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Wheel Tension Question

Old 05-31-23, 06:31 PM
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Wheel Tension Question

What is the target for rear drive side tension on a rim? Rim is 115 kgf max, I am at about 90 and close to true. Work the drive side up and then just balance out NDS? Been a while since I have done this!
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Old 05-31-23, 07:26 PM
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Butted spokes? How many spokes?

Your process is much what I do. Over dish with NDS tension lagging while DS is ramped up and trueness and spoke tension evenness is maintained. As DS tension approaches target range the NDS spokes are used for dishing and trueness. Easy to say but kind of like dancing between the two sides when one is favored early on and the other catches up. Andy
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Old 05-31-23, 07:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart
Butted spokes? How many spokes?

Your process is much what I do. Over dish with NDS tension lagging while DS is ramped up and trueness and spoke tension evenness is maintained. As DS tension approaches target range the NDS spokes are used for dishing and trueness. Easy to say but kind of like dancing between the two sides when one is favored early on and the other catches up. Andy
2.0/1.8/2.0 spokes, 32 spokes. I can come up a bit on DS. Tweak, tweak, tweak!
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Old 05-31-23, 11:04 PM
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I build in dish and tension in dish. It's easier , and probably easier on the components. It also reveals problems earlier.

The more spokes, the lower the individual tension. The tension needed to support a run with 24 spokes could destroy the same rim with 36. For 32 I would be aiming for mid range.
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Old 06-01-23, 12:58 AM
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The rim is rated by the maker at 115kgf, so unless you have the expertise to override that, I'd respect it.

I also like to leave room, so I'd target 100kgf or so.

When building, I prefer to bring a wheel to true, (spot on for radial, less than perfect for wobble) slightly over dished at 5-10% shy of my target right side tension.

Then I work the NDS spokes only to dial in the dish, and final true. This also adds the last few points of tension, and spares me having to work with highly tensioned spokes.
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Old 06-01-23, 08:21 AM
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if it is acceptably true at 90KGF I would suggest you stop there.

/markp
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Old 06-01-23, 09:00 AM
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Originally Posted by mpetry912
if it is acceptably true at 90KGF I would suggest you stop there.
Eh, maybe. Depends on the rider and load. As a clyde myself, I find I normally need about 105 kgf to keep a wheel true.
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Old 06-01-23, 09:06 AM
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well you have to do what's right for you.

An absolute measurement is not something I personally would resort to in the case of spoke tension. Every rim / spoke combo is different.

A modern DT rim will take tensions in the 125 kgf range. A vintage Superchamp rim, probably less.

Also the spokes will vary across a range of tensions in a properly built wheel. Even a very skilled builder cannot get them all exactly the same. The trick is getting them in a narrow range.

and remember the spokes see load excursions as the bike is ridden, hits bumps, etc.

counterintuitively the spoke tension is reduced as the tire is inflated. At least on clincher wheels.

And then of course how accurate is your instrumentation. if you're using a rock to measure spoke tension, allow for some uncertainty. Leave a safety margin.

but what do I know?

/markp


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Old 06-01-23, 10:12 AM
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Get a copy of Spocalc.
Plug in your hub dimensions.
It'll give a % 0f L/R.
See how much R you need to get a minimum of 65kgf on L.

IF you can't get 65kgf without exceeding your max, then use a locking nipple on the L.

Usage will play into this too. Skinny person on smooth pavement w/ no potholes or a huge clyde doing "stunt" biking?
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Old 06-01-23, 10:41 AM
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Insisting on an arbitrary minimum NDS tension of 65 kgf would put the DS spokes of many of my rear wheels over the rated max. Thankfully, I have yet to find that necessary.
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Old 06-01-23, 11:47 AM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott
Insisting on an arbitrary minimum NDS tension of 65 kgf would put the DS spokes of many of my rear wheels over the rated max. Thankfully, I have yet to find that necessary.
Apparently you missed the part about if you can't?
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Old 06-01-23, 12:51 PM
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As mentioned earlier, we often need to target DS tension based on the minimum acceptable tension on the NDS.

That minimum tension depends on a variety of considerations, including: spoke gauge, rim rigidity, number of holes, rider weight, riding style, etc.

The key, is to target tensions for the best balance based on ALL the factors. Often we cannot satisfy all considerations, so then we seek the best compromise.

On modern high dish wheels, I generally do best with thinner spokes, especially on the left. While many follow the trend of working with very high tensions, I stay with the more moderate tensions that have served me well for half a centuty.
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Old 06-01-23, 12:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Bill Kapaun
Apparently you missed the part about if you can't?
I missed the part where you explained why 65 kgf was the magic number to strive for in the first place.

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Old 06-01-23, 01:37 PM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott
I missed the part where you explained why 65 kgf was the magic number to strive for in the first place.
Because that's about the point where the NDS spokes have enough tension to not get so slack that the nipples start to unwind.
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Old 06-01-23, 03:54 PM
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Thanks everyone, each piece of advice helped indeed. It came together pretty well. I have pretty even tensions on both sides.
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