Wheel trueing novice desperate for help (Long, sorry!)

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by Call Me Bob, Jan 31, 2003.

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  1. Call Me Bob

    Call Me Bob Guest

    If anyone can help me out with this I'd be very grateful, I've been trying real hard but am making
    no progress whatsoever.

    A little while ago I damaged a (newish and machine built) rear wheel. A pannier bag became jammed in
    it and slightly bent a couple of spokes, loosening a few others and sending wheel out of true.
    Thought this would be a good opportunity to begin learning to repair and eventually build my own
    wheels. My attempts so far however, whilst initially seeming promising, are failing as soon as I
    ride the bike.

    Been getting plenty of advice and tips in uk.rec.cycling but am still failing dismally so thought
    I'd summarise efforts so far and crosspost to rec.bicycles.tech in the hope of further help.

    I've now trued the wheel 4 times and am pleased with the "workshop" result, but as soon as I ride
    the bike the wheel practically disassembles itself within about 10 miles!

    As I've practiced (and received helpful advice) I've become more confident in actually working on
    the wheel and have been focusing on the following:

    Spoke tension, I'm now able to gradually increase tension as I true the wheel to the point where
    I can't go any further without rounding the nipples. *Lots* of tension driveside, slightly less
    non drive.

    Spoke wind up, been working hard to avoid it. I've oiled the nipples and am religiously over winding
    spokes and then turning back slightly to release wind up as I tension and true the wheel.I'm getting
    better at actually recognising/feeling it as windup releases.

    Stress relieving, initially I was probably too timid with this but have been very positive last
    couple of attempts. Am using the lever type method described on Sheldons site.

    Getting *even* tension around the wheel. Not sure I did a good job of this first couple of times.
    Found it a bit hard to gauge with novice fingers. My fourth attempt (finished about an hour ago, not
    been out on it yet) I loosened every single spoke in the wheel so I would have a known starting
    point to work from. Began tensioning and trueing from threads *just* inside nipples on each spoke.

    I've been following the instructions on Sheldons site (thanks to him for great website) and also on
    other wheel building pages I can find (Park Tools for example). I'm being as thorough as I can, I
    seem to have a fair understanding of the mechanics of the job and the repairs seemingly go well.
    However, on riding the bike, within about ten miles several spokes work completely loose, a few so
    badly that they are virtually free of the nipples - no tension at all left. Other spokes are not as
    bad but still much looser than when I finished the job and others have retained all of their
    tension. Obviously the wheel is way out of true at this point. This is the same pattern each time. I
    have absolutely no idea what I'm doing wrong or what else to try (if this latest attempt fails).

    What am I missing? Stupid mistakes to beware of? Steps not followed correctly?

    If anyone has any insights or advice that may help me please post, I really want to make some
    progress on this.

    (My original plea for help and the following thread in uk.rec.cycling is available here:
    http://makeashorterlink.com/?P3F152C43 )

    Thanks for reading if you made it this far and thanks in advance if you can help.

    PS. The front wheel of this pair is doing just fine, no problems with it at all.

    Bob
    --
    Mail address is spam trapped To reply by email remove the beverage
     
    Tags:


  2. Clive George

    Clive George Guest

    you may have missed the advice given by one poster to stick tape flags on the spokes so you can see
    when they're winding up. Worked for me. Since your problems seem to be with spoke windup, must be
    worth a try!

    cheers, clive
     
  3. Pete Biggs

    Pete Biggs Guest

    Call me Bob wrote:
    > Getting *even* tension around the wheel. Not sure I did a good job of this first couple of times.
    > Found it a bit hard to gauge with novice fingers.

    Ears are better. Pluck spokes like strings on a voilin and compare pitch.

    There's certainly something funny going on, but I'll leave the rest to the experts from
    rec.bicycles.tech. I think you're going to get some good advice. Good luck.

    ~PB
     
  4. Tony Raven

    Tony Raven Guest

    Call me Bob <[email protected]> wrote:
    > If anyone can help me out with this I'd be very grateful, I've been trying real hard but am making
    > no progress whatsoever.
    >

    You seem to be doing everything right. I'm just wondering from your description about eveness of
    tension - that could leave a few spokes at low tension while others are as tight as you can get
    them. Try plucking the spokes on one side. They should all ring at the same pitch. If they don't
    look for adjacent spokes, one high pitch, one low pitch. Loosen the first and tighten the second by
    the same amount until they have the same pitch. Some you might need to adjust two spokes either side
    of a third but the aim should be a reasonably even pitch as you go round the wheel.

