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Old 02-15-10, 12:32 PM   #1
mijome07
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fixing a bent wheel

Well, I managed to bend my front wheel on my new bike. The wheel is 36 spokes and laced 2 cross. I can feel some spokes are loose. I do have a spoke wrench, but no truing stand. Should I loosen then tighten all spokes to straighten the wheel? I hope it can be fixed.
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Old 02-15-10, 12:43 PM   #2
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I would counsel that you bring it to a competent shop with an experienced wheelbuilder. It sounds like it, as it has loose spokes, suffered some major damage and should be physically evaluated by an expert - or someone who has at least built them before.
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Old 02-15-10, 01:22 PM   #3
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A truing stand is not a requirement, but understanding the problem is. We can't tell from here, so getting firsthand advice is the best idea.
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Old 02-15-10, 01:27 PM   #4
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Second the suggestion to let a pro look at it. Many bike repair items are knowledge based, and can be learned from a book or internet tutorial. Wheel building and alignment isn't one of these, and is skill; based, meaning that besides book knowledge it requires a deeper understanding and some experience to become adept at wheel repair.

If you have limited experience, you could probably align a slightly out of true wheel, but a more serious problem will rapidly get you in over your head, and ending costing you more in the long run than if you let a pro hamdle it before you make things worse.
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Old 02-15-10, 01:59 PM   #5
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agree with above posts - take this problem to someone with experience.

and since wheelbuilding/truing is skill and experience based, not just knowledge based, if you want to learn how wheel building and truing and tension works, I'd recommend you take an old wheel, loosen all of the spokes until they are slack, and tension it back up gradually on a truing stand, following a basic guide such as Sheldon Brown's:
http://www.sheldonbrown.com/wheelbuild.html#initial
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Old 02-15-10, 02:03 PM   #6
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Thanks everyone. I'm having a bike mechanic check it out tomorrow. And he makes house calls.
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Old 02-15-10, 04:11 PM   #7
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My poor wheel.

[video]http://www.flickr.com/photos/9320902@N04/4360729252/in/photostream/[/video]
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Old 02-15-10, 04:18 PM   #8
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"It's dead Jim. Beam it up."

But it looks possible to rebuild. Wait for the man you have coming over to evaluate the medical condition of the patient.
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Old 02-15-10, 04:23 PM   #9
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I think it can be saved. It may never be perfect again, but since there's no highly localized bend, a decent wheelman should be able to true it back up. I've seen lots worse brought back to where you'd never know it was ever damaged.

Usually this kind of bending is caused by large side forces. We see lots of here in the Northeast in the fall when there are leaves on the ground. The rbike will start to slide on leaves, then when the leaves wear through the tire bites causing a sizable side force. I t can also happen when you slide on ice or sand, and bite on coming to dry pavement.

No fun, but part of the game.
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Old 02-15-10, 04:31 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
I think it can be saved. It may never be perfect again, but since there's no highly localized bend, a decent wheelman should be able to true it back up. I've seen lots worse brought back to where you'd never know it was ever damaged.
That sure is a sigh of relief. Thanks.
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Old 02-16-10, 01:46 PM   #11
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Verdict is in. The wheel is done. Took the tire/tube off and noticed an s-shaped bend on half of the wheel. I knew they were cheap wheels, but no that cheap.

Now to mention how it bent. And I wish I can say that it happened off a big jump. Me and my cousin went for a 10 mile ride on Sunday. Strictly roads, no dirt, jumps, etc. Stayed the night at his house and he gave me a ride home the next day. Now, I put the bike on the car rack and noticed the front wheel would be moving around. So I strapped the handle bars down (but not with a lot of force). Just enough to be snug.

The only part coming in contact with the car was the tire. When I was dropped off I noticed the front wheel was really bent. I'm just glad it didn't happened when I was riding.
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Old 02-16-10, 03:23 PM   #12
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And for your next stunt: Spend $250,000 on a brand-new Lamborghini. Then try jumping the Snake River Canyon in Utah. Pictures would be a plus!
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Old 02-16-10, 03:43 PM   #13
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Okay... but I didn't jump the bike.
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Old 02-16-10, 04:48 PM   #14
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When did they move the Snake River from Idaho?
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