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Old 2016-06-29, 01:25 PM   #27
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Longmont, Colorado
Age: 51
Posts: 2,303

Originally Posted by kamikaze View Post
No, it's kind of the opposite. There is only little tone difference for huge tension differences.

Any way, after reading about twisted spokes I spent another 4 or so hours retensioning all spokes putting some lubricant on the threads. This time I made it 200 metres before the first noise and 600 metres before the annoying persistent noise returned. Which is about 10 times the distance I covered last time, before my work proved futile.

I wonder, do the spokes just unwind? Do I need to use loctite? Or did the wheel builder maybe not stress relieve the spokes?

I have talked to some people who built wheels and when I asked them about stress relieving they told me they've never done that.

How do I determine the wheel was built properly?
Don't use loctite on nipples! It is too strong for such fine threads, and if there's enough tension it shouldn't be needed anyway. I use boiled linseed oil to prep my spokes. It acts as a mild thread lock, and anti-seize after it cures. As a lube it benefits the initial build, but it persists after the oil has cured as well. I have never had a seized nipple on a spoke that was prepped with it.

I don't know why it's called "stress relieving," but I don't know any wheel builders who don't do it. It is really setting the spokes, and nipples so that everything is in its proper place at rest. Then when you bring it up to tension all of the force is exerted in a straight path between the rim and hub. If you don't do it there is wasted energy in having to straighten everything out. It is uneven, and as the spokes "set" themselves it will introduce slack into the system. The result at best is an out of true wheel, and at worst is a wheel that lets the nipples unwind.

I guess there is a difference between people who have built wheels, and a wheel builder.

As for determining a good wheel build, I don't know how you could tell. If it is a machine built wheel the lacing is fine, but it probably wasn't "stress relieved." I would detention the wheel, and treat it as a new build that is already laced. Take the slack out of the spokes so that the tension is still low, and use my nipple driver between each crossed pair to bend the spokes around each othe slightly. I also use a small plastic hammer to tap the outside heads establishing a little tighter bend in the elbows. This is simple, and fast, and removes many problems later on. There are more things you can do to relieve tension, but these two things probably make the biggest impact.

Then bring the tension up a bit so that it is still low, but the wheel feels solid for the most part, maybe 60-80kgf (I've never gauged it). This is when you dish and true the wheel. Finally bring it up to final tension. At this point you shouldn't need to do more than minor adjustments for trueness, and the dish should still be good.

As you turn the nipples you can get a feel for when you are winding the spoke. If you feel the spoke wind a quarter turn before the nipple starts tightening, then unwind that same quarter turn when you are done. This becomes intuitive. You can also use spoke pliers if you need to keep the spokes from winding up, but I only use them on very light spokes like Lasers.

That should get you a strong wheel.
"A properly ridden unicycle is like an object in orbit: constantly falling but never landing." -Diogenes

Last edited by jtrops; 2016-06-29 at 01:45 PM.
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