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General Spoke Tension / Maintenance Concerns - 36er

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  • General Spoke Tension / Maintenance Concerns - 36er

    Boring but necessary question for the mechanically inclined. Really appreciate your time in answering, here goes...
    OK, so I've been commuting and training and just happily rolling around on my KH 36 for a few months, racking up 75 miles or so / week, and I'm just wondering what I need to do for spoke health in the long term. This morning I noticed a single finger-loose spoke which i tightened a bit just to bring it in line with the rest. I chatted briefly with the guy at my LBS who's a wzard wheel builder, and he said he could take a crack at checking and tensioning the spokes, but I'm wondering what I should be aware of with this larger diameter and what's recommended for maintaining a strong, true 36er wheel. I haven't had any issues with the wheel; this question concerns proper preventive maintenance.
    Thanks again.

  • #2
    I read somewhere that if a guy at your lbs tensions the spokes you should make sure that he doesn't test tension by plucking them. It would work, but since he will be used to smaller wheels he will want them to sound higher pitched and possible over tighten them.

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    • #3
      My wheel d00d apparently uses some fancy device that measures spoke tension, so getting them even shouldn't be a problem. I'm just wondering if / when it's a good idea to have him do his thing....
      Last edited by YooNeeNoob; 2013-09-27, 04:51 AM.

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      • #4
        I've tensioned over 1/2 dozen 36er wheels with this:

        http://www.parktool.com/product/spok...ion-meter-tm-1

        Only 1 wheel did I ever have problems and it was due to defective spokes. They broke several inches from the J bend.

        When a wheel is properly tensioned and stress relieved it is good for a long time. I've been able to run years with minimal maintenance.

        If using the TM-1 a reasonable setting for a 36er with a Stealth or Stealth 2 rim seems to be about 22.

        It is a good idea to have the wheel tension set evenly. It will prolong the life of the wheel immensely. All my bike and uni wheels get a full check and tuneup as soon as I get them. New wheels sometimes have less than stellar builds. Getting them to a consistent reasonable tension and stress relieved properly takes some practice, but it is definitely worth learning how to do.

        It makes you popular with other local uni riders for sure.
        dave krack

        http://www.butlerwobble.com

        http://www.surlyspeedgoat.wordpress.com

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by unigoat View Post
          I've tensioned over 1/2 dozen 36er wheels with this:

          http://www.parktool.com/product/spok...ion-meter-tm-1

          Only 1 wheel did I ever have problems and it was due to defective spokes. They broke several inches from the J bend.

          When a wheel is properly tensioned and stress relieved it is good for a long time. I've been able to run years with minimal maintenance.

          If using the TM-1 a reasonable setting for a 36er with a Stealth or Stealth 2 rim seems to be about 22.

          It is a good idea to have the wheel tension set evenly. It will prolong the life of the wheel immensely. All my bike and uni wheels get a full check and tuneup as soon as I get them. New wheels sometimes have less than stellar builds. Getting them to a consistent reasonable tension and stress relieved properly takes some practice, but it is definitely worth learning how to do.

          It makes you popular with other local uni riders for sure.
          What tension does this "22" represent in kgf?

          Greetings

          Byc
          Wichtig ist nur:
          "Beim Auffallen nicht Umfallen,
          beim Umfallen nicht Auffallen."

          Qu-Ax Luxus 20"
          Qu-Ax Luxus 24"
          Qu-Ax/Nimbus 26" Muni
          KH 36" Muni

          Comment


          • #6
            For 2.0 spokes, about 85 kgf according to the Park Tool page:

            http://www.parktool.com/blog/repair-...on-measurement
            dave krack

            http://www.butlerwobble.com

            http://www.surlyspeedgoat.wordpress.com

            Comment


            • #7
              VERY good info, UG, others. Thanks!

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              • #8
                Yes, I agree. Very good information. Thank you! I believe I will be stopping at my LBS on the way home to buy a TM-1. I bought a second-hand original Coker a couple months ago and haven't yet dared to fiddle with the spokes.
                "The price of unicycling freedom is eternal pedaling." --Thomas Jefferson

                "The only thing unicyclists have to fear is fear itself." --Franklin Roosevelt

                Comment


                • #9
                  Ah, thanks for the link to the conversion table (did read this sometimes in the past but forgot).

