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Thread: wheel truing...

  1. #1
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    Is there an easy and cheap way to true a wheel. I recently had to get a spoke replaced on my rear wheel and ended up taking the tire to a local shop. The cost of replacement for the spoke was $0.65 and $15.00 to true the wheel. I thought of getting myself a spoke wrench and doing the job myself but not knowning much about this and taking in consideration the cost of the wrnch (around $10.00) thought it was not worthwhile. Any ideas/opinions/suggestion??? Thank you in advance

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    wheel truing is not magic but it is an art and a science. to do what you had done at your shop you will need: a spoke wrench $7.00, a good truing stand $200, somthing to mesure the lenght & diameter of the spoke $75, a tensionmeter $200, spoke and nipple $.65, a book on wheel building $19.99?, and 90 muinets of your time. the best tip i can give you is take careful note of the cross pattern of the wheel. good luck

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    I guess my 16 some dollars was money well spent...thought the same too

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    All you really need to true a wheel is a spoke wrench. The other tools make it easier to build wheels, but you don't absolutely have to have those to build wheels, they mainly make it easier.

    For truing wheels, if you have a repair stand that holds the bike up, mounting the bike on that will work, or you can rest the bike upside-down. All you need is the wheel to be free to turn while it's still mounted on the bike.

    When you true a wheel, you will want to usually tighten the spoke(s). With the bike set so the wheel turns freely, spin it around slowly until it hits a brake pad (or get's very close to hitting). Then tighten the spoke or spokes that lead to the OPPOSITE side of the hub of the side it hits the brake. If it hits the brake right at a spoke on the same side of the hub, you tighten the two spokes on the opposite side a little, if it hits near a spoke going to the opposite side, just tighten that one spoke. Usually tighten them only 1/4 turn at a time until it's true. Spokes tighten in the normal direction, but when you use a spoke wrench it's a little confusing because your looking at the nipple backwards. When you first use the tool, think of a screwdriver going through the tire into the nipple and turn it clockwise to tighten the nipple.

    After a couple of tries, it will become easy. After you've done it for a year or so, it'll be second nature. Just don't get frustrated and give up, if your having problems think it out and you should be able to figure out what your doing wrong. If your stuck, have a shop true that one, then get an old wheel, or a spare you don't really need right now, and practice on that until you get it down.

  5. #5
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    I have had many spokes break on me while I was touring on the road and I never had any trouble fixing them, and they always break in the worst possible place, the sproket side of the rear wheel. I dont own any fany tools and dont plan to carry a truing stand. When a spoke breaks it is on the road and not at home, lord knows I am not going to bring a truing stand and a bike stand wherever I go. All I carry with me is a spoke wrench, cassete removal tool, chain whip or vise grips and a chain and a few extra spokes. When you are replacing the broken spoke notice the tension of the other spokes around it and try to tension the spoke like the other ones and you will notice after that the wheel is almost as true as it was before, and from there on only minor adjustments need to be made, and your break pads work just as good as a truing stand in this situation. Oh yeah I would find a new bikeshop beacause if it is one you patronize often and they charge you that much money for a job that takes a novice 5 minutes to do on a lonely highway somewhere they are scamming you.

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    Sergio,

    If you are an active rider by all means buy the tools and start to learn. This will not only save you money but time. Time that is more important than money.

    It is not very hard to build wheels. Replacing spokes is very easy.

    Simply make sure you have the right size and replace. Many times the wheel will go out of true sideways and not up and down. To fix hops is much harder. Give it a try. I am sure you will pick it up very fast.


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    Well, akirus, what you say can be good for when your on a tour, but I think Sergio just wanted to know in general. But I do have some things to add to what you say:

    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>When a spoke breaks it is on the road and not at home, lord knows I am not going to bring a truing stand and a bike stand wherever I go. All I carry with me is a spoke wrench, cassete removal tool, chain whip or vise grips and a chain and a few extra spokes.[QUOTE]

    All you need on the road is a poke wrench, a Hypercracker to take the cassette apart (for Shimano cassettes) and carry a couple of spokes for the frnt a a couple for each side of the rear. The Hypercraker works with the wheel in the bike so you don't need a chain whip. You put the Hypercranker in place and remount the wheel, then put the chain by hand into the largets cog in the rear and smallest in front, and pedal. Sometimes by hand will genterate enough force, but if not pedal by one foot while pressing on the front brake and press forward on the handlebars to try and make the bike do a 'burn-out'.


