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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 05-11-10, 09:52 AM   #1
cg1985
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Home-Made Truing station?

So, I'm not much of a bicycle mechanic, so far my only bike work was converting my old ten speed into a fixed gear bike.

But I want to get to the point where I don't have to go to the bike shop for anything except parts.

Youtube helps a lot with minor things like Derailluer adjustments for my road bike, and the like.

But I would like to learn how to true my own wheels, I get the basic premise of tightening/loosening spokes at quarter turns (or eighth if you're being really careful).

At the bike store they have a fancy tool that sits the bike up on its axel and has calipers that you can use to measure how true it is.

I was wondering if there is a reliable way to do it at home, or a DIY truing station?
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Old 05-11-10, 10:15 AM   #2
cg1985
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You know what if I just took an old bike fork, put it in a vice with the fork ends up, kept the brake calibers on the fork, remove the pad, put some screws in the calipers with a nut to hold them in place, and then used those to check for true?

just adjusting the screws as necessary?
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Old 05-11-10, 10:28 AM   #3
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Well, you'd need the rear seat tube and stays as well since the fork won't hold a rear wheel without the need for a LOT of bending.

Some of us have made our own truing stands from wood or metal. The key is to have a dead on 90 degree angle on the legs of the stand so you can measure from the leg to the rim for centering your dish. One leg needs to be fixed and the other movable to adjust to different axle widths. The V notch at the ends is best made from some sort of metal. The final shaping of the V being done with the legs closed so the notch plates are touching so you can file the notches to match perfectly and the axle sits square in the notches.

Or to make up a rough and ready stand along with a dishing guage. The dishing guage is used to compare the rim to hub rise on each side until they match.

Just pick a design that uses the materials you're the most comfortable working with and go for your own.
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Old 05-11-10, 11:17 AM   #4
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Check out Mike T's wheelbuilding page, this link takes you to the home made truing stand section http://miketechinfo.com/new-tech-whe...truing%20stand
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Old 05-11-10, 11:57 AM   #5
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For doing minor truing touchups I'd be inclined to just use the bike itself. Turn it upside down and either use the brake pads as guides or temporarily attach a couple zipties to the fork arms or rear stays. Adjust them so the end of the ziptie is a couple mm away from the rim and you can quickly see where any truing needs to be done.

Won't give you a numerical measurement, but should let you true the wheels within a fraction of a mm.
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Old 05-11-10, 12:43 PM   #6
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I'll second that link on Mike T's website. I bought Roger Musson's e-book which includes detailed plans for this stand. simple 3/4 in. plywood, some basic wood tools, and plenty of room to customize the design to your preference or tool availability. This one took me a bit of working every evening for a week before I finished it up, and cost me less than $30 including the book of plans. Been VERY happy with the final result.

-Jeremy

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Old 05-11-10, 04:34 PM   #7
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Roger Munson has an excellent book and web site as already stated. And plans for an easy to build truing stand.
http://www.wheelpro.co.uk/wheelbuilding/book.php
Go for it. Wheelbuilding is fun, rewarding, satisfying and challenging. Learn to do it right.
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Old 05-12-10, 10:25 AM   #8
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I prefer to true the wheel on the bike. A properly dished wheel MAY not be centered on the frame. Flip the bike upside down so it will rest on the saddle and handlebar.

I have a custom platform with Mitutoyo dial gauges to measure rim run-outs vertically and axially.
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