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What to do about loose spokes?

Old 07-22-11, 01:13 PM
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lostarchitect 
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What to do about loose spokes?

Hello,

I recently bought a used bike. After I got it home I noticed that several of the spokes on the front wheel are fairly loose, and I'm wondering how to approach this problem. I can true a wheel that's a bit off with no problem, but I have never built a wheel. Should I get all the spokes to a uniform tightness and then true it up? How would you deal with this?
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Old 07-22-11, 01:21 PM
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you have the right idea. tighten the loose ones till they feel similar to the others and then true it up.
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Old 07-22-11, 03:06 PM
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Originally Posted by time bandit View Post
you have the right idea. tighten the loose ones till they feel similar to the others and then true it up.
Great, thanks. I just didn't want to start doing that and then realize I'd screwed the whole thing up.
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Old 07-22-11, 03:10 PM
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It depends on why the spokes are loose. If they wheel was just poorly built with inadequate tension, just tighten the spokes and then true the entire wheel. If they are loose because the rim is bent in that area (say from an impact) then you will never get it true, round and uniformly tensioned all at the same time.
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Old 07-22-11, 03:25 PM
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Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
It depends on why the spokes are loose. If they wheel was just poorly built with inadequate tension, just tighten the spokes and then true the entire wheel. If they are loose because the rim is bent in that area (say from an impact) then you will never get it true, round and uniformly tensioned all at the same time.
I don't believe the rim is bent, but I will keep an eye on it while I'm working.
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Old 07-22-11, 03:53 PM
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Messing with wheels can be quite intimidating at first. After you do a few, whether it be truing, or even building, you will be a lot more comfortable with it.
I used to build my own wheels when I raced BMX in the '80s and never had a problem. I just recently (last week) built my first 26" wheel. It was off of a MTB that I am converting to single speed. It is also my first dished wheel. Turned out great.
One tip: make sure you have a good spoke wrench of the proper size, or if you use a screw driver on the nipples (tire/tube/rimstrip removed of course) make sure it is the right size and hollow ground.
Keep us posted on how it works out for ya.
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