Do-it-yourself bicycle spoke tension

How to tighten the spokes on a bicycle correctly?

Tightening the spokes at home is not an easy job and you will have to spend a sufficient amount of time on this operation, especially if you are starting the repair for the first time. To successfully complete this task, you should prepare special tools, without which you will not be able to tighten the spokes on the bicycle. To adjust the knitting needles you must purchase:

  • special key for adjustment;
  • a device that allows balancing;
  • a set of keys for dismantling the wheel;
  • screwdriver.

How to tighten the spokes on a bicycle

Tensioning the spokes of the wheels of a bicycle is a very time-consuming and rather difficult task. Before taking on such a painstaking task, you should familiarize yourself with the basic rules and recommendations for stretching the spokes. This article will address issues related to the tension of the spokes. From the article, you will also learn how to tighten the spokes on a bicycle, how to adjust the spokes on a bicycle and how to change the spokes of a bicycle.

If you know how. do it, if you don’t know how. trust the professionals

In general, the process of stretching, adjusting and replacing the spokes is carried out by professional craftsmen in bicycle shops. These services are performed by professionals with extensive experience and specific skills. In such workshops, as a rule, the craftsmen have at hand a lot of specialized tools, various keys and machines, with the help of which the spokes are stretched.

If you are confident in your skills, you can perform all knitting procedures yourself. By doing this, you can save money without having to pay for the tensioning of the spokes in the workshop. But the main thing here is not to deceive yourself, otherwise your self-confidence can sadly turn on the condition of the wheels of your bicycle. At the very least, you should be proficient with standard tools. Otherwise, you can make such a tension on the spokes, which forms the “eights” of the wheels, which can further form even more unpleasant consequences, for example, a puncture of the wheel. Therefore, before you start self-tensioning of the spokes on a bicycle, think a hundred times. it might be better to turn to professionals.?

How to tension the spokes on a bicycle by yourself, 7.5 out of 10 based on 131 ratings

Sequence of work

Initially, you should dismantle the wheel and install it in a special device that allows you to balance it. If you are unable to locate such a device, simply turn the bike over and place it on the handlebars and seat without removing the wheels. To check how the spokes are tensioned, we make a swinging motion. Thus, it is necessary to check all the elements, the deviation of the free stroke should not exceed 2 mm.

Each problematic part should be marked with, for example, a piece of electrical tape.

Using a special wrench, tighten the loosened elements to the required level, everyone needs equal tension. Tensioning these structural elements on the bicycle should be the same length, in order to understand whether you did it correctly, it is enough to count the number of threads remaining after tensioning the nipples.

If you do not initially set the nipple tension at the same level, you will not be able to get a reliable picture of the curvature of the rim.

After full stretching, most likely, a figure-eight curvature of the rim will appear, horizontal beating may appear. To eliminate these problems, we use a special centering device. If there is no device, it is necessary to determine the boundaries of the curvature with the help of chalk, for which we fix the chalk in such a way that when the wheel turns, a trace remains on its rim. Thus, we find the peak of the deviation, with which we will have to work in the future.

If you find a hump on the right side on the width of four spokes, tighten two of them by half a turn at the left flange. Give two more pieces at the right flange half a turn. Thus, we achieve the alignment of the rim to the left. If there are not four, but three knitting needles on the hump, pull the first one half a turn, and release two by a quarter.

By following these steps sequentially, you can eliminate the horizontal curvature in the form of a figure eight.

To start debugging the rim and eliminate the vertical runout (ellipse), it is enough to reapply the chalk, but this time we move it from the edge of the wheel to the center, determining the strongest deviation as a result. The strongest deviation, determined as a result of the shallow check, is eliminated by tensioning the nipples where the bushing hole is. When three knitting needles are in the place of the problem, tighten the middle one half a turn, and lower the outer ones by a quarter. With an even number of parts in the center of the curvature, all are tightened by half a turn.

After correcting the misalignment of the rim, it is recommended to re-check the tension of all elements, and, if necessary, bring their tension to the desired level.

End of balancing, conclusion

After balancing is complete, make sure the spoke ends do not protrude beyond the rim. If this is observed, the protruding ends need to be cut off, and the remaining grease (it can ruin the camera) should be removed.

Knowing how to properly tighten the spokes on a bicycle is extremely important and useful and simply necessary for every lover of this type of transport. After reading this article, a person will be able to carry out such an adjustment on his own. It should be remembered that you need to be careful and careful when tightening the knitting needles. Improper wheel alignment can lead to premature wheel failure.

Wheel alignment requires high qualifications and a lot of experience. Many professional riders do almost all of the bike tuning themselves, but the professionals rely on the wheel alignment. Therefore, it makes sense to focus on the fact that the first time it is unlikely that it will be possible to do the alignment well.

To work, you need a special key for the spokes (more precisely, for the nipples of the spokes). Nipples come in different sizes: 3.22 mm., 3.3 mm., 3.45 mm., 3.96 mm. It is important that the key fits exactly, otherwise it will slip.

bicycle, spoke, tension

It is desirable, but not necessary, to have a special wheel straightening machine and a tool for measuring the tension force of the spokes. And it’s really great if you have a special tool for centering the rim relative to the hub.

If you do not have a special machine, you can adjust the wheel on the bike using the brake pads of the rim brakes to assess deformations. In this case, it is necessary to especially carefully check how level the wheel is and how the brakes work.

