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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 06-06-10, 01:45 PM   #1
tadawdy
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Bent rim: can I just leave it?

My rear rim has a slight bend on one side of the braking surface, probably from hitting a pothole with too low tire pressure. I do not notice it when riding, and the tire is seated just fine. I only notice it when using the rear brake, which I rarely use. I happened to find it while putting on my trainer tire.

My question is: how bad does a bend need to be to compromise the structure of the wheel? Would it be worse to try to straighten it, given that this would weaken the metal even further, and maybe even crack it? If it doesn't bother me, is it really an issue?
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Old 06-06-10, 02:14 PM   #2
geo8rge
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Did you try to true it with a spoke wrench? If that doesn't work take it to a LBS or post a picture.
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Old 06-06-10, 03:01 PM   #3
tadawdy
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Did you try to true it with a spoke wrench? If that doesn't work take it to a LBS or post a picture.
The wheel itself isn't noticeably out of true. It is the bare aluminum portion of the braking surface that is bent inward toward where the tire mounts, and wouldn't be helped by truing. This causes a blip when braking, but the ride quality isn't noticeably affected.

I do not have a camera to post a pic, but the deviation is quite slight. Like I said, I really only noticed it when I was remounting a tire. The tire is mounted perfectly fine, too.

Just wondered, with this type of damage, if I should try to straighten it, or if it's fine to ride as is. I don't think the structure of the wheel itself is hurt, but just wanted another opinion.

Eventually, I'd like to replace these wheels with something spiffier, but that's probably years away.
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Old 06-06-10, 03:13 PM   #4
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You can usually straighten these out with a crescent wrench (put something between the wrench and the outer braking surface to protect it from nicks.) It won't be perfect but you can definitely reduce the braking blip. The rim might be a bit weaker at that point.
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