    Tony
     
  5. Jobst Brandt

    Jobst Brandt Guest

    Bob who? writes:

    > I've now trued the wheel 4 times and am pleased with the "workshop" result, but as soon as I ride
    > the bike the wheel practically disassembles itself within about 10 miles!

    You didn't say how badly the wheel is out of true when this happens but if it is more than +-1mm
    then it's not spoke twist that is getting you but most likely loose spokes. How is roundness
    holding up?

    > As I've practiced (and received helpful advice) I've become more confident in actually working on
    > the wheel and have been focusing on the following:

    > Spoke tension, I'm now able to gradually increase tension as I true the wheel to the point where
    > I can't go any further without rounding the nipples. *Lots* of tension driveside, slightly less
    > non drive.

    Brass nipples don't round off from high spoke tension. They round off from too much friction
    with the rim. Put a drop of oil into the joint at every nipple and notice how much easier they
    turn as soon as they are lubricated. With lubrication, you can snap spokes by tightening without
    rounding a nipple.

    > Spoke wind up, been working hard to avoid it. I've oiled the nipples and am religiously over
    > winding spokes and then turning back slightly to release wind up as I tension and true the
    > wheel.I'm getting better at actually recognising/feeling it as windup releases.

    Unless you have DT Revolution spokes, just back off a quarter turn after tightening by overshooting
    a quarter turn (less for thicker than
    1.8mm diameter spokes.)

    > Stress relieving, initially I was probably too timid with this but have been very positive last
    > couple of attempts. Am using the lever type method described on Sheldon's site.

    > What am I missing? Stupid mistakes to beware of? Steps not followed correctly?

    > If anyone has any insights or advice that may help me please post, I really want to make some
    > progress on this.

    Your wheel is too loose. If you don't want to blindly follow suggestions and then not know why you
    are getting poor results, you might want to know what the various suggestions try to accomplish. For
    that, you could get a copy of "the Bicycle Wheel" where this is fully explained.

    http://www.avocet.com/wheelbook/wheelbook.html

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0960723668/qid%3D983761852/sr%3D1-1/026-6803987-1167653

    Jobst Brandt [email protected] Palo Alto CA
     
  6. Call me Bob <[email protected]> wrote:
    >I've been following the instructions on Sheldons site (thanks to him for great website) and also on
    >other wheel building pages I can find (Park Tools for example). I'm being as thorough as I can, I
    >seem to have a fair understanding of the mechanics of the job and the repairs seemingly go well.
    >However, on riding the bike, within about ten miles several spokes work completely loose, a few so
    >badly that they are virtually free of the nipples - no tension at all left.

    I don't suppose it's possible that the nipples are for larger diameter spokes than you are
    using, is it?
    --
    David Damerell <[email protected]> flcl?
     
  7. Eatmorepies

    Eatmorepies Guest

    "Call me Bob" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > If anyone can help me out with this I'd be very grateful, I've been trying real hard but am making
    > no progress whatsoever.
    >
    > A little while ago I damaged a (newish and machine built) rear wheel. A pannier bag became jammed
    > in it and slightly bent a couple of spokes, loosening a few others and sending wheel out of true.
    > Thought this would be a good opportunity to begin learning to repair and eventually build my own
    > wheels. My attempts so far however, whilst initially seeming promising, are failing as soon as I
    > ride the bike.
    out
    > on it yet) I loosened every single spoke in the wheel so I would have a known starting point to
    > work from. Began tensioning and trueing from threads *just* inside nipples on each spoke.
    >
    Could it be that you're trying to true a very bent rim? I true/build my wheels using written
    information it seems to work. Once I tried to true a steel rim wheel that a friend had bent - I
    found it impossible.

    John
     
  8. Andymorris

    Andymorris Guest

    Jobst Brandt plugged:
    >
    > Your wheel is too loose. If you don't want to blindly follow suggestions and then not know why you
    > are getting poor results, you might want to know what the various suggestions try to accomplish.
    > For that, you could get a copy of "the Bicycle Wheel" where this is fully explained.
    >
    > http://www.avocet.com/wheelbook/wheelbook.html
    >
    >
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0960723668/qid%3D983761852/sr%3D1-1 /026-6803987-1167653
    >

    but we don't mind because it _is_ a brilliant book.

    --
    Andy Morris

    AndyAtJinkasDotFreeserve.Co.UK

    Love this: Put an end to Outlook Express's messy quotes
    http://home.in.tum.de/~jain/software/oe-quotefix/
     
  9. James Annan

    James Annan Guest

    Call me Bob wrote:

    >
    > If anyone has any insights or advice that may help me please post, I really want to make some
    > progress on this.
    >

    The only clue I can see is that you are rounding nipples. That means you are using a crap spoke
    spanner and perhaps the tension at which damage occurs isn't really very high.

