How to properly tighten the spokes on a bicycle

Correct spoke tension

The driving performance of this vehicle often depends on the correct tension of the spokes. The spokes are tensioned in the direction of the tangent circumference of the sleeve with three intersections along the path from the sleeve flange to the rim. Thus, the strength and elasticity of the wheel is achieved. The needles are inserted in different ways, one from the inside, the other from the outside of the hub. and so on along the entire perimeter of the circle. Then the spoke is threaded into the socket of the rim, a nipple is put on it from above, and the spoke is tightened using the nipple key.

Causes of deformation

During operation, the bike experiences stresses, and they are least dependent on how you ride. Over time, there is a process of changing the geometry of the wheel rim, that is, its deformation. How quickly it happens depends mainly on the quality of the rim.

Three defects can form on the wheel rim. These are figure eight, “umbrella” and “egg”. Let’s dwell on each of them.

How to fix eights on bicycle wheels. detailed description

How to fix eights on bicycle wheels. this question is relevant for many. A figure eight on a bicycle wheel is the most common problem with bicycle deformation. Loose knitting needles are the main cause. Consider the issues of the correct tension of the knitting needles, the varieties of eights and how to fix them.

Radial runout

“Egg”. this is when the rim of the wheel becomes oval, that is, when one part of the rim is closer to the center than the rest. The “egg” appears, as a rule, after unsuccessful landings and is much less common than the eight.

How to fix a figure eight on a bicycle, which is commonly called an “egg”? This is much more difficult to do than in the previous case.

The very first thing to do is remove the tire and make sure the rim is deformed and not the tire.

Turn the bike over, spin the wheel, while attaching an object on top. It is necessary to mark with the help of chalk that part of the rim that will lift the given object.

At the third stage, you need to simultaneously trace three directions: starting from the central spoke, release the tension; pull the knitting needles next to it by the same number of revolutions so that there are no eight; and tighten the spokes at the opposite end of the wheel to avoid the appearance of an “egg” in another place. In order to fix the figure eight, experience is required, since this process is quite complicated. It can be started over if something did not work out, first by loosening, and then pulling all the needles at the same time.

After correcting the “egg”, just as in the example with the figure eight, you need to push the knitting needles with all your weight. for their shrinkage.

Correcting the figure eight

How to fix a figure eight on a wheel? Eight in this case. this is when some part of the rim does not coincide with the plane of rotation.

Tools that will be needed for the repair:

1) chalk, with its help we will mark the area with a defect;

3) a wheel straightening machine is desirable, but this is not necessary. The small figure eight can be removed without removing the wheels. Turn the bike over with the wheels up. in this position, you can check the correctness of the wheel relative to the brake pads.

How to fix eights on bike wheels? This process can be divided into several stages. The first step is to find the deformation. During the rotation of the wheel, it is necessary to bring the chalk closer to it. In the place where there is an eight, a trace will remain. With this simple method, you can easily determine where the deformation of the rim has occurred. At the second stage, we tighten and loosen the knitting needles, but only from a certain side. If these manipulations are performed incorrectly, you can further damage the wheel by getting a new deformation.

How to fix a figure eight on a bicycle wheel? There are several ways in which it can be removed. If it is between two knitting needles located next to each other, then using a spoke key, tighten the first knitting needle by 1/3 of a turn, and twist the knitting needle next to each other in the opposite direction, while we also loosen the clamp by 1/3.

Quite common is the case when the figure eight is located opposite one of the spokes of the wheel. Then pulling up this knitting needle should be done by ¼ of a turn, and by 1/8 of a turn it is necessary to relax the two knitting needles located next to it. It happens that on a deformed wheel, the figure eight changes the position of several spokes located next to it. This case is difficult, and you need to be very careful and adhere to the following rule: the knitting needles that are closer to the center should be tightened or loosened with more force, and the knitting needles located at the edge should be tightened or loosened with less force.

In order to determine the correctness of the repair, it is necessary to spin the corrected wheel, and the changes should be immediately noticeable. The actions you performed were correct if the wheel became level, otherwise you need to repeat all the actions again.

Many are wondering how to fix a figure eight on the rear wheel of a bicycle. There is no fundamental difference between fixing on the rear and front wheels.

