How do I adjust bike spoke tension?

Spoke tension is adjusted by tightening or loosening a threaded nut, called the nipple, at the end of the spoke. Spoke threads typically use right-hand threads. Although a common phrase among mechanics is to “tighten the spokes”, it is the nipple that is turned, not the spokes.

How tight should bike spokes be?

The spokes should feel tight and firm. They should have just a little give when you squeeze them fairly hard. … Squeeze a few spokes on other bikes to get an idea of how they should feel. It is rare for spokes to be too tight, but it is very common for them to be too loose.

How do you know if your bike spokes are loose?

If your spokes are so loose they rattle, they’re providing virtually no strength to the wheel structure. It’s no better than if that spoke were missing or broken. It’s a big indicator that your bike wheels need truing. Get thee to thy local bike shop!

Do I need to tighten my spokes?

Spoke tension is important to ensure your wheels are strong, reliable and long lasting. Spokes that are too loose will continue to loosen and require constant wheel truing. Spokes that are too tight will cause damage to the rim, spoke nipples and hub flanges.

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Why do spokes break on bikes?

Bike spokes break most commonly due to wear and tear. A high-frequent cause for spoke breaks is that the rider has hit a curb or pothole, doesn’t maintain the bike well, or the passenger is too heavy for that model. Rougher terrain will also deteriorate the rims faster, which in turn deteriorates the spokes faster.

Which way do you turn spokes to tighten them?

Note that the spokes have nut-like devices at the rim called nipples. When viewed from above, nipples are turned clockwise with the spoke wrench to tighten spoke tension and counterclockwise to loosen it. To ensure that you turn the nipple the correct way, always rotate the wheel to bring the nipple to the top first.

Can you tighten spokes with pliers?

I carry a small locking pliers. A very helpful tool anyway. Good for spoke nipples, just takes a bit of care not to crush them while tightening.

What causes loose spokes?

Since the spokes of a properly built wheel are under a high level of tension, there is no “play” in the threads. … For the spokes to loosen, the load would have to deform the rim enough to relieve the spoke of all tension so that the nipple can turn.

What is a good spoke tension?

The recommended tension for spokes in bicycle wheels can be as low as 80 Kilograms force (Kfg) and as high as 230 Kilograms force. As a rule of thumb, it is best to set tension as high as the weakest link in the system will allow, which for a bicycle wheel is usually the rim.

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How often are bike wheels true?

They should all have a nice high note. You should have them trued and tensioned about once a year if you ride often. To be honest I don’t check every ride, especially since I got disc brakes. I’ve never tacoed a rim either.

Can you ride with a loose spoke?

Never ride with a loose spoke. The friction created will cause the rider to burst into flames and may even cause the Earth to slip off it’s axis.

When should you tighten spokes?

If there’s a big bump, or the wobble extends along the rim for several spokes’ distance, you may need to tighten more of the spokes that go to the other side of the rim.

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