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  1. #1
    Senior Member bg4533's Avatar
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    Wheels out of true?

    I have a 2003 Specialized Hardrock. The bike has the stock Alex DM-20 Rims with Joy-Tech 32 hole hubs. When I spin the wheel with the bike off the ground the wheel gets further and closer to the brake pad as it spins. It is slightly noticable looking just at the rim. Are my rims out of true?

    If I want to true them myself I am guessing I need a truing stand? How are the $30-$40 ones performance and nashbar offer? I dont plan on using it too much. I am in college and can't afford a $150 Park unit. I have a spoke wrench that came with a portable Park tool kit I bought. Is there anything else I need.

    Also, I have put 1000-1500 miles on the bike since I got it and have ridden through lots of water, salt, etc. Should I consider repacking my hubs while I am at it? What will I need to do this? I know a cone wrench, but what size? Anything else?

    Thanks,
    Brian

  2. #2
    NOT a weight weenie Hunter's Avatar
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  3. #3
    2-Cyl, 1/2 HP @ 90 RPM slvoid's Avatar
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    I have an 04' hardrock sport, probably the same as yours. All I do is turn the thing upside down, it works great for truing your wheels.
    It also depends on how close you want it. When I first got it, they were within about 1mm of being true.

    I tightened up the tension on the spokes, ran through some huge 1 ft deep potholes at like 20, come flying out the other side and to this date, haven't adjusted it and they're still within about 1.5mm or so, not too shabby, my brake pads usually clear the rim by 2mm.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Ebbtide's Avatar
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    slvoid is about right!

    I've trued wheels without a stand with varied success. If it is not too out of whack (2mm or more) a simple tightening of the spoke is whats needed. I use the brake pads as my gauge.

    But I will caution you that you must understand how a spoked wheel works and which side to tighten, and in some cases loosen, before you begin. It not something you can do by trial and error. Once you go to far, you can literally screw yourself.

    Most "tune-ups" include this as part of the service (less than 30.00).

    Hope this helps,

    ehenz

  5. #5
    Senior Member bg4533's Avatar
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    Thanks for the help. Tune ups cost $50 at my lbs and I think they include this. I am getting a road bike come spring and I want to learn and practice on the mountain bike before I need to do it on the road bike. Tune ups for both bikes will add up pretty quickly.

    Any idea about size of cone wrenches and the hubs?

  6. #6
    2-Cyl, 1/2 HP @ 90 RPM slvoid's Avatar
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    I would check the park tool repair site. You wanna practice on the mountain bike by turning it upside down, finding a point of reference like ehenz said, such as the brake pad, use a non permenant marker and put it close to the rim, spin the wheel and the part that's out of true towards the marker would brush up against it. Repeat for the other side. Where there are marks on the rim, you want to loosen the spokes on that side and tighten the spokes on the other to balance it out. Repeat if necessary.
    Be sure to check the parktools site to see which direction to turn the spokes to make sure you don't turn it the other way by accident.
    After you're done, slowly spin the wheel and let it brush up against a screw driver or something, if the spokes make a "pinging" sound that's good, if they make a dull "thud", there's probably not enough tension on it. In that case, tighten that spoke and the one across from it. What I hear is that you want to put the spokes under tension otherwise the strength of the wheel suffers and it'll go out of true easier.

    Park tools has a good page on servicing hubs here: http://www.parktool.com/repair_help/howfix_hub.shtml

  7. #7
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    I got one of the cheapie truing stands from Performance (Minoura) and like it alot. I find it relaxing and convenient to true my wheels on the stand. I'm convinced my wheels are truer and stronger with the stand than they would be using the brake pads.

    I have a friend who swears by truing his wheel with the brake pad method. He is constantly breaking spokes, rims, and even hubs, on his road bike. How does one brek a 105 hub!? The two might be unrelated and he could just have terrible luck, but I suspect his truing method is connected to his wheel problems.

  8. #8
    put our Heads Together cerewa's Avatar
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    "i suspect his wheel-breaking problem is connected to his truing method"

    i dunno if i agree. I can tell that the wheel that i put together without a truing stand by using the frame of the bike is quite well-trued (using the frame as a reference, it doesn't wobble side-to-side and isn't at all out of round) and i know by the pitch given when you pluck them that the tensions are equal. I don't think you could do much better at all with the best truing stand.
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  9. #9
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    You don't need a truing stand, I've built wheels without a truing stand so you don't need one to true them. I can get my wheels as true as humanly possible using the chainstay on the bike. Just wrap a zip tie around the chainstay then tighten it around the chainstay. You should twist the zip tie so that it is facing the rim, then cut it off so that it is a little longer then the distance between the chainstay and the rim. Now all you have to do is twist the zip tie untill it just barely touches the rim, now you can spin the rim and tell where the high and low spots are, just like a really truing stand except it only cost $.05 instead of $70-120. I leave my zip tie around the chainstay all the time, just so I can check my wheel once and a while. Also get a proper spoke wrench that fits only your spoke nipples, don't use one that fits several different nipples, they just strip nipples and make you mad.
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