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  1. #1
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    Why do my wheels always veer to the left?

    Brand new wheel from BWW, i installed it and it was more or less perfect, two days later (no ride time on it, i haven't even sat on the bike yet as i am still building the bike) and it ends up like this??!

    <a href="http://s241.photobucket.com/albums/ff133/combine97/?action=view&current=IMG_3725-1.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i241.photobucket.com/albums/ff133/combine97/IMG_3725-1.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

    i have verified that it's not just the tire, it's the rim... i also had this problem on my rockhopper and this one is a 20mm T/A!

    wheels don't just go out of dish... BUT THEY ARE!!!

    what the hell is going on? i had noticed that every so often i would hear a small "ting" from the spokes (not any more)
    rim is true but it looks out of dish
    Last edited by AlexJK; 10-05-2009 at 03:28 PM.

  2. #2
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    hows it spin?
    Quote Originally Posted by Juggler2
    There is only one Bike Forum standard... quality is directly proportional to money spent.

  3. #3
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    very well, nice and smooth.

    rim runs true too

  4. #4
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    have you checked the wheel with a dish stick/dish 'gauge'?

  5. #5
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    not yet, i don't have one. is there a way to do it without? i think there is but i can't remember how.

  6. #6
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    you would need to manufacture a tool that worked in the same way. Take it to a lbs, they will have one.

  7. #7
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    darn... ANOTHER trip to the LBS

    on top of that i need to rebuild my fork... ahh well sh*t happens i guess.

    why would this happen though? i mean it just happened by itself

  8. #8
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    Take the wheel off the fork and reinstall it backwards. If the small gap is now on the other side, the wheel is out of dish. Otherwise it's a fork issue.

  9. #9
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    ok, so i did that and i guess it's out of dish cause the gap is on the other side!

    weird weird weird... thanks for the tip!

  10. #10
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    When the wheel was built, all the spokes were twisted up. The "TING" you were hearing was the spokes loosing that twist. When they go to a relaxed state - no twist from tip to tip - they "TING". The rim needs to be re-dished and might need re-trued/re-tensioned after your first couple of rides.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by frdfandc
    might need re-trued/re-tensioned after your first couple of rides.

    That is bogus. If you need to re-true the wheels after the first ride, then you need to find a real wheel builder. They should be stress relieved after truing, and then re trued, then stress relieved, etc. etc. until they hold. If your builder is sending you out the door without ensuring the wheels will hold true, then he is doing it half assed. There is no difference between stress relieving the wheel in the shop, or on the ground, the same forces are at play.

    I would be severely pissed if I had a wheel trued, only to see it out of true after a few rides.

    I have a cheap set of wheels (RM18) which were worthless when I bought them, and after truing them properly, they have many miles of tandem riding, and some serious rock garden romps, and I gave them a glance today, and they are the same as the day I trued them. The same is true of all my rims. They stay round and true, without any touch ups. The only time you should ever have to re true, is in the event of actual impact damage.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by VintageFolly
    That is bogus. If you need to re-true the wheels after the first ride, then you need to find a real wheel builder. They should be stress relieved after truing, and then re trued, then stress relieved, etc. etc. until they hold. If your builder is sending you out the door without ensuring the wheels will hold true, then he is doing it half assed. There is no difference between stress relieving the wheel in the shop, or on the ground, the same forces are at play.

    I would be severely pissed if I had a wheel trued, only to see it out of true after a few rides.

    I have a cheap set of wheels (RM18) which were worthless when I bought them, and after truing them properly, they have many miles of tandem riding, and some serious rock garden romps, and I gave them a glance today, and they are the same as the day I trued them. The same is true of all my rims. They stay round and true, without any touch ups. The only time you should ever have to re true, is in the event of actual impact damage.
    So, you bought wheels and re-trued them after you hadn't ever ridden them, and ON A TANDEM they are still true? I call either bull OR you are only road-riding. Also, your tandem wheels likely have exceptionally thick spokes very much reducing the amount of "twist" they exhibit. Any wheelbuild worth beans will need re-truing after a short while ... even if it's only a slight tweak.

    Edit: ORRR you are just lucky; a wheel remaining true for the extent of it's life is quite unlikely.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by ettore
    Any wheelbuild worth beans will need re-truing after a short while ... even if it's only a slight tweak.
    How does a crappy job of stress relieving make a wheel 'worth beans'?
    You're wrong on this, and I won't be the last experienced builder to tell you that.
    Last edited by meltingfeather; 10-05-2009 at 09:00 AM.

