Newbie Question About Spokes

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by adive, Apr 29, 2015.

  1. adive

    adive New Member

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    I have a hybrid cycle I bought in October 2014. I didnt inspect it too well maybe at the time of buying as I was very new to cycles. I havent been riding it too extensively. I ride it maybe once a week, 7-8 kilometers max. Also I am a careful rider and the bike's stored in a secure place always. I havent bumped it or banged it, absolutely no accidents at all.

    In March I realized one spoke on every wheel is loose. All the other spokes on both the wheels are nice and tight.

    Is this a problem? The mechanic at the cycle shop where I bought it took a look said its fine and I can ignore it. Isnt he wrong? Do I need to get it fixed?

    Thanks a lot!
     
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  2. FetishRider

    FetishRider New Member

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    How loose are we talking here? I'd imagine your wheels would not be very true if you have loose spokes.
     
  3. ABNPFDR

    ABNPFDR Member

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    Should they be loose? No - but is it a problem? Not Really.

    Depending on wheel size, spoke count, and spoke type/size/material, every spoke would be tightened to within a certain tension range While holding the rim "true". It's common on low end wheels for this to not be the case but as long as the rim is true then it's not a big deal. The nipples should be tightened so the spoke is not loose and rattling around and the spoke does not work itself free but otherwise, not too much of an issue.
     
  4. dabac

    dabac Well-Known Member

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    This is another one of those yes-no-maybe things.
    It's not that uncommon for a rim to be a little flatter some place. If it's from manufacture, it'll be at the rim joint.
    If the wheel builder tensions the spokes closest to the flat spot as much as all the other spokes, the wheel becomes flatter still at that point.
    Meaning a wheel builder might have to balance roundness against even spoke tension.
    A quality-minded builder will know what kind of spoke tension difference he'll accept, and will discard a rim that's too out-of-round for his preferences.

    But a professional builder also needs to produce, and might well let some pass where there is a tension difference between the spokes.

    Yours might be like that, not perfect, but good enough.
    The real test is if the spoke is tight enough to remain under tension during regular use. If it isn't, the spoke will shortly fail.
    A tensiometer is immensely helpful when discussing something like this over the 'net.
    With a tensiometer, it'd be real easy to compare the tension between the neighboring spokes and say if there's reason for concern or not.
     
  5. adive

    adive New Member

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    Thank you everyone for your replies.

    The way I noticed the loose spokes I am talking about are that they are the "odd men out". With my fingers I can move all the other spokes only slightly and they are all "tight". Whereas the loose ones are much looser, they sway maybe 3-4mm when I push and pull with my fingers. Is that a suitable description? I know I am talking in relative terms here. ... Also please note that the loose spokes are very well in place at both their ends (the rim side and the center- of- the- wheel side), they dont rattle , no sounds made.

    Pardon me since I am a newbie but what does "being true" mean? (you mention "...my wheels would not be very true...")

    Good to know that there isnt that much to worry. I was concerned that in the long run these things would very gradually turn worse, so wanted to fix the problem as early as possible.

    The loose spokes (none of the spokes for that matter) are making any sounds and are very well bound in place at both the ends (rim-side and the center of the wheel).
     
  6. dabac

    dabac Well-Known Member

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    A wheel is said to be "true" when there is no/very little sideways movement of the rim to be seen when viewing the wheel straight from the front/rear while spinning.
    If the rim is straight/flat and round from the start, then building it up with uneven spoke tension has a tendency to cause it to go out of round/true.
     
  7. kylerlittle

    kylerlittle Member

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    I think it depends. If the sizes are in the right place and you're using the right material with the correct fitting of all, I think it would go alright. Measurements is a thing I'm not good at, but I'm sure you can work it out.
     
  8. gavinfree

    gavinfree Member

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    I wouldn't worry about it too much, as long as you're talking about a single spoke per wheel. It's a much more annoying problem if multiple spokes are out of whack and loose. The bike shop worker was right in saying it's not a huge issue because it's often not the biggest deal in the world.
     
  9. adive

    adive New Member

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    Thanks for your replies.

    FYI, I got the spokes fixed from the LBS nonetheless. Also I informed the bicycle company and they called me and I told them that the problem shouldnt have occured in such as new cycle. Will keep a watch and hope it wont happen again soon. Keeping a watch.
     
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