Tensio time

Check out this futuristic implementation of the Jobst Brandt tensiometer. We prefer this design for its insensitivity to distortion from the technician’s hand. Its symmetrical layout makes it equally natural to use left or right. Simple operation with highly repeatable results.

This tool is a limited edition, more than a year in the making. Machined to tight tolerances and finished beautifully. The tensio is equipped with the same Mitutoyo indicator we trust for truing and a specially relieved handle to accommodate the data cable. Each tool is individually calibrated.

How do you buy one? Unfortunately they sold out before being posted online (join the Islandix mailing list to get in on these deals). There’s hope — one tool has been held back and will be awarded to a Wheel Analytics owner by random draw. There are two ways to enter:

  1. Entry is automatic with every purchase of Wheel Analytics between today and the draw date.
  2. Past Wheel Analytics customers may enter by submitting a photo of your wheelbuilding area to tensiodraw@islandix.com. Show your Wheel Analytics main screen indicating software version 1.2.0 or later to qualify. Submissions will not be reshared.


Draw to take place December 1, 2022 or as soon as practical thereafter. The winner agrees their name may be publically disclosed. Tensiometer to be picked up in Victoria, British Columbia or posted at the winner’s expense (postage only, can be marked as a gift for customs purposes but carries a declared value of $599). Prize includes no warranty and has no cash equivalent. Order today to enter!

Make-a-tensio

Refitting a tensio to work with Wheel Analytics can be pretty easy. In this video we’ll refit a typical tool, this one imported from Asia but similar to tensiometers from a dozen or more manufacturers. This particular tool is well-constructed with a ball bearing pivot. The factory dial indicator is its weakness but we’ll see it replaced with a digital part.

The indicator is released by loosening a single set screw on the back of the tool. With the indicator removed, the stem is measured. There are two common sizes — 9.5mm (3/8″) and 8mm (5/16″) — and this tool uses the latter. Mitutoyo 543-781B features an 8mm stem so it’s a direct replacement. Insert into the bore and secure with the same screw. Job done.

Compatible indicators are commonly available in most global markets or available direct from Islandix.

Tensio support

Wheel Analytics includes two modules for interfacing with bicycle tensiometers. This feature is evolving and will be the subject of a free update available next month.

One frequently asked question concerns tensiometer support. Wheel Analytics works with any tensiometer equipped with a Mitutoyo or compatible digital indicator. Many tensios can be retrofitted with such an indicator, allowing you to continue using the tool you already own and enjoy. Islandix supplies indicators for this purpose with no extra shipping cost. Please inquire for specific advice or to order indicators.

A related question concerns available tensiometers that are compatible out of the box. There are a few on the market. The Wheel Fanatyk tools pictured above are an Islandix favorite. Choose the Digimatic version for compatibility. Wheel Fanatyk tensios are calibrated to a universal standard and this information is preloaded into Wheel Analytics as a default setting. On the other hand if you prefer a more traditional tool, IceToolz makes one featuring a Mitutoyo indicator.