Ok, you really need to re-tension your wheel.
WARNING: Plan to spend from 4 to 6 hours on the following process.
Take the wheel off your 'ped, take the tire off, and put the wheel
on a truing stand (could just be a piece of pipe through your wheel,
with the pipe in a bench vise).
Loosen all the spokes until they go thump instead of
Now, get something to measure your deflection. You really
want to get yourself a dial caliper set ("$25 at Harbor Freight tools":http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=93051 )
If you're a cheap-ass, a magic marker clamped so that the tip just barely
touches the highest spot (and you lower it as you true, and wipe off the
marker as you go) will do in a pinch.
And speaking of magic markers, make your like easier by putting a piece
of making tape all around your rim so that you can number your spokes.
It'll save a lot of time if you need to undo a step, or if you have a
Anyhow, here are my stages to truing a wheel:
(I'm assuming you are truing it horizontal)
In this phase, you will be tightening all of your spokes so that the
will is _basically_ flat, and your rim is centered on your hub.
DO NOT OVER TIGHTEN HERE! You will need to spare tension later.
You just need to bring the rim in line with the hub's center.
Using just a 1/4 turn at a time, adjust the spokes so that when
you spin the wheel, it's _mostly_ round. A 1/8" deflection is
Now, we get rid of the 'bumps' in the wheel. In this phase, your
dial caliper (or marker) should be hitting high points either between
or right on a spoke. If right on, tighten for spokes that go down,
and loosen for spokes that go up. If between, adjust both spokes.
Remember - GO SLOW! Only tighten by a 1/4 turn, then move on to
another part of the wheel. If you work only on one side at a time,
that side will be over tightened, and, like a spring, will rapidly deflect
when you adjust the other side.
You're looking for a final deflection of about 1/16", and your spokes
should go _tang_. Not _ting_ yet, but we're getting there!
Same as fine up/down, but when you adjust for in/out deflection,
you must tighten or loosen two or more spokes at a time -
one going 'up', and one going 'down'. They must be adjusted
at the same time, and, please check your up/down deflection after
every in/out adjustment!
I cannot stress this more - if you over tighten during the in/out phase,
you can rapidly warp your wheel out of true. If you check up/down
every time, it's easy to undo what you last did.
Now come the what you've been waiting for - _ting_ _ting_ _ting_
This is the trickiest part - you need to _gradually_ adjust all the
spokes to be in tension without messing up all of your hard work.
What I usually do is rig up the dial caliper to right where I'll be
doing the adjustments (set for measuring up/down deflection),
and tighten only the loosest spokes until the tiniest deflection is
measured, then back off a little. I go round and round, slowly
torquing it all in, a little at a time, until all the spokes make a nice
_ting_ sound. For my wheels, a higher pitched _tink_ sound is
too much, and I back off.
Re-tire and mount your wheel, and have fun!