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  1. #1
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    Is it OK for a wheel to make gentle spoke pinging sounds while being ridden?

    Mine does, and two good mechanics seem to think it is acceptable.

  2. #2
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    No. How are you sure it's the spokes? Can you identify specific spokes?

  3. #3
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    No, not OK.

    I've had wheels built (before I started building them), with too low tension overall, allowing spokes to move and rub where they cross.
    We just don’t realize the most significant moments of our lives when they’re happening
    Back then I thought “well there'll be other days”
    I didn’t realize that was the only day
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    There's sometimes a buggy.
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    So let's just say I'm drivin' this buggy...
    and if you fix your attitude you can ride along with me.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeff400650 View Post
    Mine does, and two good mechanics seem to think it is acceptable.
    What makes you think they're good mechanics?
    Custom Di2 & Garmin/GoPro mounts 2013 SuperSix EVO Hi-MOD Team * 2004 Klein Aura V

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeff400650 View Post
    Mine does, and two good mechanics seem to think it is acceptable.
    My experience is this happens for two reasons. The person who built the wheel did not address spoke windup and some spokes are literally unscrewing the tension. The other is spoke tapping or rubbing at the crosses as bikerjulio mentioned. I would find a mechanic with more experience in wheelbuilding

  6. #6
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    My guess is that if your spokes are "pinging", they weren't stress relieved properly when they were built. If this is the case, the pinging you hear is the wheels stress relieving themselves as you ride. If you keep riding them, they will soon go out of true.

    To answer your question: No, it is not OK or acceptable.
    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein

    "Beware of geeks bearing formulas."
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  7. #7
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    IME the "spoke unwinding" pinging will happen on the first couple of revolutions of a newly built wheel, and then it will be over.

    The "spoke rubbing" sound will continue until the wheel is fixed.

    A simple test is to put a dab of oil at each of the last spoke intersections. If noise stops then you know where the problem lies.
    We just don’t realize the most significant moments of our lives when they’re happening
    Back then I thought “well there'll be other days”
    I didn’t realize that was the only day
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y9yrupye7B0

    There's sometimes a buggy.
    How many drivers does a buggy have?
    One.
    So let's just say I'm drivin' this buggy...
    and if you fix your attitude you can ride along with me.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GekiIMh4ZkM

  8. #8
    Russian Troll Farmer
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    I've come to the conclusion that I can build my own wheels better than probably 75% of bike mechanics can. If your mechanic is over 30, maybe I'd trust him, but the majority are high-school dropouts or part-time college students, who are very sophomoric in their skills.
    "L'enfer, c'est les autres"

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikerjulio View Post
    IME the "spoke unwinding" pinging will happen on the first couple of revolutions of a newly built wheel, and then it will be over.

    The "spoke rubbing" sound will continue until the wheel is fixed.

    A simple test is to put a dab of oil at each of the last spoke intersections. If noise stops then you know where the problem lies.
    This. It is either this or one or more spokes are so loose that they completely relax with every revolution of the wheel, which means that the wheel is slowly coming apart.

    And of course there is the very real possibility that this noise has nothing to do with the spokes.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikerjulio View Post
    IME the "spoke unwinding" pinging will happen on the first couple of revolutions of a newly built wheel, and then it will be over.
    Not if they were stress relieved properly by the builder. My wheels don't ping.

    Quote Originally Posted by No Time Toulouse View Post
    I've come to the conclusion that I can build my own wheels better than probably 75% of bike mechanics can.
    Possibly. Remember that you aren't building wheels for a living, so you can take your time and pay much closer attention to detail. Many bike mechanics are crunched for time with tight schedules and will do minimum stress relieving or rather they will do just enough to prevent most customers from returning with problems.
    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein

    "Beware of geeks bearing formulas."
    -- Warren Buffett

    "Education is what you get when you read the fine print. Experience is what you get when you don't. -- Pete Seeger



  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    Not if they were stress relieved properly by the builder. My wheels don't ping.



    Possibly. Remember that you aren't building wheels for a living, so you can take your time and pay much closer attention to detail. Many bike mechanics are crunched for time with tight schedules and will do minimum stress relieving or rather they will do just enough to prevent most customers from returning with problems.
    I get what you are saying but an experienced builder should have the skills to avoid spoke windup and be able to quickly stress relive. I have built a few wheels over the years an they have turned out pretty well, but its true part of the reason is I spend literally hours building them and can take the time to be really meticulous

  12. #12
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    How old are the wheels? If they are not new, and the sounds started recently, you may want to carefully inspect the rims for any cracking near the spoke holes - particularly very fine hairline cracks. This started happening to my old wheels before I noticed the cracks.

  13. #13
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    wouldn't be ok for me...

    the sound would drive me nuts.
    the 45th POTUS is inept, corrupt, and a pathological liar. and those may be his better qualities...

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    Remember that you aren't building wheels for a living, so you can take your time and pay much closer attention to detail. Many bike mechanics are crunched for time with tight schedules and will do minimum stress relieving or rather they will do just enough to prevent most customers from returning with problems.
    If doing a crappier job than the person paying you could on their own because it's your profession is a good reason to do a hack job I'll have to let my clients and boss know about that.

    You defense of shoddy bike shops is always entertaining but this one is a bit over the top.

  15. #15
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    Is the total weight you're putting on the wheels within spec of what they can accommodate?

    I've built wheels, trued wheels, and bought wheels. I can't remember ever hearing pinging spokes.