Editing “Umbrella

There is such a thing as an “umbrella”. This is when the wheel rim has moved to one side and is not perfectly aligned with the center of the hub. The amount of this offset will depend on the design of the frame itself and the type of brakes. This malfunction often occurs in the case of improper wheel assembly.

The umbrella straightens in the same way as the figure eight. On the one hand, you need to tighten the knitting needles, and on the other hand, loosen the same effort. Unlike how to straighten the figure eight, when straightening the umbrella, the effort should not fade, but should be uniform around the entire circumference.

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.

With what effort is it necessary to pull the knitting needles?

It is recommended that the final wheel tension equalization be performed only after rim curvature issues have been resolved. This position should not be allowed when some of the spokes are relaxed, and some are pulled like a string to ringing.

As mentioned above, the main criterion for correct tension is the deflection of the element when it oscillates up to 2 mm.

The tension and balancing are performed correctly if during shrinkage there are no extraneous sounds in the form of a crackle or squeak.

  • Spoke wrench. for twisting and unscrewing the nipples on the needles. Since the spokes of different diameters are used in different models of bicycles, the nipples have different sizes. Therefore, you need to use a key that fits exactly in size and does not slip on the edges of the nipple.
  • Wheel straightening and aligning machine (if it is not available, you can use a bicycle to adjust and correct deformations by turning it upside down with the wheels).
  • Zonometer. for centering the wheel rim relative to the hub.
  • Needle tension meter.
  • Lateral (figure eight) deformations;
  • Radial (ellipses) deformations;
  • Lack of centering of the rim in relation to the sleeve (umbrella).
  • To eliminate deformation, the wheel is mounted on a straightening machine. If there is none, or the deformation is small, leave on the bike, turning it upside down.
  • On a rotating wheel, with the help of chalk attached to the side surface of the rim, mark the place of the formed “eight”.
  • With the help of the spoke wrench, the spoke closest to the center of the figure-eight should be loosened by 1/2 turn. The two spokes on either side of the center spoke should be tightened the same number of turns. When tensioning the spoke, it should be borne in mind that the force acts not only on a given application area, but also on adjacent areas, but with less force
  • Weaken the needles going from the side to which the deformation is directed, and the needles on the opposite side must be tightened.
  • For better “shrinkage” of the nipple in the wheel rim when turning by ½ a turn, then it should be turned by ¾ a turn, and then returned by ¼. back.
  • Moving to the edges of the deformation, the tension. weakening force (number of revolutions) should be reduced.
  • Having completed this stage of work, you should turn the wheel and see what happened. If necessary, repeat all operations until the deformation is completely eliminated.
  • After correcting the “eight”, the needles should be “seated”. To do this, the wheel is removed from the machine or the bicycle frame and, putting it on the floor, press on the intersection of the spokes with your hands alternately in all places. After turning the wheel over, repeat the operation. When carrying out such actions, a characteristic sound of shrinkage of spokes and nipples can be heard. After that, you need to recheck the wheel again and, if necessary, fix everything again.
  • To correct this deformation, it is necessary to remove from the wheel the tire, the tube and the flipper (a thin rubber strip that protects the tube from the spokes protruding from the nipples).
  • Putting the wheel on a machine or bicycle, using chalk, mark the outermost part of the rim.
  • Having determined the needle closest to the center of deformation, tighten one turn, and two adjacent needles. 1/2 turn. With this operation, the rim approaches the bushing, without disturbing the uniformity of tension.
  • Scrolling the wheel, find the next section of deformation of the rim and eliminate it as described above.
  • By performing such actions, they achieve the most rounded shape of the wheel.
  • If, with the wheel already straightened, the spoke tension is still not sufficient, then all the nipples should be tightened by the same number of revolutions.
  • After correcting the deformation of the ellipse, as in correcting the “figure eight”, you should “seat” the needles and, if necessary, make the appropriate adjustments.
  • After correcting the lateral displacements (“eights”), it is necessary to check the “umbrella”. For this, the umbrella meter is installed on the wheel axle. Its support planes (“legs”) must touch the rim, and. the axis must coincide and touch the center indicator.
  • Check the correctness of the “umbrella” at several points around the circumference of the rim.
  • Turning the wheel over, check the “umbrella” on the other side. If the wheel rim is displaced from the center of the hub, then the support planes will touch the rim, but the central indicator will not, or vice versa: the center of the umbrella touches the axis, but the “legs” will not.
  • In these cases, the spokes of the respective sides should be tightened, and the rim should be shifted to one side or the other. To displace the rim to the right, pull the spokes on the right side, if the displacement needs to be done to the left, pull the spokes on the left side. Stretch should be done evenly (by the same number of turns) around the entire circumference.
  • When correcting the “umbrella”, “eights” may form, which should be corrected and checked on the machine for adjustment. And also you need to check the rim for the presence of an ellipse and also eliminate the deformation.
  • Due to design features, the “umbrella” on the rear wheel is different from the “umbrella” on the front wheel, and runs in the middle between the hub tips.
  • On the right side of the rear wheel, the spokes are tightened more than on the left side. The tension of the spokes on the left side is not determined by its strength, but by the uniformity.