    [QUOTE]When you are replacing the broken spoke notice the tension of the other spokes around it and try to tension the spoke like the other ones and you will notice after that the wheel is almost as true as it was before, and from there on only minor adjustments need to be made, and your break pads work just as good as a truing stand in this situation.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Well this is good when you stopped for the day, a quicker way on the road is loosen the two spokes adjasent to the one that broke, the ones that go to the opposite side of the hub. This will get the wheel true enough to get you to where you want to go. Then bother to take the whole bike apart and replace the spoke and true the wheel. You can loosen the spokes in a minute or two, and be on your way. I have done this when touring with the bike loaded with 100+ pounds and rode over fairly rough roads for 50 to 60 miles before getting to where I was going.

    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Oh yeah I would find a new bikeshop beacause if it is one you patronize often and they charge you that much money for a job that takes a novice 5 minutes to do on a lonely highway somewhere they are scamming you. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Not really, time is money. Just because one spoke broke doesn't mean all it will take is to replace the spoke. I know that whenever I have done work like this, I take the time to check the whole wheel out, tighten all the spokes if they need it, then true the whole wheel, not just the broken one. I have done this for free for friends, but I made $30 and hour when I was working. so a $15 charge isn't much at all, if you want them to do a good job. If they charge $15 and the wheel needs work after the next ride, THEN find a new shop, they don't know what they are doing.

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    Well how come then when I get a wheel rebulit like I just did a few weeks ago I only paid double what it took for you to fix a spoke, and thats in canadian dollars.

    Quote "I have done this for free for friends, but I made $30 and hour when I was working. so a $15
    charge isn't much at all, if you want them to do a good job."

    Now come on 30$ an hour working in a bike shop all the bike shop owners I know could never afford to pay anybody 30$ an hour, all the owners around here are working 7 days a week just to make ends meet, that means for my job I should get 100$ an hour.
    Anyways Robert I appriciate your advice on the hyper ******* I must get one, and maybe the reason my spokes break is because my bike shop mechanic is no good.
    Don't you think that at a place you hane invested thousands of dollars in should maybe extend you the courtesy of a cheap bike fix?

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    If you are breaking spokes, either the wheel is old with fatigued spokes and needs a rebuild with new spokes or it is not properly tensioned. A properly tensioned wheel should ring like a bell if you snap the rim with your finger. (note that a mounted tire will muffle the sound). It should be straight and true. Having tension equalized on the entire wheel is as important as having it straight and true. If it is not properly tensioned, it will not stay true.
    Note the previous reply that mentioned that building wheels is not a money maker for bike shops. I contend that to really build a wheel right takes more time than a bike shop can afford. A knowledgeable and talented amateur who has a day job and can afford to spend a few hours on one wheel may do a much better job than you can get at most bike shops.
    I know I'm paranoid, but that doesn't mean they aren't out to get me.

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    It's generally considered a bit foolish to respond to threads that are 5 years old...

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Expatriate
    It's generally considered a bit foolish to respond to threads that are 5 years old...
    They did it for that hills thread in Road forum so why not. Must be some new trend.

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    The trend revives. I am the revenant.
    Don't blame me, blame my intestinal flora.

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    Senior Member Brian's Avatar
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    If you don't have anything of value to add, don't post.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Expatriate
    If you don't have anything of value to add, don't post.
    couldn't have said it better myself. This is the most extreme case of thread bumping I have come across. It doesnt matter if they did it in the road forum, this is the mechanics forum
    C://dos
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    run.dos.run

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    Quote Originally Posted by phantomcow2
    This is the most extreme case of thread bumping I have come across. It doesnt matter if they did it in the road forum, this is the mechanics forum
    You have become offended, eh, comrade? An easily offended one you are. I did not notice the date when I posted... must I now beg your forgiveness?
    Don't blame me, blame my intestinal flora.

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    Senior Member Brian's Avatar
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    Go spout rubbish somewhere else. Your pointless comments contribute nothing.

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    Just to clarify, if, when spinning the wheel in a jig or frame, the buckle is at, say, 12 o'clock, you would tighten the spokes at 6 o'clock, the opposite side to the buckle?

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    the direction you turn a spoke wrench is opposite for 6 and 12 o'clock wheel positions because the spoke nipples are pointing in the opposite direction. It is generally easiest if you write down a convention. I always tighten and loosen spokes at 12 o'clock for example to not get lost. If you are looking down from 6 feet above the rim to the spoke nipple at 12 o'clock, consider "time is tight" CW from above the wheel is the same as CCW from just under the rim looking skyward at the 12 o'clock wheel position. Another suggest is only turn one or two spokes...particularly if you have a short wobble...1/4 of a turn or 90 degrees and then recheck trueness. I label and record spokes I tension until I am done so can retrace my steps if I make anything worse.
    HTH,
    George

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