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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm having my LBS rebuild my rear wheel. I had it custom built last year but need to replace the rim because of a flat spot. I'm having my LBS do it instead of the guy who built the wheel originally (Spinlitecycling.com) because I don't want to wait 2 weeks due to UPSing the wheel to and from.

My question is on spoke tension. Is there a standard spoke tension for wheel building or is it based on how stiff you want your wheels? I just want to make sure that my wheel gets rebuilt to my liking.

Just for an FYI the rim is a Velocity Aerohead. Spokes are Sapim race (14/15 front and drive side rear, 14/17 non-driveside rear). Hubs are DuraAce.
 

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Hoopy Frood
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706 Posts
Tension

Spoke tension should be uniform across similar spokes and as high as the rim will allow. Since the rim is usually the limiting factor for spoke tension, you should check with Velocity to see what they recommend. Tension usually ranges between 85 - 150 kg force. Too little tension and you'll go out of true. Too much tension and you'll crack the rim or hub flanges.

IMHO, stiffness is more a factor of the type of rims used to build the wheel and the number, style, and pattern of spokes lacing it together.
 

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n00bsauce
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(Almost) Everything you need/want to know about building a bicycle wheel. http://www.sheldonbrown.com/wheelbuild.html
The Bicycle Wheel by Jobst Brandt is the wheel building bible. Maybe not worth buying if you won't be building your own wheels but your local library or LBS could have a copy you could borrow.
 

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The drive side spokes should be around 120kgf and the non drive side will vary depending on if it is a oc rim or a standard aerohead. Making the spokes any tighter will not make the wheel any stiffer it helps keep it in true longer but anything past the 120kgf and you are getting no benefit or advantage.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Good points

Thanks for the info. I had the original builder build the wheels 28 front (2X) and 32 rear (2X, 3X) so they would be stiff. I'll check with Velocity to see what they recommend. Thanks.
 

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Disadvantage

Ligero said:
anything past the 120kgf and you are getting no benefit or advantage.
And you get the potential disadvantage of cracking the rim due to excessive spoke tension. With a lightweight rim, these are the tradeoffs - enough tension for a good build but not going too far past that or you'll get spoke pull-through.
 

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Banned
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Ligero said:
The drive side spokes should be around 120kgf and the non drive side will vary depending on if it is a oc rim or a standard aerohead. Making the spokes any tighter will not make the wheel any stiffer it helps keep it in true longer but anything past the 120kgf and you are getting no benefit or advantage.
Have you spent anytime checking the tension on spokes laced to Alex rims and WI hubs lately?
 

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The real problem is with 8, 9, and 10 speed wheels getting enough tension into the non-driveside rear spokes. Due to the big dish offset the driveside spokes typically need to go to the maximum allowed by the rim.

Al
 
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