I usually write actions in steps: first step, second step, etc. But here I could not come up with such an algorithm. It is quite possible that after straightening the ovoid (radial displacement), the lateral displacement will have to be corrected again, or vice versa.

There are several criteria for evaluating alignment:

  • Lateral displacement
  • Radial displacement
  • Spoke tension
  • Centering with respect to the sleeve

All of these misalignments are corrected by tightening the spoke (turning the nipple clockwise) or loosening the spoke (counterclockwise). In this case, only the nipple rotates, the spoke itself does not rotate.

The spokes on the right pull the rim to the right. Those on the left. to the left. If the spokes are taut on one side, then the rim will be “skewed” at this point. It is worth paying attention to the following important point: the spoke affects not only the section of the rim to which it is attached, but also the neighboring (but to a lesser extent).

One spoke tension acts on adjacent rim sections

Since few people have a wheel straightener, the further description is focused on the option with installing a wheel on a bicycle. Naturally, before adjusting the rim, you need to remove the tire and tube. (There should also be a flipper. such a strip that protects the camera from the spokes, it can be removed immediately).

You can start inspecting the wheel with the tension on the spokes. If there are knitting needles that are not at all taut, you need to tighten them.

You can measure the tension of the spokes using a special tool. Each wheel has its own recommended values. The rear wheel spokes always have a tighter tension than the front spokes.

Analog and digital spoke tension meters

Perhaps experienced mechanics can tell the tension by sound or feel. But it seems to me that this is not the most reliable option.

If you want to tighten the wheel, you can turn the nipple of each spoke by touch. But it seems to me that this is not the most reliable option.

Many bicycle mechanic specialists do not know how to properly assemble wheels at all, which can be ridden for a long time without adjustment. But even qualified mechanics do not have enough time for thorough work and skip some operations, as a result of which quality and reliability are reduced. Therefore, it is best to understand and assemble the wheels yourself. This is done as follows:

Lubricate the spoke threads and rim with oil where they touch the nipples. Without this, it is impossible to pull the spokes tight enough.

If the holes on the hub flanges are countersunk on one side only, the spoke heads should be on the non-countersunk side. countersink is designed to bend the spoke.

Insert nine spokes into one flange so that there is a free hole between them and so that the heads are on the outside. If it is a rear wheel, start at the right (threaded) side of the hub.

Take the rim, find among the holes offset to the right, the closest to the right of the valve hole.

Insert the first spoke into this hole and turn the nipple two turns. This spoke is called the key.

Count four holes clockwise from the key spoke, insert the next spoke and tighten the nipple.

Check what you have done for the following conditions:

but. The threaded part of the sleeve faces the worker;

b. The spoke closest to the valve hole is to the right of it;

from. Both spokes connect the right side of the rim to the right flange of the hub:

d. Three free holes between the spokes.

If all these conditions are met, secure the remaining seven spokes using every fourth hole in the rim.

Flip the wheel. Now it is facing you with its left side. Next, you need to connect to the rim nine spokes inserted from the outside into the left flange.

Find the key needle. It is located to the left of the valve hole or through one nipple hole.

The tenth spoke should be next to the key to the right (left. in the original) of the valve hole. In this case, the tenth spoke should not cross the key spoke.

After installing the tenth spoke, the remaining eight spokes of the left flange are dialed in the above sequence.

Now half of the knitting needles have been dialed. In the case of the rear wheel, these spokes are called drive spokes. Their heads should be on the outside of the 2 flange. If you look at the rim, pairs of free holes and pairs of holes with nipples should be interspersed along the entire circumference. The nipples should only be screwed in a few turns.

We turn to the tension spokes, the heads of which should be on the inside of the flange. We pass one tensioning needle through the hole in the flange and twist the sleeve so that the already dialed needles receive a direction as close as possible to the tangent to the flanges. For a rear wheel, grasp the threaded part of the hub and turn it clockwise. The first idler spokes intersect the three pre-assembled drive spokes (counting only those belonging to the same flange). Each tension spoke should run outside of the first two spokes it crosses and inward under the third crossed.

When assembling the first nine idler spokes, be sure to insert them into the corresponding holes in the rim, i.e. in those that are offset to their flange.

The rest of the tension needles are recruited in the same way. In this case, it may turn out that the ends of some of the spokes do not reach the nipple holes. This is usually caused by one or more of the nipples snagging on the rim with their tips and not going into the holes. If this is not the reason, then you have turned the nipples too far, which, until all the needles have been dialed, should turn no more than two turns.

B. Pre-tension

Before tightening the knitting needles, screw all the nipples to the same depth. For example, with long knitting needles so that their ends come out flush with the splines of the nipples. If the spokes are short for this, it is sufficient that the same number of threads are visible on all spokes. Uniform screwing of the nipples is very important because greatly facilitates the entire further process. In this case, the spokes should not be taut yet.

In the case of the rear wheel, now is the time to tackle the umbrella. The right knitting needles should have a higher tension than the left knitting needles. For most bushings, it is sufficient as a first approximation to turn all the right nipples another 3.5 turns.

READ  Scrolling Pedals On A Bicycle What To Do

We proceed to even tension of the knitting needles. Starting from the valve hole, turn each nipple one turn. If there is a lot of slack in the knitting needles, add one turn at a time. In this case, after passing three-quarters of the rim, it may become difficult to turn the nipples. This means that the second turn is excessive and all nipples tightened on the second turn should be returned to their original position, i.e. unscrew one turn. After that, start again from the valve hole and screw in all the nipples half a turn.