                  I have the spoke tension on my 36" set to something around 110kgf, according to an iPad-App called Tensioner. The App translates frequncy into tension (when provided thr right information about spoke length, thickness and material).
                  Also used a guitar tuner for some time. (Can't remember the note i used to tune it too, will have to measure it again).

                  Greetings

                  Byc
                  Wichtig ist nur:
                  "Beim Auffallen nicht Umfallen,
                  beim Umfallen nicht Auffallen."

                  Qu-Ax Luxus 20"
                  Qu-Ax Luxus 24"
                  Qu-Ax/Nimbus 26" Muni
                  KH 36" Muni

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    coker spoke tension

                    With the help of a b*ker buddy I thought I would tune up the wheel of the Coker big one that I got off the forums. Is 22 the recommended tension on the park TM-1 for the newer coker rim?
                    Last edited by Sillycontraption; 2014-03-12, 04:00 AM.
                    "A unicycle is a silly contraption."
                    My wife

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Sillycontraption View Post
                      With the help of a b*ker buddy I thought I would tune up the wheel of the Coker big one that I got off the forums. Is 22 the recommended tension on the park TM-1 for the newer coker rim?
                      85kgf is fairly conservative for modern rims. The tension window is normally between about 85 and 110kgf. The problem with 36er wheels is accidental over tensioning. A lot of expert builders tension by feel, and with super long spokes they will deflect more at any given tension than shorter spokes. This makes a tension meter very useful on Coker's.

                      So, the short version: 22 would be okay, I would go to 24 (107kgf). This will give you a slightly stiffer wheel, but more importantly spoke movement due to the natural stress/release cycle will be minimized. Really you will be fine anywhere within that range, try 23
                      "A properly ridden unicycle is like an object in orbit: constantly falling but never landing." -Diogenes

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                      • #12
                        Thanks jtrops I will give it a try tomorrow.
                        "A unicycle is a silly contraption."
                        My wife

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                        • #13
                          Thanks for that info, I just received my TM-1 too which I'll use on the second hand 36" I just bought.
                          It's a QX_Series with disc brake but I find the wheel is not centered in the frame. It looks like the rim is centered on the hub, but since the hub is not symmetrical, the tire appears to be off set. I was waiting for the ParkTool before trying to shift the rim a bit.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by pierrox View Post
                            Thanks for that info, I just received my TM-1 too which I'll use on the second hand 36" I just bought.
                            It's a QX_Series with disc brake but I find the wheel is not centered in the frame. It looks like the rim is centered on the hub, but since the hub is not symmetrical, the tire appears to be off set. I was waiting for the ParkTool before trying to shift the rim a bit.
                            First I would check to make sure that it is the wheel which needs adjustment by putting it in your frame backwards. If the offset moves to the other side it's the wheel, if not it's the frame.

                            Once you've determined for sure that the wheel dish is off set the disc side spokes at the correct tension for your rim. Then adjust the non disc side spokes to correct true and dish. You will find that the disc side has more tension due to the higher bracing angle. So you want to make sure it's not greater than what the rim can handle. So, all adjustments should be made on the non disc side. Don't be surprised if the spokes end up in the 16 or 17 range on the tm1.
                            "A properly ridden unicycle is like an object in orbit: constantly falling but never landing." -Diogenes

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by jtrops View Post
                              First I would check to make sure that it is the wheel which needs adjustment by putting it in your frame backwards. If the offset moves to the other side it's the wheel, if not it's the frame.

                              Once you've determined for sure that the wheel dish is off set the disc side spokes at the correct tension for your rim. Then adjust the non disc side spokes to correct true and dish. You will find that the disc side has more tension due to the higher bracing angle. So you want to make sure it's not greater than what the rim can handle. So, all adjustments should be made on the non disc side. Don't be surprised if the spokes end up in the 16 or 17 range on the tm1.
                              Is there a problem with first loosening the spokes on the disk side, then tightening the spokes on the other side ? If both sides are tensioned in the ballpark of what they should be, this would keep the overall tension similar to what it was. I'm talking about 1/4 turns here...

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