Rear Wheel Spoke Tightening

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Hairy Boy
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Rear Wheel Spoke Tightening

Postby Hairy Boy » Sat Nov 17, 2012 10:09 am

I have got an annoying tinney intermittent kind of chatter from the rear end of my new (2nd hand) Giant Defy.

After greasing/lubing various bits (including seat, seatpost, jockey wheels, quick realeases, drop outs) and then changing the bottom bracket, cassette and chain I have found that the spokes in the rear wheel seem loose. If I grasp the rim and push/pull across the running path of the wheel (ie. would be left and right if sitting on the bike) I can replicate the tinney plink I am hearing. I have tried a drop of lube on the spoke cross overs and where the spokes run through into the rim but the noise persists.

The spokes in the front wheel feel taught but the rear wheel spokes are far from that - much squidgyer on the rear wheel.

The wheel seems straight/round so thinking I would just nip up any really loose spokes a half turn and then tighten all spokes by a 1/4 turn each then check the wheel is still true and then continue until all feels much tighter. Does this approach sound reasonable ?

I have done most jobs on the bike but never done a lot with spokes/wheel alignment so would really appreciate any advice or links to really good tutorials worth a read.

Also, the spokes on the non-drive side appear much squidgyer than the drive side - should they be broadly the same taughtness on both sides of the rear wheel ?

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Ride hard
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Re: Rear Wheel Spoke Tightening

Postby Ride hard » Sat Nov 17, 2012 11:17 am

I had the exact same thing myself earlier this week. You'll know for sure if its the spokes when you stand up and put all your weight forward right over the bars while cycling. If the noise stops when you that that then the spokes are the likely cause.

Onto truing. I do all the maintenance of my bike myself and truing is pretty straight forward - you just need to take time and try not rush it beacause its not a five minute job - especially if you have to highly tension one spoke. In my case I tightened the very loose (and wobbly by touch) spoke to a reasonablle tension, then worked on the rest to even out the tension. I haven't got a truing stand, but I do have a bike stand which is just as good as you can use your brake pads to align the wheel on each side.

My method is to align one pad 1-2mm from the rim and then rotate the tyre. If the rim goes closer to, or touches the pad while rotating then you need to use the quarter turn method on the 2-3 spokes ion the opposite side immediately around that area. However, if the spokes on the side that's touching are really taught then you might need to lossen them a bit too. The same process goes for when the rim goes too far away from the pad, you just reverse the process.

Once the lateral tru is done, if you might need to radial (up and down) tru so this might be handy http://www.bikeradar.com/gear/article/w ... els-19199/

There's also plenty of videos online to give you some pointers, so good luck.
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crankycrank
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Re: Rear Wheel Spoke Tightening

Postby crankycrank » Sat Nov 17, 2012 15:49 pm

Getting proper spoke tension can get a little tricky if you're not familiar with how it should feel but it's very possible you had one loose spoke which eventually caused all the spokes on the rear to become loose and can cause odd noises. Yes the NDS (non-drive side) spokes will have less tension than the DS. It would be best if you could find another identical, properly tensioned wheel and compare the feel of the spokes and tighten accordingly. Also some of the less expensive Giant Defy models were known for using crap spokes from the factory which easily lost tension and broke often so if you break any spokes replace all of them with some quality spokes. Here's a decent link on building/tensioning/truing a wheel. http://sheldonbrown.com/wheelbuild.html

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Monty Dog
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Re: Rear Wheel Spoke Tightening

Postby Monty Dog » Sat Nov 17, 2012 16:51 pm

Sounds like a rubbish build that's lost most tension - the spokes should barely move when squeezed in pairs. Sheldon's link above is a good place to start and using the wheel in the frame and brakeblocks as a guide is ideal if you don't have a wheelstand. Work methodically as you suggest, starting from the tyre valve, paying attention to up and down (radial) foremost and then side-to-side (lateral). Drive-side tension will be higher because of the more acute angle of the spokes to give and even lateral load on the rim. Before you start, worth putting a spot of oil on each spoke/nipple joint to help get things moving too.
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dennisn
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Re: Rear Wheel Spoke Tightening