    James
     
  10. David Ornee

    David Ornee Guest

    "David Damerell" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:vRk*[email protected]...
    > Call me Bob <[email protected]> wrote:
    > >I've been following the instructions on Sheldons site (thanks to him for great website) and also
    > >on other wheel building pages I can find (Park Tools for example). I'm being as thorough as I
    > >can, I seem to have a fair understanding of the mechanics of the job and the repairs seemingly go
    > >well. However, on riding the bike, within about ten miles several spokes work completely loose, a
    > >few so badly that they are virtually free of the nipples - no tension at all left.
    >
    > I don't suppose it's possible that the nipples are for larger diameter spokes than you are
    > using, is it?
    > --
    > David Damerell <[email protected]> flcl?

    I think David Damerell may be onto something. The nipples may be wearing our in the thread area. A
    previous poster also mentioned that the rim may be bent, or it may have been twisted by the assault.
    Others have mentioned spoke tension balancing. This is key. Jobst mentioned his book. All the above
    are well covered in his book. I think you should get it & read it, start with new nipples, and
    possibly a new rim (if the tension can't be balanced at the same time as true and centered).

    To quote a very good statement from Wheelsmith at their website: "Wheelsmith's wheelbuilding
    philosophy emphasizes strength and durability, and the key is high, uniform spoke tension. Spoke
    tension is the most difficult and elusive aspect of wheelbuilding. It is the characteristic of the
    wheel most difficult to evaluate, yet the most critical to its performance. This approach to
    wheelbuilding, based on combining both art and science, and focusing on tension rather than cosmetic
    trueness, was pioneered by Wheelsmith and remains at the foundation of our process. Cosmetic
    trueness can actually come at the expense of a wheel's strength because it can result in unbalanced
    tension. So do not be misled by some builders' claims about trueness, because what really matters is
    not how true a wheel is now, but how true it is 1,000 miles from now." It appears that you may be
    dealing with a warped rim, worn out nipples, spoke wind up, and lots of frustration.

    I hope this helps. Let us know the outcome.

    David Ornee, Western Springs, IL, USA......................................................... to
    visit parts of the U. K. in May.
     
  11. Ant

    Ant Guest

    Call me Bob <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > If anyone can help me out with this I'd be very grateful, I've been trying real hard but am making
    > no progress whatsoever.

    A thought, though it might seem obvious-

    When you loosen the wheel, is the rim still round? Your original accident does not sound
    catastrophic and rim-destroying in nature, but I imagine if your rim was bent, it might true up with
    effort in the workstand, but unwind in riding.

    Does it go out of true in the same place every time?

    Are you *sure* there is even tension among the spokes on each side? (if the rim was bent,
    uneven tension might be a symptom. this would suggest that based on your post it wasnot bent,
    but i had to ask..)

    not a pro myself, just a thought.

    one more- as you are getting the hang of this, and are loosening the spokes between each rebuild, it
    migth be worth your while to just purchase a new rim and try frmo there. wouldnt take you but an
    extra five minutes to put it on an already loose wheel. new rims can be had fairly cheap if you
    arent picky, and if you are thorough as you say you are (and im sure you are) it seems this might
    take the guesswork out of it.

    anthony
     
  12. Appkiller

    Appkiller Guest

    Call me Bob <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > If anyone can help me out with this I'd be very grateful, I've been trying real hard but am making
    > no progress whatsoever.
    >
    > A little while ago I damaged a (newish and machine built) rear wheel. A pannier bag became jammed
    > in it and slightly bent a couple of spokes, loosening a few others and sending wheel out of true.
    > Thought this would be a good opportunity to begin learning to repair and eventually build my own
    > wheels. My attempts so far however, whilst initially seeming promising, are failing as soon as I
    > ride the bike.
    >
    > Been getting plenty of advice and tips in uk.rec.cycling but am still failing dismally so thought
    > I'd summarise efforts so far and crosspost to rec.bicycles.tech in the hope of further help.
    >
    > I've now trued the wheel 4 times and am pleased with the "workshop" result, but as soon as I ride
    > the bike the wheel practically disassembles itself within about 10 miles!
    >
    > As I've practiced (and received helpful advice) I've become more confident in actually working on
    > the wheel and have been focusing on the following:
    >
    > Spoke tension, I'm now able to gradually increase tension as I true the wheel to the point where
    > I can't go any further without rounding the nipples. *Lots* of tension driveside, slightly less
    > non drive.
    >
    > Spoke wind up, been working hard to avoid it. I've oiled the nipples and am religiously over
    > winding spokes and then turning back slightly to release wind up as I tension and true the
    > wheel.I'm getting better at actually recognising/feeling it as windup releases.