We install the wheel on the machine and see which unevenness of the rim is greater. vertical (ellipse) or horizontal (figure eight). You always have to rule the biggest one.

Let’s say we start with a figure eight, and the worst part of the rim is offset to the right over the four spokes. Two of them go to the right flange and two to the left. Tighten the left nipples a quarter of a turn, and release the right ones by the same amount, this section of the rim will shift to the left. However, the tension of the spokes does not change, since as many spokes have been loosened as tightened, and, moreover, by the same amount. If the section of the rim is shorter, for example, of three spokes. one left and two right, you can pull the left spoke half a turn, and release each of the right spokes a quarter of a turn. This is the principle of wheel balancing, thanks to which horizontal beating can be eliminated without compromising the vertical.

It may not be enough to completely correct this unevenness, but if there is improvement, you should not try to immediately achieve the final result. Now find the worst rim deflection to the left and tighten it. Thus, we go from one side to the other, we keep the pre-defined umbrella. Do not try to straighten the figure 8 better than 3 mm at this point. This is done during the final alignment after adjusting the umbrella and ellipse.

Find the section of the rim farthest from the hub. By pulling the knitting needles in this place, they bring him closer to her. This increases the rigidity of the entire wheels. The principle of balance described above also applies here. Suppose the plot found has three nipples. two left and one right. If you tighten the two left-hand spokes half a turn each, and the right one one turn, then the rim protrusion will retract without disturbing the uniformity of the tightness. In this way, you can straighten the ellipse without degrading the noteworthy figure eight.

Find the next section of the rim that is farthest from concentricity and pull it out as described. Then the next section, and so on. Each time the wheel will get closer to the circle, the spoke will be pulled tighter.

To what extent should the knitting needles be tightened? The best thing is to be as stiff as possible before the nipple edges start to eat away. the tension on the spokes gives the wheel strength. While riding, at any given moment, the various forces applied to one spokes are added, those applied to the others are subtracted. The spokes must have sufficient tension so that if the forces applied are weakened, the spoke never loses tension. Consecutive cycles of tension and sagging result in fracture.

If the wheel is already round and the spoke tension is insufficient, tighten all the nipples by the same amount (for example, half a turn) and check the wheel for concentricity again.

Straightening an ellipse requires more tightening than a figure eight, and in this case, you can tighten the knitting needles half a turn or even a full turn at a time. For preliminary dressing of figure eight. quarter and half turn, for precise dressing. 1/8 and 1/4 turn.

The rear wheel umbrella must be in a plane halfway between the lugs of the rear hub. Otherwise, the bike will tend to turn to the side.

The easiest way to check the correctness of the umbrella is the distance from the rim to the brake pads. This distance is measured when the wheel is in the normal position and when the right end of the axle is inserted into the left tip (i.e. the wheel is upside down). In both cases, the distance must be the same. However, this method is suitable only if the axis is not bent.

To adjust the umbrella, with the needles fully tensioned, release the nipples on one side by the same amount and tighten the nipples on the other side (usually 1/4 turn). If the spokes are not very tight, you can only tighten the nipples on the side where you want to slide the rim. At the same time, the rigidity of the entire wheel will also increase.

Advanced Bicycle Wheel Mechanics. PART 3, Spoke Tension

F. Final setup

How To Tension And True A Freshly Built Bicycle Wheel

The final setting consists in sequentially repeating all three processes, straightening the ellipse, figure eight and umbrella. Adjustment of one can affect the rest, so at each given moment you need to work on what is most different from the norm.

G. Final tension

Now you should have a wheel that is no different from the serial factory one: all three parameters are within the normal range, the spokes are sufficiently tight. Many mechanics would consider the job finished. However, when driving, such a wheel will quickly go out of the norm. The fact is that the spoke heads have not yet fully entered the holes of the flanges, and the nipples into the holes of the rim. When driving, they begin to “sit down” more tightly and upset the balance of the wheel.

There are several ways to shrink knitting needles. For example: take the wheel in both hands, push hard on the spokes at their intersection, turn the wheel and do the same with the next four spokes, and so on along the entire circumference of the wheel. At the same time, creaks and crackles will be heard, that is, the sound of shrinking spokes. After this procedure, the wheel may become somewhat out of order. Adjust it again and repeat the needle wrench. Continue the whole process until it stops affecting the rim and the sound stops.

There is another reason why the wheel quickly goes out of order. This is the twisting of the knitting needles. When tightened tightly, the rotation of the nipple can initially twist, i.e. turn the spoke instead of pulling it up the thread. For example, suppose you want to tighten a knitting needle a quarter turn. In this case, the following happens not so rarely: first, at one eighth of a turn, the spoke itself rotates together with the nipple, then the thread is fed and pulls the spoke for the remaining 1/8 of a turn. After a while, the twisted spoke gives back and unwinds the tightening in the nipple. The easiest way to get rid of this is to tighten the nipple 3/8 of a turn and then loosen it 1/8 so that a clean 1/4 turn pull-up is obtained without twisting. With some experience, you will feel when the spoke begins to curl. A beginner can, before stretching, apply marks on all the needles with a felt-tip pen, which will rotate when twisted.

After the wheel is fully balanced, make sure the ends of the spokes do not protrude above the rim. Otherwise, they must be cut down.

Remove any remaining grease that will spoil monotube or chambers!

Take your time when adjusting the wheel. If you are tired, put off work and return to it only with a fresh mind.

We tighten the knitting needles. read carefully.

