1. The most important thing about buying a new bike is to make sure it fits. The only way you'll know if the bike is right for you is to size up the bike and make sure that the bike's geometry matches your body's geometry. Ask questions and do some research.
mtn. biking 101
2. If possible, try to find a shop that will let you demo the bike on real dirt. Five minutes in a parking lot won't cut it. You wouldn't buy a car without a real world test drive, and a bike should be no different.
3. Don't belive the hype. Just because your favorite rider or best friend rides a certain bike, that doesn't mean that's the best one for you. Have an open mind and be realistic about your needs and ability.
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  1. #1
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    Punctured Tube While Truing Tire?

    My tires were all sorts of out of whack, so I bought a spoke wrench on the way home from work last week. I trued up my tires that night and thought they looked good, I was just concerned due to some of the spokes not being very tight. So last night I decided to go around the tire and tighten each one a 1/4 of the way and keep going until I hit a spot where one spoke was too tight.

    So I'm going round and round and some of those spokes don't feel like they're tightening up at all, so I'm wondering if I'm actually loosening them all up. So I take one spoke, "tighten" it 3 full rotations and then hear the air start coming out. I punctured my tube.

    Keep in mind that I have no idea how old the tires/rims/tubes are. It's a 13 year old bike and I would assume that anything could fail.

    At this point I have a few questions...

    1) If I flip the bike over to true the tires, how should I turn the nipples? I know it's "righty tighty, lefty loosey" when it's on a truing stand, but if I'm just flipping my bike over onto seat and handlebars do I need to adjust this rule?
    2) Is the rim in pretty bad shape if some spokes are very tight and others are loose? When I grab each set of two spokes, should they be loose or moving at all?
    3) Did the rim tape fail if the spoke punctured the tube? Should I replace it regardless?
    4) I read somewhere that I should file away any protruding portion of the spoke so it is flush with the rim. Is this correct? I have a feeling that the spokes my be stretched and will require quite a bit of tightening, which may mean a lot of spoke sticking up into the hub.
    5) Am I doing something that is glaringly wrong?

    Learning as I'm going...

  2. #2
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    Reputation: MrMook's Avatar
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    http://parktool.com/repair/readhowto.asp?id=81
    Read up.

    The nipples are righty-tighty only when you're turning them from inside the rim (take tire and tube off, and remove rim strip to reveal the nipple heads...turn this with a flat-head screw driver). So when you're turning the nipples with a spoke wrench, it's more like "lefty tighty".

    If your wheel is 13 years old, it's probably a good idea to replace the rim tape, since it's likely shifted around, bunched up, or dried out over time.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrMook
    http://parktool.com/repair/readhowto.asp?id=81
    Read up.

    The nipples are righty-tighty only when you're turning them from inside the rim (take tire and tube off, and remove rim strip to reveal the nipple heads...turn this with a flat-head screw driver). So when you're turning the nipples with a spoke wrench, it's more like "lefty tighty".

    If your wheel is 13 years old, it's probably a good idea to replace the rim tape, since it's likely shifted around, bunched up, or dried out over time.
    I researched for about two hours last week before attempting to true (and it was a success!), last night I just went for it and screwed up something pretty basic. I'm 99% sure that I was loosening rather than tightening, should have read up on it again before going after it.

    I'm replacing the tube, so I'll make sure to replace the rim tape while I'm in there.

    Thanks!

  4. #4
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    Another suggestion...

    When you notice a large variance in spoke tension, as you did, go around the wheel and tighten only the loose spokes, and loosen any overly light spokes.

    This almost certainly won't get the wheel true (in most instances it will make it worse), but you'll be starting with consistant spoke tension all the way around.

    Once all of your spokes pass the "pluck test," and more or less match each other in tension, go back true the wheel, then build tension evenly around the wheel.

    Congrats on having the gumption to tackle this. My first truing job was so awful I took it to the shop, and I didn't touch a spoke wrench for years after that!
    speedub.nate
    MTBR Hiatus UFN

  5. #5
    g3h6o3
    Reputation: PissedOffCil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shmup-o
    My tires were all sorts of out of whack, so I bought a spoke wrench on the way home from work last week. I trued up my tires that night and thought they looked good, I was just concerned due to some of the spokes not being very tight. So last night I decided to go around the tire and tighten each one a 1/4 of the way and keep going until I hit a spot where one spoke was too tight.

    So I'm going round and round and some of those spokes don't feel like they're tightening up at all, so I'm wondering if I'm actually loosening them all up. So I take one spoke, "tighten" it 3 full rotations and then hear the air start coming out. I punctured my tube.

    Keep in mind that I have no idea how old the tires/rims/tubes are. It's a 13 year old bike and I would assume that anything could fail.

    At this point I have a few questions...

    1) If I flip the bike over to true the tires, how should I turn the nipples? I know it's "righty tighty, lefty loosey" when it's on a truing stand, but if I'm just flipping my bike over onto seat and handlebars do I need to adjust this rule?
    2) Is the rim in pretty bad shape if some spokes are very tight and others are loose? When I grab each set of two spokes, should they be loose or moving at all?
    3) Did the rim tape fail if the spoke punctured the tube? Should I replace it regardless?
    4) I read somewhere that I should file away any protruding portion of the spoke so it is flush with the rim. Is this correct? I have a feeling that the spokes my be stretched and will require quite a bit of tightening, which may mean a lot of spoke sticking up into the hub.
    5) Am I doing something that is glaringly wrong?

    Learning as I'm going...
    Ok now wait just a minute. Tires don't get trued, wheels do. You want the rim to be true and the tire should follow, given it's correctly seated in the rim.

    Ok now for the side of tightening, Mook is right. When looking from the hub to the rim, you must turn counter-clockwise to tighten. If you're using a nipple driver, of course its the opposite.

    Secondly, given your rim is still round, all the spokes on one side should have pretty much the same tension. The tension difference is from one side to the other. On a front wheel without disc, it should be the same both sides. On a front wheel with disc, it should be tighter on the disc side. On a rear wheel it should be tighter on the drive (cassette) side. So basically you build the higher tension side to reccomended tension and the other side ends up being pretty much what it is. Remember all spokes on one side should have pretty much the same tension though. Failure to do so will cause your wheel to become untrue pretty fast.

    Thirdly, I suspect your spokes are either too tight or too long because they shouldn't come out of the rim and be able to come through your rim tape. The tape is mostly there to cover the sharp parts of the rim (the hole which allows you to access the nipple using a driver). So if your spokes come out of your tape, something's wrong.

    Finally, I suppose you are doing something terribly wrong and that is not knowing what on Earth you're doing. I suggest buying Roger Munson's book on wheel building. You've got more info in there than what is required to true a wheel but given the price you'll learn how to build wheels, giving you more than the required knowledge to true them to perfection and, who knows, maybe even change that rim if you screwed it up already...
    Check out my SportTracks plugins for some training aid software.

  6. #6
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    I regret using "tire" instead of "wheel", hadn't had my coffee yet, my mistake.

    I don't doubt that I could have screwed up my rim, but the wheel was in better shape this week than it was last week. The original state of the wheel was out of true AND non-consistant tension, so at least I was able to correct one of those problems.

    I'll give Speedub.Nate's suggestion a try seeing as how I've loosened all the spokes to hell anyway. I can try to keep the wheel true while trying to get the tension consistent.

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