Satisfying wheel truing session

Chrisc

Über Member
Location
Huddersfield
A few weeks back I noticed my rear wheel out of shape while cleaning the bike, turned out to be a loose spoke. I messed about tensioning the spokes using the brake pad as a guide and got it back straight BUT I'd picked a low spot on the non drive side to work to and inadvertently altered the dish of the wheel.
Only noticed this when cleaning it again and saw the tyre closer to the non drive side chainstay and flipping the wheel confirmed that it was out of dish.

SO I set to work tonight with a small adjustable spanner, loosened the non drive side spokes keeping the rim straight and and then tightened the drive side, a few tweaks and it's now bang in the middle! Was so happy I did the front as well as it had a slight wobble but is now straight. Spokes now all singing the same tune as well! ;)
 

Fattman

Active Member
Location
Roydon, Essex
Nice! Always been scared to try wheel truing - feared it is like trying to level a table by shaving the ends of legs, and ending up turning a dining table into a large coffee table... Tales like this give me courage! (well... nearly... one day...)
 

Globalti

Legendary Member
You can make yourself a simple dishing gauge out of a piece of wood batten 28" long with bolts through the ends and the middle. By adjusting the depth of the bolts you can get the middle to sit on the end of the axle while the ends just touch the rim. Try it on the other side of the wheel and you'll know if the rim is centred on the axle.
 

ASC1951

Guru
Location
Yorkshire
Chrisc said:
SO I set to work tonight with a small adjustable spanner
Aaagh! Adjustable spanners are the Devil's Claw, especially small ones. IME you should always use the correct spanner for the nut. In this case, one of these http://www.bikecare.co.uk/product_info.php?acc=Spoke Keys&id=20

In fact the small radius makes spoke keys much easier to use than any other tool. For other tasks adjustables are as easy to use as fixed spanners, just not as good.
 
OP
Chrisc

Chrisc

Über Member
Location
Huddersfield
ASC1951 said:
Aaagh! Adjustable spanners are the Devil's Claw, especially small ones. IME you should always use the correct spanner for the nut. In this case, one of these http://www.bikecare.co.uk/product_info.php?acc=Spoke Keys&id=20

In fact the small radius makes spoke keys much easier to use than any other tool. For other tasks adjustables are as easy to use as fixed spanners, just not as good.
I know! And I'd just ordered a spoke key with the intention of waiting till it arrived but impatience got the better of me. No harm done, all the nipples are free turning, no way I'd force things with an adjustable.
 

BigSid

Über Member
Location
Hungerford
I'd always avoided truing wheels after hearing so many stories about it being really difficult to get right and really easy to totally screw it up so the first time I had to true a wheel was in the wilds of Iceland!! Broke a spoke 3 days into an 8 day trip. Replaced the spoke, trued the wheel and the day after one of the guys was behind me and said he was amazed I'd got it so perfect. I think I was more impressed than he was.
 

jimboalee

New Member
Location
Solihull
Globalti said:
You can make yourself a simple dishing gauge out of a piece of wood batten 28" long with bolts through the ends and the middle. By adjusting the depth of the bolts you can get the middle to sit on the end of the axle while the ends just touch the rim. Try it on the other side of the wheel and you'll know if the rim is centred on the axle.
Quite brilliant design.

Cons - tool is specific to rim diameter.

Pros - it can be used with the tyre on the rim.
 
OP
Chrisc

Chrisc

Über Member
Location
Huddersfield
HLaB said:
Have you got a jig Chrisc. I've trued the wheels a few times on my utility bike but it has just been in the frame.
No, just used the frame, brake pads, patience and a piano. Actually it only took about half an hour to move the rear over 6mm and get both wheels round and true. A job I can now set about with confidence next time!

BTW the piano was to get an 'F' as recommended by Sheldon B for the tension on the drive side!
 

hubgearfreak

Über Member
jimboalee said:
Cons - tool is specific to rim diameter.
a batten has four sides. it doesn't take a genius to put a pair of screws on each of the four sides, 584, 590, 630 & 635 apart.
however, given the price of 1" sq. wood, it doesn't take a millionaire to buy more than one either
 

Tynan

Veteran
Location
e4
my LBS as good as refuse to sell me a spoke key, say they're doing me a favour

are you really likely to wrech a wheel first time out?
 
OP
Chrisc

Chrisc

Über Member
Location
Huddersfield
Tynan said:
my LBS as good as refuse to sell me a spoke key, say they're doing me a favour

are you really likely to wrech a wheel first time out?
Just don't go mad with the twiddling, slow and methodical.
If you count my first time as the one before this I did manage to move the wheel dish but no harm done and now it's back whree ti should be, I know how to do it again.
My spoke key should arrive today!!
Other bikes in the garage may be used for practice...
 

rh100

Well-Known Member
Tynan said:
my LBS as good as refuse to sell me a spoke key, say they're doing me a favour

are you really likely to wrech a wheel first time out?
Thought I'd ruined mine to start with, but a bit of patience paid off. I'd only mess with mine now if it really needed doing, but could sort it if I had to I think.
 

Matthames

Über Member
Location
East Sussex
Tynan said:
my LBS as good as refuse to sell me a spoke key, say they're doing me a favour

are you really likely to wrech a wheel first time out?
I had an LBS like that, they never had my custom again. The wheel I subsequently built is still true to this day :tongue:
 
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