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Offline Narcoleptic Insomniac

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Wheel building question
« on: October 04, 2016, 01:07:42 PM »
If a wheel  is strongest when all the spokes have the same tension, how do you know what's the optimal tension and does it vary depending on wheel size or spoke gauge? I'm thinking about getting one of those Park Tool spoke tension measuring tools but I don't know if it'd even work with 20" wheels.

Offline Sasha

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Re: Wheel building question
« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2016, 02:24:46 AM »
They don't fit on 20" wheels. Park Tool has a chart for optimum spoke deflection on their website, it varies depending on spoke length, thickness, shape and material. I rarely bother checking, especially for BMX. Just do em up tight enough.

Offline LeonLikesToRock

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Re: Wheel building question
« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2016, 03:22:57 AM »
I wouldn't bother on a 20". If it is straight, doesn't go up and down and the tension feels alright it probably is.
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Offline Trail-Boss

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Re: Wheel building question
« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2016, 05:56:39 PM »
Best way to check tension on a small wheel is to listen to the tone that the spoke makes when you pluck it like a guitar string.
Not the most scientific, but after a while you will notice where the lower tensioned spokes are located because their tone is lower.

As fedtom said the park tool will not fit on a 3x 20 inch, and I have not seen a tensionmeter todate that would fit, although someone may have modified one?

Offline Banana Pancake

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Re: Wheel building question
« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2016, 07:25:19 AM »
The DT Swiss tensio fits on a 20", but that fucker is like $700. As said above, don't worry about it too much. If the wheel is true and the spokes feel decently tight, you should be good to go. BMX wheels are strong.

Offline jonathan

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Re: Wheel building question
« Reply #5 on: November 02, 2016, 09:16:21 PM »
The Park spoke tension meter is not all that accurate anyway. I prefer the Wheelsmith one. I don't think any of them fit on 20" wheels thought.

I asked this question years ago when I learned to build wheels. i was building some 26" mtb wheels and road wheels and wanted to apply my knowledge to a BMX wheel. redface (Tom from Empire, I am pretty sure) said "tighten spokes until your fingers bleed." I imagine he's built a few wheels in his day.

the key is to tighten them evenly, slowly bringing them to tension. Spokeprep on the threads and a little Triflow on the head of the nipples are useful too.

Bikeguide.org - Bike maintenance for BMX'ers

Re: Wheel building question
« Reply #5 on: November 02, 2016, 09:16:21 PM »

 

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