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Rear tire
#1
I was breaking spokes like crazy on the rear tire on my 1974 Bridgestone Kabuki road bike, so I inquired about re-threading it at my local bike shop. The guy went into the back room and retrieved a new rim which i promptly bought. I did not realize at the time that the spoke lengths on the right side should be different than the left. They weren't. I brought it home and installed it. I found that I had to adjust the derailer to accommodate the new rim. It works, but the tire now makes a light clicking sound as I ride. Should I bring it back, or is there something I can do to repair it? Any advise appreciated.
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#2
I would suspect the spokes might need some more tension in them.
Drop the tire pressure by 10psi and ride. If the clicking stops then the spokes need tightening.

The "drive" side spokes are usually up to 3mm shorter than non-drive side. (depending on spoke pattern).
[font=Trebuchet MS]Ride hard or ride home alone![/font]
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#3
On something you just bought, your first and best action should be to go back to the shop. Since you installed it yourself, they may not fix the problem for free, but they should at least be able to tell you what's wrong.
However, you may want to give us some more information, just in case. Did you move the old freewheel to the new wheel, or use a new one? If new, did you also get a new chain? Is the new wheel wider? See http://www.sheldonbrown.com/frame-spacing.html for some notes on jamming wider hubs into older bikes.
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#4
Did you buy a whole wheel or just a rim? What do you mean that the spoke lengths were not different?
It's not uncommon for a new wheel to click a little as the spokes settle into place. But that should stop pretty quick.
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#5
(07-06-2010, 05:51 PM)Billy Wrote:  On something you just bought, your first and best action should be to go back to the shop. Since you installed it yourself, they may not fix the problem for free, but they should at least be able to tell you what's wrong.
However, you may want to give us some more information, just in case. Did you move the old freewheel to the new wheel, or use a new one? If new, did you also get a new chain? Is the new wheel wider? See http://www.sheldonbrown.com/frame-spacing.html for some notes on jamming wider hubs into older bikes.

The tech installed the old freewheel on the wheel, the free wheel is only about 2-3 years old, and in good shape. The chain was replaced at the same time. The new wheel is the same width as the one taken off, but upon close inspection, and comparison with the front wheel (original) it appears to be lower quality. The hub was just a hair wider than the old one. Thanks for the quick response. Any opinion appreciated. Ron
(07-06-2010, 05:47 PM)cyclerUK Wrote:  I would suspect the spokes might need some more tension in them.
Drop the tire pressure by 10psi and ride. If the clicking stops then the spokes need tightening.

The "drive" side spokes are usually up to 3mm shorter than non-drive side. (depending on spoke pattern).

If I were to lower the pressure (currently about 70 lbs), and the noise is still there, would it be advisable to add a quarter turn to all spokes? What issues does the fact that the spokes are the same length create? It seems like it aligns ok with the frame, and runs true. Thanks for the quick response. Ron
(07-06-2010, 07:32 PM)DaveM Wrote:  Did you buy a whole wheel or just a rim? What do you mean that the spoke lengths were not different?
It's not uncommon for a new wheel to click a little as the spokes settle into place. But that should stop pretty quick.

I watched a video on building a wheel, and it related that the spokes on the back wheel are shorter on the gear side to accommodate the gears. The spokes on the new wheel, which I bought complete, all appear to be the same length. I had to set the derailer toward the hub to avoid it running off the gears on the low side. I will run the wheel for awhile to see if the clicking stops. I only have about 40 miles on it at this time. Thanks for the info. Ron
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#6
It's difficult to tell the actual spoke length used after the wheel is built and it doesn't matter too much if they are the same length provided each side has enough thread engagement with the nipple for the strength required, long nipples are frequently used to ensure this, and the wheel is properly dished.

You should not get a clicking sound from the spokes after the first use, but the spokes should have been de-stressed in any case.

During final tensioning the spokes tend to wind up and the nipple head does not rotate freely, to de-stress, place the wheel gear side down on a firm surface and press around the rim several times in opposite positions, you will hear the spokes unwind, repeat on the other side and return to the jig for final tensioning and truing.
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#7
Nitpicking: The stressing process is so that the spokes go from elastic to inelastic deformation, thus reducing stress in the metal. You should get rid of the twist by "overturning" the nipple (~ 1/4 turn) and turning back when building up tension on the wheel.

But yes: a correctly built wheel should remain silent when ridden for the first time.
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#8
(07-07-2010, 08:56 AM)trevgbb Wrote:  It's difficult to tell the actual spoke length used after the wheel is built and it doesn't matter too much if they are the same length provided each side has enough thread engagement with the nipple for the strength required, long nipples are frequently used to ensure this, and the wheel is properly dished.

You should not get a clicking sound from the spokes after the first use, but the spokes should have been de-stressed in any case.

During final tensioning the spokes tend to wind up and the nipple head does not rotate freely, to de-stress, place the wheel gear side down on a firm surface and press around the rim several times in opposite positions, you will hear the spokes unwind, repeat on the other side and return to the jig for final tensioning and truing.

Unfortunately, I have no rig to tension and true the wheel. Even though I have been using the bike for 35 years, I have never ridden for any distance. It is the distances that are bringing out the glitches. I road in the rain this morning, and did not notice the clicking, but who knows if that was the remedy, or the wheel in water noise just drowned it out. If it continues, I may try the tighten 1/4 turn, and then loosen 1/4 turn method suggested by another responder. Thanks. Ron
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#9
Well, the "turn the desired amount + a bit, then back off" is when building / tensioning the wheel. If spokes started to unscrew (as indicated by a pinging, twanging sound for the first 150m or so) then you have to retension and true the wheel. It can be done without a rig, you have to either use the brake pads as a gauge or fix some contraption to the rear triangle.
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#10
(07-08-2010, 09:30 AM)Joe_W Wrote:  Well, the "turn the desired amount + a bit, then back off" is when building / tensioning the wheel. If spokes started to unscrew (as indicated by a pinging, twanging sound for the first 150m or so) then you have to retension and true the wheel. It can be done without a rig, you have to either use the brake pads as a gauge or fix some contraption to the rear triangle.

I am thinking that I may not have to do any of the above. I have been riding for two days without clicking sound. Hopefully, the wheel is just settled in now and the annoying noise is gone. Both days have been on wet roads though. I don't know if that is a factor. Thanks for the response. Ron
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#11
As long as the spoke tension is not all over the place you should be ok. I found one major problem with lower (sometimes even to lower mid range) wheels to be the spoke tension. Most of the time it is too low and uneven resulting in a bad wheel (even if the components were ok-ish). Check the wheel for trueness after some miles, if it is not round go to the shop and ask them to correct it (well, assuming you didn't go downhill biking or hit a curb stone at full speed etc.)
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