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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Assume I know nothing.

I got new wheels 500 miles ago, and lately, i have been hearing these slight little pinging noises that sound like spokes flexing among them selves. I hear this when in low gears, climbing.

Do fresh wheels need attention? Should I put a little 1/8 turn on every nipple and see how it goes? Or is this a case for experienced wheel experts only?

What's the word?

OK: Edit. They are Stans Arch wheels from Performance Bike, with their hubs. 38 mm tires on pavement and trails.
 

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Properly built wheels have prestressed spokes, so they don't loosen after riding some break-in miles. I don't know if that's the issue with your Stan's.

Try placing a drop of light oil or spray lube where each nipple enters the rim. If that silences the noise then you know it came from there. It's common to apply oil at that contact point during wheel building so don't fret you're doing something bad.

Report back with your results.
 

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Life cycle of a twisted spoke: Pinging is unwinding. Unwinding causes uneven tension. Uneven tension causes slackness. Slackness causes accelerated fatigue which then causes breakage.

These wheels are supposedly hand built from PB. Their unwinding and stress relief apparently has not been completed by the builder. You have a year long warranty on them, take them back and ask them to take care of this.
There is good merit in the thinner butted spokes (rather than the thicker butted spokes) but the downside is they tend to twist easier while they are being tensioned.
 

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Life cycle of a twisted spoke: Pinging is unwinding. Unwinding causes uneven tension. Uneven tension causes slackness. Slackness causes accelerated fatigue which then causes breakage.

These wheels are supposedly hand built from PB. Their unwinding and stress relief apparently has not been completed by the builder. You have a year long warranty on them, take them back and ask them to take care of this.
There is good merit in the thinner butted spokes (rather than the thicker butted spokes) but the downside is they tend to twist easier while they are being tensioned.

DC, That's what I was thinking at first. The only thing wrong with this theory is that he didn't start hearing the pinging until 500 miles. If the spokes hadn't been properly stress relieved by the builder, wouldn't they ping on the first couple of rides? I'm trying to understand.
 

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They would unless they were glued. Maybe the glue is starting giving out?
 

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They would unless they were glued. Maybe the glue is starting giving out?


Hmmm. You mean like Loktite on the spoke threads? Yeeesh! Not a great way to build wheels.
 

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OK guys, time for me to eat crow here. Referring back to Mr. Musson's book, Loctite 222 is OK. I believe this is what Pro-Lock nips have. As Dave said, it's cheap insurance. What it's not is a substitute for proper stress relieving and good building practices.

The other type of Loctite is a no-no.
 

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Try placing a drop of light oil or spray lube where each nipple enters the rim. If that silences the noise then you know it came from there. It's common to apply oil at that contact point during wheel building so don't fret you're doing something bad.

Report back with your results.
Also try a drop of lube at each spoke crossing, particularly on the rear wheel. The fact that this didn't start until 500 miles could be the lube issue or it could be the wheel loosening. Just adding 1/8 turn to every spoke probably wouldn't do any harm but if the wheels were on the high side of tension to start with it could be the straw that breaks the camel's back for rim cracks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Yeah, I will just take it in to the shop where I got them. The head mechanic is great at that Performance Bike.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
So I took the wheels in to the shop where I bought them. I may be a little off on the details, but the front wheel was about 85 KGF or something like that for tension, and the rear was 70. The tech checked the Stans site for specs and it stated 125 KGF for the rear. He set it at 122. That solved the noise for a couple of hundred miles, but on my last ride, I think I could barely hear the "distant harp music" again.
 

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So I took the wheels in to the shop where I bought them. I may be a little off on the details, but the front wheel was about 85 KGF or something like that for tension, and the rear was 70. The tech checked the Stans site for specs and it stated 125 KGF for the rear. He set it at 122. That solved the noise for a couple of hundred miles, but on my last ride, I think I could barely hear the "distant harp music" again.
Is this a rim brake or disc brake wheelset? From the info provided here, I am assuming this is a rim brake wheelset.

FYI, on a rim brake wheelset, the rear drive side and non-drive side tensions will be different. So for your rear to have a drive side tension of 125kgF, the non-drive side will be around 55kgF (unless it's an asymmetrical rim, then it will be around 70-75kgF). Front tensions on a rim brake wheel are the same, so generally, 75-100kgF is a good place to be.

The "distant harp music" is not a good sign. It sounds like your builder still didn't stress relieve these wheels. There is still spoke wind and this problem will happen all over again.
 
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