loose spokes

hey guys ive got two loose spokes on my rear wheel, could this keep causing punctures ive had two now, is it a case of just carefully tightning them up or does it need to be done by a professional.

cheers lee

Tightening spokes is a constant maintenance thing. Learn to get a feel for it with the 'ping' method of tightening, or get a spoke torque wrench.

If two spokes are loose enough that you can feel it, odds are they're all loose to some degree. Start doing laps around the wheel and gradually tighten the loosest ones to get them about the same as the tighter ones, then make more laps gradually tightening all of them. If the wheel ends up out of shape, you have to start losening one side and tightening the other to get it straight.

They should be tight enough to get a clear 'ping' when you tap them with the wrench. Loose spokes will give a thud or twang noise. Your manual should have a torque spec if you buy a torque wrench. Once you have them tight, check them every now and then to stay on top of them.

There are a lot of threads you can search on this site that cover wheel lacing. There are some better detailed descriptions in those threads on adjusting the spokes than I gave you here. It's not that hard to learn and a good skill to have.

All that said, a loose spoke won't puncture a tube, but too long of a spoke can. I highly doubt that's your problem, though. More likely you are running too low of pressure for where you ride and getting pinch flats, or you're running over something like nails close to campfires or cactus needles or some other sharp item. Did you check the inside surface of the tire the last time you fixed a flat? Maybe there's something still stuck in the tire.

I had a single spoke nipple break on my my '06's rear wheel. I didn't realize the inside, bell-shaped end of the nipple had broken off when I fixed the first of a series of flat tires I had at an mx track. :thumbsup: I eventually found the broken part of the spoke nipple inside the tire, and figured out the problem..... :p

May be something you might wanna check on? :mad:

Jimmie

Added in EDIT: Here's a link to a thread that I posted in about my bike's problem, just in case it's relevant. I feel that the aluminum Kawasaki designed nipple is better than the Yamaha, because of it's allen head tightening setup from the "internal", bell shaped end of the spoke. I can't recall with 100% certainty, but I wanna say that you can also order a steel nipple from Kawi, and that would probably hold up better yet than the the Yamaha design.

http://www.thumpertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=912249

Edited by Diesel Goober
Wanted to add a thought & a link.....

On my last bike there was about 10 loose spokes when I finally noticed it, I started to tighten them but they were siezed. I had also found that because I left them so long, or the previous owner did, not to sure, that they had started to bore out the hole in the rim! They were drilling themselves out of the rim due to the stress of the other loose spokes that they all had on each other.

I bought a new spoke kit and put them in anyways cause I was trying to sell the bike, but the rim was borderline toast.

If you leave it too long, they will sieze, then they do and you cannot move them using the tricks of the trade then it's time for a new spoke set.

If you leave it too long, you'll ruin the rim, and possibly injure yourself if your rear wheel explodes which will happen if you ride MX/SX.

On my last bike there was about 10 loose spokes when I finally noticed it, I started to tighten them but they were siezed. I had also found that because I left them so long, or the previous owner did, not to sure, that they had started to bore out the hole in the rim! They were drilling themselves out of the rim due to the stress of the other loose spokes that they all had on each other.

I bought a new spoke kit and put them in anyways cause I was trying to sell the bike, but the rim was borderline toast.

If you leave it too long, they will sieze, then they do and you cannot move them using the tricks of the trade then it's time for a new spoke set.

If you leave it too long, you'll ruin the rim, and possibly injure yourself if your rear wheel explodes which will happen if you ride MX/SX.

There was a guy that was riding with our group one time that had some seriously bad wheels. I was following him for a short time and saw his back wheel flopping all over the place. We got back to camp and I tried to help him with it, but like you said, half the nipples were seized. Every spoke on his wheels were some level of loose, I don't know how he rode the damn thing. I told him to get a spoke set and bring it by the house, but he never did. He was a one time guest of one of the guys in our group and I never saw him again. I always wondered if that wheel ever blew up.

And always remember to lube your spokes after you've cleaned the bike, its a pain in the ass but it pays off in the end when they dont get stuck etc. depends on what spokes you got ofcourse.

Didnt see if anyone wrote this earlier :thumbsup:

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