  14. #14
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    Sounds like you got a very poor build, from missing the dish by a mile to inadequate stress relief (pinging), call BWW and get it sorted out.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by meltingfeather
    ...I won't be the first experienced builder to tell you that.
    Properly built wheels from the get-go don't need re-truing.
    Honestly... ahh I give up

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by ettore
    So, you bought wheels and re-trued them after you hadn't ever ridden them, and ON A TANDEM they are still true? I call either bull OR you are only road-riding. Also, your tandem wheels likely have exceptionally thick spokes very much reducing the amount of "twist" they exhibit. Any wheelbuild worth beans will need re-truing after a short while ... even if it's only a slight tweak.

    Edit: ORRR you are just lucky; a wheel remaining true for the extent of it's life is quite unlikely.
    No, I bought a Tandem, and Yes, I made the "unlikely" assumption that a soft machine built wheel which came on it, should need some attention, so I backed the nipples off, treated the threads, and rebuilt the wheel. I also took the brand new hubs apart and cleaned and packed the bearings and re-assembled, something I do on every wheel I buy, unless it has cartridge bearings. You never know.

    Different strokes, I suppose.

    I didn't mean to say I did hardcore riding on the tandem with the wheelset, just that I had used the wheelset for hardcore riding on other bikes. It doesn't get hucked, maybe 2 feet at most, but it gets beat on constantly on Colorado front range rides. I've been looking, and i haven't found a smooth trail here yet.

    The bottom line, is that I check them before and after each ride, and I have not put a spoke wrench on them since I built them. I'm sure I will have to at some point, but that is going to be the result of impact induced damage, not faulty build. Nothing particularly special about the wheels, 36 spoke, 3 cross with 2.0 spokes, put together poorly the first time, and as close as I could get to perfect the second time.

    A proper build should include stress relieving the spokes, and re checking, etc, etc, till it holds it's true. If that is done, exactly what forces are you experiencing which requires it to be re-trued in a short while?
    Last edited by VintageFolly; 10-05-2009 at 10:44 AM.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by highdelll
    Properly built wheels from the get-go don't need re-truing.
    If you don't ride them...

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by fixbikeguy
    If you don't ride them...
    I ride mine
    Honestly... ahh I give up

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by meltingfeather
    Sounds like you got a very poor build, from missing the dish by a mile to inadequate stress relief (pinging), call BWW and get it sorted out.
    uuh! how is their customer service with stuff like this? i don't/can't really wait for too much longer

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexJK
    uuh! how is their customer service with stuff like this? i don't/can't really wait for too much longer
    Please contact us at your earliest convenience.

    info@bicyclewheelwarehouse.com
    800-979-0028
    714-754-1716

    Thanks

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by CFoster
    Please contact us at your earliest convenience.

    info@bicyclewheelwarehouse.com
    800-979-0028
    714-754-1716

    Thanks

    holy **** thats good customer service!! i'll call right now! which number?

  22. #22
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    +1 for BWW customer service!! taking care of me the right way!
    THANKS!

  23. #23
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    Seriously just to reply to the fact that the OP heard pinging from his new wheels is just wrong properly built and de-tensioned wheels DON'T ping/pop and don't need to be re-tensioned after some intial use. Really would have expected more from BWW FYI, never heard a pop nor ping from my wheels that were hand built by Larry Mettler of Mtn. High Cyclery AND neither has the guy who I built a wheel for heard any such pops or pings and his wheel is still true and I don't have a whole lot of experience building wheels.
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  24. #24
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    I must have missed the part that the wheels were built by BWW. I've heard nothing but good things about their wheels. I assumed he was talking about an OTS wheel set - machine built - that the majority of bikes come off the floor with. My mistake.

    So I'll modify my statement somewhat.

    A good handbuilt wheelset should not have any problems. Maybe a small amount of re-truing, but nothing like I mentioned above.

    My custom wheel set on my road bike needed nothing - as I built them, and my Easton XC Ones did not require any truing either, until I had the rear of the bike wash out on a steep dip.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by meltingfeather
    How does a crappy job of stress relieving make a wheel 'worth beans'?
    You're wrong on this, and I won't be the last experienced builder to tell you that.
    Experienced? I wouldn't doubt you are ... probably to the same level I am an "experienced" shingler because I have done it for 10-15 friends. Skilled, that you are likely not ... especially since you can't grasp the fact that a wheel staying true is due to a lot of factors, mainly that you randomly chose x number of identical spokes that happened to luckily be very close to each other in physical properties (which, by the way, is a lot more likely with thick cheap spokes that are needlessly strong).

