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Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

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Old 10-22-08, 08:32 PM   #1
KevinB
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Learning wheels?

I want to learn how to do wheel truing and im ready to buy the tools. The question i have is should I use the rims on my bike that I prefer not to screw up or buy a really cheap pair new or used to practice on?

Time it takes is not an issue because were I live the weather is bad now. I just dont want to destroy semi expensive rims.
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Old 10-22-08, 08:48 PM   #2
Jeff Wills
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Originally Posted by KevinB View Post
I want to learn how to do wheel truing and im ready to buy the tools. The question i have is should I use the rims on my bike that I prefer not to screw up or buy a really cheap pair new or used to practice on?

Time it takes is not an issue because were I live the weather is bad now. I just dont want to destroy semi expensive rims.

Start with a cheap, but not super-cheap, undamaged spare wheel. Ideally, it'll have an aluminum rim. See if you can buy something from Goodwill or similar charity. Practice loosening spokes, then tightening, and watch how much the rim moves with each turn, 1/2 turn, or 1/4 turn of the nipple. Also pay attention to how the amount of tension affects how much the rim moves for each turn of the nipple.

The only tool you really need is a good spoke wrench. Perfectly good wheels can come off of a bike flipped upside-down, using the brake shoes for gauges. However, it's much easier to see what's going on with a professional truing stand, a workbench, and lots of light.

It takes plenty of practice, patience, and a certain amount of mechanical "feel" to learn wheel truing. If you screw up a practice wheel, c'est la vie! Hang it over the fireplace and call it "Art".
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Old 10-23-08, 07:14 AM   #3
supcom
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Originally Posted by KevinB View Post
I want to learn how to do wheel truing and im ready to buy the tools. The question i have is should I use the rims on my bike that I prefer not to screw up or buy a really cheap pair new or used to practice on?

Time it takes is not an issue because were I live the weather is bad now. I just dont want to destroy semi expensive rims.
Go down to your local Goodwill or Salvation Army thrift store and buy a cheap bike. It shouldn't cost more than $20 and you'll get two wheels that surely could use truing up. Once you get the experience you need, donate the bike back to the charity. While you're at it, do a little inexpensive tuning up on the bike so it's in good condition for the next owner.
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Old 10-23-08, 04:47 PM   #4
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definatly find some used wheels or whole bike at yard sale, goodwill or somewhere and use those wheels to practice on. wheel truing does take alot of patience, practice, trial and error and you don't want to learn on the wheels of your dailly rider. sometimes the smallest adjustments can mess up a wheel's trueness and blindly trying to fix it can make things worse if you don't know what you are doing. best is to get a bike repair book or someone to teach you cuz there is an art to wheel trueing that make some basic knowhow, understanding and techniques a must before you pick up that spoke tightener.
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Old 10-23-08, 04:56 PM   #5
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Go down to your local Goodwill or Salvation Army thrift store and buy a cheap bike. It shouldn't cost more than $20 and you'll get two wheels that surely could use truing up. Once you get the experience you need, donate the bike back to the charity. While you're at it, do a little inexpensive tuning up on the bike so it's in good condition for the next owner.
good idea
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