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New wheelset is out of true on delivery... fix now or ride a bit?

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New wheelset is out of true on delivery... fix now or ride a bit?

Old 01-26-17, 01:17 PM
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Pukeskywalker
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New wheelset is out of true on delivery... fix now or ride a bit?

So I got a new wheelset, velocity a23 + 105, 32h - for very cheap - and they arrived out of true

The visible issue is about 2mm of wobble in the rear, but from hand-feel neither wheel seems well-built

If these were yours, would you take them to the shop before riding them, or ride them a bit to break them in? I've heard it's a good idea to get your wheels re-tensioned after the first few rides

Thanks guys
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Old 01-26-17, 01:20 PM
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If they are new and purchased from a builder, send them back, or at least get them to pay to have them trued.
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Old 01-26-17, 01:23 PM
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Properly built wheels are good to go out of the box and don't need to be re-tensioned after only a few rides. Spokes develop cracks and break because they are too loose, not because they are too tight. Get them fixed now.
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Old 01-26-17, 01:26 PM
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How does one tell from hand-feel that a wheel is not well built?

I'm not trying to challenge. Sincerely asking.


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Old 01-26-17, 02:10 PM
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Teach yourself to true your own wheels. A spoke wrench is $10 and change back, and you won't be at the mercy of someone else.
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Old 01-26-17, 02:14 PM
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It's common for cheaply-gotten wheels to need adjustment out of the box.

True/tension before riding.
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Old 01-26-17, 02:16 PM
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I'd grab a spoke wrench and try to true them myself. A 2mm wobble isn't much. If you can't fix it, or make it worse, take it to a shop. Should be a ten minute job for a competent shop.
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Old 01-26-17, 02:28 PM
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I would take the wheels to a bike shop and get them trued. Be prepared to pay for it and perhaps some attitude from the shop. I have bought several wheelsets on-line. Most of them were true tight out of the box and have never had a problem.

However, one set arrived with the box torn up and one of the rims dented. I contacted the seller, and they sent me a new wheelset and paid for the shipping to return the damaged set. The replacement wheelset that they sent me was badly out of true. I took that set to the nearest bike shop and they reluctantly agreed to true it for $20. However, they were not able to get the wheel to spin without wobbling, and kept my $20. I returned the second wheelset for a refund and haven't bought any more parts from that dealer.
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Old 01-26-17, 02:34 PM
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VeloMine wheels?

What you probably need is not just a wheel truing but stress relief and a thorough retensioning. A shop will charge a lot more for that than they would for a simple truing, but if they do it properly then it won't matter whether you ride the wheels a bit before they do it or not. When I bought my A23/Origin8 wheels from VeloMine they arrived true but I stress relieved and retensioned them anyway because I expected they'd need it, and they've been great since.

If you take them to a shop and just have the wobble fixed, or if you do that yourself, they will almost certainly require more service after you've ridden on them a bit. If you're willing to accept a few cycles of this, you might end up with the wheels in good shape if the shop (or you) do the service well.

My suggestion would be to call your shop and talk to them about this. Tell them where you got the wheels and see what they would recommend. The more information the shop has about the history of the wheels the better job they'll be able to do.
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Old 01-26-17, 02:43 PM
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If you can teach yourself it's worth its weight in gold. There's more to just truing the wheel. There are tensions, etc.
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Old 01-26-17, 03:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Andy_K View Post
VeloMine wheels?

What you probably need is not just a wheel truing but stress relief and a thorough retensioning. A shop will charge a lot more for that than they would for a simple truing, but if they do it properly then it won't matter whether you ride the wheels a bit before they do it or not. When I bought my A23/Origin8 wheels from VeloMine they arrived true but I stress relieved and retensioned them anyway because I expected they'd need it, and they've been great since.

If you take them to a shop and just have the wobble fixed, or if you do that yourself, they will almost certainly require more service after you've ridden on them a bit. If you're willing to accept a few cycles of this, you might end up with the wheels in good shape if the shop (or you) do the service well.

