# Tour magazine's article on wheel truing (oct '07)

D

#### Derk

##### Guest
Hi,

I read an article in TOUR about wheel truing and it says:
when the wheel needs truing (sideways), it's always a matter of tensioning
spokes and never of reducing spoke tension.

I'm not an expert, but I always learned that if you tension one side, you
reduce tension on the other side.

Derk

Derk wrote:
> I read an article in TOUR about wheel truing and it says:
> when the wheel needs truing (sideways), it's always a matter of tensioning
> spokes and never of reducing spoke tension.
> I'm not an expert, but I always learned that if you tension one side, you
> reduce tension on the other side.

You're right. Algebraically, since spokes pull the rim at a diagonal,
loosening a left spoke when tightening a right spoke yields a net
lateral movement without changing the height (the +/- height changes
being net zero). The corollary is that tightening a spoke on each side
makes for a net change in height without a lateral shift (the L/R
changes being balanced to zero).

Perhaps what the writer intended to say is that in normal use a spoke
cannot be any tighter than when it was built, but that is so obvious as
to be trite.

On the road, when encountering a rider with a broken spoke, simply
loosening a nearby spoke or 2 on the opposite side can get a rider home.
So, in fact, there are moments when reducing tension is useful, if only
as a temporary measure. 'Never' say 'never'!
--
Andrew Muzi
www.yellowjersey.org
Open every day since 1 April, 1971

Derk wrote:
> Hi,
>
> I read an article in TOUR about wheel truing and it says:
> when the wheel needs truing (sideways), it's always a matter of tensioning
> spokes and never of reducing spoke tension.
>
> I'm not an expert, but I always learned that if you tension one side, you
> reduce tension on the other side.
>
>
>
> Derk

Why does it need truing? If the reason is plastic deformation in the rim
you might need to loosen a spoke to compensate (or get a new rim )

--
/Marten

info(apestaartje)m-gineering(punt)nl

On Oct 11, 12:47 pm, Derk <[email protected]> wrote:
> Hi,
>
> I read an article in TOUR about wheel truing and it says:
> when the wheel needs truing (sideways), it's always a matter of tensioning
> spokes and never of reducing spoke tension.
>
> I'm not an expert, but I always learned that if you tension one side, you
> reduce tension on the other side.
>
>
> Derk

Of COURSE, when you true a wheel, it is a raise on one side, reduce on
another and check for roundness, then tension. 'Always tensioning
spokes' assumes that they loosen but most times it's because the
relativlely soft aluminum rim gets deformed.

On Oct 11, 1:08 pm, M-gineering <[email protected]> wrote:
> Derk wrote:
> > Hi,

>
> > I read an article in TOUR about wheel truing and it says:
> > when the wheel needs truing (sideways), it's always a matter of tensioning
> > spokes and never of reducing spoke tension.

>
> > I'm not an expert, but I always learned that if you tension one side, you
> > reduce tension on the other side.

>

>
> > Derk

>
> Why does it need truing? If the reason is plastic deformation in the rim

Ya mean it's bent?

> you might need to loosen a spoke to compensate (or get a new rim )
>
> --
> /Marten
>
> info(apestaartje)m-gineering(punt)nl

And another thing. As you work on a wheel, it could happen that some spokes
get tightened beyond their proper final tension. Unless you keep copious
notes (who does?) you won't know which these are, so you won't know whether
it is okay to loosen them.

I turn the nipples in whatefver direction brings the wheel closer to true.
If loosening a spoke will help true the wheel, especially if it rings a
little sharp--LOOSEN IT.