    I have had machine built wheels stay true through an unrealistic amount of beatings (stock Enduro wheels, XT rear, shimano stout front, whatever thick spokes, and x117 rims) ... I assume the machine making them didn't have much "finesse" or "skill" ... but true they stayed after exposing them to WAY worse conditions than they were designed for. My stock Superlight wheels stayed perfectly true as well, again .. machine built ... with a lot of VERY uneven tensions as well to boot ... pinging and popping for hours of riding. However, on the other end, I have had many wheels go out of true (both built by me, a machine, and a "professional") ... stress relief doesn't exactly come into play unless you're going to throw each spoke into a tensile strength testing machine and pre-stress them ALL to JUST near the point of passing their elastic point ... then grouping probably 3-400 spokes together to find 32 (or 28 or 36 or whatever) that are absolutely identical ... THEN, maybe you could reasonably guarantee a wheel will stay true. In my "materials" class, they ripped apart a bunch of spokes for a 1st year project (DT Revolutions IIRC) and the variance between the spokes was quite large, sometimes 35% (in both elongation and the point where they stopped elastically stretching).

    If you somehow magically had wheels that stayed true, that's great. But don't pat yourself on the back for being the best wheelmaker on earth, because everyone ELSE who actually rides their bike knows that it's still a crapshoot with "hand built" wheels ... it's just LESS of a crapshoot.

    Edit: Pops and pings are not normal, this I will agree on. Also, incorrect dish is unacceptable ... maybe the wheel they built BEFORE yours needed to be "non-standard" dish and they just forgot to put the stand back to the "normal" setting.
    Last edited by ettore; 10-05-2009 at 08:52 PM.

  26. #26
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    I must not ride either since my Larry M. built wheels didn't need a touch up after the first couple rides. 6 years later the front has never been touched and the rear had to have a partial rebuild only because I busted some spokes. Yesterday's ride must have been an e-ride.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by ettore
    Experienced? I wouldn't doubt you are ... probably to the same level I am an "experienced" shingler because I have done it for 10-15 friends. Skilled, that you are likely not ... especially since you can't grasp the fact that a wheel staying true is due to a lot of factors, mainly that you randomly chose x number of identical spokes that happened to luckily be very close to each other in physical properties (which, by the way, is a lot more likely with thick cheap spokes that are needlessly strong).

    I have had machine built wheels stay true through an unrealistic amount of beatings (stock Enduro wheels, XT rear, shimano stout front, whatever thick spokes, and x117 rims) ... I assume the machine making them didn't have much "finesse" or "skill" ... but true they stayed after exposing them to WAY worse conditions than they were designed for. My stock Superlight wheels stayed perfectly true as well, again .. machine built ... with a lot of VERY uneven tensions as well to boot ... pinging and popping for hours of riding. However, on the other end, I have had many wheels go out of true (both built by me, a machine, and a "professional") ... stress relief doesn't exactly come into play unless you're going to throw each spoke into a tensile strength testing machine and pre-stress them ALL to JUST near the point of passing their elastic point ... then grouping probably 3-400 spokes together to find 32 (or 28 or 36 or whatever) that are absolutely identical ... THEN, maybe you could reasonably guarantee a wheel will stay true. In my "materials" class, they ripped apart a bunch of spokes for a 1st year project (DT Revolutions IIRC) and the variance between the spokes was quite large, sometimes 35% (in both elongation and the point where they stopped elastically stretching).

    If you somehow magically had wheels that stayed true, that's great. But don't pat yourself on the back for being the best wheelmaker on earth, because everyone ELSE who actually rides their bike knows that it's still a crapshoot with "hand built" wheels ... it's just LESS of a crapshoot.

