Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Bicycle Mechanics
Reload this Page >

Anyone have the Wheel Fanatyk or NSA spoke tensionometer?

Notices
Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

Anyone have the Wheel Fanatyk or NSA spoke tensionometer?

Old 02-23-24, 10:50 PM
  #1  
Full Member
Thread Starter
 
Ryan_M's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Courtice, Ont.
Posts: 356

Bikes: Some

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 180 Post(s)
Liked 119 Times in 69 Posts
Anyone have the Wheel Fanatyk or NSA spoke tensionometer?

I can't find any real documentation on these, and what I do find is fairly unsuable since alot of it is unitless. I made a copy(ish) of them but working out the final details. I'm pretty sure my spring tension is way too low. I made a test jig for some spokes I'm working with and at 140kgf I was only getting 0.13mm deflection. At an absolute best accuracy of +/- one digit thats an inherent grey area of ~7.6% before you add in any other inaccuracies. I'd like to know what you measure so I can fine tune things. I have a more stout spring that I'm going to try, printing the parts now. I would still like to compare. Thanks!
Ryan_M is offline  
Old 02-24-24, 08:06 AM
  #2  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: New Rochelle, NY
Posts: 38,675

Bikes: too many bikes from 1967 10s (5x2)Frejus to a Sumitomo Ti/Chorus aluminum 10s (10x2), plus one non-susp mtn bike I use as my commuter

Mentioned: 140 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5769 Post(s)
Liked 2,545 Times in 1,411 Posts
Try replacing the spring with elastomer so you'll have more options. Once you find the right constant, you can stay with it or search for a comparable metal spring.

Or approach it analytically. You have a pair of data points. Decide how much deflection you want for your scale to be relevant, then use simple ratios to work back to find the spring constant.

Last edited by FBinNY; 02-24-24 at 08:46 AM.
FBinNY is offline  
Old 02-24-24, 09:04 AM
  #3  
Senior member
 
Dan Burkhart's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Oakville Ontario
Posts: 8,116
Mentioned: 25 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 942 Post(s)
Liked 657 Times in 371 Posts
My Wheel Fanatyc meter usually registers in the.29 to .35 mm range across a range of spoke types and thicknesses at my target tension which is a far smaller deflection range than my other meters register.
Note that a meter that shows the value of the actual deflection registers a lower number at higher tension as opposed to the more intuitive scale of the Park meter and it's clones that shows a higher number at higher tension.
The spring in the Park type meter is much stronger than the Wheel Fanatyc. I can quantify this in my calibration jig.
Typically, the reading on the scale will increase by about 6% when taking a reading with the Park meter but only about 2% with the Wheel Fanatyc.
This really doesn't matter but it explains why the WF has a narrower deflection range.
AS long as your meter delivers consistent and repeatable readings, all you really need is a reliable means of calibrating it.

Last edited by Dan Burkhart; 02-25-24 at 07:30 PM.
Dan Burkhart is offline  
Old 02-24-24, 04:06 PM
  #4  
Full Member
Thread Starter
 
Ryan_M's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Courtice, Ont.
Posts: 356

Bikes: Some

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 180 Post(s)
Liked 119 Times in 69 Posts
Thanks! Very useful info. I tried the new spring and it's maybe a touch on the strong side but I think I'll roll with it. It's a little stiff to compress by hand, it's fine for me but might be too much for someone with smaller hands - if anyone else even ever uses it. I did make a calibration jig and the spokes I'm working with now (Pillar 1420) gave me a deflection of ~1mm at 90kgf, mind you the spokes are bladed and I was measuring across the 0.95mm cross section. I'm actually surprised by the repeatability. I tested from 40-140kgf in 5kgf increments, and at each tension I put the tensionometer on and took it off 4 or 5 times. In about 80% of the times I got the exact same number, the other times were only out by one digit. Dont think I can ask for better than that! Cheers!
Ryan_M is offline  
Old 02-24-24, 04:46 PM
  #5  
Senior member
 
