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Old 08-31-12, 10:06 AM
Reeks of aged cotton duck
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Middle Georgia, USA
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Bikes: 2008 Kogswell PR mkII, 1976 Raleigh Professional, 1996 Serotta Atlanta, 1984 Trek 520, 1979 Raleigh Comp GS, 1995 Trek 950, 1979 Raleigh DL-1 Tourist

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Originally Posted by jimmuller View Post
From this behavior could you conclude exactly what was wrong with the build? I'd guess a further examination would be required. But what I'm really asking is whether this is more likely under-tension, over-tension, uneven tension, etc. Uneven tension would result in a wobbly wheel unless it was done that way to bring a deformed rim into shape. In that case I wouldn't be surprised if a spoke broke.
It's hard to say EXACTLY what the problem is without laying hands on the wheels, but when breaking spokes the problem is nearly always low tension... followed by uneven tension. Due to the quality of modern spokes (even cheap ones) it is hard to break a spoke by over tensioning it... you'll prolly pull the eyes out of the rim first.

But it really doesn't matter what the problem is because the solution is the same. Completely detension the wheel and start over with truing and tensioning.

And keep in mind that one little problem with the wheel can snowball into a nightmare.

I was given a set of nice wheels... Ultegra hubs/Mavic Open Pro rims... because the guy couldn't keep them true. He brought them to the LBS about every two or three weeks to let the shop true them. He finally got tired of the hassle and gave them to me.

When I put my DT Swiss Tensio on them... the tensions were all over the dial. So my first step was to detension them and start fresh. What I found was that the nipples were never lubricated upon assembly. This meant that the nipples were very difficult to turn... which led to the LBS rounding off a couple of nipples while they were butchering... err... truing them. So with these two or three nipples frozen in place, they just altered the other spoke tensions to get the wheel true. Some of the spokes were far too slack and others too tight... so the wheel wasn't stable. I replaced all of the nipples and put anti sieze compound on the threads... rebuilt the hubs with new stainless bearings and Phil Wood grease. That wheel set has been through three different bikes and about 6000 miles... and I've NEVER had to touch a nipple... not even to true them.

So all of that guy's problems started because nobody used a thimble full of grease. Pay attention to the small stuff.
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