Qui si parla Campagnolo-www.vecchios.com wrote:
> On Oct 11, 1:08 pm, M-gineering <[email protected]> wrote:
>> Derk wrote:
>>> Hi,
>>> I read an article in TOUR about wheel truing and it says:
>>> when the wheel needs truing (sideways), it's always a matter of tensioning
>>> spokes and never of reducing spoke tension.
>>> I'm not an expert, but I always learned that if you tension one side, you
>>> reduce tension on the other side.
>>> Derk

>> Why does it need truing? If the reason is plastic deformation in the rim

>
>
> Ya mean it's bent?

taken a permanent set

--
/Marten

info(apestaartje)m-gineering(punt)nl

On Oct 11, 2:53 pm, "Leo Lichtman" <[email protected]>
wrote:
> And another thing. As you work on a wheel, it could happen that some spokes
> get tightened beyond their proper final tension. Unless you keep copious
> notes (who does?) you won't know which these are, so you won't know whether
> it is okay to loosen them.
>
> I turn the nipples in whatefver direction brings the wheel closer to true.
> If loosening a spoke will help true the wheel, especially if it rings a
> little sharp--LOOSEN IT.

I usually go through a wheel after I've stress relieved a factory or
handbuilt wheel and pluck and look for very sharp or flat tones, see
if I can even out the tension and keep the wheel true. It makes for a
very stable wheel.

I did this on the horrid Formula/Rigida wheel on my Kona city bike,
then brought them up to tension--after thinking about just rerimming
first thing--and the wheels are perfect after a few hundred miles of
grocery fetching and deliberate abuse. The spoke tension was very
uneven out of the box--but I have a feeling that even these bottom
barrel single wall hoops should stay round for a good long while now
after being attended too.

Leo is right, though, rims aren't always perfect, so sometimes you
just have to tension or loosen as needed, even if it's a bit uneven.

On Thu, 11 Oct 2007 13:22:22 -0700, landotter <[email protected]>
wrote:

>I usually go through a wheel after I've stress relieved a factory or
>handbuilt wheel and pluck and look for very sharp or flat tones, see
>if I can even out the tension and keep the wheel true. It makes for a
>very stable wheel.

I agree and emphasize "see if I can". After a rim has been on the road
for a while you will have road abuse and that will lead to uneven
tension to correct the abuse. Unless you change rims rather often, you
will never have perfectly even tension in a wheel that's used for road
riding.

someone writes:

>> I usually go through a wheel after I've stress relieved a factory
>> or handbuilt wheel and pluck and look for very sharp or flat tones,
>> see if I can even out the tension and keep the wheel true. It
>> makes for a very stable wheel.

> I agree and emphasize "see if I can". After a rim has been on the
> uneven tension to correct the abuse. Unless you change rims rather
> often, you will never have perfectly even tension in a wheel that's

I don't visualize what you believe damages a rim while road riding.
You must either land hard on a flat surface to cause a flat spot or
partially collapse the wheel laterally to cause a wow. Other than
that, bottoming on a curb causes a ding in the bead that can often be
straightened with a bit of care. Most riders don't encounter these
incidents so why should a wheel get out of true and require
differential tightening? We weren't talking about crashing.

I find that technical articles in Tour vary from excellent to poor
with some poor advice tossed in.

Jobst Brandt

On Oct 12, 12:44 pm, jobst.brandt griped:
> someone writes:

Why can't you get off that hobbyhorse?

Derk wrote:
> Hi,
>
> I read an article in TOUR about wheel truing and it says:
> when the wheel needs truing (sideways), it's always a matter of tensioning
> spokes and never of reducing spoke tension.
>
> I'm not an expert, but I always learned that if you tension one side, you
> reduce tension on the other side.
>
>
>
> Derk

if it's because the spokes have bedded in beyond initial build, then
expect tension increase only. if it's to fudge a deformed rim, as you
suspect, tension decrease may be necessary.

yeeeah. You get to a point on the learning curve where you can eyeball
the rim and evolve a several step strategy to get it straight and
true.
Combining lateral and radial truing with several seperate techniques
melded together.

Haven't read the piece but I guess that's a given.

