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Optimal Spoke Tension for Touring

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Optimal Spoke Tension for Touring

Old 03-06-21, 10:25 PM
praise dakinis
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Optimal Spoke Tension for Touring

Iím wondering what people find the optimal spoke tension to be for long distance touring. I just built a new set of wheels and could probably tension them up a bit more, but I wonder if thatís best under heaviest weight. I intend to really load up the bike. Is highest tension allowable by the rim best? Mine go up to 1300nm (Ryde Sputniks).
Also, Iím running Shimano hubs ó Metrea UR700 dynohub up front and Deore M6000 rear. Does anyone know the tension limit for those? (I couldnít find the numbers online...)
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Old 03-06-21, 11:25 PM
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There's no one best anything. Rims will have tension specs sometimes. Spoke gages vary how spokes deal with the cyclic nature of spoke tension and nipple loosening. Rider/load weight is a player too. Then there's how smooth you pedal... Andy
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Old 03-07-21, 01:03 AM
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Lower than optimal tensions increase the probability of spoke failure, higher than optimal tension increase the probability of rim failure (at the spoke holes).

You should tension to the highest tension specified by the rim manufacturer. In truth, the ideal value is likely to be slightly higher than this, but you gain little by pushing it.

I don't think Shimano specifies a upper tension limit for their hubs. It is almost certainly way higher than the rim.

Besides component quality and a reasonable average tension, longevity will come from even tension and appropriate stress relieving.
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Old 03-07-21, 04:31 AM
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Maximum the rim will take, especially on the DS so the NDS will have the maximum amount of tension possible given the offset.
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Old 03-08-21, 08:29 AM
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@cpach and @Trevtassie have this one nailed. Go as high as the rim manufacturer will let you on the drive side, but no higher. NDS ends up being whatever it is, but the higher tension on the DS the better chance you won't unscrew the NDS on the road. Uniform spoke tension, to the extent possible, will keep you from having one or two spokes that end up loosening.

It's worth mentioning that butted spokes on the NDS provide a bit of extra margin. The thinner body will elongate slightly under stress, and relax back as the stress is reduced; this will keep the NDS spokes under (some) tension and give your wheel a longer life.
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