Spoke tightening/spoke maintenance

Hello All,

Can anyone give me some pointers on proper spoke tightening techniques and do's and don'ts?

If everyone remembers, I was the one that went to Rockatillo and bent/flattened my rims pretty good. I have decided not to try to straighten them, for fear of cracking the rims, but the spokes are really loose and need to be tightened.

Also, I don't have a spoke torque wrench, however, I do have a factory spoke wrench.

Thanks in advance all,

Ricky :cry:

Hey Ricky, there is a good " how to tech tip" in the August issue of Dirt Rider. could be June, anyway they reccomend tightening every fifth spoke... this will keep the wheel true, it will take about 7 rotations of the wheel... tightening every spoke one after another will pull your wheel out of round! I reccomend that if any are very loose, and you can jiggle them with your fingers, tighten them first, till they are snug... then start working your way around the wheel, giving each spoke 1/4 turn at a time... I hope this helps you out! Good Luck :cry: :cry:


That helps alot, guess I know what I got to do tonight.

Also, is it just a feel thing if you do not have a torque wrench, or do you tighten then ping it with a wrench and check tone?


Ricky :cry:

great question, and great info from Malevolent. I have always been wondering the same thing! Now I know! Thanks man!




Does the spoke torque wrench help? :cry:

It helps but it is expensive, over $100. I listen for the tone, but be sure to skip spokes like the article says.

I have always used the "tuning" method.Tap each spoke and listen to the sound.It should make a nice ting sound.If you get a dull sound,then its loose.I start at the valve stem a while spinning the wheel tighten each loose spoke(1/4 turn)then check the next one.Keep rotating the wheel till they all sound the same.Only tighten each spoke 1/4 turn each time,because it changes the tension on the spokes on the oppisite side.I've used this method for over 30 years,and it has always worked for me.New bikes require settling in,so i check them after the second ride ,then recheck them after a couple more rides.After that they rarely ever need adjusting again. :cry:

I have a TTR125 and after a long day of riding i was on my way home when i decided to hit a small kicker at about 40mph :naughty: ...............well i went atleast 5 feet in the air and 15 feet across and broke one spoke :naughty: . Now my rear tire wobbles and a neighbor told me how to adjust the spokes but i am not sure on how to do it even with his help. When I spin the wheel one side always ends up stopping on the bottom as if it is heavier than the other half of the tire. Please tell me what i need to do,


Remove the wheel and take it to a shop to have checked out.If your rim is wobbling it's either bent or you have several loose spokes. Don't try to tighten the spokes unless you know what your doing.

My buddy lent me a custom made truing stand. Equipped so that you can true just a wheel or a wheel with a tire on it. A magnetic micrometer/dial indicator completes the package. My wheels are within .001" from being perfectly round. The only place it has an issue is at the stock weld. These BRP's eat up spokes and wheels. If you true them and go riding check them every 20 minutes or so for the first ride. Once they loosen and you ignore it, your rims are doomed.

...My wheels are within .001" from being perfectly round. The only place it has an issue is at the stock weld...

Wow :naughty: . That definitely takes some work to get them and keep them @ 0.001 of being perfectly round. Once they're true & round, keeping them there isn't too bad, but getting them to that point has been difficult and very time consuming for me when I start with a wheel that's out of true & out of round. The weld is always what kills me where it flairs out on both sides because I want it perfect like the rest of the wheel, but it ain't gunna happen.

What has really helped me with my wheel maintenance and keeping my spokes from coming loose as often was the Fasst spoke torque wrench. My wheel maintenance has gone down dramatically since using this tool, but I'm picky at keeping the wheels fairly round & true just as you are. For one bike it may not be worth it to some folks, but I'm maintaining over a dozen bikes and this tool has saved me time & frustration. It takes me a while to get everything torqued so the wheel is round & true, but once it's done, keeping up with it has been much easier for me unless a flat spot appears in a wheel from a rock...ugh. This last weekend my youngest son caught a rock between his sprocket and chain on his XR200 during a rocky hillclimb and threw his chain to the inside on the rear hub, which finally wedged between the spokes and sprocket bolts, but only after scoring the hub, bending a number of spokes and shearing the bolt tips and wearing through part of the nuts that secure the sprocket. Oh what fun it will be....I hate wheel maintenance :naughty:

It is hard and it is frustrating. I could never get the front wheel close to that. The rear, yes. Took me about and hour, on the stand. My front looks like it went through a garbage compacter and got spit back out. All that weight coming down from a wheelie reeks havok on the pigs wheels.

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now