But the rim is a math construction like a bridge.. As J.Brandt often
states, all spokes are at the same place and torques. Well. they
should be.
but often are not. But that does't mean you don't work toward that
level.

So, with paragraph one, you keep the average, low, and high spoke
torque levels in mind as you true, always working toward all spokes
torqued equally. Whatever strategm your using, it's moving toward all
spokes are at an equal torque level - even if they not or won't be if
hell freezes over again.

The wheel starts with all spokes at seated equal tensions, then very
small torque differences, a 1/4 turn, are used to take a direction for
trueing the rim. You increase tensions, and equally decrease if
necessary ( a radial opposite side ploy bringing an egg into
roundness) using the strategms you learned but you "never" reduce
spoke tension and not go for an opposite effect.

Balance, as all spokes are of equal tension, is the essence of
roundness and physics?

as a strict rule, that's not true in practice but its always a good
ideal to follow.

Tension has an upper set level for function, all modifications of that
level should be in balance not reduction.

let me know if that's reasonable

at some point
all seperate and useful strategy meld into all spokes are of equal
tension
cosmically reducing friction and tension
aaahhhhh!

On 2007-10-13, datakoll <[email protected]> wrote:
> yeeeah. You get to a point on the learning curve where you can eyeball
> the rim and evolve a several step strategy to get it straight and
> true.
> Combining lateral and radial truing with several seperate techniques
> melded together.
>
> Haven't read the piece but I guess that's a given.
>
> But the rim is a math construction like a bridge.. As J.Brandt often
> states, all spokes are at the same place and torques. Well. they
> should be.
> but often are not. But that does't mean you don't work toward that
> level.
>
> So, with paragraph one, you keep the average, low, and high spoke
> torque levels in mind as you true, always working toward all spokes
> torqued equally. Whatever strategm your using, it's moving toward all
> spokes are at an equal torque level - even if they not or won't be if
> hell freezes over again.
>
> The wheel starts with all spokes at seated equal tensions, then very
> small torque differences, a 1/4 turn, are used to take a direction for
> trueing the rim. You increase tensions, and equally decrease if
> necessary ( a radial opposite side ploy bringing an egg into
> roundness) using the strategms you learned but you "never" reduce
> spoke tension and not go for an opposite effect.
>
> Balance, as all spokes are of equal tension, is the essence of
> roundness and physics?
>
> as a strict rule, that's not true in practice but its always a good
> ideal to follow.
>
> Tension has an upper set level for function, all modifications of that
> level should be in balance not reduction.
>
> let me know if that's reasonable

Good advice. I have also found it's important to undercorrect as

For wheelbuilders in group 2, the new rim leaves the factory rounder and
truer than it's ever going to be again. If you're careful to turn each
nipple by the same amount it comes up almost true first time. A few
small corrections from that point and you're home and dry. Don't
overcook the goose.

On Oct 12, 11:34 am, still me <[email protected]> wrote:
> On Thu, 11 Oct 2007 13:22:22 -0700, landotter <[email protected]>
> wrote:
>
> >I usually go through a wheel after I've stress relieved a factory or
> >handbuilt wheel and pluck and look for very sharp or flat tones, see
> >if I can even out the tension and keep the wheel true. It makes for a
> >very stable wheel.

>
> I agree and emphasize "see if I can". After a rim has been on the road
> for a while you will have road abuse and that will lead to uneven
> tension to correct the abuse. Unless you change rims rather often, you
> will never have perfectly even tension in a wheel that's used for road
> riding.

In spite of what is being said, we see wheels abused all the time,
even here in the republic where the roads are pretty good. Hit
something, a piece of wood, a hole, whatever and the rim will be
slightly deformed, needing truing. To imply a well made wheel, ridden
often, will never need to be trued is 'waltdisneyworld' thinking.

The best a wheel will ever be is when the rim is new and the build is
complete, before riding.

