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tune spurtreu pointed at wheel
  • Ryan S

    So it’s just a single dot? A more accurate way would be a solid line, like laser levels project….this way the beam would span the entire length of the tire and be more accurate. Alignment set at the factory isn’t exactly piece of mind. How are you supposed to calibrate it yourself (in reference to what)? It would be a novel idea if there was a jig included that you could place it on and adjust it to the jig, for easy recalibration.

    I think this is going in the right direction for better wheel/stem alignment, but there’s probably some improvements that could be made.

    • Dave Rome

      Yep, it produces a single dot. Slightly related, Tune is working on a derailleur alignment tool that uses a long beam.

      As for calibration, the tool comes with instructions on how to do it. It’s simply a matter of placing the tool on a flat surface (a table) and marking a cardboard box, approximately one metre away, with a marked point 35mm up from the table. The laser should align with this point. It’s something I have played with, it’s easy enough to do, but the laser’s lack of definition makes it harder than ideal.

      • James Huang

        Having spent far too much time aligning lasers and optics on proper optical tables (so many 1/4-20 holes!!), it perhaps goes without saying that I find that recommended procedure to be wholly inadequate.

        • Lyrebird_Cycles

          Interesting you say that, I’m currently building a frame aligment check table using that technology, having adapted a couple of optical breadboards to make a frame jig with good effect.

          • James Huang

            Ha, no way! Seems like the dimensional precision would be sufficient for frames (not sure a massive granite metrology table is really necessary here), and all of those threaded holes would clearly be useful. There are so many readily available clamps and other accessories already made for those things, too.

  • Carl Sechrist

    I’ve got a trick of my own that works just as well as long as the stem has a centered clamp slot (99% of them do) and the best part is it’s not fragile and doesn’t cost nearly $100. It also conveniently works best in the workstand and not on the floor.

    • Dave Rome

      I’m interested to hear more!

      • James Huang

        Me, too! Please, do tell.

      • A plumb line hanging down over the stem. I take the wheel off and align with the line with brake caliper bolt.

        • Sean

          A plumb line is yesterdays tech, all the cool kids are using laser alignment technology these days.

        • mrp33p3rs

          you’d need another plumb line to tell that that the bike is perfectly vertical………..

          • Rest the drop outs on the flat garage floor and you can be pretty sure it is vertical

            • hlvd

              The floor would have to be perfectly level for that to work.

        • hlvd

          The bike would have to be perfectly plumb in itself for that to work.

      • Lyrebird_Cycles

        Off the top of my head: buy a cross generator such as an Apinex CR60 ($USD15), https://www.apinex.com/ret2/cr60an.html

        Mount it centrally in a 100mm long piece of rod in the dropouts and check the beam alignment using a straight edge across the forks. Point the cross at the bar/ stem, when the beam shows no deviation along their lengths they are straight.

      • Carl Sechrist

        I like to turn the bars so the tire isn’t obscured by the frame, and center the vertical split in the clamp with the tire while centering the tire between sides of the faceplate. This does obviously work better with tires that have a strong centerline and are wider but I get good results on skinny road tires too. I’ve attached a photo because that makes more sense to me than the words.
        https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/747e245718df79eb186ff90e83bddaa7ab78b2c4a4459806378af08671e8c698.jpg

        • Sean

          I really do like your technique better than that laser thing.

        • Fenton Crackshell

          Yes! That’s exactly what I do and it’s quick and accurate every time. I’m stunned that this method isn’t common knowledge. Once you can see the entire wheel and stem in a vertical plain, the human eye is actually really good at checking alignment.

        • Wily_Quixote

          Yep, that’s pretty much what i do.

        • Rodrigo Diaz

          I do this as well and it’s a great method. In one particular bike it’s a bit of a pain because the seam on the stem is not straight back but otherwise is one of the best methods with no tools.

  • Tim Robson

    Totally concur. I waited and waited and waited for mine – and it’s turned out to be little more than a bench ornament. Doesn’t work with ANY of my bike’s stem arrangements across road, mountain and general duty rigs, impossible to secure it onto bars to provide a decent platform for the beam to work from, and the beam itself simply doesn’t do what it says on the tin – help align the stem with the fork.

    I only blame myself – my belief that someone had finally invented a tool to reliably and repeatably do the job outweighed that little voice in my head that said ‘this is too good to be true’.

  • Avuncular

    Ime aligning a stem is one of the easier jobs working on bike particularly an ahead stem. If I find it’s slightly out, it’s a quick fix by the side of road. With a quill stem, it’s back to workshop as they may need a hard tap to dislodge the wedge or expander. This precision tool may have its uses for some, but I’ll pass.

    • James Huang

      The physical act of moving the stem is definitely as easy as you say, and this tool does nothing to change that. The tricky part, however, is guaranteeing that the stem is actually where you want it to be.