Postby dennisn » Sat Nov 17, 2012 23:45 pm

Please, before you do anything, like work on it yourself, find out exactly what you are doing, how it's done, the sequence it's done in, and why you're doing it. Then get the proper tools, a good wheelbuilding manual, and practice on an old extra wheel that you have. Just getting a spoke wrench and starting to tighten up spokes you think are loose
will generally only result in you having to take the wheel to the shop to be completely redone. I can't stress more that you need to know how and why before you begin.

maringirl
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Re: Rear Wheel Spoke Tightening

Postby maringirl » Sun Nov 18, 2012 11:21 am

A front wheel will have the same spoke tension on both sides. Spoke tension on a rear wheel differs from DS and NDS as the wheel is dished to allow for the freehub/cassette - often the spoke length on the NDS is longer than that of the DS for this reason as well. So the tension will feel different from one side to the other. The spokes on each side of the wheel should feel the same tension however.
Please take dennism's advice above.

Hairy Boy
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Re: Rear Wheel Spoke Tightening

Postby Hairy Boy » Sun Nov 25, 2012 20:21 pm

Cracked it I think !

Read the Sheldon Brown article on wheel building, a few times, before I started. Went slowly, slowly and used the frame as a truing stand with a steel rule and 2 pens blue tacked into position used as guides for vertical/horizontal truness.

There wasn't a lot wrong with the spoke tension on the drive side, this was all about spoke tension on the non-drive side which was decidedly sloppy. Tightened up the non-drive side until all spokes were reasonably taught and had a similar tone when plinked.

This pulled the rim into a more central position in the chainstays of the frame - the wheel started off more to the drive side by about 2-3mm !

After completing and putting the tyre back on and riding round the block the spokes plinked a little and the wheel went out of true a little (when tightening the spokes I did try and avoid spoke twisting by over tightening by 1/8th turn and then back but hey-ho).

Removed the tyre again and a few minor tweaks to bring the rim back to true and everything now seems fine - my annoying noise has disappeared during my first proper ride out this morning. I will keep an eye on the wheel and just check it doesn't go out of true again.

I did notice the position of the rear brake (Sora) needed adjusting towards the non-drive side after the rim was now sitting in its new position - not sure if the rim shifting had pulled the brake out of position or if the brake being out of adjustment has pulled the rim to the drive side and loosened the non-drive spokes over a period of time ?

Anyway, all fine now, thanks for the advice guys - adjusting spoke tension had been something I had avoided in the past.

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migrantwing
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Re: Rear Wheel Spoke Tightening

Postby migrantwing » Tue Nov 27, 2012 03:46 am

Hairy Boy wrote:Cracked it I think !


Good on ya! I will be following in your footsteps very soon.
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Hairy Boy
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Re: Rear Wheel Spoke Tightening

Postby Hairy Boy » Tue Nov 27, 2012 09:42 am

Thanks and good luck migrantwing,

Although no expert, the only advice I would pass on is:

1. Read the Sheldon Brown article (at least twice) before starting:
2. Do everything slowly - no more than a 1/4 turn on the nipples each time before checking the result and doing any more. Its not a job you can rush - allow plenty of time so you can fettle, go away and come back and fettle some more.
3. Approach it as and allow time for a two stage process - ie. do what needs doing, then ride the bike round the block and you will have some minor tweaks due to twisted spokes 'untwisting' once the wheel is under load by rdiing round the block.

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ugo.santalucia
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Re: Rear Wheel Spoke Tightening

Postby ugo.santalucia » Tue Nov 27, 2012 09:44 am

I refrained deliberately to give advice as it is a bit difficult to assess the problem without seeing the wheel. If you 2tighten the spokes" and true the wheel, it might be a half decent job, which will last proportionally to the number of spokes, give or take.
To do the job properly, all the spokes need to be released, the threads exposed and then aligned with the nipple and then the job of retensioning can start, by progressively increasing the tension across the wheel. This way, even without a tension gauge, you should be able to get fairly uniform tensions. Once that is done, you can then true the wheel, sure that you have done a good job even without fancy tools

onbike 1939
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Re: Rear Wheel Spoke Tightening