    Edit: Pops and pings are not normal, this I will agree on. Also, incorrect dish is unacceptable ... maybe the wheel they built BEFORE yours needed to be "non-standard" dish and they just forgot to put the stand back to the "normal" setting.
    You apparently do not understand the point of stress relieving the wheels. It has absolutely nothing to do with changing the properties of individual spokes, but rather, the wheel assembly as a whole. The idea is to take the changes which are going to happen, (spoke head seating, seating the nipples, forcing the bend in the spoke, taking the twist out of the spokes, etc.) and ensuring that those changes take place before the wheel leaves the stand. Once that is done, you re-true the wheel, and then re-stress it, and you keep doing it until, after the last re-stress, no additional trueing is needed. If that is done, then on a typical ride, or many years of riding, the wheel will not require any maintenance. Obviously, if the wheel sees an impact which physically changes things, (bent rim, elongated spokes, deformed nipple holes, etc.) then the wheel will have to be re-trued. The point being made, is that short of a physical change in one of the components, then there should be no cause to re-true the wheel. Your materials class in not an indication of what happens to a spoke on a wheel, because the rim will fail long before the the yield strength of a spoke is met, and in fact, short of a high G impact, you will not change the physical properties of a spoke, and will most likely pull the spoke thru the rim rather than surpassing the yield strength of the spoke. I'm assuming, that if you have taken a materials class, that you know the yield strength is the point at which the material cannot return to it's original shape. Soooo, don't pass yield, don't ever have to re-true. If you surpass the yield strength of a component in your wheelset, then all bets are off, and it cannot really be considered the wheel builders fault, but rather the wheels may not be up to the intended usage. If you do not go beyond the yield strength, then in theory, the wheels should never need to be re-trued. Obviously, there are some small changes that takes place over many miles, mostly to the hub and rim, because they are softer than the spoke and can wear as the spokes and nipples brinnel into the surface, but those changes take many millions of cycles to occur. If you have ever disassembled a wheel, you have seen the grooves worn into the hub flanges.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by VintageFolly
    You apparently do not understand the point of stress relieving the wheels. It has absolutely nothing to do with changing the properties of individual spokes, but rather, the wheel assembly as a whole. The idea is to take the changes which are going to happen, (spoke head seating, seating the nipples, forcing the bend in the spoke, taking the twist out of the spokes, etc.) and ensuring that those changes take place before the wheel leaves the stand.
    You know when you build a wheel, when you put it on the ground and pres o the rim a bunch of times and re-true ... do you know what ELSE you are doing ? You are stretching the spokes, which makes them less elastic. You do this to try and equalize all the spokes to a static state of tension ... where each "impact" effects all spokes equally. However, due to the fact that not all spokes are the same, AND they they are now going to be in a constant state of tension where, previously, they were in a constant state of sitting in a box on a shelf, they will stretch ... and all of them different amounts. If you have really bad luck where the left ones want to stretch and the right ones don't ... you get a nice constant dish. However, more normally, you get a few spokes together on one side that are "weaker" spokes ... that spot skews slightly to the opposite side, you need to retrue. It's a simple fact, it's nearly impossible to get a bunch of spokes ALL to cooperate ... ESPECIALLY without beating the hell out of the wheel (which, as anyone knows, simply can't effectively be done without attaching it to a bike and using it).

    Then, on top of that, there's the nipples embedding into the rim and the spoke elbows embedding into the hub .... both of which ALSO happen at an inconsistent rate and can't be simulated by a wheelbuilder cost effectively.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by ettore
    You know when you build a wheel, when you put it on the ground and pres o the rim a bunch of times and re-true ... do you know what ELSE you are doing ? You are stretching the spokes, which makes them less elastic. You do this to try and equalize all the spokes to a static state of tension ... where each "impact" effects all spokes equally. However, due to the fact that not all spokes are the same, AND they they are now going to be in a constant state of tension where, previously, they were in a constant state of sitting in a box on a shelf, they will stretch ... and all of them different amounts. If you have really bad luck where the left ones want to stretch and the right ones don't ... you get a nice constant dish. However, more normally, you get a few spokes together on one side that are "weaker" spokes ... that spot skews slightly to the opposite side, you need to retrue. It's a simple fact, it's nearly impossible to get a bunch of spokes ALL to cooperate ... ESPECIALLY without beating the hell out of the wheel (which, as anyone knows, simply can't effectively be done without attaching it to a bike and using it).

    Then, on top of that, there's the nipples embedding into the rim and the spoke elbows embedding into the hub .... both of which ALSO happen at an inconsistent rate and can't be simulated by a wheelbuilder cost effectively.
    Are you sure you want to stick with that story? If you alter the spoke physically, then you have ruined the spoke. If you stretched it to the point where it did not rebound like a rubber band, then you have passed the yield strength of the spoke, AND IT IS NOT LONG FOR THE WORLD. Why don't you run that by your materials professor.

