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Wheels keep losing true and frequent loose spokes

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Wheels keep losing true and frequent loose spokes

Old 11-07-12, 08:32 PM
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Wheels keep losing true and frequent loose spokes

My current wheels are Bontrager T1's and they frequently have loose spokes and go untrue about every 70-100 miles. This only happens to the rear (I'm assuming because of my fat a$$). I took the rear to a TREK dealer and they said that the metal was stretching and still in the "break-in" process. I now have about 700 miles on them and the same stuff is still happening. Could this be a defective wheel or is this normal because it's not a super high-end wheel?
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Old 11-07-12, 08:37 PM
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Have them increase the tension level a little more next time. Most shops will put on a balanced but softer tension than I prefer for my own for that reason. It usually only takes a little more, like 1/4 turn past typical to eliminate most of those cases. If the spokes are not set tight enough it will allow the wheel to distort and wiggle loose.
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Old 11-07-12, 08:46 PM
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Most likely spoke tension is to low that's all but unless you know how to do it yourself you are at the mercy of the person doing it. You do need to find a competent wheel builder or someone who knows what they are doing.
I had a wheel that did just what you are talking about but I know how to build and true wheels so I took care if it myself and it’s been good since.
It may not be fancy but it gets me were I need to go.
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Old 11-07-12, 10:32 PM
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The wheel was built poorly- not tensioned enough and not stress relieved.

You can re-tension the wheel but unless you get the tension high enough, and even, the spokes will keep loosening. Loose spokes tend to break, usually at the elbows. It will only get worse with time. At some point it's better to loosen all the spokes and re-tension the wheel like you'd build an new one. A decent shop can do this. However if your shop didn't offer to do it, they're probably not decent.

Rear wheels have more problems than fronts not because your ass is fat- mine isn't and I generally break rear wheels first like everyone else. It's because the rear wheel is less stiff laterally due to the dish (offset) to make room for the gears. Front wheels, even with fewer spokes, are stronger because they have wider spaced hub flanges and thus more bracing angle to the spokes, making the wheel laterally stiffer. To a lesser extent rears break more because there is more weight on the rear wheel, and also a little bit because most riders can lighten the front when hitting obstacles but not the rear. But it's mostly the dish.
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Old 11-07-12, 10:46 PM
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AFAIK, a Bontrager T1 is a tire, not a wheel. In any case, the bike shop is full of ***t. That's just a terrible wheel build. Possible that the wheel is ruined, depending on what it actually is. Go to a different bike shop, insist that the wheel be tensioned to manufacturer's specs using a tension meter, not to some idiot's idea of how tight the spokes should be. When building a wheel, one stretches the spokes a fair bit. There is no break-in process. This is not normal.
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