The art of tightening spokes is one that should be mastered early on in a young rider's career. Whether you are riding dirt bikes, road bikes, big wheel scooters, MTB or BMX spoke tension is very important, as incorrect tension on spokes can lead to the bike wheel becoming buckled or not true.
There are heaps of spoke tools on the market but they generally fall into one of two categories. Torque spoke wrenches are either per set or have a tension meter, this type of wrench is generally called a Torx spoke wrench or a preset spoke wrench set. Spoke spanners rely on your input to achieve the correct tension, this type of wrench is often called a nipple wrenches, spoke wrench tool, bicycle spoke wrench or a spoke key. Always ensure that the wrench matches the spoke nipple size on your rims. If you are running aftermarket rims including SM Pro, Shimano, Mavic, or Campagnolo, the size might differ from that of the OEM rim. Whilst you are checking the tension on your spokes take the opportunity to check on your brake pads and sprockets. You can also have a quick check through your tool kit to ensure you have everything including chain tools, tyre repair kits, bottom bracket tools, and tyre levers.
Thanks to the compact size of even the biggest spoke tool, it is definitely a worthy addition to your repair tools and tool kit. Perfect to fit in one of the panniers of an adventure bike, the backpack of a commuter, the hydration pack of a mountain bike rider, or in the body armour of an enduro rider.
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