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Bike Junkie
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378 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Happy Festivus everyone,

During the downtime of the winter months I take it upon myself to try and do my major bicycle maintenance as most of you probably do and decided to check the tension on my wheels which I've neglected for the season.

I have 2 sets of wheels:
Wheelset #1:
Mavic F219 rims
DT 14/15/14 spokes
CK ISO Disc hubs
brass nipples
lacing pattern is 3X

Wheelset #2:
Mavic x618 rims
DT 14/15/14 spokes
alloy nipples
Deore XT hubs
Lacing pattern on the rear is 3X
Lacing pattern on the front is radial

Rider weight: 215lbs

My question is about tension. I have a Park Tension Meter (TM-1).

I'm guessing that I have 1.8mm round steel spokes (according to their conversion table); but have been wondering if I have 2.0mm spokes because of the butting. I assume that you go with the weakest link in this case.

On wheelset 1, rear, drive-side I'm getting 155kgf (138kgf on the low side) and the non-drive side 111kgf (89kgf on the low side). I can get the tension with pretty even all around I believe; but is this TOO HIGH??

I think that I've seen a lot of wheels at 111kgf drive side and 72kgf on the non-drive side.

Am I going to start cracking around the eyelets?

I haven't started working on the front wheel; but was going to bring it up to an even 111-124kgf on the non-disc side and 124-138kgf on the disc side.

On Wheelset 2 rear wheel is 111-124kgf on the drive side and 89-99kgf on the non-drive side. The front wheel was much easier and is at 111kgf all around.

I know that park says +/- 20% is acceptable on the forces and that some people can get them within about 5% (harder with this park one; but I don't think I'm worthy of the DT digital version just yet). They also go on to mention that strong rims can go as high as 230kgf.

So what are you guys using for tension?

I've had a history with this since I did this on those week Mavic x517 a long time ago; but these were notoriously weak rims and the reason for me to go for the x618's
 

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Premium Member
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48,238 Posts
The Park instructions are very clear on how to determine the spoke diameter.

#1 rear sounds too high. Your goals for the others sound OK.

Remember that you should use only the tightest side for the goal tension. The other side will be what it has to be when the wheel is dished properly.

Even tension is important but may not be obtainable on used wheels if they have been tweaked. Just do the best you can while keeping in true and round.
 

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Bike Junkie
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378 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Park site found

Hey Shiggy, thanks for the advice. I found the page on the Park site after I started this thread that explains how to determine tension.

Wheel #1 rear is still on the truing stand and the wheels are pretty new. I got them last winter. I just found that on the non-drive side that the tensions were down to as low as 54kgf, so that's what prompted me to start tightening up.

I will back off all the spokes by a half turn to hopefully bring it down to 138kgf (drive side).

I was up late last night searching for a benchmark for the tensions. Sheldon's site first of course.
 

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featherweight clydesdale
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1,385 Posts
BlackOut said:
Hey Shiggy, thanks for the advice. I found the page on the Park site after I started this thread that explains how to determine tension.

Wheel #1 rear is still on the truing stand and the wheels are pretty new. I got them last winter. I just found that on the non-drive side that the tensions were down to as low as 54kgf, so that's what prompted me to start tightening up.

I will back off all the spokes by a half turn to hopefully bring it down to 138kgf (drive side).

I was up late last night searching for a benchmark for the tensions. Sheldon's site first of course.
I've been "geeking out" as my wife puts it to Schraner's book which I just got for Christmas. It discusses the difference, generically without brands or specifics..., between a shallow "U" shaped profile (think M-517/open pro shape???) and a somewhat deeper "V" shape (looks similar to a Dyad in his sketch). According to Schraner, the shallow U shape is good for up to 120 kgf where as the "V" is good for as much as 200, but requires a nipple you can drive with a socket. Probably not much reason to go for a real high number unless you have a low spoke count wheel. I do have up 145 kgf on my Dyads with no issues.

I think coming down to the 130-140 range is a good idea. I've had good luck with my Mavic T-520 at the lower end of that range. Put a piece of tape on the spoke you are twisting to keep an eye on "wind up".

Of course all this comes from someone who has only built 4 wheels, but I've been truing for 15 years (and I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night).
 

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Bike Junkie
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378 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Re-Work

I punched all my re-work into the Park spreadsheet and this is the spread I'm getting.

The non-drive side is all over the place; I'm having trouble keeping it round when bringing up the tensions any higher.

The drive side is pretty good I think at this point; someone please let me know if I need to get it closer.

My new target for the drive side is 130kgf and as Shiggy mentioned, the non-drive side falls as it does to keep the dish and the roundness.
 

