Spoke tension on a Newly Built wheel

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Walkafire, Mar 13, 2006.

  1. Walkafire

    Walkafire New Member

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    First off, like to say Hi to all out there....

    I just built a Rear Wheel (my first!)
    Was a piece of cake!

    It is a 26" MTB Wheel, took a 9 speed hub and put a couple spacers in it to make a 7 speed.

    Everything came out great.

    My Question is: What do you use to measure the tension of the spokes if you don't have one of those Park Tool Tension meter thingys?

    I basically did mine by feel with another rear wheel I had laying around. You know the ole' squeeze and guess method... ha ha ha Keep it clean peeps.

    Is there anyone else out there that just "Guesses" the tension of the spokes?

    Thanks,

    WALK
     
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  2. John M

    John M New Member

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    I do it by feel. Academically speaking, it is not as good as using a tensiometer, but I am not selling my wheels to others, and in the almost 20 years that I have built my own wheels, I have gotten to the point where my wheels seem evenly tensioned and they do stay true.

    An alternative approach is the musical one. I don't know how many people actually do it this way, though.

    http://www.bikexprt.com/bicycle/tension.htm
     
  3. artmichalek

    artmichalek New Member

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    I usually tension by feel as well. A tensiometer only helps if you have tension specs for your rims. If you're not building a lot of wheels it's going to be cheaper to have a shop check the tension than to buy one.
     
  4. Retro Grouch

    Retro Grouch New Member

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    That's the way that everybody used to do it.

    Besides being round and true, however, it's also important not to have too much varience between your spokes. Making sure that all of the spokes are evenly tensioned is the main thing that I use my tensiometer for. The old school way of checking that is to listen to the musical tone as you pluck each spoke or tap it with a screw driver.
     
  5. Bobby Lex

    Bobby Lex New Member

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    You can estimate whether you have even tension all the way around by squeezing spokes, or by using the "pluck-and-listen" method. But without a tensionmeter you still don't know whether you have the correct tension. It's quite possible to have uniform improper tension all the way around your wheel.

    It's similar to inflating your tires. You can use the "squeeze" method to estimate if a tire is properly inflated, but without a pressure gauge you'll never know for sure whether you're within manufacturer's specs.

    Bob
     
  6. Walkafire

    Walkafire New Member

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    Thanks all...

    The wheel is doing great!

    Had to "tighten" it a wee bit... Works great!

    Now I am ready to build another! I have a spare rear hub laying around :D

    WALK
     
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