Wheel Truing

RyanW

The abominable Bikeman
Location
Ashford, Kent
I know this may seem like a "how long is a piece of string" question but how much should i expect to pay to get a slightly out of true rear wheel sorted.

went for a ride with some friends, who thought it would be great to ride on a dirt road, needless to say my rear wheel didnt like it..


Ryan
 

PpPete

Guru
Location
Chandler's Ford
I've read numbers quoted anywhere from £5 - £15. Probably nearer the higher end as you are near to the smoke.

It's not difficult to do yourself - a skill well worth learning.

Of course it rather depends how many spokes you have. A conventional 36 or 32 spoke wheel is easy to true, but probably wouldn't go out of true because it happened to stray off the smooth tarmac.

Super lightweight wheels with low spoke counts might be better off in the hands of a specialist LBS.
 

potsy

Rambler
Location
My Armchair
This is what my LBS says-

STAND ALONE WORK
Wheel true-bare wheel £8.00
Wheel true-complete bike or assembled wheel Front £12.00 Rear £16.00
(including fitting up to 3 new spokes per wheel)
 
OP
RyanW

RyanW

The abominable Bikeman
Location
Ashford, Kent
32 spoke, it was a little more then off the tarmac (Gravel / Off road path around richmond park, big stones and bigger holes)

To do it myself what would i need? read a few guides but they talk about mounting the tire on something

Ryan
 

PpPete

Guru
Location
Chandler's Ford
You can do it on upside down bike. Tape a bit of cardboard to one of the stays so you can see which bits are "out".

If doing the job regularly, or building wheels, a truing stand is useful but if you can't afford one, you can make yourself one from scrap bits of plywood:

wheeltruingstand.jpg


Get a good quality spoke key. Spokey & Park are good, or the various copies.
Forget those ones which have a dozen slots for all the different sizes - most of which have not been used for about 50 years.
 

MacLean

Well-Known Member
Location
London
Sorry to hijack the thread slightly, however i am in a similar situation to OP.

Took my tricross down very steep hill with lots of large bolders and the rear brakes now have a scraping rhythm going as I ride.

Do any of you do this often? Where do you start? Okay so I spin the wheel find where the biggest peak is in the wheel, then what lol? Which spokes do you adjust??

How often is it that you would expect the wheel to go slightly out? As mine is less than 3 months old??
 

accountantpete

Brexiteer
MacLean said:
Sorry to hijack the thread slightly, however i am in a similar situation to OP.

Took my tricross down very steep hill with lots of large bolders and the rear brakes now have a scraping rhythm going as I ride.

Do any of you do this often? Where do you start? Okay so I spin the wheel find where the biggest peak is in the wheel, then what lol? Which spokes do you adjust??

How often is it that you would expect the wheel to go slightly out? As mine is less than 3 months old??
Potholes etc can jar a spoke loose as they rely on tension to keep them tight and a sudden release disturbs this.

Turn the bike up and close the brake blocks up to the wheel so that you can see where the rim is out.

Get a good spoke key - the cheapies tend to round the nipples.

All you do then is pull the deformed rim back into line by tightening the spokes on the other side adjacent to the problem area and very slightly loosening the spokes on the other side to allow this.

Start by using very small turns of the nipple - say a quarter turn max on the tightening nipple and 1/8th on the loosening nipple/s.

nb - if the wheel is out in a precise spot then only adjust the spokes nearest to this.
 

PpPete

Guru
Location
Chandler's Ford
If you are not sure which way to turn the nipple..... think of the spoke as long thin bolt, and the nipple as the nut. So if you are looking from the hub towards the rim, then you need to turn the nipple anti-clockwise to tighten.
 

vorsprung

Veteran
Location
Devon
How to true a wheel

What this covers
============
If you have a wheel that was originally true but it isn't now. Laterally truing only- this is ok for minor problems.

Locate the problem areas
==================
An easy way to do this is to turn the bike upside down and spin the wheel. You can see where it goes nearer the brake blocks as it spins. In an easy case there will just be one spot that "rubs". There might be two or more groups that are "off", some "out" and some "in". Coloured tape is good for marking them in this case

Locate the problem spokes
====================
The most likely problem is a loose spoke. The spoke will be loose on the Opposite side to that which rubs the brake. So if the LH rim rubs the brake (or goes in nearer it) then there will be a loose spoke on the RH side. To find the spoke, pluck all the spokes in the affected area. They should all have a similar pitch. If any of them sound lower pitched it could well be the problem. There maybe more than one spoke that is loose in the same area.

Adjust the Spokes
=============
Once you are reasonably certain that you know which spoke or spokes are giving you a problem, get a spoke key. If you don't have a spoke key a small adjustable spanner is often ok. Tighten the spoke by 1/4 of a turn.

Stress the Wheel
=============
Squeeze the spokes in pairs all the way around the wheel as hard as possible. This will ensure that the alteration in spoke tension effects all the areas it should

Recheck the trueness
================
Spin the wheel again. See if the point where the wheel moves in has gone. If not, repeat with another 1/4 turn of increased tension and another round of stressing
 

vorsprung

Veteran
Location
Devon
It's only after I wrote this that I realise what a confusing thing it is to explain. And a simple thing to do. Apologies if I have anything round the wrong way....
 

MacLean

Well-Known Member
Location
London
Okay thanks for those guides guys they should come in handy,


It seems like one of those things you have to just dive in and get used to... Might as well give it a go, If I F*ck it up I can just pay a pro to fix it... But at least learn a few lessons each time I have to do this :sad:
 

e-rider

crappy member
Location
South West
I would learn on an old wheel as you'll almost certainly make the wheel worse the first time you try - most shops will then charge you more if the wheel is in a right state.

The web has loads of sites that offer good advice - sheldon browns is easy and clear to understand. Or buy the excellent DT Swiss 'art of wheel building' book and read in your own time and refer back to time and again.

It is quite easy though, but it takes time and patience to learn to do it well. I spend so much time on my wheels that they are far better than any I've bought from a shop (mainly because a shop isn't going to spend 2-3 hours building 1 wheel) but as a result of investing time you can have amazing wheels that never need truing and run perfectly true to within 0.2mm laterally and radially.
 
OP
RyanW

RyanW

The abominable Bikeman
Location
Ashford, Kent
thats for all teh help guys, LBS says 10-15 a wheel depending on time, and a spoke thing is about £3....

So i will try it myself.....

will let you know how badly, i mean, how well it goes
 

MacLean

Well-Known Member
Location
London
Well had a look at my wheel last night, still waiting on a spoke key mind but had a look anyway.


Bike upside down and spin the wheel, it bukles to the left, so I give the spokes around there a feel.

One of the spokes going to the right, just beside the bend in the wheel is completely loose. I mean not a just a bit slack, pretty much loose enough that its flapping about! So I think when I get my key its gonna be a simple case of tighten this bugger and because its on the right, and the bend is to the left, it should pull it straight in theory...


Its a pretty new bike, and I was training with bricks in my bag which might explain it lol :smile:
 
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