Wheel flex

joeyhalloran Posts: 1,080
edited June 2009 in Workshop
Hi, i noticed the other day that if i apply gently pressure i can move my rim from side to side, is this normal or should i tighten the spokes? On a similar note, how tight should spokes be? They are a set of new planet x model b wheels if this helps...Thanks in advance


  • andrew40
    andrew40 Posts: 10
    Hi Joey,

    I to have some planet x b's, had two spokes snapped in as many months, first time sent them back to PX, second time took them to LBS, they told me the nipples were seized and would need rebuilding.

    PX have been very good and have offered to replace, not sure if this could be similar problem, the rims did flex but most telling was creaking noise coming from wheel when I applied pressure to cranks on climbs etc, this is when spokes snapped.
    Planet X FSA Carbon
    Dawes Giro 400
    + 2 Bromptons...;)
  • Kléber
    Kléber Posts: 6,842
    On a similar note, how tight should spokes be?
    On a simple level, "note" is the right word. Pluck them like a guitar string and they should make a similar sound on the drive side, then pluck the non-drive side and these should make a similar sound.

    As for actual tension, it depends. Some normal flex is ok when you push the rim. Increasing spoke tension doesn't automatically make the wheel stiffer.
  • The problem will be spoke tension, in fact if you fell them you should be able to feel it quite easily, it's either that or a mega-buckle :D
    Ribble Gran Fondo
    Focus Black Hills
    Raleigh Chopper
  • GavH
    GavH Posts: 933
    I've got a pair of Shimano WH-R550s and they too feel quite wobbly when I get out of the saddle and try to apply some effort. I initially put it down to the extra lightness of them and my CF frame compared to my older, heavier wheels and bike. These Shimanos are nigh on brand new and definately not bucked but I too can very easily push them from side to side and get them to touch the brake pads without any effort.

    Is this normal 'wheel flex' that people talk about regarding low end wheels or is this something I should have my LBS look at? If the latter, what exactly will they do and can I do it myself?
  • bazbadger
    bazbadger Posts: 553
    I've noticed the flex on my model B's as well.

    I can't really work out what it is about these wheels as they are very light (for the price), don't suffer from brake rub when out of the saddle (14.5 stone) and yet the front is a bit too flexy for my liking when on fast descents and turning a corner. I put this down to my weight, but I think I would prefer a stiffer wheel up front - even if it meant more weight. Perhaps a model C front would do it.
    Mens agitat molem