Before starting to tighten the spokes, screw all the nipples to the same depth. If you have short knitting needles, after tightening them, the threads should be visible in the same amount. If your spokes are long, then you need to set the outgoing end of the spoke to the level of the splines of the nipples. Further work on the tension of the spokes will be noticeably easier if the nipples are evenly wrapped.

Next, you need to follow these steps with the nipple: wrap it from the valve hole, turning each nipple one turn. Next, you need to check the spokes for slack. If the spoke is loose, you can make another turn. However, remember that you should not tighten the knitting needles too much. You can recall this if, after passing three-fourths of the wheel rim, you find the problem of twisting the nipple of the spokes. it will become very difficult to twist the nipple. This situation suggests that that very second turn was superfluous, so it is worthwhile to carry out a return turn of the nipples.

The next step, when stretching the spokes on a bicycle, will be the following: if there is such an opportunity, you need to install the assembled wheel on the machine, if not, then you can install the wheel on the bicycle. This is done in order to detect wheel irregularities. You need to take a closer look at the wheel and determine which unevenness is detected to the greatest extent. With a greater horizontal unevenness and displacement of the rim to the right by about four spokes, two of them look at the left flange, and two at the right flange, you need to turn the left nipples by a quarter of a turn, and loosen the right ones by a quarter. If the irregularities cannot be eliminated in this way, you need to find the place of the worst left irregularity, and tighten it.

To correct vertical unevenness, you need to find the place of the rim that is farthest from the hub. This is necessary in order to tighten the spoke as much as possible in this area, thus the rim will come closer to the hub, and at the same time the wheel rigidity will increase. Another activity when stretching the spokes is the process of shrinking the spokes. To do this, you need to firmly press the knitting needles at the point of their intersection. Turn the wheel until you have shrunk all the spokes. The spokes make characteristic sounds when shrinking, which means that the shrinkage of the spokes is successful.

Initial adjustment phase

Do not forget that the tightening of the spokes on a bicycle is carried out with the camera and tire removed, so as not to damage them during operation. Before you start to tighten the knitting needles, their nipples must be wrapped to the same depth. Note that nipples come in three basic sizes (3.22 mm, 3.3 mm and 3.45 mm) and for ease of use the key must fit exactly to the nipple. Otherwise, the key will slip. There is also such a subtlety that if the needles are short, then after tightening the nipples, the threads are visible at the same level, if they are long, then the outgoing end of the spoke is set at the level that the nipple splines reach. Evenly wrapped nipples greatly simplify the adjustment process.

Then screw the nipples from the valve hole, each one turn. The spokes are then checked for tension. If the tension is insufficient, then you can make another turn. the main thing is not to overdo it in this matter. If the turnover is superfluous, then when passing the second half of the wheel rim, it may be difficult to tighten the next nipples. In this case, adjusting the bicycle wheel with the spokes requires a reverse stroke, that is, you should perform a reverse rotation at each twisted nipple.

Further adjustment of the spokes on the bicycle, if possible, should proceed in the following direction. the assembled wheel must be installed on a special centering device, with the help of which irregularities are eliminated. If this is not possible, the wheel is mounted on a bicycle, which turns the wheels upside down. After that, the wheel being installed must be carefully inspected. First, the loose knitting needles are determined. The method of determination is quite simple. for this you need to step with your fingers towards the spoke, the amplitude of the vibration should be 1–2 mm. If it is larger, then the problem needles are tightened.

Elimination of horizontal and vertical irregularities

In the case when horizontal unevenness (“figure eight”) prevails at the right displacement (hump) of the rim by about 4 spokes (when two of them look at the left flange, and two at the right), then the left nipples are pulled up by a quarter of a turn, and the right ones. are weakened by the same amount. If the hump consists of three spokes: one to the left flange, two to the right, then the first is pulled half a turn, and the other two are also loosened by half a turn. If the irregularities are not eliminated in this way, then the worst left irregularity is selected. and this place is stretched.

Vertical bumps, called ellipses, are handled in a slightly different way. On the rim, a place is searched for, the farthest from the bushing, and stretched according to this pattern. If the area found consists of two knitting needles, then they are both pulled up by half a turn, and if out of three, then the middle of them is also pulled up by half a turn, and the two extreme ones. by only a quarter of a turn. This method increases the stiffness of the wheel.

Correction of lateral displacement (“eights”)

The most common deformation is considered to be “figure eight”. It occurs due to a violation of the integrity of the rims and looseness of the spokes. Step-by-step instructions will help to correct the flaw at home:

  • the wheel is installed on a straightening machine or the bicycle is turned over;
  • mark with chalk the place where the “eight” was formed;
  • with a spoke key, weaken the element located closest to the center of deformation;
  • weaken the needles going in the direction of the “eight”, pull the elements from the opposite edge;
  • to shrink the nipple in the rim when turning the wheel half a turn, turn it 3/4, then go back 1/4;
  • when moving to the edge of the figure eight, the tension force is reduced.

After completing the work, you need to spin the wheel again, check the result. If necessary, all manipulations are repeated until the defect is completely eliminated. When the figure eight is fixed, it is necessary to shrink the spokes. To do this, remove the wheel, press with your hands on the intersection of the connection until a characteristic sound appears.

READ  What Kind Of Oil In A Scooter Honda Dio

Take the survey

  • by caliber. 1.5, 1.6, 1.8, 2.0, 2.34 mm;
  • by type of head. straight and bent;
  • by design type. cylindrical with butted and aerospitz.