Dan Burkhart's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Oakville Ontario
Posts: 8,116
Mentioned: 25 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 942 Post(s)
Liked 657 Times in 371 Posts
Originally Posted by Ryan_M
Thanks! Very useful info. I tried the new spring and it's maybe a touch on the strong side but I think I'll roll with it. It's a little stiff to compress by hand, it's fine for me but might be too much for someone with smaller hands - if anyone else even ever uses it. I did make a calibration jig and the spokes I'm working with now (Pillar 1420) gave me a deflection of ~1mm at 90kgf, mind you the spokes are bladed and I was measuring across the 0.95mm cross section. I'm actually surprised by the repeatability. I tested from 40-140kgf in 5kgf increments, and at each tension I put the tensionometer on and took it off 4 or 5 times. In about 80% of the times I got the exact same number, the other times were only out by one digit. Dont think I can ask for better than that! Cheers!
Did you compare how much the reading on the scale increased with the new spring as compared to the original one?
Not that it matters if you are properly calibrated but it would be interesting to see the relationship between that and the readings you got previously.
Dan Burkhart is offline  
Old 02-25-24, 02:43 AM
  #6  
Full Member
Thread Starter
 
Ryan_M's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Courtice, Ont.
Posts: 356

Bikes: Some

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 180 Post(s)
Liked 119 Times in 69 Posts
Originally Posted by Dan Burkhart
Did you compare how much the reading on the scale increased with the new spring as compared to the original one?
Not that it matters if you are properly calibrated but it would be interesting to see the relationship between that and the readings you got previously.
I did have a look at that, but wasn't much concerned with it beyond a curiosity. What I was seeing a bit less than 1% which can't be realistic. I suspect the test jig diluted the additional tension I would see if the spoke were installed in a wheel. The jig has an L-bracket to hold an eye bolt to which the digital scale is mounted which hooks into a U-bolt that has a span of steel with a hole drilled in it to mount the spoke, yada, yada. Lots of different bits to flex and swamp out the ever so slight shortening of the spoke when the tensionometer deflects it ~1mm.

TBH I don't think this particular error matters much. Ok sure I may think I'm tensioning to 118kgf but really only tensioning to 113kgf, can't say I care. What I do think is valuable is the consitency and repeatability in the readings so I can acurately compare tension in one spoke to the next. Caveat, I'm a very novice wheel builder so could very likely be a case of I don't know what I don't know, only expressing my opinion of what makes sense to me... at my current level of ignorance lol!
Ryan_M is offline  
Old 02-25-24, 07:36 AM
  #7  
Senior member
 
Dan Burkhart's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Oakville Ontario
Posts: 8,116
Mentioned: 25 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 942 Post(s)
Liked 657 Times in 371 Posts
The increase in the scale reading with the meter applied wouldn't produce an error because it returns to normal.
I was just interested to see how it compares to the increase I observe on my calibration jig with a meter that registers about a third of the deflection you are measuring.

Last edited by Dan Burkhart; 02-25-24 at 07:31 PM.
Dan Burkhart is offline  
Old 02-25-24, 12:30 PM
  #8  
aged to perfection
 
mpetry912's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: PacNW
Posts: 1,805

Bikes: Dinucci Allez 2.0, Richard Sachs, Alex Singer, Serotta, Masi GC, Raleigh Pro Mk.1, Hetchins, etc

Mentioned: 24 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 832 Post(s)
Liked 1,244 Times in 658 Posts
The spoke tension is determined by measuring the deflection in the spoke when a known force (the spring tension) is applied.

note that spokes of different guages will measure differently, or put another way, will have different tension under the same deflection

It sounds like you have a calibration jig of some sort so you can measure the deflection of spoke with a known load.

There is a process for "zeroing" the WF tensiometer at the start of each measurement run.

