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Blog Post About Building Wheels

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  • #16
    The book probably won't but a spoke wrench will.

    Spokes will eventually fatigue and break, but 200 lbs on a 12" drop isn't that excessive. I'd check that the wheel is properly tensioned.
    "I used to watch Highway Patrol whittlin' with my knife..." - NY

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    • #17
      Does spoke tension have to be checked with some sort of electronic gadget? All I have is a guitar tuner, and it seems not to respond to my 182mm spokes, which don't really twang that much. To the touch, my spokes all feel pretty much equally tensioned. I true my wheel to within 1 or 2mm, but have not removed the tire to really do it properly in the last few months. I just do the occasional spin-and-tweak whenever I replace a spoke.

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      • #18
        No. If you have a good enough ear you can use tone, or the way I did it was to download a guitar tuner app on my tablet.

        Then use this link: http://www.bikexprt.com/bicycle/tension.htm to get the tone you're looking for. I built a few wheels this way and they were spot on when I finally bought a tensionmeter.

        I always preferred to flick my spokes or tap on them with something metallic to get a tone rather than plucking.
        "I used to watch Highway Patrol whittlin' with my knife..." - NY

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        • #19
          Oh yeah, I glanced at that link when planning my first wheel build. I'll have to see if I can follow its instructions this time. What put me off it before is the relatively non-resonant quality of my (short) spokes, but tapping on them with a metal thing as you suggest does produce an easier tone to work with. Another problem with these short spokes is that they are not bendy enough to be separated from each other. If I pull on one, as that website suggests, both of them are prevented from ringing, so the only pitch I can get is some sort of composite tone from two spokes ringing at once.

          In order to true a wheel, you've got to simultaneously adjust for lateral wobble, roundness AND spoke tension? Maybe I should take my wheel apart one of these days and start over from scratch, as Kahunacohen would. My rim is double-walled (KH20FL), I'm not that fat, and my trials riding is not yet too hardcore, so you are probably right that I shouldn't be breaking so many spokes.

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          • #20
            I use my ear and a well build equally sized wheel as a reference. Not perfect, but I don't think most tensionometers work with 20" wheels do they? I've been told that the Park one won't fit.

            You can't tell by feel, really. It's tone.
            KH20 Street, 110/127 Moments with rollos
            Stock KH27.5 with Black Street Saddle
            Oracle 36/Oregon Hub, 127/150 spirit

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