Butting is the reduction of the middle part of the spoke, which is subject to light loads. Used to reduce the mass of an element.

Straight knitting needles Curved

The wheels are stressed from the moment the user takes their place. Driving on bad road surfaces, bumps, pits negatively affects their condition. Novice athletes often distribute weight incorrectly, which increases the intensity of structural wear. Jumping, hard braking and other extreme stunts lead to deformations, which can only be dealt with by adjusting the spokes on the bike. The following problems usually arise:

  • lateral curvatures. eights;
  • radial deformations. ellipses;
  • lack of centering of the rim in relation to the sleeve. umbrella.

To eliminate damage, the spokes are loosened or tensioned. It must be remembered that the elements located on the right side, when tightening, move the rim to the right, from the left. to the left. This moment must be taken into account when setting up.

When using a bicycle, the spokes on the wheel can stretch, which leads to a loss of rigidity of the connection between the rim and the hub.

Figure eight ellipse

Step Three. Tensioning the Spokes

This step is considered final and easy to complete. You just need to make sure that the nipples are screwed in the same number of turns. If the needles are short, then this can be determined by the number of visible “steps” of the thread in the nipples

After all the steps are completed, you need to install the wheel with the dialed spokes on a special machine or any other device (you can use a bicycle for this). It is in this position that all the irregularities will be visible. the skew of the wheel in any direction can be corrected by adjusting the twist of the nipples. In most cases, half a turn is sufficient to align the wheel. Please note that such a check must be carried out twice. when the wheel is horizontal and when it is vertical.

Adjusting the spokes on a bicycle: instructions, necessary tools, types of deformations

The wheels are the most important part of the bike. It is quite possible that if you take two completely different bicycles, one is the cheapest, and the other, on the contrary, is included in the top-end category, and you change wheels for them, then the cheap one can turn out to be faster than the expensive one. However, finding really high-quality and good wheels is not so easy, and stretching the spokes on them is a very time-consuming and rather difficult task for an unprepared person. To implement it, you will need knowledge of at least basic rules and recommendations. It should be immediately noted that high-quality and accurate wheel alignment can be provided by a highly qualified specialist with extensive experience in the relevant work. However, if you know how to tighten the spokes on a bicycle and are confident in your skills and strength, as well as have the proper care and patience, you can try this operation yourself. Remember that the correct tension gives the wheels reliability and significantly prolongs their service life.

The correct tension on the spokes of the bicycle gives the wheels reliability and prolongs the life of the wheels.

You will need a number of tools to tension correctly. These are wrenches of the right size for removing a wheel from a bicycle, a special spoke wrench and a screwdriver. And they can also come in handy: an umbrella meter, which allows you to center the wheel rim relative to its hub, a machine for straightening and adjusting wheels, as well as a tension force meter, however, in principle, with sufficient experience and skill, you can do with a minimum set of the first three tools.

There are three main types of deformations on bicycle wheels:

  • lateral deformations, called eights;
  • radial deformations called ellipses;
  • lack of centering of the rim in relation to the wheel hub, called an umbrella.

Elimination of horizontal and vertical irregularities

In the case when horizontal unevenness (“figure eight”) prevails at the right displacement (hump) of the rim by about 4 spokes (when two of them look at the left flange, and two at the right), then the left nipples are pulled up by a quarter of a turn, and the right ones. are weakened by the same amount. If the hump consists of three spokes: one to the left flange, two to the right, then the first is pulled half a turn, and the other two are also loosened by half a turn. If the irregularities are not eliminated in this way, then the worst left irregularity is selected. and this place is stretched.

Vertical bumps, called ellipses, are handled in a slightly different way. On the rim, a place is searched for, the farthest from the bushing, and stretched according to this pattern. If the area found consists of two knitting needles, then they are both pulled up by half a turn, and if out of three, then the middle of them is also pulled up by half a turn, and the two extreme ones. by only a quarter of a turn. This method increases the stiffness of the wheel.

Horizontal unevenness (“figure eight”) of the bicycle rim

How to correctly install and / or tighten the spokes on a bicycle

No matter how the statement of bicycle masters sounds, but the problem with installing / replacing and tightening the spokes on a bicycle wheel is the most common problem when customers contact service points. But for experienced cyclists, such statistics are not at all surprising. thin spokes have a great influence on the dynamics of the bike, and the quality of riding, and on the safety of the bike.

In order to tighten the needles, use a special tool. a spoke wrench. The bicycle parts under consideration are installed and tightened by twisting the nipple, while the main point in the process is the uniform tension of all the spokes. this serves as a guarantee of even distribution of the load on the wheel rim.

In general, bicycle wheel lacing can be carried out in different ways, but the most popular and reliable are radial and cross. At home, experienced cyclists often make a three-cross spoke setting, that is, the spokes in the wheel intersect three times with each other.

Straighten a bike wheel with the simple “Gt” method (truing)

The first step is determining the length of the bike parts

If you have to adjust the spokes on the front wheel of a bicycle, then you can not even deal with determining the length of the parts. it is believed that it is the front wheel that is structurally simple, the length of all spokes is absolutely the same.

As for the rear bicycle wheel, things are a little more complicated. The fact is that in this wheel the spokes are set of different lengths, since it is necessary to observe the difference in inclination.

Note: experts do not recommend that you independently determine the length of the spokes. For this, there are special calculators on the sites that allow you to get the necessary calculations online.