Qui si parla writes on road damage-

torqueing one side only? just for arguement: say you torque one side
to eliminate damage, correcting to a true state.
but given the math reality coming into play AS the wheel trues up
you and wheel are back in the balance correction topo area.
AHA!
BACK TO SQUARE 167
the unbalanced correction for hypothetical example only could have
been (my english suffers here in this transient state) a set of
unbalanced corrections made slighlty less so by going down and
upstream of the now slightly less unbalanced corrections into two
groups of balancinbg corrections spread out over several more spokes
than the on the bend corrections.
This ploy leads to what? a balanced correction state.
AS 'X' represents torque at bend, 'Y' represents balancing torque.

unbalanced method XXXXX

balanced method YYYYYYYYYYYYYY XX YYYYYYYYYYYYY

Chicxulub method

Beecaws this direction is in the real time math direction, it is best
trying to go that way. I assume the author comes from this level of
experince

http://209.85.165.104/search?q=cach...gulf+of+mexico+comet&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=8&gl=us

unbalanced correction in progress:::::
torqueing one side when dishing the rear, bringing the rim over right
to left, is unbalanced in group 3. In group 2, one side torque or
unbalanced torque moves toward using the dishing opportunity to move
toward balance by pre planning or staging torque levels near the last
torque increase levels. Or that's where I'm at at at this stage: work
in progress.
(I get rims from a unamed supplier that are really screwed up-there
are retarded malicious shippers, mostly bad tempered ignorant
Irishmen)

On Oct 12, 3:01 pm, Ozark Bicycle
<[email protected]> wrote:
> On Oct 12, 12:44 pm, jobst.brandt griped:
>
> > someone writes:

>
> Why can't you get off that hobbyhorse?

When you've invested in monogrammed chaps--it tends to focus the
intellect.

Yippeeiiiaayyy!

On Oct 13, 7:48 am, datakoll <[email protected]> wrote:
> Qui si parla writes on road damage-
>
> torqueing one side only? just for arguement: say you torque one side
> to eliminate damage, correcting to a true state.
> but given the math reality coming into play AS the wheel trues up
> you and wheel are back in the balance correction topo area.
> AHA!
> BACK TO SQUARE 167
> the unbalanced correction for hypothetical example only could have
> been (my english suffers here in this transient state) a set of
> unbalanced corrections made slighlty less so by going down and
> upstream of the now slightly less unbalanced corrections into two
> groups of balancinbg corrections spread out over several more spokes
> than the on the bend corrections.
> This ploy leads to what? a balanced correction state.
> AS 'X' represents torque at bend, 'Y' represents balancing torque.
>
> unbalanced method XXXXX
>
> balanced method YYYYYYYYYYYYYY XX YYYYYYYYYYYYY
>
> Chicxulub method
>
> Beecaws this direction is in the real time math direction, it is best
> trying to go that way. I assume the author comes from this level of
> experince
>
> http://209.85.165.104/search?q=cache:3Hy8eoFQgj0J:nicholnl.wcp.muohio...
>
> unbalanced correction in progress:::::
> torqueing one side when dishing the rear, bringing the rim over right
> to left, is unbalanced in group 3. In group 2, one side torque or
> unbalanced torque moves toward using the dishing opportunity to move
> toward balance by pre planning or staging torque levels near the last
> torque increase levels. Or that's where I'm at at at this stage: work
> in progress.
> (I get rims from a unamed supplier that are really screwed up-there
> are retarded malicious shippers, mostly bad tempered ignorant
> Irishmen)

ok...thanks, I think..but when I true a wheel, I check tension first
unless I built it..and when I true it, I tighten/loosen..unless it has
bigger problems like out of round, low or high tension, outta
dish..'truing' is like building, just takes less time, generally.

Qui si parla Campagnolo-www.vecchios.com wrote:
> To imply a well made wheel, ridden
> often, will never need to be trued is 'waltdisneyworld' thinking.

You have obviously never caught your wheel in a trolley track.

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