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Got myself a wheel truer and now some observations/?'s

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Got myself a wheel truer and now some observations/?'s

Old 01-13-19, 12:27 AM
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Got myself a wheel truer and now some observations/?'s

1- Why didn't get I get one sooner? Sure, I was able to use zip ties to true rims in the past, but it didn't work well with my mountain bike/suspension fork. Over the past couple years I spent many times more at my local bike shop to true wheels than the cost of this wheel truer (Feedback Sports Pro truing stand)
2- Truing wheels is an oddly relaxing endeavor...I really dig it and it is almost a form of meditation
3- Scratch #2 when it comes to truing the "roundness" of a wheel. That for me is hella hard! I seemed to get my 700 cc wheel in better shape but it's far from being perfectly round but I had to give up.

Some questions for the gurus out there...

If I wanted to build up a set of new rims, where would be the best place to buy rims/spokes?

Is a spoke tension meter worth it?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 01-13-19, 12:37 AM
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I can pretty much build a decently good wheel without a tension meter, but it was invaluable for me to keep me on the right track when I first started.
I simply have such a poor sense of tone & feel, that plucking spokes doesn't really work for me.
I still use it to finish off my work, since I have all the time in the world to get into minutiae.
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Old 01-13-19, 12:39 AM
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A couple of points - always do round first. A spoke tension meter isn't needed it you are building a wheel with the same spokes and pattern as a good wheel you already have. You can achieve the same average tension comparing the pitches and use the relative pitches of the spokes on the wheel you are building to get them even. (I have a Park tensioner but I use it only to get the averages into the right ballpark. After that I do it all by comparing the pitches. Much, much faster.

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Old 01-13-19, 11:47 AM
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It's almost impossible to get an out-of-round wheel true without loosening the spokes and starting over. When I build a wheel I start by getting it radially true. As the radial gets close I start with the lateral. When the tension is higher I spend my time getting the wheel laterally true and the tension correct. I have always used a tensiometer.
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Old 01-13-19, 01:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Lovespicyfood View Post
Is a spoke tension meter worth it?
It's pretty extravagant expense for a home wheel builder unless you're building high-end, low spoke count wheels. And even then, you can build the wheel and at least partially tension it, and then bring it to your LBS for final tensioning.

For most wheels, say 28 spokes and more, it's perfectly fine to use pitch and feel to get the spokes in close tension to each other.
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Old 01-13-19, 04:08 PM
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Aren't ovalized wheels an alternative to chainrings?
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Old 01-15-19, 08:45 PM
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Thanks all for your advice! Makes sense to try to fix "out of roundness" first, then lateral issues... Glad I got a wheel truer..great to not have to wait or spend $ at my lbs...
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Old 01-16-19, 01:55 PM
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Truing for roundness means turning the wrench more. An entire revolution of the nipple only changes the radial measurement by one thread width. But, for a wheel under tension, a quarter turn of a nipple might change the lateral measurement significantly more. That's why most people try to do the radial truing first, but in reality, you're always doing some of both at the same time. Work in spoke pairs, or, often multiple sets of spoke pairs, when trying to make the wheel round. And you won't be able to true radially very well, or at all, if the spoke tension is too high -- it takes away the ability to turn the nipples as much as necessary.

As for spoke tensiometers, a couple of thoughts. The cheap ones aren't very accurate. The expensive ones are really expensive. I'd suggest putting the money toward a really good set of handbuilt wheels for reference. They will tell you more about how spokes should feel than a tensiometer, and you can ride them. I've seen a lot of great, low spoke, high tension wheels beautifully built without tensiometers -- and with experience, they become less and less necessary.
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Old 01-17-19, 12:37 AM
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Truing stand = device that holds the wheel when it is being worked on.
Wheel truer = person who performs the work on the wheel.

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Old 01-17-19, 03:05 AM
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Ditto, the roundness issue. Truing to minimize wobble is pretty easy. Eliminating hop is tougher -- I can get it within a millimeter of round but the slight hop still bothers me. I do everything on the bike, with the tires off if I have time to do it right. But I can only get it reasonably close. Eventually I'll need to take it to the shop, or a friend who's a wheel wizard with a complete wheel building shop, but usually too busy.

The toughest part for me at first years ago (written manuals only, no YouTube) was making sense of the seemingly contradictory advice about turning the nipples clockwise/counter-clockwise. It was easier to just visualize the wheel -- nipples and spokes -- from overhead, looking down. From that perspective it's more intuitive -- rightward or clockwise to tighten/shorten, vice versa to loosen/lengthen..
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