The second step is editing

To carry it out, you need some tool. a spoke wrench and a screwdriver. And you need to do the work in strict accordance with the step-by-step instructions:

  • Lubricate the connection points with the nipples on the wheel parts and the threaded part of the spokes.
  • If there is a recessed entrance on the flange only on one side, then the spokes must be installed from the opposite side.
  • Nine spokes are installed in the flange. this is done through one hole, that is, a free “niche” should remain between the spokes.
  • If the work is carried out with the rear wheel, then the spokes are mounted to the right of the hub.
  • We find the same located on the right side of the valve inlet on the rim, place a spoke in it and twist the nipple, making 2 turns.
  • From the first installed spoke, we count 4 inputs clockwise and mount the second spoke and also twist the nipple with two turns. Note:the sleeve with the threaded part must be located to the one who carries out the work.
  • In the process of installing the spokes, you need to check the correct operation. the spokes should connect the rim to the right with the hub flange, and there should be three free entrances between the installed spokes.

The subsequent spokes are installed according to the same principle, and then the wheel must be turned towards you with the opposite side and the spokes must be installed in the order indicated above. Installation is started with the key spoke, which is located to the left of the valve inlet.

Note: when all the spokes are installed, you need to align the nipples to the same twist depth. That is why it is recommended to make 2 turns in each case so as not to make a mistake, and it will be easier to regulate them at the end of the work.

Installing the spokes of a bicycle wheel

Adjusting the spokes on a bicycle is carried out in several stages. All work can be done at home if the necessary tools are available.

The first step is determining the length of the bike parts

If you have to adjust the spokes on the front wheel of a bicycle, then you can not even deal with determining the length of the parts. it is believed that it is the front wheel that is structurally simple, the length of all spokes is absolutely the same.

As for the rear bicycle wheel, things are a little more complicated. The fact is that in this wheel the spokes are set of different lengths, since it is necessary to observe the difference in inclination.

Note: experts do not recommend that you independently determine the length of the spokes. For this, there are special calculators on the sites that allow you to get the necessary calculations online.

How to correctly install and / or tighten the spokes on a bicycle

No matter how the statement of bicycle masters sounds, but the problem with installing / replacing and tightening the spokes on a bicycle wheel is the most common problem when customers contact service points. But for experienced cyclists, such statistics are not at all surprising. thin spokes have a great influence on the dynamics of the bike, and the quality of riding, and on the safety of the bike.

In order to tighten the needles, use a special tool. a spoke wrench. The bicycle parts under consideration are installed and tightened by twisting the nipple, while the main point in the process is the uniform tension of all the spokes. this serves as a guarantee of even distribution of the load on the wheel rim.

In general, bicycle wheel lacing can be done in different ways, but the most popular and reliable are radial and cross. At home, experienced cyclists often make a three-cross spoke setting, that is, the spokes in the wheel intersect three times with each other.

How to tighten the spokes on a bicycle

The structural part of a bicycle wheel, which, according to its technical characteristics, is the rod connecting the hub and the rim, is called a spoke. It is the spoke that is designed to facilitate the design of the wheel, while not reducing its strength.

The spokes can be installed and tightened with your own hands. for this it is absolutely not necessary to have any specific knowledge, which excludes contacting the bicycle service centers. For absolute beginners in this business, it is enough just to get acquainted with brief information about what types of spokes can be installed on a bicycle and how to change / tighten them correctly.

Types of spokes for bicycles

Bicycle spokes are divided into three large groups, which differ in their technical characteristics:

  • by the thickness (caliber) of the knitting needles. this rod can have a thickness of 1.5 mm, 1.6 mm, 1.8 mm, 2 mm and 2.34 mm;
  • by the type of head. bent spokes, used on assembled wheels, and straight spokes, installed on branded wheelsets;
  • by design type. cylindrical with butted and flat (aerospitz).

Note: butting is a reduction in the thickness of the spoke in the middle (central) part of it, although towards the edges the spoke “acquires” its declared thickness. Thus, manufacturers reduce the weight of the spoke, while not at all reducing its quality and functionality.

Step Three. Tensioning the Spokes

This step is considered final and easy to complete. You just need to make sure that the nipples are screwed in the same number of turns. If the needles are short, then this can be determined by the number of visible “steps” of the thread in the nipples

After all the steps are completed, you need to install the wheel with the dialed spokes on a special machine or any other device (you can use a bicycle for this). It is in this position that all the irregularities will be visible. the skew of the wheel in any direction can be corrected by adjusting the twist of the nipples. In most cases, half a turn is sufficient to align the wheel. Please note that such a check must be carried out twice. when the wheel is horizontal and when it is vertical.

Self-tensioning of the spokes, adjusting the bicycle wheel. DIY complete wheel assembly

The wheel is one of the most important parts of a bicycle. If you take two bikes. one super duper and the other a cheap ten-speed one. and swap wheels, the cheaper one is faster. But finding good wheels is not easy. And the fact that the wheel is balanced at the time of purchase does not at all guarantee that it will remain so during operation.

The very process of wheel alignment requires high qualifications and, as a result, a lot of experience. Many professional riders do almost all of the bike tuning themselves, but the professionals rely on the wheel alignment. Therefore, you must be prepared for the fact that the first time you may not be able to do the alignment well.

To work, you need a special spoke wrench (more precisely, for the spoke nipples). Nipples come in different sizes: 3.22 mm., 3.3 mm., 3.45 mm., 3.96 mm. It is important that the key fits exactly, otherwise it will slip.

This is what the spokes keys look like.