Postby onbike 1939 » Tue Nov 27, 2012 12:58 pm

ugo.santalucia wrote:I refrained deliberately to give advice as it is a bit difficult to assess the problem without seeing the wheel. If you 2tighten the spokes" and true the wheel, it might be a half decent job, which will last proportionally to the number of spokes, give or take.
To do the job properly, all the spokes need to be released, the threads exposed and then aligned with the nipple and then the job of retensioning can start, by progressively increasing the tension across the wheel. This way, even without a tension gauge, you should be able to get fairly uniform tensions. Once that is done, you can then true the wheel, sure that you have done a good job even without fancy tools


+1
To dismiss the job as being "easy" can be misleading. I feel that there has not been enough weight given to the need for "de-stressing" the spokes which is vital if a true wheel is to be maintained. It is possible to achieve a temporary solution, but even spoke tensions and proper de-stressing is needed if the wheel is to remain true or is to avoid spoke breakage.
Nothing I've said above should be taken as attempting dissuade anyone from learning to true wheels.

Hairy Boy
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Re: Rear Wheel Spoke Tightening

Postby Hairy Boy » Sat Dec 08, 2012 16:10 pm

Oh dear, my noise is back !

The rear wheel still looks true and the rim hasn't shifted in terms of position so a bit mystified !

May be time for a new back wheel I think - the noise is driving me potty.

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pete_s
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Re: Rear Wheel Spoke Tightening

Postby pete_s » Sat Dec 08, 2012 16:44 pm

The spoke probably twisted when you were truing it and as you rode it the tension was released. When you do it again next time you need to put a bit of tape on the spoke as a kind of flag. You'll then be able to see it twist as you turn the nipple. It's just where there's friction in the threads, but turning it back a bit and then tightening should alleviate it, as well as putting a bit of oil in it if you can.

You'll also need to stress the spoke after tightening. If you hear it ting when you do this then it's good - you're relieving the tension building up where the spokes cross each other.

Getting the right tension can be difficult to judge. The only way you can do it is to compare the tone of the spoke when it's plucked near the nipple to the other spokes on the same side. Although this is only really good if the wheel was built well in the first place though, as all of the spokes could be under-tensioned.

I highly recommend buying the book from this guy if you want to repair wheels. It's the only book you'll ever need and it only costs £9. www.wheelpro.co.uk

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dennisn
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Re: Rear Wheel Spoke Tightening

Postby dennisn » Sat Dec 08, 2012 16:54 pm

Hairy Boy wrote:Oh dear, my noise is back !

The rear wheel still looks true and the rim hasn't shifted in terms of position so a bit mystified !

May be time for a new back wheel I think - the noise is driving me potty.


Don't just give up on a wheel because you can't fix it. It may only need a bit of work by a shop to put it back in top shape. It's cheaper than simply trashing something because of a noise that you're not sure of the reason for. Remember that old quote "Everything can be fixed".

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Re: Rear Wheel Spoke Tightening

Postby thecycleclinic » Sat Dec 08, 2012 23:17 pm

I would also de tension the wheel and have it retentioned dished and trued. A shop should be able to do this for £15 or if you want to have a go you will a dishing tool eiother home made or bought. Goofd luck it is sortable.
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wishitwasallflat
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Re: Rear Wheel Spoke Tightening

Postby wishitwasallflat » Sun Dec 09, 2012 10:19 am

thecycleclinic wrote:I would also de tension the wheel and have it retentioned dished and trued. A shop should be able to do this for £15 or if you want to have a go you will a dishing tool eiother home made or bought. Goofd luck it is sortable.


How do you make a dishing tool?

Also interested to hear of elsewhere but round these parts lbs calls that work a re-build and charges more like £30- 40 is this a northern premium or a rip off?

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smidsy
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Re: Rear Wheel Spoke Tightening

Postby smidsy » Sun Dec 09, 2012 10:36 am

Well all I can say is I have had a couple of wheels trued at my LBS and its been £10 - £15.
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wishitwasallflat
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Re: Rear Wheel Spoke Tightening

Postby wishitwasallflat » Sun Dec 09, 2012 19:45 pm

smidsy wrote:Well all I can say is I have had a couple of wheels trued at my LBS and its been £10 - £15.


Yea me too (before I would take it on myself)) but for that you simply get the wheel trued in the simplest way possible i.e. tighten spokes to pull rim accross or up/down as needed. For an lbs to; loosen all the spokes, re-tension evenly, true and dish cost double that (lbss round here anyway).


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