How to check a front wheel for trueness?
At then end of my ride tonight, which was a nice leisurely pace exploring streets in town, I went down a road to test out my new fenders in a low water crossing. Well, the creek was dry for some reason, so I was going to take a short cut to avoid going to the highway since it was dark. I use this shortcut quite often, so its no big deal. Well coming off the paved road, somehow I managed to hit the only rock dead on. It threw me up into the air and off the bike some how, I was still clipped in when I hit the rock and I cant figure how I came unclipped. So after a moment, I checked on my bike, everything seemed ok. I rode the rest of the way home, 1 block and turned the bike upside down and spun the front wheel.
It seems like it got knocked out of round a bit. Is there a way to check it?
The nearest bike shop is 50 miles away and I am hosting a group ride tomorrow night, and I have to work all day tomorrow. SO I wont be able to have it checked out until this weekend at the earliest. I would rather ride that bike because there is quite abit of climbing tomorrow and its geared a lot better than my Trek.
On the top of the brake calipers is a little screw, either screw driver or allen wrench type head. Turn it one dierection, it will move the calipers left, other direction, will turn to the right.
If it doesn't turnenough to get next to the brake surface, tighten the barrel adjuster a bit and it will close the caliper a bit more so that it does.
Place one brake pad very close to the brake surface and turn the wheel. If it cathes and stops , it's crooked. But make sure it is free at some point fo the rim.
I judge mine by eye also. I watch the space between the brake and the rim. If it's big small, big small, then there is a wobble. But try to find a line on the rim that gives a true reading. At time I confuse th tire withthe rim and think it's crooked.
But I lek the caliper adjustment check better. If you get the pad close to the rim, it's pretty much the same as what a truing stand does.
If the wheel was still spinning without rubbing the brakes then you've only knocked it slighty out of true. I take it you were riding your Randonee...which I think has canti-lever brakes. The pads of which tend to sit further away from the rim than a road caliper.
The good news is that this is pretty easy to fix, the bummer news is that the cantis are going to make it marginally more difficult. Flip the bike upside down so that it is resting on the hoods and seat. spin the front wheel and using your brake pads as a reference point, watch for which side the rim is bowed out. Once you find that point, locate the three closest spokes to the bow. Two should come from the side of the hub where the bow is, one should be on the other side. Use your spoke wrench (you should have one on your multi tool) and loosen the two spokes on the bowed side 1/8th of a turn, and tighten the other spoke 1/4 of a turn. What this will do is slowly pull the rim back into shape. Depending how big the wobble is, you might have to do this more than once. Just be careful not to over tighten the spoke that is doing the pulling. Once it’s trued up to your liking (or when you decide that it’s good enough) tighten the spokes that you were loosening, and back off the spoke that you were tightening just a bit. It's kind of hard to describe this but really it's easy to do. Besides, the worst that will happen is your rim will still be out of true. Might as well try and learn from it.
ring some of the lads you're going out with tomorrow and arrange to meet someone half hour early who can fix buckles?
if its not hitting the brake pads then just try remember to not pull the front brake and then get it checked in the bike shop at the weekend. you can try fixing it yourself but you could make it worse:(
sheldon brown has a great tutorial on truing here
but it really depends on how bad the buckle is. if its banging off your brake pads then loosen the tension to move the pads out a bit, but remember you could be thrown over the handlebars if its really bad;)
The wheel is still a little out of true, but it is still rideable. We were able to do the ride tonight, luckly the rain has held off today. Had only 1 other rider show up, the other committed rider got sick today, but I am still pleased since this was the time for this ride. I am going to move the ride to Wednesday night instead of Thursday so the guy I rode with tonight will keep riding.
I appreciate the help in such short notice.
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