It is desirable, but not necessary, to have a special wheel straightening machine and a tool for measuring the tension force of the spokes. And it’s really great if you have a special tool for centering the rim relative to the hub.

If you do not have a special machine, you can adjust the wheel on the bike using the brake pads of the rim brakes to assess deformations. In this case, it is necessary to especially carefully check how level the wheel is and how the brakes work.

READ  The chain fell off on a high-speed bike how to fix it

The actions are usually described in steps: the first step, the second, etc. In this case, most of all, some operations will need to be repeated several times. It is quite possible that after straightening the ovoid (radial displacement), the lateral displacement will have to be corrected again, or vice versa.

There are several criteria for evaluating alignment: Lateral offset Radial offset Spoke tension Centering relative to hub

All of these misalignments are corrected by tightening the spoke (turning the nipple clockwise) or loosening the spoke (counterclockwise). In this case, only the nipple rotates, the spoke itself does not rotate.

The spokes on the right pull the rim to the right. Those on the left. to the left. If the spokes are taut on one side, then the rim will be “skewed” at this point. It is worth paying attention to the following important point: the spoke affects not only the section of the rim to which it is attached, but also the neighboring (but to a lesser extent).

One spoke tension acts on adjacent rim sections

Since few people have a wheel straightener, the further description is focused on the option with installing a wheel on a bicycle. Naturally, before adjusting the rim, you need to remove the tire and tube. (There should also be a flipper. such a strip that protects the camera from the spokes, it can be removed immediately).

You can start inspecting the wheel with the tension on the spokes. If there are knitting needles that are not at all tight. need to tighten them.

You can measure the tension of the spokes using a special tool. Each wheel has its own recommended values. The rear wheel spokes always have a tighter tension than the front spokes.

Analog and digital spoke tension meters

Perhaps experienced mechanics can tell the tension by sound or feel. But it seems to me that this is not the most reliable option.

Many bicycle mechanic specialists do not know how to properly assemble wheels at all, which can be ridden for a long time without adjustment. But even qualified mechanics do not have enough time for thorough work and skip some operations, as a result of which quality and reliability are reduced. Therefore, it is best to understand and assemble the wheels yourself. This is done as follows:

Lubricate the spoke threads and rim with oil where they touch the nipples. Without this, it is impossible to pull the spokes tight enough.

If the holes on the hub flanges are countersunk on one side only, the spoke heads should be on the non-countersunk side. countersink is designed to bend the spoke.

Insert nine spokes into one flange so that there is a free hole between them and so that the heads are on the outside. If it is a rear wheel, start at the right (threaded) side of the hub.

Take the rim, find among the holes offset to the right, the closest to the right of the valve hole.

Insert the first spoke into this hole and turn the nipple two turns. This spoke is called the key.

Count four holes clockwise from the key spoke, insert the next spoke and tighten the nipple.

Check what you have done for the following conditions:

but. The threaded part of the sleeve faces the worker;

b. The spoke closest to the valve hole is to the right of it;

from. Both spokes connect the right side of the rim to the right flange of the hub:

d. Three free holes between the spokes.

If all these conditions are met, secure the remaining seven spokes using every fourth hole in the rim.

Flip the wheel. Now it is facing you with its left side. Next, you need to connect to the rim nine spokes inserted from the outside into the left flange.

Find the key needle. It is located to the left of the valve hole or through one nipple hole.

The tenth spoke should be next to the key to the right (left. in the original) of the valve hole. In this case, the tenth spoke should not cross the key spoke.

After installing the tenth spoke, the remaining eight spokes of the left flange are dialed in the above sequence.

Now half of the knitting needles have been dialed. In the case of the rear wheel, these spokes are called drive spokes. Their heads should be on the outside of the 2 flange. If you look at the rim, pairs of free holes and pairs of holes with nipples should be interspersed along the entire circumference. The nipples should only be screwed in a few turns.

We turn to the tension spokes, the heads of which should be on the inside of the flange. We pass one tensioning needle through the hole in the flange and twist the sleeve so that the already dialed needles receive a direction as close as possible to the tangent to the flanges. For a rear wheel, grasp the threaded part of the hub and turn it clockwise. The first idler spokes intersect the three pre-assembled drive spokes (counting only those belonging to the same flange). Each tension spoke should run outside of the first two spokes it crosses and inward under the third crossed.

When assembling the first nine idler spokes, be sure to insert them into the corresponding holes in the rim, i.e. in those that are offset to their flange.

The rest of the tension needles are recruited in the same way. In this case, it may turn out that the ends of some of the spokes do not reach the nipple holes. This is usually caused by one or more of the nipples snagging on the rim with their tips and not going into the holes. If this is not the reason, then you have turned the nipples too far, which, until all the needles have been dialed, should turn no more than two turns.

B. Pre-tension

Before tightening the knitting needles, screw all the nipples to the same depth. For example, with long knitting needles so that their ends come out flush with the splines of the nipples. If the spokes are short for this, it is sufficient that the same number of threads are visible on all spokes. Uniform screwing of the nipples is very important because greatly facilitates the entire further process. In this case, the spokes should not be taut yet.

In the case of the rear wheel, now is the time to tackle the umbrella. The right knitting needles should have a higher tension than the left knitting needles. For most bushings, it is sufficient as a first approximation to tighten all right nipples an additional 3.5 turns.

We proceed to even tension of the knitting needles. Starting from the valve hole, turn each nipple one turn. If there is a lot of slack in the knitting needles, add one turn at a time. In this case, after passing three-quarters of the rim, it may become difficult to turn the nipples. This means that the second turn is excessive and all nipples tightened on the second turn should be returned to their original position, i.e. unscrew one turn. After that, we start again from the valve hole and screw all the nipples half a turn.

