Several folks I know have encountered broken or very loose spokes on their wheels. Remember that these bike wheels are a combination of mountain bike and moto wheels. The hubs are mountain bike parts, the rims are motorcycle parts. The spoke nipples are the custom parts that when combined together make our wheels unique. To date I have NOT broken any spokes. After riding my bike for the first 200 miles I de stressed my spokes and have not had to so since. And to date I’ve amassed 2300 offroad miles on my bike.

A FB Group user sent me a video where the user was adjusting his spokes using the ‘sound method.’ I asked the man who built my wheel about this method and he doesn’t feel it’s accurate. I asked another wheel builder and they use that method quite a bit. So I found two resources that I feel are more representative of how I have tensioned my own wheel. Here you go:

Rocky Mountain’s ATV and MC video

Sheldon Brown’s VERY comprehensive website about spoked wheels.

Spoke wrenches I use.

BikeMaster Spoke Wrench 14-04

I use this on my OEM wheels

Motion Pro 08-0520 5mm Ergo Spoke Wrench

Motion Pro 08-0520 5mm Ergo Spoke Wrench I use this on my aftermarket wheel, my 21er.

Spokes are much like anything else that is completely vital, but seldom appreciated and often neglected. Checking your spokes should be a regular practice. If not it’s kind of like blowing up a bathroom only to discover there’s no toilet paper! Hahahahahaha. Enough said.


  1. Very true that this is probably the most neglected item on a bike.

    • Yes and when a spoke fails we seldom if ever look at ourselves as to why they fail. Not checking gear tends to be a ‘shame on me’ type of thing.

  2. There arenice videos about this issue on our bikes from John Holmes on Youtube.

    • Yes he produced some great SR videos. My understanding is he is no longer doing so, unfortunate.

  3. Wheel Truing Video
    True wheels make jumps and landings more accurate and give better steering input. I just replaced my stock Sur Ron Nipples with motorcycle stainless steel ones. I removed one nipple at a time, but first I found another spoke that had the same ring tone. When replacing the nipple I was able to tighten the nipple to the tone of the one I found it matched. Since my wheel was perfectly trued before I started I wanted to see if I went around the rim one nipple at a time, would this method return a trued wheel, and it did!

    • Thanks Lee for the information. As a side note I had read in a woman’s magazine that you do have a reputation as a serial nipple twister, but that’s a subject for a different type of site….

  4. Thanks again for this great information, to make our SRX a great dirt bike.
    The bike master spoke wrench was listed above as a BikeMaster Spoke Wrench 14-04.
    I bought a Bikemaster-spoke wrench Part # 15-1521.
    The one for the stock SRX spokes feels like a 4.

    About lee`s ring tone.. I have a guitar tuner. But how would I know what note its supposed to be.
    I intend to get a spoke torque wrench and then I might know the correct tone-pitch..(?)
    After my 2nd ride I stressed and tightened the spokes.
    After my 4th ride. The rear wheel was OK. Front spokes a few needed slight tightening.

    • I’ve found that on my bike which I’ve owned for 19 months the spokes only needed tightening after about 10 hours of riding in rough terrain. I still check them though as a routine part of maintenance like tire pressure and chain slack. Granted I’ve purchased wheels from Josh, but still check them too. I’m not using a tension gauge, just doing it by hand tension. But that’s just me and not necessarily the right way for others.

  5. what is the size of the nipples?

    • No idea contact Josh Nowell.
      A full menu of Josh Nowell’s superior built wheels and parts for SurRon can be found on his eBay site.
      Search eBay for: wickedwheelwerks

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