    Mark one side of the spoke just above the nipple with a felt tip - windup will be obvious.

    > Stress relieving, initially I was probably too timid with this but have been very positive last
    > couple of attempts. Am using the lever type method described on Sheldons site.
    >
    > Getting *even* tension around the wheel. Not sure I did a good job of this first couple of times.
    > Found it a bit hard to gauge with novice fingers. My fourth attempt (finished about an hour ago,
    > not been out on it yet) I loosened every single spoke in the wheel so I would have a known
    > starting point to work from. Began tensioning and trueing from threads *just* inside nipples on
    > each spoke.
    >
    > I've been following the instructions on Sheldons site (thanks to him for great website) and also
    > on other wheel building pages I can find (Park Tools for example). I'm being as thorough as I can,
    > I seem to have a fair understanding of the mechanics of the job and the repairs seemingly go well.
    > However, on riding the bike, within about ten miles several spokes work completely loose, a few so
    > badly that they are virtually free of the nipples - no tension at all left. Other spokes are not
    > as bad but still much looser than when I finished the job and others have retained all of their
    > tension. Obviously the wheel is way out of true at this point. This is the same pattern each time.
    > I have absolutely no idea what I'm doing wrong or what else to try (if this latest attempt fails).
    >
    > What am I missing? Stupid mistakes to beware of? Steps not followed correctly?
    >
    > If anyone has any insights or advice that may help me please post, I really want to make some
    > progress on this.
    >
    > (My original plea for help and the following thread in uk.rec.cycling is available here:
    > http://makeashorterlink.com/?P3F152C43 )
    >
    > Thanks for reading if you made it this far and thanks in advance if you can help.
    >
    > PS. The front wheel of this pair is doing just fine, no problems with it at all.
    >
    Only other thing I have to offer: Are you making sure to loosen an opposite spoke when you tighten
    one during intermediate truing? If you don't, you may build severe tension imbalances.

    Good luck!
    >
    > Bob
     
  13. On Fri, 31 Jan 2003 16:08:46 -0500, Eatmorepies wrote:

    > Could it be that you're trying to true a very bent rim?

    Good point. While an experienced wheelbuilder can manage to coax a bent rim into shape, it is much
    harder than a straight rim. (I love my grasp of the obvious.)

    If this time does not succeed, take the rim off and lay it on a table. That may explain things.
    Especially since it was involved in a crash or problem, chances are that this is your root
    difficulty.

    A rim that is merely out-of-round can more easily be fixed by pushing on the low parts.

    --

    David L. Johnson

    __o | As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not _`\(,_ | certain, and as
    far as they are certain, they do not refer to (_)/ (_) | reality. -- Albert Einstein
     