My suggestion would be to call your shop and talk to them about this. Tell them where you got the wheels and see what they would recommend. The more information the shop has about the history of the wheels the better job they'll be able to do.

Originally Posted by Velocivixen View Post
If you can teach yourself it's worth its weight in gold. There's more to just truing the wheel. There are tensions, etc.

You guessed it. The deal was too good to be true. I figured since Universal Cycles would want double for the same wheelset, it was worth a shot. I should have known better. The UC wheels I have have stayed true for 6 years now

So I'd like to try on my own, but I've thoroughly messed up two wheelsets trying this at home with a spoke wrench and a copy of Jobst Brandt "The Bicycle Wheel" --- if you have any advice, I'm open to it. I was considering buying a tension meter and trying one more time, but I don't want to ruin them

I'll call a bike shop and explain the situation, maybe they'll take mercy on me. If they charge $100 I'll be doing okay
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Old 01-26-17, 04:14 PM
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I wouldn't say it's a mistake to buy wheels from VeloMine. You just need to be aware that this is a possibility with their machine built wheelsets. Honestly, you couldn't buy the raw components as cheap as they sell their wheelsets.

I taught myself wheel building using the Jobst Brandt book, but I also bought a truing stand and a tension meter before I started. Experienced builders sometimes refer to the tension meter as a crutch, but I still use it every time I work on a wheel. I just don't trust my sense of feel. More recently I bought the Roger Musson e-book. I like his explanations better, but I still use Jobst Brandt's method (which amounts to the same thing but Musson explains lacing with the wheel vertical, which is probably faster but feels harder to keep straight in my mind).

One thing the Musson book convinced me of is the value of a home made nipple driver. I've got two that I use now, one with a longer tip than the other. The nipple driver simplifies the process of making sure you keep the tension even as you go. I use two different lengths because I feel like I end up making too many mistakes (getting the nipples to disengage consistently) trying to go straight to the shorter one but the longer one leaves everything too loose. I used to try to count the number of visible threads (I think that's what Jobst said to do), but my eyes just aren't that good.

Anyway, the key is patience. Take it slow and double check yourself frequently. People building wheels for money need to be able to do it quickly but when you're building your own wheels it doesn't matter if you spend hours getting it right.
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Old 01-26-17, 04:22 PM
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Pukeskywalker, Budget wheels are a crap shoot and a set I bought from Velomine was actually very well built as I discovered when I re-tension'd and trued them. Some others weren't so good out of the box.

Now is a good time to learn...

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Old 01-26-17, 04:27 PM
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One other thing I'd say about teaching yourself, I think it's helpful to build a wheel or two from scratch even if what you're trying to learn is how to true a wheel. After re-reading your comment it sounds like you were just trying to true a wheel when you "thoroughly messed up". That can happen. You need to understand the whole system -- how things work together. When you build a wheel from scratch you see all that. When you just take a spoke wrench to an existing wheels there are a lot of things you can do that make it look right that actually made the wheel worse.

If you're feeling brave you could completely detension the front wheel in your current set and try to bring it back to a finished state. You'd essentially be doing everything but lacing it. The non-butted spokes are ideal for this kind of learning. There's not a lot you can do to permanently ruin the wheel. As long as you don't give it so much tension that the rim collapses or spokes break through the rim it's fixable. This is where a tension meter would help.

BTW, the wheels I bought from VeloMine arrived at pretty close to the maximum recommended spoke tension for the wheel. You should be aware of that if you try to true it yourself without backing anything out. If you try to fix it by adding more tension everywhere it wobbles you could get yourself in trouble.
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Old 01-26-17, 04:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Andy_K View Post
I wouldn't say it's a mistake to buy wheels from VeloMine. You just need to be aware that this is a possibility with their machine built wheelsets. Honestly, you couldn't buy the raw components as cheap as they sell their wheelsets.

I taught myself wheel building using the Jobst Brandt book, but I also bought a truing stand and a tension meter before I started. Experienced builders sometimes refer to the tension meter as a crutch, but I still use it every time I work on a wheel. I just don't trust my sense of feel. More recently I bought the Roger Musson e-book. I like his explanations better, but I still use Jobst Brandt's method (which amounts to the same thing but Musson explains lacing with the wheel vertical, which is probably faster but feels harder to keep straight in my mind).