/markp
mpetry912 is offline  
Old 02-25-24, 07:34 PM
  #9  
Senior member
 
Dan Burkhart's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Oakville Ontario
Posts: 8,116
Mentioned: 25 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 942 Post(s)
Liked 657 Times in 371 Posts
I realized I mis spoke when I talked about increased tension with the meter applied.
I meant to say the scale reading increased. I corrected my post in hopes it makes more sense.
Dan Burkhart is offline  
Old 02-27-24, 08:52 AM
  #10  
Senior Member
 
Road Fan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Posts: 16,869

Bikes: 1980 Masi, 1984 Mondonico, 1984 Trek 610, 1980 Woodrup Giro, 2005 Mondonico Futura Leggera ELOS, 1967 PX10E, 1971 Peugeot UO-8

Mentioned: 49 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1855 Post(s)
Liked 663 Times in 505 Posts
Originally Posted by Ryan_M
I can't find any real documentation on these, and what I do find is fairly unsuable since alot of it is unitless. I made a copy(ish) of them but working out the final details. I'm pretty sure my spring tension is way too low. I made a test jig for some spokes I'm working with and at 140kgf I was only getting 0.13mm deflection. At an absolute best accuracy of +/- one digit thats an inherent grey area of ~7.6% before you add in any other inaccuracies. I'd like to know what you measure so I can fine tune things. I have a more stout spring that I'm going to try, printing the parts now. I would still like to compare. Thanks!
Seems to me the manufacturing tolerance of spoke diameter is also a factor. The 7.6% seems like a "noise margin," within which you may get a reading, but can't really count on it as a measurement.

My Park tensiometer came with a reference card to let me see how my build might compare to a standard I may have found, but it is very difficult and finnicky for me to match two spokes in a given wheel, due in part to sticktion in the spoke nipple threads, spoke windup, and friction in the nipple to rim interface. I haven't tried building with a lubricant yet.
Road Fan is online now  
Old 02-28-24, 11:37 PM
  #11  
Full Member
Thread Starter
 
Ryan_M's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Courtice, Ont.
Posts: 356

Bikes: Some

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 180 Post(s)
Liked 119 Times in 69 Posts
Originally Posted by Road Fan
Seems to me the manufacturing tolerance of spoke diameter is also a factor. The 7.6% seems like a "noise margin," within which you may get a reading, but can't really count on it as a measurement.
Fully agree with you, a 7.6% built in possible error in the tensionometer is not trustworthy. Mine was too touchy, and was picking up the not quite straight spoke if I measured to close to the cross. This is why I was looking to use a stiffer spring, to swamp that out. I think I got there. The spring I'm using now gives me ~1% error. There is the argument that the measurement itself affects the tension measured. I'm not so concerned with that as long as it's consistent and repeatable - which it is - now.

Originally Posted by Road Fan
My Park tensiometer came with a reference card to let me see how my build might compare to a standard I may have found, but it is very difficult and finnicky for me to match two spokes in a given wheel, due in part to sticktion in the spoke nipple threads, spoke windup, and friction in the nipple to rim interface. I haven't tried building with a lubricant yet.
This style of tensionometer (for the most part) negates the spoke diameter deviation as the two reference surfaces (the bearings) and the measurement are done on the same side. Regardless, for assured accuracy I calibrated with the spokes I have in hand.

I'm using bladed spokes for this build and I'm really liking them and will probably continue to use them in the future. If there is any wind up it's very apparent, but I use a tool I printed to hold the spoke straight so pretty much a nonissue. I use silver antisieze that I add some drops of generic oil to, to get a nice consistency. I use it on the threads, as well as on the nipple where it seats on the rim and I'm happy with it. There's sooo many opinions out there on what to use, and I'd bet all of them are perfectly valid. I'll keep using what I'm using because I like it and it hasn't spontaneously combusted.... so far. LOL
Ryan_M is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service -

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.