We install the wheel on the machine and see which unevenness of the rim is greater. vertical (ellipse) or horizontal (figure eight). You always have to rule the biggest one.

Let’s say we start with a figure eight and the worst part of the rim is offset to the right over the four spokes. Two of them go to the right flange and two to the left. Tighten the left nipples a quarter of a turn, and release the right ones by the same amount, this section of the rim will shift to the left. However, the tension of the spokes does not change, since as many spokes have been loosened as tightened, and, moreover, by the same amount. If the section of the rim is shorter, for example, of three spokes. one left and two right, you can pull the left spoke half a turn, and release each of the right spokes a quarter of a turn. This is the principle of wheel balancing, thanks to which horizontal beating can be eliminated without compromising the vertical.

It may not be enough to completely correct this unevenness, but if there is improvement, you should not try to immediately achieve the final result. Now find the worst rim deflection to the left and tighten it. Thus, we go from one side to the other, we keep the pre-defined umbrella. Do not try to straighten the figure 8 better than 3 mm at this point. This is done during the final alignment after adjusting the umbrella and ellipse.

Find the section of the rim farthest from the hub. By pulling the knitting needles in this place, they bring him closer to her. This increases the rigidity of the entire wheels. The principle of balance described above also applies here. Suppose the plot found has three nipples. two left and one right. If you tighten the two left-hand spokes half a turn each, and the right one one turn, then the rim protrusion will retract without disturbing the uniformity of the tightness. In this way, you can straighten the ellipse without degrading the noteworthy figure eight.

Find the next section of the rim that is farthest from concentricity and pull it out as described. Then the next section, and so on. Each time the wheel will get closer to the circle, the spoke will be pulled tighter.

To what extent should the knitting needles be tightened? The best thing is to be as stiff as possible before the nipple edges start to eat away. the tension on the spokes gives the wheel strength. While riding, at any given moment, the various forces applied to one spokes add up to those applied to the others. are deducted. The spokes must have sufficient tension so that if the forces applied are weakened, the spoke never loses tension. Consecutive cycles of tension and sagging result in fracture.

If the wheel is already round and the spoke tension is insufficient, tighten all the nipples by the same amount (for example, half a turn) and check the wheel for concentricity again.

Straightening an ellipse requires more tightening than a figure eight, and in this case, you can tighten the knitting needles half a turn or even a full turn at a time. For preliminary dressing of figure eight. quarter and half-turn, for precise dressing. 1/8 and 1/4 turn.

The rear wheel umbrella must be in a plane halfway between the lugs of the rear hub. Otherwise, the bike will tend to turn to the side.

The easiest way to check the correctness of the umbrella is the distance from the rim to the brake pads. This distance is measured when the wheel is in the normal position and when the right end of the axle is inserted into the left tip (i.e. the wheel is upside down). In both cases, the distance must be the same. However, this method is suitable only if the axis is not bent.

To adjust the umbrella, with the needles fully tensioned, release the nipples on one side by the same amount and tighten the nipples on the other side (usually 1/4 turn). If the spokes are not very tight, you can only tighten the nipples on the side where you want to slide the rim. At the same time, the rigidity of the entire wheel will also increase.

F. Final setup

The final setting consists in sequentially repeating all three processes, straightening the ellipse, figure eight and umbrella. Adjustment of one can affect the rest, so at each given moment you need to work on what is most different from the norm.

G. Final tension

Now you should have a wheel that is no different from the serial factory one: all three parameters are within the normal range, the spokes are sufficiently tight. Many mechanics would consider the job finished. However, when driving, such a wheel will quickly go out of the norm. The fact is that the spoke heads have not yet fully entered the holes of the flanges, and the nipples into the holes of the rim. When driving, they begin to “sit down” more tightly and upset the balance of the wheel.

There are several ways to shrink knitting needles. For example: take the wheel in both hands, push hard on the spokes at their intersection, turn the wheel and do the same with the next four spokes, and so on along the entire circumference of the wheel. At the same time, creaks and crackles will be heard, that is, the sound of shrinking spokes. After this procedure, the wheel may become somewhat out of order. Adjust it again and repeat the needle wrench. Continue the whole process until it stops affecting the rim and the sound stops.

There is another reason why the wheel quickly goes out of order. This is the twisting of the knitting needles. When tightened tightly, the rotation of the nipple can initially twist, i.e. turn the spoke instead of pulling it up the thread. For example, suppose you want to tighten a knitting needle a quarter turn. In this case, the following happens not so rarely: first, at one eighth of a turn, the spoke itself rotates together with the nipple, then the thread is fed and pulls the spoke for the remaining 1/8 of a turn. After a while, the twisted spoke gives back and unwinds the tightening in the nipple. The easiest way to get rid of this is to tighten the nipple 3/8 of a turn and then loosen it 1/8 so that a clean 1/4 turn pull-up is obtained without twisting. With some experience, you will feel when the spoke begins to curl. A beginner can, before stretching, apply marks on all the needles with a felt-tip pen, which will rotate when twisted.

After the wheel is fully balanced, make sure the ends of the spokes do not protrude above the rim. Otherwise, they must be cut down.

Remove any remaining grease that will spoil monotube or chambers!

Take your time when adjusting the wheel. If you are tired, put off work and return to it only with a fresh mind.