How to Tighten Bike Spokes

How to Tighten Bike Spokes
Spokes are an essential part of the architecture of a bike wheel. If spokes become loose, the wheel will not roll straight and will lose strength as well, making it more susceptible to damage when used on rough surfaces. Check your spokes frequently to be sure they are snug, and tighten them if they are not.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Spoke wrench
Step 1
Put your wheel onto a truing stand or, if you don't have a truing stand, turn the bike upside down. This works very effectively, but be careful that the bike doesn't fall over.
Step 2
Tighten your spokes by sliding a spoke wrench onto the spoke's nipple. The nipple is the small metal jacket that covers the spoke at the point the spoke enters the rim. Turn the spoke wrench to the right to tighten and to the left to loosen.
Step 3
Tighten or loosen the spokes so that you have even tension all the way around the rim. Spin the wheel in the truing stand or on the bike to see if it spins true and doesn't wobble. If the wheel wobbles out of true, tighten the corresponding spokes to establish a smooth motion.

Article Written By Nichole Liandi

Based in Virginia, Nichole Liandi has been a freelance writer since 2005. Her articles have appeared on various print and online publications. Liandi has traveled extensively in Europe and East Asia and incorporates her experiences into her articles. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in history from West Virginia University.

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