58. How to Tension Wheel Spokes
Learn how to properly tension the spokes in a wheel.
In this video, we'll learn how to properly tension the spokes in a wheel. Spoke tension is important to ensure your wheels are strong, reliable and long lasting.
Spokes that are too loose will continue to loosen and require constant wheel truing. Spokes that are too tight will cause damage to the rim, spoke nipples and hub flanges. All of the spokes in the wheel should have approximately the same average tension.
For this job you'll need a wheel truing stand, an appropriately sized spoke wrench and a spoke tension meter. Park Tool makes a simple and affordable tension meter called the TM-1. Check the links beside this video for places you can order this tool online.
To find out what tension your spokes require, you'll first need to measure the diameter of your spokes. The Park TM-1 tension meter comes with a handy spoke diameter gauge. Use this gauge to find the smallest slot your spokes fit into. If your spokes are butted and have multiple diameters, measure the smallest diameter on the length of the spoke.
Using the tension meter's included conversion chart, find your spoke diameter and then locate the tension you want to use. Spoke tension requirements will vary depending on the type of rim you have. Lighter rims require less tension, while heavier rims can handle more tension. If you're unsure, check with the manufacturer of your rim. For this exercise we'll be tensioning our spokes to 107 kilograms force (kgf), which equals 24 on the spoke tension meter.
Holding the tension meter horizontally, squeeze the handle and place the spoke between the posts as shown. Then release the handles. Now check the reading on the meter's scale. You can cross reference this number with the conversion chart to see how many kilograms force your spoke has. As you can see, the tension on our spoke is far too low. Now measure all of the spokes on your wheel, one side at a time. They should all have approximately the same average tension. Due to imperfections in the hub and rim, the tension will rarely be exactly the same for all spokes. A difference of 20% between spokes is acceptable.
On front wheels the tension should be equal on both sides. On rear wheels the tension will be higher on the right side, or drive side of the wheel. Therefore proper spoke tension should be measured on both sides, but set to the right side spokes of rear wheels.
To increase the tension, turn all of the spokes around the entire wheel 1/4 counter clockwise and then measure again. Repeat this step until your spoke tension is within range all the way around. Then true your wheel as explained in the video titled "How to True a Wheel".
I have a fairly cheepish bike, Appolo Evade Mountain Bike. (The reason for it having a freewheel was probably due to price not age).
Anyways. So, there is a tiny bit of freewheel wobble which I have come across on a lot of freewheel bikes so I never considered this a problem. Freewheels just tend to get a little bent right? Despite this, shifting is just fine and smooth and the whole drive system is just good overall. However
When I ride up a hill, and I mean steep hills, doesn't matter what front/freewheel gears I... Read more >>
replaced the rear wheel with new one the axle is slightly longer approx 4mm had to use washers as a temporary measure. i was wondering can you get knurled washers that will do the job better
thanks chris... Read more >>
I wanted to replace the rim on my roadbike and heard from a friend that I should do it spoke by spoke, that way I don't have to be careful where to put which spoke. I tried that and now the new rim has kinda an egg shape and I can't fit any more spokes (I got stuck after switching 18 of the 32).
(both rims are 622x15c)
1. Buy an already built new wheel and be done with it?
2. Start over again?
3. Remove all of the spokes from the old rim, learn how to align them correctly and try it again?
4. or something else?
... Read more >>
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I need to find a replacement axle for the one which broke on my 1970's road bike. I've written the specs below, can anyone help me source a replacment? I don't know what to search for:
Thread size 9.2mm
Starting from the drive Side
24mm to first nut
First nut 6mm with an incorporated spacer 9mm
Second nut 3mm
Cone specification unknown
Gap to second Cone 71mm
Cone Specification unknown
20mm to end of thread
Recently bought a slightly used 26" meridian trike. While replacing wider tires on the rear, I noticed an issue with the rear drive side wheel hub. The wheel is held on with a nut and single washer. The hub is not held firmly in a location on the axle and is able to slide back and forth on the axle a good half inch even though the nut is tightened all the way down to its bottom threads on the axle. The non drive side hub and wheel has very little play on its axle , perhaps a 1/8 inch and seems to run fine.
