Monday, October 20, 2008
I don’t actually know how to true a wheel yet. Nor do I know how to build one. These are things I’d like to learn someday. In the mean time (and this could be a while – probably decades) I learned a little trick for minor tweaks. I read about this about a year ago and have dabbled with it occasionally. I’m guessing I read about it on Sheldon’s site, but I’m not entirely sure. Anyway, it goes like this: If you strum your spokes like a guitar string (using a fingernail seems to help) you will hear a certain tone or pitch or note. If the spoke is tensioned properly it usually makes a nice high-pitched twing. All the spokes on the same side should make about the same sound. As you strum your way around the wheel you may come across a spoke that makes more of a dull plunk. That spoke is loose and probably needs to be tightened (I try to go slowly – about a quarter or half turn at a time). In theory you should be able to true the wheel without even looking at it and without at truing stand. There are probably situations where this technique isn’t sufficient, but I’ve had some good luck with it so far.