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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I want to learn to build up and mess with wheels. I got a Parktool wheel alignment gauge on sale not that long ago and I have some Park Tool spoke wrenches. I was wanting to get a truing stand and a spoke tension gauge. Has anyone used the X Tool spoke tension gauge? Should I just spend the bit extra for the Park Tool one?

Also has anyone used the X Tools truing stand or the Feedback Pro one? Or is there another under $100 truing stand that is worth getting?
 

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I've only used the Park stuff (and home brew makeshift stuff before that). I don't at all like the idea of the axle being supported only on one side and having to tighten the axle in the Feedback Pro truing stand. Much much quicker and easier when working on a wheel to just set the axle in the V notches of the Park and similar.

I went to the LBS and checked my Park tensiometer against four of various vintages the mechanics there had. They all read surprisingly closely. That said, I think the X Tools tensiometer would be fine. It works on exactly the same principle as the Park.

I strongly prefer the four sided Park (or similar) spoke wrenches. They stay on the nipple when you let go.

Above all, check out Roger Musson's e-book on wheel building. https://www.wheelpro.co.uk/wheelbuilding/book.php
 

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My park gauge wasnt consistent due to the blue coarse anodizing. A quick sanding/smoothing, and its perfect. Evenness counts more than the absolute value, and the park tool can make very even wheels. I think its good enough to do great wheels. I havent used anything else.

The x tools looks like a copy, so I'm sure it functions similarly. Id probably give it a try. Their stand looks good too, but all you really need in a stand is a couple arms holding your wheel. Im still using a old spin doctor stand with probably >100 wheels built on it.
 

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I have the feedback stand and its good but any decent stand will work fine. A good spoke wrench is important else you risk rounding your nips. I have the park tension meter which works well but i think any decent one will work. Its all relative tension so it doesnt matter imo unless the tool is way off (like a pressure gauge).
Ive built wheels in the bike upside down with a zip tie which works too but a truing stand you can bring into the house higher up on a table. I also stay away from bladed spokes to avoid winding, just makes it easier to work with. Most of all, take your time. Quality over speed, always.

Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
 

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The X Tools truing stand is probably fine, if I didn't already have a Park stand I'd consider it. I also don't like the idea of the stands that only support the hub on one side.

As mentioned above, using the bike frame or fork with a zip tie is a perfectly acceptable substitute for a truing stand. That's what I used until I found a good deal on a used Park stand.
 

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I've used many truing stands over the years. From frame and fork to simple pieces of wooden stands to aluminum wheel stands from Yakima roof racks to Minoura. All of them get the task done. It's all a matter of ease of use and convenience. You can build some great wheels without the high priced Park or other stands. It all comes down to patience and paying attention to spoke tensions. Practice, practice, practice. The first few wheels are going to take a while and can be quite frustrating. But in time it becomes easier and easier and is a GREAT skill to have. I say for the moment, go with the cheaper stand and use the extra $$ for a spoke tension gauge. That one tool will make life easier.

Regarding the XTools spoke tension gauge, the principle is the same as the Park. I just don't have experience with it as the Park site has good info for various spoke deflection and how it relates to their tension gauge. That means no matter what kind of spokes I build with, I can determine tension reading Park's gauge.

I hope the that helps a bit.

Edit: I looked up the XTools spoke tension tool. Looks reasonable.


And looking up the XTools truing stand. You are talking about the Pro right, say about $80? Looks reasonable. I currently am using an old Park TS-2 stand. I've had it for YEARS so it's paid for itself for sure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks guys. I am looking forward to trying it. Probably going to do some wheels for a klunker project as my first set or a free coaster for my 20in BMX.
 

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Definitely recommend the Roger Musson book as once you purchase it becomes a lifetime subscription so you get all other versions/revisions. There are a couple of videos on YouTube that he did of lacing which help once you have read through the book. If you have some woodworking skills he gives schematics to build your own truing stand in the book and I did so with great success. Not the prettiest thing but works perfectly for me and I did it out of scrap wood I had laying around.

Keep an eye on eBay for a spoke tension gauge. I was able to pick up a ParkTools one for about half price that someone was offloading, they are not absolutely necessary but come in great handy. Two sets of wheels I have built have not needed truing after YEARS of hard riding.
 
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