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Spoke maintenance without torque wrench

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I'd like  to make sure my fairly new YZ250 rims are Happy (2 rides in) and go over the spokes. Is a spoke torque wrench needed over the long haul or can you do a good job with just the manual spoke wrench ?

I have trued bicycle rims in the past but only when I had a side to side wobble.  On The YZ, I am more interested in protecting the rim and have zero experience dealing with a motorcycle rim trying to keep the tension even.  With the manual wrench is it juts a question of feel?  Tips appreciated. Tia.

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Tap it with the spoke wrench it should ting like a tuning fork . Not a dead sound . If it tings , it's tight enough . Test a few before you start . 

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Agree, No torque wrench needed !

You are smart to keep an eye on the spokes,  especially with Your new rims !

I always have tried to use the every 3 rd spoke method.

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Agree, No torque wrench needed !
You are smart to keep an eye on the spokes,  especially with Your new rims !
I always have tried to use the every 3 rd spoke method.

Best advice I ever received

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2 minutes ago, dirtscoot26 said:


Best advice I ever received

Agreed. Every bike I biuld with new wheels that is what I tell New owner. Keep an eye on the spokes, and check all bolts in first 5-10 hours. Every bolt has been removed, re-installed (or new) so check it over on pre-ride inspection. 👍🏼

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Unless you clean and grease your nipples every ride (on the wheels), a spoke torque wrench is totally useless.  With the dirt, grit, dissimilar metal corrosion, etc., on the threads, you are never going to get accurate spoke tension from measuring the torque turning the nipple.  As others above have said, a "ping" is the way to go.

I suppose a torque wrench might be useful when building a wheel, but once it sees some use, go with the ping to check tension.  

Edited by rpt50
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10 hours ago, 2 STOKE YZ DOC said:

No torque wrench needed to maintain spokes. Just keep them true, tight, and you will be golden. 

Thanks for the reassurance and tips, makes me think you could use a musical tuning device to get the tone of the  Ping all the same.  

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26 minutes ago, nicad said:

Thanks for the reassurance and tips, makes me think you could use a musical tuning device to get the tone of the  Ping all the same.  

No need to tune it like a piano!  If one sounds a little "flat", give it a bit of a turn, but you would drive yourself crazy trying to "tune".  You just want it "true".  What you are really listening for is a rattle (no ping).  

I've gotten into the habit of checking my spokes after every ride--it adds about 1 minute to my regular post-ride check when the bike is on the stand.

If you do have some spokes that are stuck (often the case when you buy a used bike), try some PB blaster first, and tap the nipple.  If that doesn't do it, then carefully heat the lubed nipple with a torch (carefully!).   If it's still stuck, replace the spoke when you change the tire.

I generally find that spokes come loose first near valve stems or rimlocks (probably because the hole weakens the rim).  But they can get loose anywhere.

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Torque wretch only works for so long they are great when new. I personally do every other spoke on one side method.  Snug them don't go crazy :thumbsup:

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