  14. Dax

    Dax Guest

  15. A Muzi

    A Muzi Guest

    "Call me Bob" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > If anyone can help me out with this I'd be very grateful, I've been trying real hard but am making
    > no progress whatsoever.
    >
    > A little while ago I damaged a (newish and machine built) rear wheel. A pannier bag became jammed
    > in it and slightly bent a couple of spokes, loosening a few others and sending wheel out of true.
    > Thought this would be a good opportunity to begin learning to repair and eventually build my own
    > wheels. My attempts so far however, whilst initially seeming promising, are failing as soon as I
    > ride the bike.
    >
    > Been getting plenty of advice and tips in uk.rec.cycling but am still failing dismally so thought
    > I'd summarise efforts so far and crosspost to rec.bicycles.tech in the hope of further help.
    >
    > I've now trued the wheel 4 times and am pleased with the "workshop" result, but as soon as I ride
    > the bike the wheel practically disassembles itself within about 10 miles!
    >
    > As I've practiced (and received helpful advice) I've become more confident in actually working on
    > the wheel and have been focusing on the following:
    >
    > Spoke tension, I'm now able to gradually increase tension as I true the wheel to the point where
    > I can't go any further without rounding the nipples. *Lots* of tension driveside, slightly less
    > non drive.
    >
    > Spoke wind up, been working hard to avoid it. I've oiled the nipples and am religiously over
    > winding spokes and then turning back slightly to release wind up as I tension and true the
    > wheel.I'm getting better at actually recognising/feeling it as windup releases.
    >
    > Stress relieving, initially I was probably too timid with this but have been very positive last
    > couple of attempts. Am using the lever type method described on Sheldons site.
    >
    > Getting *even* tension around the wheel. Not sure I did a good job of this first couple of times.
    > Found it a bit hard to gauge with novice fingers. My fourth attempt (finished about an hour ago,
    > not been out on it yet) I loosened every single spoke in the wheel so I would have a known
    > starting point to work from. Began tensioning and trueing from threads *just* inside nipples on
    > each spoke.
    >
    > I've been following the instructions on Sheldons site (thanks to him for great website) and also
    > on other wheel building pages I can find (Park Tools for example). I'm being as thorough as I can,
    > I seem to have a fair understanding of the mechanics of the job and the repairs seemingly go well.
    > However, on riding the bike, within about ten miles several spokes work completely loose, a few so
    > badly that they are virtually free of the nipples - no tension at all left. Other spokes are not
    > as bad but still much looser than when I finished the job and others have retained all of their
    > tension. Obviously the wheel is way out of true at this point. This is the same pattern each time.
    > I have absolutely no idea what I'm doing wrong or what else to try (if this latest attempt fails).
    >
    > What am I missing? Stupid mistakes to beware of? Steps not followed correctly?
    >
    > If anyone has any insights or advice that may help me please post, I really want to make some
    > progress on this.
    >
    > (My original plea for help and the following thread in uk.rec.cycling is available here:
    > http://makeashorterlink.com/?P3F152C43 )
    >
    > Thanks for reading if you made it this far and thanks in advance if you can help.
    >
    > PS. The front wheel of this pair is doing just fine, no problems with it at all.

    Such a sad story!

    I have two possible suggestions.

    If your overall tension is still low, that could explain the unravelling of your wheel. Can you
    quantify it by comparing to another wheel of proper tension? It is possible that a poor quality/worn
    spoke wrench would both be at risk of damaging nipples while at the same time stopping at too low an
    overall tension.

    Secondly, when you completely detensioned the wheel, was the rim mostly in one plane and relatively
    round, both within a couple of millimeters? If the rim has been bent such that when true and round
    some spokes are wildly tighter/looser than others, that would explain the resulting unstable effect.

    --
    Andrew Muzi http://www.yellowjersey.org Open every day since 1 April 1971
     
  16. A Muzi

    A Muzi Guest

  17. Phileas

    Phileas Guest

    "Call me Bob" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > If anyone can help me out with this I'd be very grateful, I've been trying real hard but am making
    > no progress whatsoever.
    >
    >
    > Spoke tension, I'm now able to gradually increase tension as I true the wheel to the point where I
    > can't go any further without rounding the nipples.

    Are you using a decent spoke key? Most cheap ones are virtually useless. I use a Spokey which
    engages all four sides of the nipple.

    Phileas
     
  18. Pete Biggs

    Pete Biggs Guest

    A Muzi wrote:
    > It is possible that a poor quality/worn spoke wrench would both be at risk of damaging nipples
    > while at the same time stopping at too low an overall tension.

    Bob was using a "Park triangular multi-size" spoke wrench. Is this any good?

    ~PB
     
  19. Pete Biggs

    Pete Biggs Guest

    > The only clue I can see is that you are rounding nipples. That means you are using a crap spoke
    > spanner and perhaps the tension at which damage occurs isn't really very high.

    Or there is not enough lubrication between nipple and rim - as Jost Brandt explained in his reply.

    I suspect this is a factor for the too-loose wheel - together with a not-good-enough spoke key and
    perhaps not /really/ tightening to near the point of rounding.

    I know they can be hard to get hold of, but it is woth getting a Spokey (or another tool of
    similar design).

    ~PB
     
  20. Pete Biggs wrote:
    >> The only clue I can see is that you are rounding nipples. That means you are using a crap spoke
    >> spanner and perhaps the tension at which damage occurs isn't really very high.
    >
    > Or there is not enough lubrication between nipple and rim - as Jost Brandt explained in his reply.
    >
    > I suspect this is a factor for the too-loose wheel - together with a not-good-enough spoke key and
    > perhaps not /really/ tightening to near the point of rounding.
    >
    > I know they can be hard to get hold of, but it is woth getting a Spokey (or another tool of
    > similar design).
    >
    I managed to break a Spokey tightening spokes. I guess it shows that it doesn't slip, but it does
    show it's a bit fragile: I've had good experience with the colour coded Park Tools ones, but they're
    pricey. (Well, the same as a Spokey, but...)

    A
     
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