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Wheel won't stay true

Old 01-10-19, 04:14 AM
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randypoor
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Wheel won't stay true

I have Fulcrum Racing 3s which I've been riding for a little more than a year. For the last couple months, I've had to have the rear wheel trued 4 times. I live in the Dominican Republic and my LBS only charges the equivalent of $2 USD so it's not that big of a deal to have it done every other week or so, but I'd love to figure out a long term solution.
One more thing...since the Dominican Republic is a developing nation, the roads aren't the best in all areas, the mechanic at the LBS thinks its the roads that are screwing with the wheel. I'm skeptical of that answer since it's only been a recent problem.
What do you'll think?
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Old 01-10-19, 04:35 AM
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CliffordK
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A few questions to start with.

How far out of true are we talking? 1mm? 5mm? Any broken spokes?

How heavy are you? What size of tires are you using? Pressure?

Are the spokes tight? Relatively uniform tension around the wheel. Perhaps try plucking the spokes to hear sounds (right/left can be different).

Ok, now looking at the wheels... can you tell us a bit about them? how are the nipples attached? Do they thread into the rim? The spokes appear to be bladed or ovalized spokes. Are they straight or twisted?

Any damage to the rim? Cracks around the nipples?
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Old 01-10-19, 04:55 AM
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Spokes (bladed), nipples, and rim are all fine and the tension is good. I'm 170lbs and I run about 80psi on 28mm tires.
As far as how off-true they get, I'm not quite sure but they are noticeably wobbly, but not so bad to hit the brakes while riding.
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Old 01-10-19, 05:03 AM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
Ok, now looking at the wheels... can you tell us a bit about them? how are the nipples attached? Do they thread into the rim? The spokes appear to be bladed or ovalized spokes. Are they straight or twisted?
Not sure about these questions besides that the spokes are bladed. Sorry.
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Old 01-10-19, 05:06 AM
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So, are the wheels true now, or out of true?

Nothing sounds too out of the ordinary.

Without noticeable brake rub, you are sure the rim is out of true, and it isn't just the tire wobbling?
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Old 01-10-19, 05:18 AM
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Originally Posted by randypoor View Post
Not sure about these questions besides that the spokes are bladed. Sorry.
Looking online, the wheels look somewhat like the Shimano Ultegra wheels that use a reverse nipple that threads into the rim. But, the spokes I'm seeing look quite ordinary. I found truing my Ultegra wheel was a major pain, and I hope it stays true.

But, I guess the question had to do in part with "windup". The bladed spokes must be straight, and parallel to the direction of wheel rotation from hub to rim. You can generally see or feel if some of the spokes are twisted. I like to look for straight light reflection along the length of the spokes.
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Old 01-10-19, 05:32 AM
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Originally Posted by randypoor View Post
Not sure about these questions besides that the spokes are bladed. Sorry.
This was touched on above, but figured I'd go into it a little more. As the wheel is being trued, the bladed spoke must be held in place at the "blade" with a slotted tool to prevent the spoke from twisting while turning the nip. If the spoke is twisted, it can seem like the wheel is true in the stand but the spoke will "unwind" a bit as you're riding. It can get bad to the point where the spoke will actually have a few full spirals permanently twisted into it. We see this on wheels we service from pretty high-end shops here in the US, and I imagine that in the DR bladed spokes are quite uncommon, so the techs there may not know to hold the spoke while truing. In a pinch, an adjustable wrench works well to hold the spoke. The closer you can hold the spoke to the nip, the better.
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Old 01-11-19, 06:00 AM
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Originally Posted by seely View Post
This was touched on above, but figured I'd go into it a little more. As the wheel is being trued, the bladed spoke must be held in place at the "blade" with a slotted tool to prevent the spoke from twisting while turning the nip. If the spoke is twisted, it can seem like the wheel is true in the stand but the spoke will "unwind" a bit as you're riding. It can get bad to the point where the spoke will actually have a few full spirals permanently twisted into it. We see this on wheels we service from pretty high-end shops here in the US, and I imagine that in the DR bladed spokes are quite uncommon, so the techs there may not know to hold the spoke while truing. In a pinch, an adjustable wrench works well to hold the spoke. The closer you can hold the spoke to the nip, the better.
Yeah, I saw that online but the tech is def. not using more than the spoke adjuster tool. Is holding it in place that big of a deal?
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Old 01-11-19, 07:01 AM
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Originally Posted by randypoor View Post
Yeah, I saw that online but the tech is def. not using more than the spoke adjuster tool. Is holding it in place that big of a deal?
Yes, it is a big deal with bladed spokes. If the spoke twists as the nipple is turned, then it will twist back (in other direction) under load while you are riding - and that means it will go out-of-true.
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Old 01-11-19, 08:14 AM
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Originally Posted by randypoor View Post
Yeah, I saw that online but the tech is def. not using more than the spoke adjuster tool. Is holding it in place that big of a deal?
It is a big deal to end up with straight spokes. For one, the bladed spokes are meant to cut through the air, rather than working as small fan blades.

This is also where the type of nipples makes a difference.

For typical nipples that swivel on the rim, and thread onto the spoke, I personally don't hold the spoke. I let the spokes wind up while I'm truing, then unwind them as one of the last steps, with the unwinding process having little impact on the actual spoke tension and truing.

The reverse nipples that Shimano uses on the WH-6700 and WH-6800 wheels that thread into the rim are much more of a hassle because twisting the nipple to unwind the spoke would change the tension and truing. Thus, you must hold the spoke to keep it from twisting. And, there is a fair amount of friction between the spoke and nipple, so I had to remove all the spokes and grease them to get it to work right.

I can't tell from the photos online of generic wheels what you actually have. Your mechanic would know. And, the condition the wheels are in when you get them back should be obvious by looking at the spokes.
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Old 01-11-19, 02:38 PM
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Perhaps you chose a wheel set unsuited to the tough roads you ride on.. it happens..
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Old 01-12-19, 10:05 AM
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In addition to the advice above, I’ll add to check the rim. Take off the rim tape and inspect the metal between the spoke holes for cracks. I’ve had rims go out of true for no apparent reason only to find that the rim had developed cracks in the second wall of the rim under the rim tape.
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Old 01-12-19, 11:17 AM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
In addition to the advice above, I’ll add to check the rim. Take off the rim tape and inspect the metal between the spoke holes for cracks. I’ve had rims go out of true for no apparent reason only to find that the rim had developed cracks in the second wall of the rim under the rim tape.
Those wheels have no rim tape, there are no spoke holes in the rim bed

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Old 01-12-19, 02:30 PM
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Usually low spoke tension causes your problems if there are no cracks in the rim. It's a shame that the manufacturers go for odd spoke patterns for marketing reasons so that they can be different. There is no substitute for conventional wheels.
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