How to determine maximum spoke tension

byunbee

Well-Known Member
Hey All,

My spoke tension meter was delivered yesterday and although I understand how tension works, I'm unable to determine the maximum tension for my spokes.

Based on the specs of my bike, it comes with the following rims and spokes. The spoke seem to be 2mm Black Oxidized Round stainless steel spokes as it is slightly magnetic. I looked up the manufacturer's site on both the rims and spoke and there was no information on regarding spoke tension. On the Rodi site, it gave a general guidance stating that it's usually on the rim somewhere. But the only information on the rim was 622x15C. Below is a picture from my wheel. Any insight would be appreciated.

RIMS:
Mid-Dish Rodi Airline with Shimano SLX M675 Hubs
SPOKES:
DT Swiss Industry

1594435409856.png
 

Marcela

Well-Known Member
Be careful with that gauge. I have one, used it on a carbon rim. Some of the spokes were pretty loose, thought I'd be smart and set all the spokes to the same tension. Ended up with a mess. The rim went from perfect to pretty wonky. Had to redo it. I don't think you can set the spokes to a specific setting, maybe a range. I also have a loos gauge, which is the same thing but for tensioning diamond wires on sail boats. That works for adjusting mast bend. The spoke tensioning is kind of neat but don't go blind using it. I have better luck with intuition or common sense.
 

byunbee

Well-Known Member
Be careful with that gauge. I have one, used it on a carbon rim. Some of the spokes were pretty loose, thought I'd be smart and set all the spokes to the same tension. Ended up with a mess. The rim went from perfect to pretty wonky. Had to redo it. I don't think you can set the spokes to a specific setting, maybe a range. I also have a loos gauge, which is the same thing but for tensioning diamond wires on sail boats. That works for adjusting mast bend. The spoke tensioning is kind of neat but don't go blind using it. I have better luck with intuition or common sense.
I love this tool. When I first received the meter, the diamond pointer was loose which caused each measurement to change. After I tightened it down, readings are consistent.

In order to use the meter properly, you have to do some reading on how each spoke affects the rest of the wheel and how drive side tension can be sometimes different due to the hub design. You also have to understand that any adjustment to a spoke will affect the spokes on the opposite side potentially causing the hub to be misaligned if the tensions is substantially off. I guess that why there’s also the wheel alignment gauge. I don’t have this tool, but have a decent understanding of the wheel tension and impacts. I was able to true my very wobbly wheels into respectable state both laterally and radially. You have to do multiple adjustments and readjustments to get it right. It’s not a once around the wheel and you’re done exercise.

Someone told me the wheel truing is an art. I think I understand the statement a bit better now. :)
 

Sierratim

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Nevada City, CA & Paradise Valley, AZ
Someone told me the wheel truing is an art. I think I understand the statement a bit better now. :)
The company my son works for offers hand built wheels as one of their products. I watched one of their wheel techs build and true a wheel. WOW! Very fast and still able to explain what he was doing at the same time. On the truing stand he followed an iterative process that got the wheel round and spokes evenly tensioned in the time it would take me to fix a rear tire flat. He had done this often enough to know how much to tweak a spoke to get it into spec without pulling the wheel out of round. Very fun to watch.
 

Gionnirocket

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Y. O.
The company my son works for offers hand built wheels as one of their products. I watched one of their wheel techs build and true a wheel. WOW! Very fast and still able to explain what he was doing at the same time. On the truing stand he followed an iterative process that got the wheel round and spokes evenly tensioned in the time it would take me to fix a rear tire flat. He had done this often enough to know how much to tweak a spoke to get it into spec without pulling the wheel out of round. Very fun to watch.

That sounds very interesting.. You gotta make a video of that!