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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 05-08-11, 05:47 PM   #1
efrobert
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tacoed wheel, can it be fixed?

So I tacoed my rear wheel in a crash today. Mavic OP Ultegra.
I take it to a local shop with a good rep. The guy takes it in back and comes out and tells me it's pretty far out of true, almost 3/4 inch, and it will take him a couple of hours to fix. He's really booked up and can't get to it until the end of the week.
So I take it to Performance Bike, to see if they can fix it sooner. They tell me they can fix it while I wait. Ten minutes later the kid comes out and says it can't be fixed, I need new wheel. he just tried tightening the spokes to true it.
I'm planing on taking it back to the first place and just waiting until the end of the week, my concern is he comes back and says "sorry it can't be fixed", then I'm out a week of riding.
Other than adjusting the spokes can the rim be bent back if it's too far out?
I guess my question is how far out is too far to be fixed? What can the first guy at the local shop do that the kid at performance can't do?
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Old 05-08-11, 06:03 PM   #2
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I`m assuming you`re talking about Mavic Open Pro rims laced to Ultegra hubs.

My first comment is that if the rim was bent in a crash then trying to correct the situation by adjusting spoke tension would be a big mistabe. The wheel needs to be disassembled and the rim itself straightened (if possible) and the wheel reassembled.

If the rim is beyond repair you`re looking at a new rim. Either way you need to take the wheel apart. Suggest you ask about a loner wheel or bike while the situation is being addressed if riding is that critical and you don`t have a second bike.
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Old 05-08-11, 06:30 PM   #3
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From your description it sounds like you really should replace the rim.
Bent rims from crashes are not something you true by tightening spokes to pull it back spoke tension will be no where's close to even on a rim like that.
To see if its physically bent loosen all the spokes and see if it lays flat most likely not while you can try to straighten it then reassemble its just a better idea to replace the rim you really should start wit a rim that lays flat first, so if you are planning on trying to use it remove all spokes try to get it straight first.
So I'd say I agree with the above poster.
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Old 05-09-11, 07:31 AM   #4
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Spoke tension will be all wacky if you try to get it trued. I've trued screwed up rim back to near straight, but you'll have some spokes much tighter than others, which could lead to problems in the future.

Might be time for a new rim.
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Old 05-09-11, 12:14 PM   #5
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Spoke tension can take up little imperfections in a wheel, but for a rim that's significantly bent like yours, you're better off trying to bend it back some other way. I don't know that I'd do it with a open pro, but at the shop where I work, we've definitely done it to mountain bike wheels to get people riding again. If you want to take a chance on it, then that might be an option to get you going a little cheaper, but you may end up having to get a new rim anyway.
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Old 05-09-11, 01:25 PM   #6
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3/4" ain't too bad. i had to do this also to an open pro rim after getting doored. my front rim had about the same amount of deflection as yours. i had to completely de-lace the rim. mark the high and low spots using a glass or metal table top as a straight edge. and carefully bend the rim using the edge of the bathtub as the solid edge to push down on.

worked! had to re-lace, tension and true it up afterwards of course. *note* aluminum doesn't take to bending well so its on my easy riding bike and i'm keeping an eye on it. that was five months ago and it seems to be doing okay.
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Old 05-09-11, 01:39 PM   #7
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If you do it yourself it is not a difficult repair.
If a shop is going to do the work then replace the rim. They should be able to reuse the spokes, but might not want to because they have to garantee the work.
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Old 05-09-11, 05:23 PM   #8
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Have the rim replaced. It just isn't worth it to try to fix it, it'll never be the same. You'll always have the rub-rub-rub of the brakes on it. Of course what isn't worth it to me may look like big bucks to you.
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Old 05-09-11, 07:16 PM   #9
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Got a big wooden mallet? or lumber and a metal hammer..

bang the high spot back in line, approximately,
so you don't have to do I entirely with spoke tension ..
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Old 05-09-11, 07:56 PM   #10
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Take it back to your first LBS.
performance is a big chain and the 'kid' you talked to probably didn'treally know what he was doing; thought he could do a quick 10min true; then gave up and assumed it couldn't be fixed (or at least, he couldn't fix it since he's just a clerk, therefore buy a new one from him since working a cash register is something he can handle)
to do it correctly the wheel will need to be delaced, the rim manually un-bent, then relaced, this is the several hour job your first LBS quoted
So yeah, go with the first shop, should be fine, plus you support local small business...
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Old 05-09-11, 08:09 PM   #11
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I think that you are better off time, money wise and headaches in replacing the rim. You will NEVER get it truly straight. I'd hate to see you 10 or more miles on a ride and have to walk the bike back home due to future problems. Pay now to do it right!
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Old 05-09-11, 09:55 PM   #12
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There are a few threads in these forums about removing bends from rims. Following their instructions, I've fixed two bent rims.

I won't lie and claim that they are 100% as good as new. But I was careful and put a lot of time into the process and finished with wheels with even tension which are pretty well trued. Given the hours I put in, I would say that if you place a high value on your time, you should just replace the rim. But I am stubborn and miserly.
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Old 05-09-11, 10:47 PM   #13
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With a wheel like yours it isn't whether it can be fixed, but whether you'd want to.

If you're out in the middle of noplace, you'd want to fix it even if you can only get it so it'll turn in the frame. I've "trued" wheels bent almost in half, with the aid of sewer grates, pry bars and heavy spoke work, when there wasn't any choice besides a very long multi-day walk.

OTOH- a high performance bike will ride like crap with a barely passable wheel. Also there's the question or reliability, saved wheels often don't have a very long second life. So I'd pass on the heroics and replace or rebuild the wheel.

But
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Old 05-10-11, 12:21 AM   #14
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Have the wheel rebuilt... or use the opportunity to learn how to rebuild it yourself.

You could probably get a get result with a lace over where you replace the bent rim with the new straight one and re-use the spokes providing they are in nice condition.
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Old 05-10-11, 12:46 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brooklyn_bike View Post
.. i had to completely de-lace the rim. mark the high and low spots using a glass or metal table top as a straight edge. and carefully bend the rim using the edge of the bathtub as the solid edge to push down on.

worked!... aluminum doesn't take to bending well so its on my easy riding bike and i'm keeping an eye on it. that was five months ago and it seems to be doing okay.
I've done pretty much the same to several wheel/rims over the years.
Those whose continuing history I've been able to follow seems not to be doing any worse than rims that haven't been manually straightened, but then again it's not like they've ever faced loaded touring or serious racing after the rebuild.
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