Balance Your Wheels For Better Performance
Nobody would drive a fast car whose wheels haven’t been carefully balanced after mounting tyres on so why do it on a bike? Current high-performance bicycle wheels with fancy ceramic bearings and lightweight carbon rims cannot deliver their full potential if not properly balanced before you ride. Why suffer poor performance when an easy task can be carried out which only requires an Effetto Mariposa Shelter Wheel Kit, a wheel truing stand (or a bicycle turned upside down), and a little patience.
The Effetto Mariposa Shelter Wheel Kit is a great way to balance wheels and to enjoy additional vibration-reducing action to sweeten the deal. It's also a super-efficient Valve Silencer. The kit features 35 washers that fit snugly over the valve stem, gluing at its base, with an elegant and almost invisible silencing effect. Once Shelter washers are applied on the rim, you can still remove the valve and re-insert it without losing the silencing effect.
HOW TO BALANCE WHEELS
Mount the tyre (and eventually disk) on the wheel, so that the wheel is in its rideable form. IMPORTANT: If balancing a tubeless wheel, make sure there’s very little or no liquid sealant inside (you can add that later). This is because liquid sealant spreads while riding without creating wheel unbalance, but it will interfere with static balancing.
Place the wheel on a truing stand and make sure it can rotate freely. Then with a gentle push, make the wheel spin. After a few complete rotations in the direction of the push, the wheel will enter a pendulum phase where it makes partial rotations, back and forth. Behaving like a pendulum, the excess of weight on the wheel is subject to a restoring force (due to gravity) that accelerates it toward the equilibrium position. Amplitude of swings will reduce until the wheel stops: the lowest point is where the excess weight is.
Often wheels stop with the valve at the lowest point, but sometimes uneven weight distribution on the tyre or less-than-accurate carbon fibre lay-up overcompensate that, and the lowest point is not corresponding to the valve. Keeping the lowest point of the rim/tyre as reference, identify the opposite point on the rim (you can find it using a ruler, aligned with the lowest point and the wheel axle) and adhere a Shelter washer there.
Repeat the process by making the wheel spin again and waiting for it to indicate the lowest/heaviest point. Each time the heaviest point may move slightly (because of friction in the hub), but it will normally remain within a +-10 cm (4 inches) range.
The wheel is balanced when, upon making it turn, IT WILL STOP WITHOUT ENTERING THE PENDULUM PHASE (it won’t change its rotation sense). With each subsequent spin, the lowest point when the wheel stops is a random point on the circumference, changing every time and depending on bearing friction. Washers can be adhered one on top of the other, or side by side, on top of the rim or on its side (depending on rim profile/size).
A good trick, although not always possible, is finding a spoke that’s close to the lightest point of the wheel and cutting the washer on one side, so that the washer can be put around the spoke. Each Shelter washer weights around 1gram. Typical wheel unbalance ranges from 4 to 12 grams.
• Effetto Mariposa Shelter Wheel Balancing Kit
• Eliminates valve noises, especially on high-profile rims
• Shelter washers can be used to finely balance wheels
• Visco-elastic behaviour reduces vibrations
• Less vibrations at high speed
• Better stability
• Contains 35 valve stem washers
• Suits Road or Off-Road wheels
• Self-adhesive & transparent
• Won't turn yellow over time
• Abrasion and solvent resistant
• Made In Italy