While the drive side hub slides back and forth and seems to be creating un... Read more >>
So today I got a flat tire (unrelated, it was a nail, extracted, repaired. All good) and when I pulled over to try to find what caused it, I noticed that my rim was rubbing the brakes the way it does when it's out of true because of a broken spoke.
The spoke is fine. It's the RIM that's been damaged, and that has damaged my calm some. I took it to my usual bike shop, guys are pros, figured they'd have an answer, no such luck. They gave me vague language about how it "looked like it h... Read more >>
We have a hand me down bike which has been in the family for 30+ years. It's original ower is now in her fourties!!! I'm attached to this bike because the memories I have with my dad riding it.
It has rusted underneath the chrome coating it had so it now all pitted.
I was wondering, can I respray the paint back onto the rim?... Read more >>
I have a very annoying creaky/rubby noise that I cant shift although I have narrowed it down to the rear wheel and not the bike.
I have a Giant Propel Advanced SL 0 Aero Race Road Bike 2016 3 months old and 1,000 miles with the SLR 0 Aero wheels 55mm.
The noise noise only happens (always takes 10 mins to warm up) when I'm seated and putting some power down uphill or on the flats. Now I know its not the BB as I have put my friends Mavic rear wheel on my bike and my SLR r/wheel on his Scott and he gets the same noise on his bike. He's 60kg and... Read more >>
Someone just gave me a 32" cruiser bike. Yes, it's a boxstore bike, but they were kind enough to give it to me and I appreciate their generosity. The back tire has a gash in it, and I'm having a hard time finding a replacement. I'm contemplating downsizing the wheel set to a more common size. Seems like it will work as the bike is very simple: single speed, coaster brake. Spatial reasoning isn't my forte so sometimes I look at things like this thinking they will work, only to find out I'm mistaken. What do I need to think through on such a swap? Thanks in advance!!!... Read more >>
I have a 1997 Giant Ferrago. Great bike, bulletproof. I was changing the rear tube, and doing a bit of lube to both wheels. When all was said and done, I had a left over spring that I think came off the bike. But where?
... Read more >>
I just tuned my '76 Schwinn cruiser up for spring, and after riding as far as my daughter's bus stop my rear wheel has shifted over far enough that the tire is hard against the frame. So I readjust, tighten it back down, and in the same time my wheel has shifted again. It's gone as tight as it can. I'm wondering if the mounting brackets of the fender are causing the nut to slip. Perhaps moving them to the inside of the frame would help? Any suggestions?
Edit: It only seems to be the drive side that slips. The chain is loose and the tire presses against the non-drive side under the... Read more >>
So I have this lovely ti tourer with shimano xtr hbm960 hubs, and I am hoping to service these hubs. I see a metal cap on both ends of the hubs both front and back and the metal cap has a space that looks like I can put a flat head screw driver into to pry it off, it has no flats like the other cones I've dealt with. Can't find how to on the internet. Has anyone dealt with these hubs?
http://imgur.com/0uLqgOw... Read more >>
I have a 1987 Cannondale racing road bike that I have been using to ride on crushed stone and paved trails. The wheels have worn out and need replacing. I was wondering if I could get a slightly wider wheel that could support a wider tire. The crushed stone makes control a bit hard at times. I am looking for more stability from the bike.
I like the feel of the bike and am very comfortable with the road set up. I would rather not have to buy a new bike.
golfguy826... Read more >>
I was wondering if someone could recommend to me which removal tool is needed to remove this freewheel? I recently broke a couple spokes and the freewheel needs to be removed to access the hole to put a new spoke in. I put the ruler there to measure the diameter of the space, it's about 35mm-ish. I was looking at park tools freewheel recommendation site, but don't see one that would necessarily match. Would the FR-6 or FR-8 work? Thanks!
The bi... Read more >>