    Also, just for grins, here is a new experiment for you. rig up a device for testing spoke stretch, and set it so that on one side you are pulling a nipple thru a rim hole. Rig it in such a manner that the anchor points are half way between the adjacent spoke holes. If that spoke outlives the rim, I'll kiss a fat boys ass. Let me know if the spoke yields before the rim. I already know the answer tho, or I wouldn't have made the wager.

    You seem to be pretty intelligent, and educated. You are just working off of some misconceptions. The first one being that you take the spokes beyond the point of yield when building and stress relieving, or god forbid, riding around on the wheel. If that was the case, then stress relieving would be the worst thing you could do, since you are by definition making them weaker. That is not the case.


    Sorry, but except for impact, the length and tension of does not permanently change in a spoke. You either take a material beyond it's yield, or you do not. If you do, you have ruined the item. I know of not one example in engineering, except for failure testing, where you take a material beyond it's yield.

    By your explanation of what happens to steel under tension (permanently deforming) there would be no Golden Gate bridge, or any other case of a structure built with elements under tension, as they would obviously start to sag over time. That isn't how it works.

    Sorry, but you are mistaken in your assertion of whether a spoke should routinely need to be re-trued, what happens during stress relieving, and some of the basic fundamentals of properties of materials. You keep pointing out a permanent change to the spokes properties occuring during stress relieving (Stretching, less elastic) and those are the very definition of taking a material beyond it's yield, which you absolutely do not do. The very idea is wrong, and contrary to all common sense. Anyone who knows anything about materials, knows that. You are saying that you do it as part of the process. Maybe that is why wheels which you build need to be constantly re-trued.

    So, In summary, in a properly trued wheel the spokes are placed under tension, and unless you take them beyond yield, they stay that way. They do not change length after one ride , or one thousand, as you seem to think, and the tension does not change over time. You are right about the nipples embedding into the rim, and the spoke elbows embedding in the flanges, and it appears that you copied that directly from my post just above. It has already been accounted for, and it takes many many miles of riding for that to occur. That is one of the reasons for stress relieving, to embed them from the start.

    I'm thru with this discussion, as there is no point in continuing it.
    Last edited by VintageFolly; 10-06-2009 at 10:11 AM.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by VintageFolly
    Are you sure you want to stick with that story? If you alter the spoke physically, then you have ruined the spoke. If you stretched it to the point where it did not rebound like a rubber band, then you have passed the yield strength of the spoke, AND IT IS NOT LONG FOR THE WORLD. Why don't you run that by your materials professor. ... blah blah blah
    Spokes stretch, molecules align, these are easy pieces of information to gather if you have half a brain. Nobody said anything about going past the point where it doesn't return elastically (actually, I think I mentioned this fact a few points back, but thank you for reading my post). If you stretch it to BEFORE it returns elastically, it stress relieves the spoke. This happens after MANY MANY cycles (or, coincidentally, in one fell swoop if you can use a strain gauge and have yourself a pile of spokes to compare), the kind you can't do as a wheelbuilder and the kind that will cause a wheel to become untrue (if that's even a proper word in this situation). I have to assume you didn't read my post, which is fine ... not everyone can read.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by ettore
    Spokes stretch, molecules align, these are easy pieces of information to gather if you have half a brain. Nobody said anything about going past the point where it doesn't return elastically (actually, I think I mentioned this fact a few points back, but thank you for reading my post). If you stretch it to BEFORE it returns elastically, it stress relieves the spoke. This happens after MANY MANY cycles (or, coincidentally, in one fell swoop if you can use a strain gauge and have yourself a pile of spokes to compare), the kind you can't do as a wheelbuilder and the kind that will cause a wheel to become untrue (if that's even a proper word in this situation). I have to assume you didn't read my post, which is fine ... not everyone can read.

    I read quite well. you are the one who stated that the purpose of stress relieving was to make the spokes stretch and become less elastic. I

    Quote Originally Posted by ettore
    You know when you build a wheel, when you put it on the ground and pres o the rim a bunch of times and re-true ... do you know what ELSE you are doing ? You are stretching the spokes, which makes them less elastic. You do this to try and equalize all the spokes to a static state of tension
    Are you seriously saying that spokes are better if they are less elastic? I have no idea at this point what you are talking about.
    I guess we'll have to get an english professor, as well as a materials professor in here to help you pull your head out of your a$$

    As to the rest of that rant, I have not one idea what you were trying to say, so I may need to get an interpreter in here as well..

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