle, they don't need to shake it up. The bike does all the shaking that is necessary. It's true. I read it on the internet.
    The one who has the most bikes wins.

  21. #21
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    I"m a superclyde and check my wheels every few weeks. I do have to give them an occasional tweak but nothing major. But being a superclyde, that is to be expected. I build my own wheels so any weirdness that occurs is purely my own fault.
    "When dealing with stuff like this consider that this is a bicycle, not a spaceship." -- FBinNY

  22. #22
    Senior Member Bill Kapaun's Avatar
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    A few months back, I purchased a CHEAP (<$30) front wheel for a CL flipper I was working on.
    It was surprisingly true, and 1/2 the tension was spot on.
    The alternating spokes on each side were about 1/2 of proper tension.
    Somehow, I tend to think this wheel might stay true, but I wouldn't expect long service life.
    BTW, the spokes were about 2mm shorter than they should have been to reach the bottom of the screw driver slot.

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