One thing the Musson book convinced me of is the value of a home made nipple driver. I've got two that I use now, one with a longer tip than the other. The nipple driver simplifies the process of making sure you keep the tension even as you go. I use two different lengths because I feel like I end up making too many mistakes (getting the nipples to disengage consistently) trying to go straight to the shorter one but the longer one leaves everything too loose. I used to try to count the number of visible threads (I think that's what Jobst said to do), but my eyes just aren't that good.

Anyway, the key is patience. Take it slow and double check yourself frequently. People building wheels for money need to be able to do it quickly but when you're building your own wheels it doesn't matter if you spend hours getting it right.

Thanks for the advice. I'll sleep on it. I sent and email to the company to see if I can send them back, I'll decide tomorrow if they say yes.

I didn't mention their name because at the price I got them for, I was paying $180 for a $400 wheelset. If you have the skills to fix up a machine-built wheel this place is an awesome deal. The wheels were on sale too, so there's a chance they were returned before I bought them.

Absolutely not bashing the place, reviews I read before buying were stellar
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Old 01-26-17, 04:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Andy_K View Post
One other thing I'd say about teaching yourself, I think it's helpful to build a wheel or two from scratch even if what you're trying to learn is how to true a wheel. After re-reading your comment it sounds like you were just trying to true a wheel when you "thoroughly messed up". That can happen. You need to understand the whole system -- how things work together. When you build a wheel from scratch you see all that. When you just take a spoke wrench to an existing wheels there are a lot of things you can do that make it look right that actually made the wheel worse.

If you're feeling brave you could completely detension the front wheel in your current set and try to bring it back to a finished state. You'd essentially be doing everything but lacing it. The non-butted spokes are ideal for this kind of learning. There's not a lot you can do to permanently ruin the wheel. As long as you don't give it so much tension that the rim collapses or spokes break through the rim it's fixable. This is where a tension meter would help.

BTW, the wheels I bought from VeloMine arrived at pretty close to the maximum recommended spoke tension for the wheel. You should be aware of that if you try to true it yourself without backing anything out. If you try to fix it by adding more tension everywhere it wobbles you could get yourself in trouble.
Thanks for the info. I am going to have to think it over. I've got kids and a busy life, but I would love to build wheels.

Now that you mention it, I did de-tension a wheel once, after turning it into a taco. Tightening it back up was the closest I've come to doing a good job, but I ended up with a hop that I don't think was from road damage.

Thanks
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Old 01-26-17, 04:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Pukeskywalker View Post
I didn't mention their name because at the price I got them for, I was paying $180 for a $400 wheelset. If you have the skills to fix up a machine-built wheel this place is an awesome deal. The wheels were on sale too, so there's a chance they were returned before I bought them.

Absolutely not bashing the place, reviews I read before buying were stellar
Sure. Even if you pay your LBS $100 to fix them you'd come out ahead, and I think you're probably looking at closer to $50.
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Old 01-26-17, 04:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Pukeskywalker View Post
Now that you mention it, I did de-tension a wheel once, after turning it into a taco. Tightening it back up was the closest I've come to doing a good job, but I ended up with a hop that I don't think was from road damage.
That's actually a pretty tricky job because once the wheel has taco'd the rim isn't flat without the spokes and there's no real way to fix that with just spoke tension. It's a lot easier to do the same thing with a sound rim.
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Old 01-26-17, 05:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Andy_K View Post
That's actually a pretty tricky job because once the wheel has taco'd the rim isn't flat without the spokes and there's no real way to fix that with just spoke tension. It's a lot easier to do the same thing with a sound rim.
I'm using taco'd wrong, I meant that I messed up on truing so bad it was folding like a taco'd wheel, that's when I detensioned the whole thing

I will call the LBS and get an estimate. But if it's $50 and I have to go back 3 times..
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Old 01-26-17, 06:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Pukeskywalker View Post
I'm using taco'd wrong...
You may not be. Having the rim collapse from overtensioning doesn't necessarily bend the rim in the semi-permanent sense, but it can.