    If I heard spokes pinging, I'd take that as a warning that my wheel was going to taco soon.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post

    Possibly. Remember that you aren't building wheels for a living, so you can take your time and pay much closer attention to detail. Many bike mechanics are crunched for time with tight schedules and will do minimum stress relieving or rather they will do just enough to prevent most customers from returning with problems.
    My local 'established' shop will build your wheel for $35 above the cost of materials. I can't imagine they are spending much time at that price.
    "L'enfer, c'est les autres"

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    My guess is that if your spokes are "pinging", they weren't stress relieved properly when they were built. If this is the case, the pinging you hear is the wheels stress relieving themselves as you ride. If you keep riding them, they will soon go out of true.

    To answer your question: No, it is not OK or acceptable.
    I interpreted the OP's description of "pinging" as a constant source of noise. It never occurred to me this could be a new wheel with wound up spokes even though I'm well aware of the issue. Good call.

    But in that case, the pinging should stop in short order and no longer be an issue, no?

  18. #18
    A wheelist
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    Is it OK for a wheel to make gentle spoke pinging sounds while being ridden?
    I very much doubt it but, as I've never experienced the phenomenon, I don't have any first hand experience. That's assuming it is your spokes.

    Wheels that don't get properly stress relieved (or whatever it's called) in the workshop do the job themselves within the first acceleration up the street. They don't keep doing it for ever more, no more than continued "stress relief" in the workshop provides any continued benefit or change. The spokes unwind, the instant they're unloaded, and then all is quiet. Whether the spokes are too loose after this to provide an acceptable wheel is a moving target.

    IMO. continued spoke pinging is probably the indication of a wheel that lacks sufficient spoke tension and that is a wheel that will have a short life span whether it be from nipples unscrewing or spokes fatiguing due to the wildly fluctuating tensions as the wheel rotates.
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  19. #19
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    My stock wheels made noises when mashing down on the pedals, on just about any hill or sprinting. My built wheels don't make any noises.

  20. #20
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    It's not ok for a wheel to make pinging noises, but sometimes there's nothing you can do about it.

    I build my own wheels, but I have one stock wheel, Easton EA90 Aero, that pings constantly. It's a fine wheel that performs well otherwise.

    It pings because it's a 20 spoke rear wheel set up 2x Ds, radial NDS. Only has 5 pulling spokes that are asked to do way too much work.

    Lubing the spokeholes and spoke crossing points may relieve the sound for a ride or two but it always comes back. The lower the gear (higher the torgque) the worse it is.

    One pulling spoke snapped in half a couple of years ago, I ordered 5 replacement spokes in expectation of more snapping but have only had to replace that broken spoke.

    The rim is in great shape otherwise, no sign of cracks.

    Pinging is a bad sign, but there are some wheels where there is nothing you can do.

    Everyone I know who has a 20 spoke rear wheel of any design (Mavic, Easton, Zipp, Shimano) has had a problem after some time. Radial spoking on one side can certainly help make a wheel stiffer but is more likely to make the problem worse.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter P. View Post
    I interpreted the OP's description of "pinging" as a constant source of noise. It never occurred to me this could be a new wheel with wound up spokes even though I'm well aware of the issue. Good call.

    But in that case, the pinging should stop in short order and no longer be an issue, no?
    Eventually, yes. And the wheel will then be out of true. Hope the rider has spoke wrench skills while out away from home.
    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein

    "Beware of geeks bearing formulas."
    -- Warren Buffett

    "Education is what you get when you read the fine print. Experience is what you get when you don't. -- Pete Seeger



  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Strongbow View Post
    If doing a crappier job than the person paying you could on their own because it's your profession is a good reason to do a hack job I'll have to let my clients and boss know about that.

    You defense of shoddy bike shops is always entertaining but this one is a bit over the top.
    I am not defending the practice of crappy work, I'm simply stating what is. Many shops have mechanics who are expected to churn out repairs as if they are on a production line, then drop everything they are doing to attend to customers who walk in the store. You know as well as I do that bike shops have been squeezed by competition from internet sales and big box stores, not to mention bike and part manufacturers who put quotas on sales and have reduced prices shops are allowed to charge. They can't afford to have mechanics sitting around when work is slow, nor have people hired specifically to attend to customers. Not to mention that the pay sucks, so there aren't a whole lot of good mechanics who want to work for peanuts. Do you really expect a wheel builder to take his/her time and pay attention to detail when the boss is breathing down his/her neck to finish?

    I'm really glad you are easily entertained. Whatever works for you.
    Last edited by Lombard; 08-19-2017 at 02:19 PM.
    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein

    "Beware of geeks bearing formulas."
    -- Warren Buffett

    "Education is what you get when you read the fine print. Experience is what you get when you don't. -- Pete Seeger



  23. #23
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    I took the whole bike to the "wheel guy" at a big, respected shop near me. Said tension and everything is fine. Said black spokes can be noisy since the coating is rougher. He oiled all spoke contact points, and it has been quiet for a couple hundred miles, but I can hear it starting to ping a bit again. He says I am fine to go on my 7 day, 500 mile trip.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeff400650 View Post
    Said black spokes can be noisy since the coating is rougher.
    That's a new one for the books.
    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein

    "Beware of geeks bearing formulas."
    -- Warren Buffett

    "Education is what you get when you read the fine print. Experience is what you get when you don't. -- Pete Seeger



  25. #25
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    I thought some body would like that one.

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