Treat Your Bike
After a long season of riding, it is important to do a full inspection of your wheels to ensure that they are still running at their full potential and that they are ready to go for next season. Doing this wheel care will add years to the lifespan of your wheelset. Moving parts such as bearings and freehubs are prone to wear and tear, and spokes and nipples have a fatigue life when ridden hard. Taking time to inspect each component will keep your wheels running in top shape.
Check for Trueness
When you check for trueness, you are checking to see if the wheel is running straight. Big impacts, g-outs and rough terrain can be very hard on wheels. On occasion the right impact will put the wheel out of true. When the wheel is out of true, it will wobble. Generally a side to side wobble less than 2.5mm is no reason for immediate concern. Anything larger than that should be addressed.
If your wheel requires truing, there are two options. You can take the wheel to your local bike shop and have a reputable wheel builder true the wheel, OR you can ship the wheels to us and we will true and service the hubs. If you bring the wheel to a local shop, we recommend that they contact us for the correct wheel building tension and specifications.
Check Your Spoke Tension
The spokes and nipples of your wheel set are subject to an extreme level of load. Every impact from rocks, roots and bumps on the trail are absorbed and transferred through the spokes and nipples. Heavy impacts, drops and jumps all place an immense burden on the spokes.
Depending on the amount and intensity of your riding, spokes will fatigue. While typically this is not an issue until you have a few ride seasons on your wheelset. However, it is important to check the tension on your wheels at the end of the year. Measurements should be taken with a proper tensiometer which most bike shops will have. The measurement should also be taken with the tire removed, as an inflated tire will affect the measurements. As always, we encourage you to send your wheels back to us to have them serviced and trued if this is possible.
All NOBL wheel sets are built to a maximum tension range of 120-130kgf. The tension should be close to this range and consistent across all spokes, with the rear drive side having slightly higher tension. If there is a significant variance from this accepted range, it is worthwhile having the wheel tensioned and trued.
Inspect Your Hub
Your wheels will only spin as good as the hub. This is why it is essential to make sure your hub is operating at maximum efficiency during wheel care. Hubs are intricate components with an engagement mechanism, seals and several bearings. Each of these components are subject to high loads, with plenty of wear and tear from being exposed to the elements. Regular inspection of these components and some basic maintenance such as cleaning and replacing the old grease with clean grease will add years to the lifespan of your hub.
Hub service should be done by an authorized dealer, or if you send your wheels back to us we will perform a comprehensive service with truing, re-greasing and bearing replacement where necessary.
Should you embark on doing the maintenance yourself this is what you should look for:
A cleaning and fresh injection of grease in your Hydra, Torch or 101 hub will breathe new life into the hub. Use of Industry Nine specified Dumonde tech oil or grease is required. Inspecting the bearings to see if they have become rough or gritty is also important. If they feel rough, replacement is the course of action. We keep a healthy stock of replacement parts at all times.
Onyx classic and Vesper hubs require very little maintenance. As long as the hub is spinning easily, there is a good chance you can leave it as is during wheel care. Should they feel rough, Onyx has a detailed set of videos on how to service their hubs. Bearings that feel rough should be replaced. Once again, we keep stock of both regular and ceramic bearings in stock at our warehouse.
While incredibly reliable and generally maintenance free, a cleaning and fresh grease goes a long way to ensuring the star ratchet spins freely and engages reliably. Just be sure to only use DT’s specific star ratchet grease, and to use it sparingly.
The Chris King hub will provide years and years of reliable service as long as a maintenance schedule is followed. At the very least an annual inspection of the ring drive mechanism should be done. Dirt as well as gradual wear and tear on the ring drive will cause the grease to turn black and lose its lubricity properties. A clean plus some fresh grease will make the hub spin as good as new!
Hope’s simple tried and true leaf spring pawl system is reliable and easy to service. An annual clean and re-grease will keep the Pro 4 hub spinning for years. A medium waterproof grease is recommended for this application.
A little wheel care goes a long way…
We’ve designed our wheels to be used for years and to move from bike to bike with you. Taking these preventative maintenance steps will prolong the life of your wheel set as well as guarantee you catch any potential problems early. If you have more questions or need assistance with service, we encourage you to contact us!