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  1. #1
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    Wheels out of true after two weeks of medium use--normal or no?

    My wheels are slightly out of true; when I spin the wheels, the distance between the rim and the brake pads changes quite noticeably. This is only after about two weeks of medium use.

    Is this normal or no? It's not madly expensive to get them trued at the LBS, but I'd prefer not to have to do it on my bill (i.e. get JensonUSA to pay for it if I can).

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    Normally I would think that the bike shop would have asked you to bring the wheels back after a century or so. I would think that there would be no charge for slight truing. Did you hear pinging noises while riding?

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    just do it yourself
    counterclockwise tightens, clockwise loosens
    (the spoke nipples have normal threads, its just that you see them from the backside)

    try to use a real spoke wrench, not an adjustable crescent wrench cause you risk stripping them...

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    No pinging noises, and they don't brush the brakes, but I'm guessing that increases rolling resistance a bit and reduces wheel integrity too.

    I bought the CxC complete from JensonUSA online, so it could have happened during shipping or something.

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    It's not unusual for machine made wheels to go out of true. Read about truing
    in a book or get someone to show you how to do it. Personally, I just take mine
    to a bike shop, it's a cheap fix. Once they get properly trued they should stay that
    way for long time.
    We are as gods, we might as well get good at it.
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    Take it to a shop for a proper truing. Also ask if they can re-tension the spokes. This is one of the reasons I much prefer a good quality hand built wheel over the off the shelf stock wheel. Yes they cost a bit more, but will usually stay in true much longer. YMMV based on who built the wheel and the components used.


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  7. #7
    POWERCRANK addict markhr's Avatar
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    machine built - I'm suprised they even lasted 2 weeks. You'll find these on most pre-built bikes these days, i.e., the type that arrives at the shop in a box with just stem/handlebars and pedals to attach.

    hand built - I'd be very suprised. That is, if you had them done by a reputable builder.
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    Just go to the shop and have it done, and quit sweating who's gonna pay the few bucks for it. Things happen. Then, watch while they do the job, buy a Park manual, and learn how to do it yourself for the next time. The amount of time you've spent already is more than the repair is worth.

  9. #9
    Zan
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    buy a tool and do it on your own. it's a five minute job to do both wheels (or less). as xenologer said: clockwise loosens, CCW tightens.

    job at store might cost 5$ or 10$. tool will cost less than 5$, and you can use it over + over.

    if it's a new bike, it'll undergo a "settling" period where everything goes to hell. afterward just tune it up. <-- yes it's normal.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zan View Post
    buy a tool and do it on your own. it's a five minute job to do both wheels (or less). as xenologer said: clockwise loosens, CCW tightens.

    job at store might cost 5$ or 10$. tool will cost less than 5$, and you can use it over + over.

    if it's a new bike, it'll undergo a "settling" period where everything goes to hell. afterward just tune it up. <-- yes it's normal.
    Yep that is all you do, just turn the spokes until the wheel is true.
    Next you can chisel away at a rock until you have shamed Rodin.

    A quality tool(Meaning not a piece of crap like Zan uses, that actually fits the spokes and does not round them off, will run around ten bucks. Unless you get it online, then add $7.50 for shipping)

    A properly built(or even looked at) wheel does not undergo a "setting period". This is hype promoted by peoople that buy crap so they can feel better about saving a few bucks to buy some halfbuilt junk. I have seen loads of Jenson wheels, not a sinlge one has been anywhere near proper tension. That is one of the reasons they are cheap. I could build wheels for cheap to, if all I did was lace them up and spin the nipples down.
    It is not normal, unless you like crap work.
    I do all my own work = I have very low standards

  11. #11
    Bill
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    Wheels that go out of true in that period of time likely means the wheels were not properly tensioned. Low tension leads to frequent need to re-true and also to spoke failure. Have them properly tensioned and except for extraordinary stresses should last a lifetime.
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    Senior Member GP's Avatar
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    If you are heavy and these are low spoke count wheels, they might go out of true faster than say, 32 spoke wheels.

