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Wheel Maintenance Tools? Balance/True Stand & Spoke Torque Wrench?

DJ_MI

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I'm looking at getting a balancing and truing stand along with a torque wrench for the spokes. Anyone have any recommendations or insight? Thanks!

These are the items at the top of my list so far:


 

Yinzer Moto

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I'm looking at getting a balancing and truing stand along with a torque wrench for the spokes. Anyone have any recommendations or insight? Thanks!

These are the items at the top of my list so far:



At some point, I was thinking about the torque wrench set that you posted. After doing a bit more reading, it is really only useful when building wheels with new components. All the spokes/nipples need to be clean and lubed to get consistent torque readings.
 

Alan F.

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I have the harbor freight balancing/truing stand and one of these spoke wrench sets from eBay.
Screenshot_2022-05-16-20-35-40.png


There's really no need for a torque wrench in my opinion, just tap the spokes and listen for consistent pitch to spot the loose or overtight ones.
 

Shinyribs

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Torque wrench will get you in trouble fast. If truing a wheel was as easy as throwing them all to the exact same tension it would be super easy. The whole act of trying a wheel is putting more or less tension in different areas in order to pull things in to position.

All the spokes don't have to ring the same, you just don't want any loose spokes that don't ring at all.

There are many, many different spoke lengths, spoke diameters, spoke materials, thread diameter/pitch, etc, etc...who decides what torque spec to use? Because you never find that in a service manual.

Personally, I think spoke torque wrenches are a huge gimmick and it annoys me to see people paying hard earned money for these things. I'm sure there's a YouTube personality somewhere that sings their praises. They probably have "better feedback" or " confidence inspiring" something or other after using one. I've been lacing up wheels for a long time and I don't buy it.
 

Shinyribs

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thanks for the feedback.

It looks like the HF stand is discontinued.

I wound up ordering the two tools I posted above.

I tapped my spokes and they have very inconsistent sounds. Even though they won’t be clean and lubed at least I can get some kind of feedback on consistency vs sound. My front tire is badly scalloped so I ordered a new one and will have it all apart.
No offense intended, but if it's your first time fiddling with spikes just be aware that nipples have a hollow "skirt" at the bottom that don't contain any thread. You can't really tell, but wrenching on that at that point can collapse that hollow skirt. Keep your wrench slid up against the head of the nipple and you'll be good 👍
 

Yinzer Moto

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Torque wrench will get you in trouble fast. If truing a wheel was as easy as throwing them all to the exact same tension it would be super easy. The whole act of trying a wheel is putting more or less tension in different areas in order to pull things in to position.

All the spokes don't have to ring the same, you just don't want any loose spokes that don't ring at all.

There are many, many different spoke lengths, spoke diameters, spoke materials, thread diameter/pitch, etc, etc...who decides what torque spec to use? Because you never find that in a service manual.

Personally, I think spoke torque wrenches are a huge gimmick and it annoys me to see people paying hard earned money for these things. I'm sure there's a YouTube personality somewhere that sings their praises. They probably have "better feedback" or " confidence inspiring" something or other after using one. I've been lacing up wheels for a long time and I don't buy it.

I have built 1000’s of bicycle wheels. On bicycle wheels, we use a tension gauge that flexes the spokes to make sure they are all tensioned within spec. This is just an early step in the building process. Once the spokes are tensioned to a similar amount, I move on to truing and rounding the wheel. Even tension no longer applies because a straight wheel is more important than even tension.
 

High Country Herb

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Torque wrench will get you in trouble fast. If truing a wheel was as easy as throwing them all to the exact same tension it would be super easy. The whole act of trying a wheel is putting more or less tension in different areas in order to pull things in to position.
That has always been my take as well. Sure, you don't want any loose spokes, but some will be tighter than others to get the wheel straight.
 

Alan F.

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My understanding is that loose spokes will place greater strain on the tightest spokes. This is the reason to make sure each spoke rings a range of pitch when struck. I've relaced wheels that arrived with broken spokes, some of the others were tight and some loose. This should be a regular maintenance check. You can place small zip ties on individual spokes to mark them to recheck later.
 

Yinzer Moto

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My understanding is that loose spokes will place greater strain on the tightest spokes. This is the reason to make sure each spoke rings a range of pitch when struck. I've relaced wheels that arrived with broken spokes, some of the others were tight and some loose. This should be a regular maintenance check. You can place small zip ties on individual spokes to mark them to recheck later.

Yes, as one spoke is tightened, the adjacent spokes coming from the same side of the hub will loose tension. The spokes on the opposite side will gain tension. It is important to check your work frequently and only turn the nipples 1/8 or 1/4 turn at a time.
 

Shinyribs

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Certainly no offense taken. I'll take all the info people are willing to give me.

Can you clarify head from bottom on a spoke? Is the bottom the side closest to the hub? So keep the wrench as close to the rim as possible?

Thanks.

Certainly no offense taken. I'll take all the info people are willing to give me.

Can you clarify head from bottom on a spoke? Is the bottom the side closest to the hub? So keep the wrench as close to the rim as possible?

Thanks.
Yessir, stay up against the rim side of the nipple. I tried to post a picture that would help explain but I'm in the boonies at the moment.
 

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