Building up a set of Asymmetrical Rims.Let's just say the manufacturer calls for 120kgf on the drive side and 110Kgf on the Non Drive Side. When I tension the spokes everything seems to work out well "except" when all the spokes are 120kgf on the drive side in order to keep the wheel true not all the spokes are 110kgf on the Non Drive Side. I am guessing I should tension all the spokes to 120kgf not the drive side and make the wheel true and round and not worry too much about the non drive side. Is that correct?

  • I have to concur with Nathan’s answer. I don’t build wheels, but I am not aware of rim manufacturers specifying a target tension. It’s more likely that they gave a max tension.
    – Weiwen Ng
    Dec 6, 2021 at 0:33
  • @Weiwen Ng Pacenti for example give minimum and target tensions for the carbon rims. The aluminium rims similarly have a recommended tension range. These are not the only mfgs to do so.
    – Noise
    Dec 6, 2021 at 12:17
  • @JoeK can you confirm? Pacenti’s current tech specs page appears to list only min tension. pacenticycledesign.com/pages/rim-technical-information
    – Weiwen Ng
    Dec 6, 2021 at 12:25

1 Answer 1


Yes, you understand right. When you have a manufacturer's max tension spec to work with on any rim, offset or not, make that number be the target tension on the higher-tension side (drive side rear, disc side for front), and then on the less tensioned side let it land where it will and simply tension balance to whatever the average is, which basically means go through and eliminate outlier spots until it's all about the same at the same time that dish is also correct.

It's unusual to see a manufacturer spec a target tension for the lower tension side, because the exact ratio between the two depends on the hub choice primarily, and to a much lesser extent on the lacing pattern choices. If it was a replacement rim for a prefab wheel set I could see a manufacturer doing that, but I don't believe I've witnessed it actually happen. In theory a rim manufacturer could issue a number like that as a way of controlling the total tension on the rim, i.e. the load that if exceeded can cause the rim to collapse. Again in practice that's not how rim manufacturers ever do it, that I've seen.

  • Also, isnt the NDS tension something like 60-80% of DS tension depending on setup, assuming we are talking a rear designed for derailleurs?
    – Weiwen Ng
    Dec 5, 2021 at 17:20
  • @WeiwenNg Some road wheels are lower (worse) than 60%, and some offset rim builds in Boost and/or offset rear triangles are better than 80% and approach 100%, but yes you have it about right. Dec 6, 2021 at 16:57

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