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Bike Junkie
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Final

Hey here's what I think is going to be the final setting for now at least otherwise I'll spend a few more weeks at it.

On to the front wheel.

thanks for the comments again. They stuck in my head when I was adjusting the wheel today.

I can see this rim really holding at 150kgf with out issue as well. Not sure about the x618's but they have eyelets as well and are WAY tougher than my x517's.
 

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meh....
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BlackOut said:
Hey here's what I think is going to be the final setting for now at least otherwise I'll spend a few more weeks at it.

On to the front wheel.

thanks for the comments again. They stuck in my head when I was adjusting the wheel today.

I can see this rim really holding at 150kgf with out issue as well. Not sure about the x618's but they have eyelets as well and are WAY tougher than my x517's.
Here's something to "try", from the last graph, lower the tension of blue 7 and raise the tension of blue 6 and 8. Generally speaking, this is a way to even out some of the blue spokes.

Monte
 

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Premium Member
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Just for grins I did some quick and basic work on one of my wheels and entered the tensions in the Park spreadsheet

Stock front wheel off of my Coiler DL
Sun Singletrack rim
32 14g spokes brass nips 3X
KK 20mm hub
Machine built and I checked it when new. Has been ridden (and crashed) hard since Feb.

Not perfectly true but close.

I will probably raise the tension in the whole wheel later.
 

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BlackOut said:
Hey here's what I think is going to be the final setting for now at least otherwise I'll spend a few more weeks at it.

On to the front wheel.

thanks for the comments again. They stuck in my head when I was adjusting the wheel today.

I can see this rim really holding at 150kgf with out issue as well. Not sure about the x618's but they have eyelets as well and are WAY tougher than my x517's.
I think I would do a little more work on the high tension side of both your front and rear wheel and a lot more work on the low tesnion side of your front and rear wheels.

I find that Park's recommendation of +/- 20% tension range on the average tesnion is way too high for my liking I try to keep around +/- 5%.
 

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Bike Junkie
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378 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Better than mine

Shiggy, that one looks in better shape than mine; but that is the low tension side. But it looks just as good as my front wheel and my front wheel HAS been re-tensioned already.

I think I'm getting the hang of this tensioning now. At least the high tension side. My knack for working on the low tension side hasn't proven very good as you can see from the two graphs.

Well, only 3-4 more months of winter. I'm sure that I will sit and fiddle some more with them.
 

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Bike Junkie
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Very long process

I think I'm just getting impatient. You need a lot of it to get it to the 5% range you suggest. I probably could work the low tension side with having little effect on the high tension side as I've found, for a couple of spokes anyways.

It must take you quite a while to get to within 5%. It's also hard to do with the Park Tool since it's just a mechanical spring scale. I think with a digital tensionmeter it is probably easier.

What do you use to measure the tension and what are you wheel setups?
 

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BlackOut said:
I think I'm just getting impatient. You need a lot of it to get it to the 5% range you suggest. I probably could work the low tension side with having little effect on the high tension side as I've found, for a couple of spokes anyways.

It must take you quite a while to get to within 5%. It's also hard to do with the Park Tool since it's just a mechanical spring scale. I think with a digital tensionmeter it is probably easier.

What do you use to measure the tension and what are you wheel setups?
I use a Park Tool tension meter. I have found that as long as you hold it at the same place on the spoke each time, use the same release speed, and don't jiggle it after, your readings can be with 1/4 of a marking each time.

Wheels for myself have been for XC HT, XC FS, road bikes, and AM FS. I have done a bunch of others for friends too. It is amazing how quickly you can true a radially laced road wheel.

You just need to do the whole load sharing thing with the spokes, if you have a loose one beside a tight one then tighten the loose one the same number of turns you loosen the tight one and it will correct itself shortly. If you ended up with one spoke that was excessively loose, you may need to just tighten that spoke without changing any other spokes providing doing so does not change the tension on any other spokes around it.

I am sure you will get it fixed up, happy building.
 

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Premium Member
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BlackOut said:
Shiggy, that one looks in better shape than mine; but that is the low tension side. But it looks just as good as my front wheel and my front wheel HAS been re-tensioned already.

I think I'm getting the hang of this tensioning now. At least the high tension side. My knack for working on the low tension side hasn't proven very good as you can see from the two graphs.

Well, only 3-4 more months of winter. I'm sure that I will sit and fiddle some more with them.
Try evening out the tension without checking the true. Aim for the right side to all be around the 80 mark. Be sure to check the left side again, too, as change to one side affects the other. I have found that sometimes a couple of spikes and valleys in tension can be corrected with little change in true.
 
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