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Thread: Trueing Wheels

  1. #1
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    Trueing Wheels

    The wheels on my bike are slighly out of true, just enuff to rub the brakes and be an annoyance. How much should I expect to pay a LBS to true a wheel?

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    Why not learn to true them yourself? It's not difficult, just need a spoke wrench.

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    In theory I should be able to. I can do everything else to a bike. But I guess wheel trueing has always escaped me, I know the concept and everything about how to do it, but when I attempt it I get confused and frustrated.

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    Quote Originally Posted by InOrderToBeAble
    In theory I should be able to. I can do everything else to a bike. But I guess wheel trueing has always escaped me, I know the concept and everything about how to do it, but when I attempt it I get confused and frustrated.
    Wheel-truing is just like many other tasks that seem daunting at first, but once you get the hang of it, it is really very simple.

    Best way to learn is to have someone who is good at truing wheels actually show you how. If that resource is not available to you, then try Sheldon's wheelbuilding site. It's where I learned to build wheels.

    Best way to practice is on an old pos wheel.

    Most important thing to remember is to make small adjustments (1/4 turns or less).

    But to answer your first question: My LBS used to charge between $0 and $15.00 to true my wheels 5+ years ago (before I learned to do it myself).

    Bob

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    Senior Member capwater's Avatar
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    Wheel truing isn't that hard, but it does take practice and patience. I learned by taking on old wheel apart and putting it back together several times, that way I didn't hav to worry about messin up my good wheels. Often times when a wheel is slightly out of true (not from a crash) it is a spoke of two unwinding due to previously under tensioning. You can usually spot this by tightening your brake and seing where the whel rubs the pad. Surf the web also since there is tons of info on wheel building. Good luck.

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    I was in the same boat, until I decides to just give it a shot, because the LBS wanted $25 to true the wheel. And with the family fleet to maintain, well do the math. Just remember that to move the rim to the right(looking at it) tighten the spokes that go to the right side of the hub, to the left is the left side of the hub. Work slow, pay attention to what you are doing, only tighten the spokes a little bit each time, 1/4 turn or less. Also dont' expect just one spoke t need tightening, usually you need to tighten 3 or more spokes on a side to get on spot true. It looks and sounds way harded that it really is. It is no more difficult than adjusting a cup and cone hub bearing, and cleaner.

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    Park Tool has a decent discussion of how to true a wheel: http://parktool.com/repair/readhowto.asp?id=81

    Zinn and the Art of Road/Mountain Bike Maintenance also has a good discussion with good illustrations.

    The Art of Wheel Building by Gerd Schraner has the best illustrations I've seen of the truing process and is spiral bound so you can easily reference them while working.

    I had a new wheelset that went out of true bad enough that the brakes were rubbing within the first 6 miles I used it. Using the above resources, I got it back into true in a matter of minutes on my first try. A decent truing stand is handy to get things perfect but you *can* use the brake calipers for reference in a pinch.

    The basic concept is to work with the 4 spokes around the bend in the rim. Loosen *slightly* (1/4 turn or so) the two inside spokes (at the apex of the bend) and tighten *slightly* the two outside spokes. Repeat as necessary until the wheel is true.

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    Senior Member geraldatwork's Avatar
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    About $20 in the Long Island, NY area. On occasion the truing was so minor and quick that I wasn't charged.

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    "slighly out of true, just enuff to rub the brakes"

    Assuming that the brake caliper is properly aligned, if the rim is touching the brake pads I would call that a lot out of true.

    Al

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