Originally Posted by Pukeskywalker View Post
I will call the LBS and get an estimate. But if it's $50 and I have to go back 3 times..
For $50 you shouldn't have to go back and if you do they shouldn't charge you for the subsequent work. For instance, look at Universal Cycles labor rates for wheel work:

https://www.universalcycles.com/shop...?category=4053

What your wheels need is the "Precision Wheel True" for which they charge $25 per wheel. If you instead opted for the "Spot Wheel True" at $15 per wheel, that's the one that I think would likely end up requiring you to go back again.
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Old 01-26-17, 06:22 PM
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One more suggestion (as you can tell, this is a topic I get excited about): if you do end up taking the wheels into the LBS for truing, try doing the stress relief yourself before you take them in. This is the big thing that the VeloMine wheels are lacking out of the box and just doing the stress relief is both easy and interesting. Pluck a bunch of spokes before and after and compare how they feel. My experience is that stress relief often makes a significant difference in tension of a good number of spokes. If it doesn't that almost certainly means it had been done before.

There are a couple of ways to do this. The most common are (a) grabbing opposing sets of spokes and squeezing them really, really hard (you'll want leather gloves for this) and (b) using a metal lever such as a disembodied crank arm to apply "twisting" pressure to pairs of spokes. I usually do both because why not? Make sure you get every spoke involved. It won't hurt anything to do more than is necessary.


Just riding the bike has an effect similar to stress relieving in that it exposes spokes that are just waiting to let off some excess tension, but the consensus seems to be that it isn't a good replacement for proper stress relief.
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Old 01-27-17, 09:34 AM
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I decided to follow the instructions in the book by Jobst Brandt that you referenced. It made sense to me and I could "see" it in my mind's eye. I have a friend who's a bike mechanic, so she was also a resource. I have since built about 15 wheels of various sizes/styles.
There are other books that folks love, and I've seen those but, for me, the Brandt book worked best. Maybe take a look at some of the other books & see if you can read the instructions & visualize it. If you can't visualize it, maybe a different book would be best. This is just what worked for me.
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Old 01-27-17, 02:13 PM
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The other thing I've observed about low $$ machine built cup and cone wheels is that the cone nuts were way too tight --to the point of grinding. I usually build from scratch but the 3 or 4 discount sets I've bought all needed both cone and spoke adjustments. Not a big deal, and I was still very happy with the post adjustment results. Just FYI.
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Old 01-27-17, 04:50 PM
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Originally Posted by dbg View Post
The other thing I've observed about low $$ machine built cup and cone wheels is that the cone nuts were way too tight --to the point of grinding. I usually build from scratch but the 3 or 4 discount sets I've bought all needed both cone and spoke adjustments. Not a big deal, and I was still very happy with the post adjustment results. Just FYI.
I think I read once that Shimano intentionally ships their hubs that way for some reason -- possibly to prevent damage during shipping? I've definitely had to adjust the cones on most Shimano hubs I've bought new.

The one set of wheels I got from Velomine used cartridge bearings and were smooth as butter right out of the box.
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Old 01-28-17, 05:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Pukeskywalker View Post
I'm using taco'd wrong, I meant that I messed up on truing so bad it was folding like a taco'd wheel, that's when I detensioned the whole thing

I will call the LBS and get an estimate. But if it's $50 and I have to go back 3 times..

Good a time as any to try and correct yours and the original builders errors. I guess you are using the bike as a truing stand. That makes it a little more difficult. I know from the first one I built. Start by getting the nipples in the same relative position on the spokes. Then begin adjusting for radial run out using the drives side spokes. Use the non-drive side to help and keep the rim close to the center. As the tension rises you can begin to use the NDS to center the rim and improve lateral run out. Now you can begin to raise the tension on the DS spokes until you get the wheel up to tension. I use a tensiometer, you may have to go by feel or sound. Use the NDS to center and finish truing the wheel and then stress relieve it by grabbing parallel spokes on both sides of the wheel and squeeze them.
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