  • The correct location of the “umbrella” can be determined by the size of the gap from the rim to the brake pads. To do this, the wheel is installed on the bicycle and the gap between the shoe and the rim is measured, and then it is turned over and the gap is compared. The size of the gaps must be the same.
  • To replace a broken spoke (multiple spokes), the tire, tube and flipper are removed from the wheel and the debris is removed. If the spoke is to be replaced from the side of the sprocket cassette, then the cassette must also be removed.
  • A new spoke is installed in the hole in the hub and, bending slightly, is pulled into the hole on the rim.
  • The new spoke should be exactly the same as the spoke pattern of the wheel.
  • A nipple is screwed onto the threaded part and stretched.
  • In case of breakage of several spokes, similar operations are carried out with each spoke, strictly observing the wheel spoke pattern.
  • Replacing a knitting needle (or several knitting needles) eliminates the “figure eight”, as well as the “shrinkage” of the knitting needles.
  • For easier rotation of the nipples in the holes of the rim, the thread and, accordingly, the holes are lubricated with machine oil or other lubricant of a liquid consistency. This makes it possible to pull the spokes tight enough. When assembling wheels with a large “umbrella” (rear wheel), the spokes are lubricated on the right side.
  • The holes for the spokes on the flanges of the hub are countersinked, which, when assembled, is designed to bend on the spokes and better fit them to the flange.
  • The spoke is passed into the hole on the flange so that the head of the spoke is on the outside, and the spoke itself is on the inside of the flange.
  • The threaded part of the first spoke is passed into the first hole on the rim with an offset to the right side, and which is located to the right of the hole for the spool and the nipple is screwed on for a couple of turns.
  • This spoke is called the key spoke and determines the location of the remaining spokes in the wheel.
  • On the rear wheel, the key spoke should be located on the side of the sprocket cassette and have a direction opposite to the rotation of the wheel. Also, this spoke and all the others directed in the opposite direction of rotation are called drive (in other sources. tail).
  • Through one hole in the flange from the key spoke, insert the next spoke and bring it into the rim into the fourth hole from the key and screw the nipple.
  • After repeating this operation with the rest of the needles of the first group, you should check the correct assembly. As a result, all the spokes should be located on the inside of the right flange and there should be one free hole between them. The spokes are connected to the rim through a hole with a right-side offset and there should be three free holes between them.
  • Turn the wheel over to install the next set of spokes. The wheel is positioned so that the hole for the spool is on top, and the key spoke is located to the left of it.
  • A closer inspection of the flanges on the hub will show that the spoke holes on one flange are offset from the holes of the other by half a step.
  • The first knitting needle of the second group is set so that it is located on the left side of the key knitting needle and should not cross it.
  • If the key spoke is installed through one hole from the spool hole, then the first spoke of the second group is located on the right side of the key.
  • Observing these conditions, install the remaining spokes of the second group and fix the nipples on them.
  • Now, after installing all the drive spokes on the left side, the rim should alternate between two free holes and two holes with the spokes going to the hub flanges from the inside.
  • The installation of the tensioning (according to some sources. leading) spokes begins on the right side of the wheel. To do this, turn the wheel over and turn the sleeve clockwise so that the spokes form tangents to the sleeve.
  • A spoke is inserted into the free hole in the right flange so that its head is on the inside, and the spoke itself passes from the outside of the flange.
  • Making a three-cross set, the spoke is drawn to the rim with the intersection of the two driving spokes on the outside. The third intersection is made from the inside, slightly bending the spoke, and inserted into the center hole of the rim with the right offset.
  • Observing such conditions, the rest of the spoke of the third and then the fourth groups is installed.
  • After completing the installation of all spokes, the wheel should be checked for the order of the direction of the spokes through one to the right and left flanges of the hub.
  • On the assembled wheel, the initial spokes are adjusted by twisting all the nipples by the same amount. For example: the ends of the spokes will be at the level of the splines on the nipple heads, or so that the same number of turns remain on all the spokes.
  • In this case, the main limit can be considered the uniform tension of all spokes, but at the same time they should be relatively free.
  • After that, the knitting needles should be straightened. To do this, a few centimeters from the flange, press all the spokes in turn.
  • The wheel is adjusted by installing it on the alignment machine. Starting from the hole for the spool in turn, tighten each nipple by the same number (1. 1.5) turns, giving the wheel rigidity.
  • When adjusting the rear wheel, it should be borne in mind that the “umbrella” must be displaced, and the spokes of the right side are taut more than the left ones. To begin with, it is enough to turn the nipple on the right side by 2. 3 turns.
  • The final tension is made by twisting the nipples one turn, starting from the spool hole along the entire circumference, and then, reducing this amount with each wheel turn.
  • To give the wheel the correct shape, it is necessary to constantly monitor the formation of “eights” and “ellipses”, the correct location of the “umbrella” and the tension force of the spokes. Methods for eliminating these deformations are described above.
  • Having eliminated all deformations before installing the wheel on the bike, you should relieve the stress. shrink the spokes. All intersections of the spokes must “grind” to each other, the bends of the spokes fit snugly against the hub flanges, and the nipples take their final places on the wheel rim.
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Useful to pay attention

