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  1. #1
    Which is the top tube? gprodz's Avatar
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    Tolerance for Truing a Wheel?

    So I have never had to true a bicycle wheel before, so I am completely lost on this topic.

    I just bought two new wheels from online, have had them for about 2 weeks, and have only ridden on them four times. Pricepoint.com says that they come trued, so I didn't worry about checking them when they arrived.

    Now, when I look at both wheels closely, it appears that each has a very very very very very very slight wobble, in my opinion.

    My question is, what is an acceptable amount of crookedness for a bike wheel for it to be considered true?

    Centimeters? Milimeters? Less?

    Are my wheels safe to ride if the wobble is barely noticeable?

  2. #2
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    I think most people recommend having new machine made wheels, which these possibly are, re tensioned by hand. As for a little bit of wobble, as long as it's slight and you're not scraping a brake pad it's probably of no harm...but when they are true there should be little to no perceptible movement.

  3. #3
    Which is the top tube? gprodz's Avatar
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    It is barely noticeable.

    Just now I had the brake pad hardly touching the rim, and gave the wheel a good spin. It was rubbing ever so slightly constantly, but in one spot there would be a little more contact. It didn't cause the wheel to stop suddenly at all, it even spun through it several times.

    I don't think that helps describe my situation that well, but I'm hoping it gives me the all clear for a ride????

  4. #4
    Senior Member Torchy McFlux's Avatar
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    I aim for less than 1mm of wobble when I true a wheel.
    If it's not touching the brake pads, and you can't feel it when riding, then it's not something you need to worry about.

  5. #5
    Which is the top tube? gprodz's Avatar
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    Awesome! Thank you.

  6. #6
    on your left.
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    when you get new wheels you should "de stress" them.

    basically, remove the QR skewer, put the wheel on the ground, grasp either side of the rim, and put some weight on that. you should hear a "twang" noise, that's the spokes getting rid of tension put on them by the nipples (legit term, if you're wondering). once you do this, rotate 90 degress, repeat, and do the same thing on the other side.

    this reduces the likelihood that your wheels will need re-trued as quickly. When we get new wheels in at the shop, they're usually within 1mm of true. I try to true to within 1mm, so they're generally fine.

    in conclusion, those wheels you have are fine, ride on!
    Quote Originally Posted by caloso View Post
    I learned this the hard way. They say that experience is the best teacher, but I would have been preferred to just read about it on the internet.

  7. #7
    Great State of Varmint Panthers007's Avatar
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    Yes - do the stressing around the wheel. Then flip it over and do the same on the other side. Then check it for true using your brake-pads as a measure. Many times where the wheel is ever so slightly off, this will be due to the seam in the rim. And that is nothing to worry about. But it's good you are paying attention to what the wheels say to you. Let us know if anything comes up - and look for that seam where the rims were joined.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cateye View Post
    Only panthers007 is stupid enough to believe that this is a good idea.

  8. #8
    cab horn
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    You should be more worried about consistent and correct spoke tension rather than trueness (although both are important). Tension should take precedence over "supreme trueness". And by that, I mean < +/- 0.5mm.
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by operator View Post
    You should be more worried about consistent and correct spoke tension rather than trueness (although both are important). Tension should take precedence over "supreme trueness". And by that, I mean < +/- 0.5mm.
    +1

    Also, the brake pads should not touch the rim except when braking. The rear wheel rim should be centered between the seat stays and between the chain stays. The brakes should be centered to the rim.

  10. #10
    Pwnerer Wordbiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by operator View Post
    you should be more worried about consistent and correct spoke tension rather than trueness (although both are important). Tension should take precedence over "supreme trueness". And by that, i mean < +/- 0.5mm.
    +2

    I stop at .5mm
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  11. #11
    Great State of Varmint Panthers007's Avatar
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    I spend time building. Yes - tension is a primary concern. But if you continue tinkering, I get them to a hair under .25mm of lateral true, and .5mm vertical. But that's as far as I can read with just my eyes. Now that I have a dial-gauge that can read down to 1/1000th inch (), I expect to get down to .1mm lateral. Followed by a long rest in Dr. Dippy's Retreat. Anyone want a basket?
    Quote Originally Posted by Cateye View Post
    Only panthers007 is stupid enough to believe that this is a good idea.

  12. #12
    AEO
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    Senior Member AEO's Avatar
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    I had a particularly bad rim that would only go within 1.5mm of round when the tension was even, but was quite good with being within 0.5mm of true.
    Food for thought: if you aren't dead by 2050, you and your entire family will be within a few years from starvation. Now that is a cruel gift to leave for your offspring. ;)
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  13. #13
    Bill
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    +1 to operator's comment. I think it's a shame(crime) that manufactured wheels are advertised as 'trued'. Why? Because it leads one to believe they are ready for the road or 'good-to-go'. That is totally misleading! True is only the visible indication of a properly built wheel. The more important (IMO) factors are 1) properly tensioned (including high enough tension and evenly tensioned) for durability and strength, 2) Stress relieved (frequently requires re-tensioning and re-truing). Of course those proceedures take more time than simply making the wheel look straight (or round as the case may be) so are not usually done to a manufactured, store bought wheel.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
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  14. #14
    your god hates me Bob Ross's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gprodz View Post
    what is an acceptable amount of crookedness for a bike wheel for it to be considered true?
    Totally OT, but this reminds me of a question I heard a standup comic ask many years ago. He pointed out that the FDA has a specification for the maximum allowable percentage of rodent feces in Good Humor ice cream bars, and he asked "So what exactly is the maximum amount of rat turd that you would allow in your Good Humor bar?"

  15. #15
    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    you may have to center your brake caliper to avoid the rubbing, or make some other adjustment depending on the type of brake you have. there should never be any rubbing, except of course while braking.
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

  16. #16
    Senior Member mrrabbit's Avatar
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    My standard that I aim for:

    1. Proper Tension
    2. +/- .002 inch Tolerance (A dial if used will float from - .002 to + .002.)

    Doesn't make for a perfect wheel...but it's good enough.

    =8-)

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