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How often do you check for loose spokes?


TrentonMakes
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I noticed a slight wobble in my front wheel yesterday - I've done a little minor truing work on this wheel a couple times now.  (Oddly, I've had to do almost nothing to the rear wheel, and that's usually the one that gives me problems.)

Yesterday while I was riding I thought I observed that front wheel wobble was a little worse - made plans to fix it before the next ride.

Walking back across the bridge into PA I heard a rattly sound from the bike and when I got a chance to inspect it - the noise is from a spoke nipple that has detached from its spoke and fallen inside the rim. :blink: so I rode some portion of yesterday's ride on 35 spokes up front.  Clearly this is something that should have been headed off, but I don't feel like it's been too long since I went around and made sure they were all tensioned.

At this point I will probably ask the shop to retension the wheel.  

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...most new wheels are both undertensioned and unevenly tensioned.  It's a result of some of the limitations of the machines used now to do this work. Once those problems have been addressed properly, and the spoke elbows at the flange stress relieved, you ought to be able to go a couple of thousand miles, if not further, without worrying about spoke tensions again.  It can be difficult to find someone who will do this properly, and who will pull the tensions high enough, because it takes more time...........and time is money in the fixing business.

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...most new wheels are both undertensioned and unevenly tensioned.  It's a result of some of the limitations of the machines used now to do this work. Once those problems have been addressed properly, and the spoke elbows at the flange stress relieved, you ought to be able to go a couple of thousand miles, if not further, without worrying about spoke tensions again.  It can be difficult to find someone who will do this properly, and who will pull the tensions high enough, because it takes more time...........and time is money in the fixing business.

yeah, most wheels that come with bikes in the price range of his KHS are poorly built(by machine). 

He might have some luck having the fully de-tensioned & re-tensioned, but this might cause spokes to start breaking from fatigue. 

If you ride on loose spokes, and then have them properly tensioned, it's common to have them break. 

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He might have some luck having the fully de-tensioned & re-tensioned, but this might cause spokes to start breaking from fatigue. 

If you ride on loose spokes, and then have them properly tensioned, it's common to have them break. 

crap.

The bike's got about 900 miles on it.  Is that enough to cause the problem you speak of?

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crap.

The bike's got about 900 miles on it.  Is that enough to cause the problem you speak of?

Yes.  Had multiple problems with an old tri bike I used to have.  Right about 900 mile mark is when front wheel started the breaking o the spokes.  Had the shop re-lace it with new spokes (they provided free labor and I paid for new spokes) and it was problem free after that.

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Yes.  Had multiple problems with an old tri bike I used to have.  Right about 900 mile mark is when front wheel started the breaking o the spokes.  Had the shop re-lace it with new spokes (they provided free labor and I paid for new spokes) and it was problem free after that.

that's a pretty good shop, but it was probably covered by the manufacturers warranty. 

TM's shop should do the same thing most new bikes have a 1 year warranty on parts. Stuff like this should be covered, but they might try to weasel out of it. 

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that's a pretty good shop, but it was probably covered by the manufacturers warranty. 

TM's shop should do the same thing most new bikes have a 1 year warranty on parts. Stuff like this should be covered, but they might try to weasel out of it. 

They are a good shop, and I was a good customer.  It was well under a year, had several spokes replaced under warranty.  They said basically it is a crap wheel put on the bike to keep price down.  We could keep playing the warranty game but the definitive fix was to re lace.  To make it right, they offered free labor if I would pay for spokes.  Seemed like a fair trade but it sucks to have to do that on a bike that was less than a year old.  Shortly after that I crashed and jacked up my neck, selling that bike.  I didn't think I would ever be able to ride on aero bars again.

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TM's shop should do the same thing most new bikes have a 1 year warranty on parts. Stuff like this should be covered, but they might try to weasel out of it. 

The shop was very helpful in (eventually) getting warranty satisfaction from KHS with regard to the seat post...... I think selling the need to start from scratch is the hard part.  I'm pretty cautious on steep descents anyway, but if I have any questions about the integrity of my front wheel, the descents will be slower than the climbs.

If they'd do free labor and have me pay for spokes for a full re-lace, I'd probably take that deal.  I do have some experience paying a premium on a new bike to reinforce a wheel.

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It's easy enough to simply pluck your spokes for a quick check for gross errors by listening for the bad sounding spoke.

I build my own wheels, and being a bit of a tech geek, when I am finished I can also produce a polar chart of the tension on each spoke.  This serves as a baseline for the annual wheel check.  The polar chart not only shows the tensions but displays the grouping of tensions around the wheel and points to potential problems.  Like Page says I tension to the very high end of the rim manufacturers limits and even a bit higher.  That's one reason that I check more often than most.

 

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I build my own wheels, and being a bit of a tech geek, when I am finished I can also produce a polar chart of the tension on each spoke.  This serves as a baseline for the annual wheel check.  The polar chart not only shows the tensions but displays the grouping of tensions around the wheel and points to potential problems.  Like Page says I tension to the very high end of the rim manufacturers limits and even a bit higher.  That's one reason that I check more often than most.

 

Wow. 

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It's easy enough to simply pluck your spokes for a quick check for gross errors by listening for the bad sounding spoke.

I build my own wheels, and being a bit of a tech geek, when I am finished I can also produce a polar chart of the tension on each spoke.  This serves as a baseline for the annual wheel check.  The polar chart not only shows the tensions but displays the grouping of tensions around the wheel and points to potential problems.  Like Page says I tension to the very high end of the rim manufacturers limits and even a bit higher.  That's one reason that I check more often than most.

 

I built every wheel I ride on, and hundreds more that other people ride on. Once I've built them, they stay built. I pretty much ignore them and ride.

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I almost hate to say this but I have never had spoke issues in the years I raced motorcycles, toured and commuted on motorcycles and all of the bicycles I have owned over the years.  I may have just been lucky on the bikes I had before I started buying from my LBS.  The owner of my LBS is very good at building wheels and maintaining them.  He checks my wheels every time I have a bike in there.  I have checked mine a few times but never found an issue.  When I raced I had a friend that broke spokes every race.  He wanted to know my secret on how I managed to ride hard and never break a spoke.  All I could tell him was maybe he had bad wheels.

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Dropping off the wheel tonight.  I'll let you know what happens.

I suppose I probably should have taken the tire and tube off first.  oops.  Anybody got some tire levers I can borrow?

They did mine with the tire and tube on I think.  The nipples were already in there, they just had to thread them and tighten.  I could be wrong though.

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They did mine with the tire and tube on I think.  The nipples were already in there, they just had to thread them and tighten.  I could be wrong though.

Well, at the very least I'd like them to fish out the rogue nipple that's rattling around inside.  That will require tire and tube to come off - rim tape too, I guess.

I'm sorry that I didn't use the term "rogue nipple" the way most of you would prefer.

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