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Checking Spoke tension

Old 01-16-20, 09:23 AM
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bampilot06
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Checking Spoke tension

Was going over my bike this morning before my ride, and my rear wheel the spokes have a touch of play in them. I am a little paranoid, my last wheel (very old) kept snapping spokes. This wheel I got in december, and It seems on the non drive side the spokes have a little bit more play than the drive side.

Thanks for the help.
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Old 01-16-20, 09:47 AM
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Drive side spokes are shorter than ND, and since they need to "pull" the rim closer in order to center it, have more tension. That's not to say one or both sides don't need "attention" (bad pun). Look at Sheldon Smith to learn about wheels. Maybe you should purchase a spoke tension meter (Park, mine was about $60). If you think all the spokes are looser than when the wheel was purchased, you can tighten (clockwise) all the same amount (1/4 turn) and see if that helps. Start at the valve so yo don't lose your place.

Last edited by 2old; 01-16-20 at 11:06 AM.
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Old 01-16-20, 09:53 AM
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On the rear wheel the non-drive side spokes are not as tight as the DS because of the wheel dish,
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Old 01-16-20, 09:57 AM
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Previous poster has it wrong.
DS have more tension. Typically about 110kgf vs 50-70/kgf. also, 1-2mm shorter.
Get your wheel retensioned if you can't do it yourself.
Under tensioned spokes cause the elbows to flex/fatigue much more as the wheel goes round.

Last edited by Bill Kapaun; 01-16-20 at 11:03 AM.
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Old 01-16-20, 10:55 AM
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As mentioned, the NDS spokes will have significantly less tension than the RH spokes and you can easily feel the difference. If the wheel is still round and true and you've been riding it, you should be fine. Check the drive side spokes by feel and try to tell whether they all have about the same tone when struck. If all the spokes sound about the same, they all have about the same tension. If the wheel is performing fine and the drive side tension is about equal among spokes, don't worry.

Most of the strength in the rear wheel comes from the drive side spokes because of their greater tension. The NDS spokes serve mostly to keep the wheel centered. If you think that the NDS spokes are too loose and you tighten up just the NDS spokes you are likely to end up with a wheel which is not well-centered and that's no fun.

So, if you're concerned, check the wheel occasionally for true. If the NDS spokes are loosening, it won't stay true. That's when to figure out how to fix it.
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Old 01-16-20, 11:05 AM
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thanks for the responses and all of the knowledge. The DS is tight and the NDS they all feel the same. The wheel is still true, I think I’m good for now. I appreciate the help!
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Old 01-16-20, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by davidad View Post
On the rear wheel the non-drive side spokes are not as tight as the DS because of the wheel dish,
Thank you for catching that; I changed it. What a dummy I am.
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Old 01-16-20, 04:41 PM
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I just cleaned up this thread. A couple members went overboard on criticizing some advice. We all make mistakes and the goal here, especially in this forum, is providing help.
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Old 01-16-20, 04:46 PM
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SS, thanks for doing that. Inadvertently, I made an incorrect statement, but thanks to davidad was able to correct it (hopefully).
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