The wheels of a bike are its most important parts, and the spokes that hold them together need to be in good condition. So if your bike has been feeling wobbly or shaky lately and you’re wondering if it’s time to get new wheels, here are some things you should know about spoke tension:
How tight should BMX spokes be?
You need to know how tight your spokes should be. To find out, check the spoke tension in your wheel. If they’re too loose or too tight, it could cause problems later on so you’ll want to tighten them up right away.
To do this, you’ll need a spoke wrench and appropriate spoke nipple size for your wheelset (you can find this information on the Black Market website). Also have a few screwdrivers handy because there’s usually no way around having to take some of the hub’s parts apart before you start tightening anything up!
How do you know if your spokes are loose?
If you hear a clicking sound when your wheel is spinning or see your rim vibrate, then it’s likely that there are loose spokes. The same goes if you see the hub of your wheel going out of true (the hub will have an uneven surface). If any of these things happen and they don’t stop after tightening, you should consider removing all the loose spokes before they do more damage to your rim.
How do you tighten BMX spokes?
# Use a spoke wrench.
A spoke wrench is the most common tool used by cyclists to tighten their spokes, although it’s also the least accurate way to do it. There’s no way of telling if you’ve tightened your spokes enough without using another method, but at least this one won’t damage them or make them too tight.
# Use a torque wrench.
If you want more accuracy in how tight your spokes are, then you’ll need something like a torque wrench. This can be more expensive than just using a basic spoke wrench, but it gives you much better results and helps prevent over-tightening or under-tightening the spokes on your wheelset.
# Use a spoke tension meter/gauge/tester or whatever else they’re calling these now so I don’t have to keep rewriting this paragraph every time there’s some newfangled gadget out there!
What You’ll Need
To tighten your spokes properly, you’ll need a spoke wrench, a torque wrench and/or a spoke tension meter. A spoke wrench is just what it sounds like: a tool that allows you to tighten your spokes using leverage.
A torque wrench is another type of tool that measures how much force is applied when tightening the nuts on your wheels. Most people will also want one for their bicycle because it ensures that each nut has been tightened to exactly the same amount of force.
A spoke tension meter measures how much pull there is between two points in order to calculate how tight (or loose) the spoke should be before being re-tightened with your wrench or torque wrench.
Measure Spoke Diameter
Next, use a spoke wrench to hold the spoke while you measure its diameter. The diameter will be the number that appears next to “D” on your spoke tension meter.
The last step is to tighten each spoke until it’s so tight that it can’t be squeezed any more by hand—but not so tight that you actually bend or break the rim!
Find Required Spoke Tension
To determine the tension of your spokes, you can use a spoke tension meter. You can make one yourself by cutting out a bit of plastic pipe and placing it in between two spokes. If you don’t want to go through that process, however, there are also several other options:
- Use a spoke wrench to measure how much force it takes to turn each spoke nipple. With this method (which is typically used with steel-spoke wheels), you should be able to get an accurate measurement without having direct contact with the rim itself.
- Use a torque wrench and measure the amount of torque needed before releasing the spoke wrench from its position on the nipple—it should probably be somewhere between one-quarter pound for every inch diameter at half length (if using alloy rims) or three pounds per square inch if using carbon fiber rims.
- Measure using charts based off of wheel size (from 20 inches all the way up through 29 inches). These charts will tell you how many pounds per square inch each different size wheel needs when they’re inflated properly; they may even give exact measurements based on their actual circumference rather than just diameter alone!
Measure Current Spoke Tension
- To measure the current spoke tension in a wheel, you can use a spoke tension meter. The tool is specifically designed to determine the amount of force being put on each spoke by a hub and rim.
- Use your spoke tension meter to measure current spoke tensions in each wheel. It’s important that all spokes are balanced when you’re measuring new installations or making repairs; otherwise, they can cause problems with your bike’s performance.
Adjusting the tension of your spokes is relatively simple, but it’s important to remember that you’re working with a delicate piece of equipment here—the wheel! To adjust the spoke tension, first loosen the spoke nipple on one side of your wheel (it doesn’t matter which side). Next, tighten this loose spoke by hand until there is no more movement in the rim (meaning you don’t hear any rattling). Then re-tighten this loosened nipple using an adjustable wrench so that it’s snug against its seat. Once again check for movement in your rims and repeat on all other loose spokes until all have been tightened. Lastly, check for trueness and make any adjustments necessary before riding!
Correcting Low Tension
It is important to maintain the correct tension on your bicycle’s wheels. If you have low tension in one or both of your wheels, it can cause problems like premature wear or even a flat tire.
If you find that the wheel is not true and/or is not balanced, use a truing stand to true it up again. To do this:
- Place your bike in the stand so that nothing is touching anything but air. Put on some protective gear (eye protection and gloves) as well as footwear that covers all exposed skin (like high-top sneakers). Use caution when spinning any parts of the bike; always keep fingers away from moving parts such as brake pads or spokes!
- Spin each side of tire once before moving on to next step – this will help realign rim tape if necessary after removing old glue residue with solvent first
Correcting High Tension
If your spokes are too tight, they will cause the wheel to be out of true. The tension on each spoke should be approximately equal when you have a perfectly true wheel. If any one spoke is tighter or looser than the others, it creates uneven tension that makes the wheel wobble and causes it to go out of true quickly.
Incorrectly-tensioned wheels can also lead to broken spokes and other problems with your bike’s structure. It’s best not to leave this kind of thing up in the air—so get down there and give those spokes a good tug!
When should you tighten bike spokes?
The good news is that you can tighten your bike spokes whenever you want. A loose spoke will make a rattling noise, or give a similar sound when you spin the wheel. You may also feel a looseness as the wheel spins. If you ever notice either of these things happening, take the time to tighten them back up!
- When should I keep checking my bike spokes?
The answer depends on how often and how hard you ride your bike. If you’re doing long rides more than 10 miles at a time at least once per week, then it’s probably worthwhile to check every month or so.
Why do my spokes keep coming loose?
To understand why spokes come loose, you need to have a basic understanding of how they’re put together. The wheel is held together by tension on the spokes. The hub attaches to the rim and holds it tight; the spokes connect at their midpoint with nipples that are threaded into holes in each side of the rim. When you turn your bike’s handlebars or go over bumps, those vibrations cause tension on those spokes—but other factors can also affect them:
- Water: Water can get inside your hubs when you ride through puddles or wash away dirt from your bike’s chain and gears, which creates rust that causes corrosion. This will loosen up all of your spokes and make them easier for someone else to unscrew with an Allen wrench or screwdriver.
- Dust: Riding through large amounts of dust will get into places where dust should never be (like inside your hubs), which also causes corrosion.
Can I ride a bike with a broken spoke?
You can ride a bike with a broken spoke, but it will be harder. You’ll have to pedal more slowly and the wheel may feel out of balance or out of true. You could also damage other parts of the bicycle if you don’t take care while riding on rough terrain (especially when hitting bumps at high speeds).
If you’re riding in an area where there are no shops available or a way to get home, this might be your only option. But if you’re just heading down to visit grandma for lunch, then it’s probably best not to risk it—save yourself the hassle and walk instead!
And that’s it! I hope this guide has been helpful to you, and I wish you luck on your next ride.