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.

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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.

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 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.

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 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.

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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.

How to tighten BMX spokes?

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.

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DIY bicycle wheel re-spacing

One of the basic conditions for safe cycling is an even distribution of tension between all the spokes. In case of an accident or bending of the rim, it is necessary to reassemble the wheel by attaching the spokes to the central hub according to the selected scheme.

In addition to breakdowns, re-spacing of a bicycle wheel may be required when self-assembly of a vehicle or a combination of remnants of old wheels suitable for use.

Spoke torsion deformations

Due to the resistance to movement when the key is turned, the rods are slightly twisted at the thread. After the effort of the master overcomes the friction, the nipple is twisted, but the spokes remain deformed. Over time, they return to their original position and upset the balance of the wheel.

To avoid deformation, you need to twist the nipple a little further than required for adjustment, and then return it back by the amount of difference.

Stage one. Determining the Right Needle Length

It is very important to choose the correct length for your bicycle spokes. In this regard, much less problems arise with the front wheel. here the spokes on both sides have the same length. With the back, everything is much more complicated. Multiple speeds set on the rear wheel make centering difficult. The needles will have different lengths and angles. To determine the appropriate length, special calculators have been created that allow you to calculate the required parameters online.

Causes of wheel deformation

The main reason for the deformation of the rim and spokes is the dynamic load created by the weight of the cyclist, who moves in the vertical and horizontal plane relative to the wheel axles.

Understanding Spoke Tension: LIVE at Sea Otter 2018. Tech Tuesday #105

The following factors can accelerate and aggravate the curvature of parts:

  • sharp braking;
  • driving on uneven roads, off-road, highly relief surfaces;
  • tight turns, especially at high speed and high weight of the cyclist;
  • fall, strong blows to the wheel;
  • incorrect lacing;
  • broken, loose or weak spoke tension.

Strong mechanical stress often leads to deformation of the “figure eight” type, which is visible to the naked eye. Slight curvature often remains invisible to the inexperienced cyclist, but significantly reduces safety and ride quality.

How to replace a spoke on a bicycle. video

How to tension the spokes on a bicycle yourself

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.

How to fix a broken or loose spoke

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.

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.?

properly, tighten, spokes, bicycle