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 am looking for a new front wheel to replace my buckled wheel. I have seen a very nice looking wheel with quick release but my fork has a 20mm through axle (see attached picture of my fork). Would the wheel be compatible with my fork?
Thank you for your help.... Read more >>
Took on a front axle rebuild on a 1989 Schwinn World Road bike I saved from the trashman. In seperating the cone from the keeper nut on one end of the axle I must have twisted my spanner when it finally broke free. Bad day - the dust cap was forced off and now the dust cap slides completely off the cone. ( see pic ) Does this mean I need to replace the cone with dust cap or whole axle as now nothing will insure that the dust cap will stay in place other than the grease. Can you just get the dust caps and slide a new one back on the cone? Are the cones slightly beveled above the part of t... Read more >>
I'm new to the term "Dish", and have been pointed to links about it...
I've done rims once before... in 1992. put fixed gauge near rim and made sure both sides were identical.
I am up against a rear wheel assembly where I re-positioned spacers and cones on the shaft.
I know the size of the spacer (2mm) but can only guess about the amount of change done to cones... as it was done once in error, and then a 2nd time (after spacer was moved to opposite side, based upon a 'calculated Chain-Line that was within .7mm of where I thought I was heading.)
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I'm back from trip, and all the loose black ceramic bearings that I was waiting for have arrived (These were a gift by the way, for work I did for associate at work).
The bike. 1980 or so Peugeot U09 with solid axle, Normandy Hubs.
When I put in new #25 5/32" bearings on front axle exam (heard noise), 2-3 Months ago, I found the cones pitted (Polished/re-used at that time, as I did not at first find parts)Front axle was also found slightly bent. (I replaced rims and headset bearings on this 10 years ago). Races were good.
Found an ebay quick release axle that f... Read more >>
Hello. I'm new to the forums and was getting a little help in another thread with replacing the bottom bracket on my mountain ( spare ) bike. Parts are on order and now my main beach crusier bike is having issues.
This morning it started creaking bad in the real wheel.
I lubed it up but still sounds bad.
Also the wheel seems true.
Video Of Rear Wheel Creak
Read more >>
Early 1980's Peugeot -- One Owner. Solid Axle.
Hear wheel spin.
Opened it up, and learned the hard way it's loose bearings...
Cones are pitted... Axle is slightly bent.
Bought new Bearings, but No cones or axle is available from local bike shop. Normandy Hub.
Up against a rock and a hard place, this is what I did....
Used Dremel tool, polishing wheel, and jeweler's rouge, and Polished the cone..... to remove the pitting ...
New Bearings and grease, and put it all back together... and it works....
Now, I... Read more >>
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The new wheel is the same brand as the old one (Weinmann 519, 26"x1.5), and they appear identical in all respects except for the axle.
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Thanks!... Read more >>
Hi, I'm new to this forum, so I hope I' m posting this in the right place.
As a matter of general interest, is it any more difficult to change a 7 speed freewheel
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My question is how do I know what size Axel do I buy, how do I measure for this.
Neil.... Read more >>
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It's not too bad, but at low speeds it is more noticeable, than at high speeds.
Thanks !!!... Read more >>
Hi guys. This is my first forum experience.
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