Nederlands | English | Deutsch | Türkçe

Project Sports

Questions and answers about sports

Should I complain at the LBS about a new dead-on true wheel with unequal spoke tension?

4 min read

Asked by: Elijah Miller

Should all bike spokes have the same tension?

Spokes that are too loose will continue to loosen and require constant wheel truing. Spokes that are too tight will cause damage to the rim, spoke nipples and hub flanges. All of the spokes in the wheel should have approximately the same average tension.

How do you know if your spokes are too tight?

Spokes that have too much tension can result in deforming and/or cracks near the nipple holes of the rim, as seen in the image below. Notice crack at red arrow. Too much tension can also lead to failure of the hub flange.

What causes a wheel to be out of true?

One of the most common reasons wheels go out of true: loose spokes. Check tension by squeezing two spokes at a time between your thumb and fingers, says LaPorta. A really loose spoke will be obvious (as you do this more often, you’ll be able to feel subtle differences).

How do you tension a new wheel?

Quote from video: But you can see the dish is a little out need to go to the drive side here just a little. So i'm going to be adding tension just pretty evenly all the way around the wheel. But what i'm doing is on

What tension should spokes be at?

Most rims have suggested ranges from 100 to 120 Kilograms-force, or 980 to 1177 Newtons. This is assuming there is no pressure in the tire. Though not super precise, squeezing is still a more accurate technique for judging spoke tension than feeling the amount of effort it takes to turn a spoke nipple.

Should drive side spokes be tighter?

Always bring the drive side spokes up first. I make it a rule never to tighten more than 3 full turns at a time (for each wheel revolution). Normally from a low tension that’s all I need to bring the wheels up to spec. After you bring the drive side spokes to tension, don’t touch them.

Should bike spokes be tight or loose?


One of the most important aspects of maintaining a bicycle is keeping the spokes tight. Loose spokes can cause the wheel to become misaligned, leading to dangerous riding conditions.

How do you fix spoke tension?

Note that the spokes have nut-like devices at the rim called nipples. When viewed from above, nipples are turned clockwise with the spoke wrench to tighten spoke tension and counterclockwise to loosen it. To ensure that you turn the nipple the correct way, always rotate the wheel to bring the nipple to the top first.

How much does it cost to true a wheel?

If the wheel is fixable–it generally looks good but has a wobble–you can expect your local bike shop to charge $20 – $30 to true it using professional equipment like a truing stand for the perfect line and roundness.

How long does it take to true a wheel?

10 minutes. Except when you complain. Then it takes 1-2 weeks. During the busy season, which is now, a bike mechanic can do 5-7 tune-ups a day, less if he has to deal with customers.

How often do you need to true a wheel?

about once a year

You should have the wheels and spokes trued and tensioned about once a year (if your ride often). Bicycle spoke rings can be plucked just like any other stringed instrument such as a guitar or a harp.

How do you true a wheel without a spoke wrench?

Quote from video: That's counter clockwise tighten that and we'll tighten this one make only small adjustments. At a time. Again rotate the wheel. If it's clearing close brake levers a little bit more.

How do you measure bike spoke tension?

Pull the spokes across each other with your fingers to see which is looser. Lift the looser spoke away to pluck the tighter one alone and check its pitch. Check for rim damage or a crooked rim joint near the unequally-tensioned spokes.

How do you use a spoke tension gauge?

Quote from video: Position the spoke in between the two top pins and the bottom pen making sure you are before the first crossing. Once installed you can gently release the handle for accurate measurement.

How do you check motorcycle spoke tension?

Quote from video: On your rear wheel just grab yourself a small spanner. This is a 10 mil spanner. And have the wheel jacked up so that you can just tap each of the spokes. And you're making sure that they all ring.

How do you know if your motorcycle spokes are loose?

Just lightly tap each spoke with a screwdriver or metal object. They should all make a similarly pitched “ping” sound. If they make a lower, dull “thud”, then they are loose.

How do you true up a motorcycle wheel?

Quote from video: Each nipple a quarter turn will continue this pattern until the nipples begin to see. And you can fill when they see down into the rim.