  • Jack R

    A logical solution but based on the price, sounds easier to go low tech. An effective method picked up somewhere online was to remove the front wheel and rest the front dropouts on a piece of dowel (say 1m long) on the ground. Then, looking from above, adjust the stem so the dowel and the straight part of the handlebars (the ~20cm either side of the stem) are aligned. This works for me but there are probably better methods out there!

    • James Huang

      Not a bad idea, but that would only work for open dropouts.

  • bigstu_

    A fool and his money are soon parted. Do they come in carbon? anodised colours?…

    • Wily_Quixote

      Too true – this tool is for someone who already has a spurcycle bell.

      • Dave Rome

        Guilty. For the record, unlike this tool, I really rate my Spurcycle bell ;)

        • Wily_Quixote

          me too. The bell, that is.

  • hlvd

    I’ve a far simpler way.
    Undo and remove the front skewer and replace with a length of M5 threaded rod(or whatever size needed for a disc hub) not sure what length they come in, 500mm or 600mm.
    Sight down the handlebars and line up with threaded bar, when they both run parallel you’ve a perfectly aligned stem.

  • Larry @CycleItalia

    Geez, is this really a thing? For decades I’ve eyeballed stem alignment. If the rider/customer thinks it’s off, I loosen the stem a bit, turn the front wheel 20 or so degrees from straight ahead and straddle the wheel. pinching the front wheel between my legs while facing the owner/rider. The owner/rider’s straddling the bike facing forward and moves the bar/stem (not the cockpit, when did this silly term get popular?) to where he or she is happy. I stand back so they can be sure, then secure the fasteners. Very rarely do they come back and admit they screwed up, but if they do we just do it again as it takes just a minute or two.

    • Crash Bandicoot

      Thanks my thoughts exactly, home gamer here but I’ve ridden a bike out with a misaligned stem one time in my life and it was a 2 second fix we have 7 bikes and I do 100% of the work on them. I’d figure someone who makes a living working on bikes would not need such a tool for such a simple task.

  • Angel Jaffe

    It’s great that a company like this is finally addressing something a lot of us struggle with. Tune’s stem alignment tool just seems a little complicated for such a small device. Or maybe, I’m just not fully understanding how it works after reading the article. I wish that Tune would just make a simple Youtube video and demonstrate it.

    • hlvd

      Have a look at my post below, it’s really simple, no expensive gadget needed.

  • winkybiker

    If you can’t tell whether your bars are crooked or not, they aren’t.

  • winkybiker

    I align mine generally with the bike in my work stand. My stand is the style with the forks clamped onto the stand. Check that the BB is sitting central in the cradle, and stem lines up along the TT to optically centre on the seat post with one eye closed. Check it from the back to be sure while also checking that the saddle is square (or skewed to your preference in some cases).

  • Wily_Quixote

    i am a terrible bike,mechanic but I can set up a stem by sight pretty easily.

    i just align the stem axis with the tyre by positioning my eyes on the same axis. the only issue is that you have to double check with one eye closed at a time to correct for any parallax error.

    My main issue I have is the stem rotating when i torque the bolts.

    if I was a mechanic and had to do it in a hurry, or do lots of them, I would use a device like a goniometer, essentially two flat rules joined along their flat axis with a pivot. One rule to align along the stem and one to swing over the stem to touch and align with the tyre.
    Like this wihth one long arm (and no need for the angle measurement):

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/728c2c1f7f012e81c26e35fe98fd40b210d56e24ec713b945503e53994cab69b.jpg

    You could even have on like the device in the article – keep the fixator that clamps on the stem but instead of a laser beam just have a flat rule on a pivot that extends to the tyre.

  • The tool for the OCD types? I fail to see the need for this tool. As others have highlighted, there are plenty of other methods out there to get an appropriate alignment.

    But at the end of the day, how perfect does it need to be? Obviously the wheels will always be pointing in the right direction, then any small difference in alignment by doing by sight can be taken care of either by the difference in hand position, whether you notice it or not.

    It seems like a solution to a problem that didn’t exist… but hey, I’m just a home mechanic…

  • Chuck6421

    Call me a troll, but I think if a musician can learn to tune their instrument by ear, a cyclist can learn the far simpler task of centering their handlebars by eye.
    This to me seems like another tool looking for something to fix.
    Are you folks struggling with crooked handlebars at all worried about your seats? You should be!

    • Hexsense

      not my seat, my aero seatposts across multiple bikes are all straight by default.

      • mjc_iv

        Or slightly crooked by default.

  • winkybiker

    This could be a significant breakthrough. Not many realise it, but if yours bars aren’t straight, your front wheel will be rolling at an angle, causing drag. Pro-teams use very sophisticated laser-alignment jigs to ensure their riders’ bars are straight and that the rolling resistance is therefore minimised. ;)

    • Ashok Captain

      Watt a brilliant comment! : D

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