    Truing them yourself is an option. It just depends how much time & effort you want to spend on it.

    I have 2 road bikes. One has low end machine built wheels. They were out of true after a few hundred miles. The other are handbuilt by a local shop. They have 6K miles on them and are still true.

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    Quote Originally Posted by itsthewoo View Post
    My wheels are slightly out of true; when I spin the wheels, the distance between the rim and the brake pads changes quite noticeably. This is only after about two weeks of medium use.

    Is this normal or no? It's not madly expensive to get them trued at the LBS, but I'd prefer not to have to do it on my bill (i.e. get JensonUSA to pay for it if I can).
    If the bike is new, yes it is possible, as others noted. Machine-built wheels often aren't tensioned evenly, and most cheap and medium-priced wheels are machine-built.

    The best way to make sure it gets done right is to do it on your own time, or dime. Either true them yourself, or take the wheels to a local shop and pay them to put in some better-quality spokes.

    (when tweaking the spokes myself, I prefer to take the tire & rim strip off so I can use a flat screwdriver in the butt end. Never chewed up a nipple doing it that way)
    ~

  14. #14
    Zan
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    Quote Originally Posted by InTheTrenches View Post
    Yep that is all you do, just turn the spokes until the wheel is true.
    Next you can chisel away at a rock until you have shamed Rodin.

    A quality tool(Meaning not a piece of crap like Zan uses, that actually fits the spokes and does not round them off, will run around ten bucks. Unless you get it online, then add $7.50 for shipping)

    A properly built(or even looked at) wheel does not undergo a "setting period". This is hype promoted by peoople that buy crap so they can feel better about saving a few bucks to buy some halfbuilt junk. I have seen loads of Jenson wheels, not a sinlge one has been anywhere near proper tension. That is one of the reasons they are cheap. I could build wheels for cheap to, if all I did was lace them up and spin the nipples down.
    It is not normal, unless you like crap work.
    you're nickel and diming me. chill out. my 5$ tool does the job fine, and i haven't stripped any spokes. i don't see what your problem is...

    bikes do undergo a settling period. that's why the boys at the shop recommend you bringing in the bike after a couple of weeks: things become loose/tight on their own.

    you give me the feeling that you are making a big issue about a guy who trues his own rims... it's a "routine" part of bike maintenance... so why are you biting my head off?
    -- Zan

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zan View Post
    you're nickel and diming me. chill out. my 5$ tool does the job fine, and i haven't stripped any spokes. i don't see what your problem is...

    bikes do undergo a settling period. that's why the boys at the shop recommend you bringing in the bike after a couple of weeks: things become loose/tight on their own.

    you give me the feeling that you are making a big issue about a guy who trues his own rims... it's a "routine" part of bike maintenance... so why are you biting my head off?

    I am making a big issue about telling a person that truing the wheel is something you can just grab a wrench and do, because it is not. It is a learned skill like writing or painting(Or sculpting stone), it takes a while to get competent at it and some people never grasp it. If it were so easy, nobody would ever need to do it because the wheels would be perfect when you opened the Jenson box.
    It is also BS that wheels need to be looked at because they all go out. A well built wheel, or even a machine built hand finished wheel, will stay true unless you whack the hell out of them. They will not go out just from riding. Shops want to see the bike back mostly for gear adjustment as the housings compress and to double check everything just to be safe. Maybe one in twenty, at our shop, needs a wheel adjustment when brought back in for free adjustment.
    I do all my own work = I have very low standards

  16. #16
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xenologer View Post
    just do it yourself
    counterclockwise tightens, clockwise loosens
    (the spoke nipples have normal threads, its just that you see them from the backside)
    Assuming you turn the nipples while they are at the 6 o'clock position. I build mine while working on the spokes at the 10-11 o'clock position so it's clockwise tightens, CCW loosens while looking down on the spokes.

  17. #17
    No longer in Wimbledon... womble's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by InTheTrenches View Post
    I am making a big issue about telling a person that truing the wheel is something you can just grab a wrench and do, because it is not. It is a learned skill like writing or painting(Or sculpting stone), it takes a while to get competent at it and some people never grasp it.
    If by "it takes a while" you mean 5-10 minutes, then you are entirely correct.

