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Some real quick background info. I weigh 230-240. Had one of the small wheel builders make me a set of wheels using Velocity Areoheads with 32 spokes. The wheels are awsome. Very stiff (to me) and weighed like 1620, which is about 400 less than the wheels that came on my bike ( the broken ones). After just 200 miles the front rim got bent when my bike got knocked over while in a public bike rack. Luckly for me, the wheel builder has a mishap policy for replacing parts at cost and free labor for 2 years. So, I sent him the spokes and the hub, he built be up a new wheel with a new rim and nipples for $39 + shipping. Very cool.

Here's my issue. The new front wheel makes noise from the spokes when I stand. After about 250 miles it was a little out of true so I took it to the LBS for adjustment. The wheel guy there thought the tension seemed a little low. It is lower than the rear. Anyway, he trued it up at no charge. Another 50 miles and it was out agian. This time he put a 1/4 on each spoke and re-trued, didn't take him to long and he still didn't charge me anything. He also said if it gave me anymore trouble to send it back, you know kinda giving me a small, friendly guilt trip for not using him. They're a pretty cool LBS that will sell you a tool and give all the advice they can on using it.

Well it was a lot less noisey, but still made a little (while standing). Put another 100 miles on it and it was only slightly out. I did a search on this forum and got some tips on trueing and gave it a try last night. I just took my time and got it very, very close. My question is, should I tighten another 1/4 turn all the way around? The spokes still don't feel quite as tensioned as the rear ones and the rear wheel is doing very good. Also, how do you know that the nipple is turning and not the whole spoke? These spokes seem like angle hair in my big fingers and I can't tell when the spoke stops spinning.

I'm leaving for a week long tour this weekend and I havn't been able to contact the wheel builder to ask for advice. Seems he's out for a few days and won't be back until I've left. I'm still very happy with the puchase and I'm confident that once this tension issue is worked out the front wheel will be fine.
 

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The tension on a front wheel should be somewhere between the tension on the non-drive and drive spokes of the rear wheel. Just a little less than the drive side is ideal. One way to deal with spoke "wind-up" is to turn the spoke nipple farther than you want to go, and then bring it back. In other words, if you want to tighten the spoke 1/2 turn, tighten it 3/4 turn, and then bring it back 1/4 turn.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
MR_GRUMPY said:
The tension on a front wheel should be somewhere between the tension on the non-drive and drive spokes of the rear wheel. Just a little less than the drive side is ideal. One way to deal with spoke "wind-up" is to turn the spoke nipple farther than you want to go, and then bring it back. In other words, if you want to tighten the spoke 1/2 turn, tighten it 3/4 turn, and then bring it back 1/4 turn.
Thanks for the tips. I'll just go slow. I do have a spare front wheel just in case.
 

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Front wheels are easy. With rears it is difficult to make a "good" wheel that will last years.
 
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