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Can spokes be too tight

Discussion in 'The Shop' started by BigStonz, Mar 10, 2005.

  1. BigStonz

    BigStonz Monkey

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    Are there any disavantages to having too much tension in your spokes?
    I just retensioned a wheelset and those spokes are really tight. Not nipple stripping tight, but barely any movement when you squeeze 2 together. Was this a bonehead move? The wheelset will be used on DS hardtail or DH rig.
    I've searched the forums and found alot of info on spokes being too loose, but found little on too tight. Wheelbuilding/fixing is one of the few things I don't have confidence in when tinkering with bikes.
     

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  2. ioscope

    ioscope Turbo Monkey

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    I imagine it could make the hoop a little easier to collapse. I have heard that some rims make a stronger wheel when laced loose.
     
  3. Ridemonkey

    Ridemonkey This is not an active account

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    Your rims will crack eventually if the spokes are too tight.
     
  4. Toshi

    Toshi Harbinger of Doom

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    and you'll strip alloy nipples trying to true spokes that are too tight
     
  5. dcamp29

    dcamp29 Monkey

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    i don't think so... i usually build wheels like that, and now i have a bunch of stripped nipples, but no wheel collapses.
     
  6. DßR

    DßR They saw my bloomers

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    it can cause the wheel to taco. Just run it and see what happens....
     
  7. sanjuro

    sanjuro Tube Smuggler

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    Try using a spoke tensionmeter. I took this info off the Park Tool site:

    Spokes that have too much tension can result in deforming and/or cracks near the nipple holes of the rim, as seen in the image below. Notice crack at red arrow.

    Too much tension can also lead to failure of the hub flange. The wrench flats of the spoke nipple can become deformed and rounded by forcing the nipple to turn while the spoke is at too high tension.
     
  8. Spunger

    Spunger Git yer dumb questions here

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    They're all suspose to have a certian sound to them when you pluck them. As funny as it sounds that is always how I've found out that I am near or at the right tension. It's almost like a "ting" sound and that's it.

    Atleast that's what I've gone off of to test and tell when I have loose or too tight of spokes.
     
  9. Mackie

    Mackie Monkey

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    Yeah, that's true - but take a look at thet rim - no eyelets on the spoke holes. Any good rim with eylets should be able to take way more tension than you are able to generate without trashing the nipples.
     
  10. -dustin

    -dustin boring

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    depends on who you ask. some will say yes, they can be too tight, while other will say that the nipple and/or rim will give out before the spoke is too tight (ie what Mackie said).

    i was reading The Bicycle Wheel last night, and had a dream about a 700c tubular.
     
  11. mack

    mack Turbo Monkey

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    Those tensioners are $$$. But they do provide for a interesting shop argument on pronunciation. :blah:

    smart wrenchers thinks: spoke tens'i om eter
    others: spoke tension meter
     
  12. Serial Midget

    Serial Midget Al Bundy

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    I once had a 517 mavic rim that was built unformly too tight, by the time I discovered it, the rim had begun to buldge at each eyelet. I never had any problems with the rim but I didn't trust it and eventually cut the hub out and trashed the rim.
     
  13. jon cross

    jon cross Monkey

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    I tend to build my wheels a bit tighter than is wise, but then I tend to trash them before wearing them out. I have been doing it simply to try and see if it makes the wheel stiffer- I think it might, but I have no solid info to back this up.

    ANNNNyway...

    Alloy nips will pop while you build the wheel if you do it up to tight. Any nips will pop the first time you true them up unless you use something decent on the threads (I like lithium based grease). Spokes are more likely to break under high tension. The rim cracks are no lie, eyelets or not. It's not a matter of the spoke pulling right through, but that the wheel is under much higher tension and stress while riding. These stress fractures are just an example of the weakest link breaking. Your wheel might be stiffer, but your rim will be trashed, your hub flanges will be a bit torn up, you will have trouble truing up the wheels, and you cannot easily run alloy nips. I don't plan on doing that anymore, as it isn't worth the added stiffness that it -might- provide.
     
  14. jmeperu

    jmeperu Monkey

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    the eyelets will bulge on rims that have eyelets and on rims without they will crack. if you run high spoke tension you are more likely to break many spokes at the hub flange. this could lead to CATOSTROPHIC FAILURE!!! (i just like saying that)
     
  15. sanjuro

    sanjuro Tube Smuggler

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    I should point out how difficult it is to determine spoke tension by feel. If you read Gert Schraner's book about wheelbuilding, he mentions even he cannot tell correct spoke tension by feel (although I doubt he was overtightening spokes without the use of a tensionmeter).

    Run down to your LBS and ask to check your spokes (ask them for the correct tension as well).
     
  16. -dustin

    -dustin boring

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    adrenilerush has that sweetass DT tension meter for $200. i want that thing so bad.
     
  17. Matt D

    Matt D Monkey

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    I don't think it was mentioned, but overtensioning can also rip your hub flange apart. The chance of that happening is much greater when the spokes are laced radially, which is why Shimano will not warranty hubs that were laced that way.