    A friend taught me how to true a wheel in 5 minutes about ten years ago. And he'd taught himself from reading Sheldon Brown's wheelbuilding page. I've shown others how to do it since, and it's never taken more than ten minutes.

    Truing wheels is really, really easy. Sure, wheelbuilding is little more complicated, and requires patience more than than most of us possess. So we get others to do it for us.

  18. #18
    Zan
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    Quote Originally Posted by InTheTrenches View Post
    I am making a big issue about telling a person that truing the wheel is something you can just grab a wrench and do, because it is not. It is a learned skill like writing or painting(Or sculpting stone), it takes a while to get competent at it and some people never grasp it. If it were so easy, nobody would ever need to do it because the wheels would be perfect when you opened the Jenson box.
    It is also BS that wheels need to be looked at because they all go out. A well built wheel, or even a machine built hand finished wheel, will stay true unless you whack the hell out of them. They will not go out just from riding. Shops want to see the bike back mostly for gear adjustment as the housings compress and to double check everything just to be safe. Maybe one in twenty, at our shop, needs a wheel adjustment when brought back in for free adjustment.
    But... the OP's wheels are out-of-true at the moment within two weeks of purchase... it doesn't matter what he/she rides or how he/she rides. Maybe it's high quality and the OP is that freak customer who is 1/20. Maybe this wheel wasn't built properly and needs fixing due to flaws in the production. Does it really matter?

    I figured out how to true my wheels on my own when i was 13 or 14. At that age I couldn't afford a nice bike... but i still rode it. It was one of those POS department store bikes. I suppose this bike would qualify as one of those with POS wheels on it, and that is why i had to learn how to true wheels... the wheels did get smacked up as i rode the heavy clunker off the road regularly, but it took only a couple minutes to fix 'em. I was an abusive rider and because of that, my wheels went slightly off true every week.

    It only took a couple minutes to fix 'em up, even with the 5$ tool.

    I suppose if you're trying to put together a race-grade wheel, it may be best for the pros to do it, but for normal use, i see no reason why a 14yo can't do it. Never in my riding experience have i had a problem with the wheel breaking on me.

    And Mr.Beanz is correct... depends on your point of view.
    Last edited by Zan; 08-11-08 at 08:19 AM.
    -- Zan

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  19. #19
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    Anyway, thanks for the responses.

    The rims are ALX-DA16's, which I've read are kind of cheapy in terms of rims anyway.

    Would I be better off just buying a wheelset from my LBS or just getting these trued?

    Obviously the truing is going to be cheaper, but I'd much prefer just buying a good new wheelset as opposed to having to get maintenance constantly performed on crap wheels.

  20. #20
    No longer in Wimbledon... womble's Avatar
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    Hey, your wheels are only, what, three weeks old? It's a bit early yet to be thinking of splashing out on a new set already.

    Keep the current wheels. Either take them in to the shop on a quiet day and have a *good* mechanic go over them, or find someone who's got a clue and have them show you how to do it yourself.

    For what it's worth, I had a set of wheels built for me a year ago but the builder was a complete muppet- the rear went out of true in about a month. I tightened up each spoke by a uniform amount, then trued it. I've only had to re-true it twice since then so it works fine.

  21. #21
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    I've built wheels that customers told me they never went out of true, but that was with really good rims. On a new bike with machine built wheels, you can stress the spokes, true it up, stress the spokes, & etc, and it still will need to be trued after riding. Anyone buying a bike on-line should probably factor in the cost of someone truing the wheels. I have built hundreds of wheels, and trued up many, many wheels, and I really hate truing a wheel on the bike. It's a lot harder.

  22. #22
    Zan
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    i suppose it also depends on your weight. i ride on a cheepo wheelset on my road bike. 30$ for the front wheel... 40$ for the back, i think.

    i've trued them once over the past 750km.
    -- Zan

    "Every dog needs a squeak toy."

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