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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 03-24-09, 09:53 AM   #1
cblaster
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How out of true can your wheels be?

My rear wheel is slightly out of true and I was wondering how out of true it can be before I need to go get it trued at my LBS.
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Old 03-24-09, 09:57 AM   #2
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Slightly out of true is no big deal. Hard to say when it becomes a big deal-- probably depends on quality of wheel parts. I'd invest in a spoke wrench, find a truing tutorial online and just give it a shot. Not as hard as you'd imagine...
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Old 03-24-09, 10:23 AM   #3
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truing is one of those issues where the longer you ignore it, the worse its going to get and may cause problems down the line. half a centimeter out is the worst Ill let it get on my own wheels before I take care of it.
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Old 03-24-09, 10:26 AM   #4
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I like perfect wheels and once they have been built and trued they really need to be touched... a 5-10 thousandth tolerance is what makes me happy.

Being out of true indicates that there is a problem with a wheel and if a previously true wheel goes out it means that you should find out why this is.... adjusting a minor problem may save you from having to deal with greater problem and only tales a few minutes if you know what you are doing.
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Old 03-24-09, 10:30 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onetwentyeight View Post
truing is one of those issues where the longer you ignore it, the worse its going to get and may cause problems down the line. half a centimeter out is the worst Ill let it get on my own wheels before I take care of it.
Yeah, wheels don't true themselves.


Regarding truing yourself. Yes, get a book and/or get someone with experience to show you. Wheel truing happens in 2 dimensions: up/down & left/right. 3 dimensions if you consider turning the wheel 90 degrees and up/down becomes in/out.

There's an old joke around bike shops:
Q: How do you drum up business for your service department?
A: Give out free spoke wrenches!
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Old 03-24-09, 10:33 AM   #6
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I taco'ed a wheel to nearly 90 degrees on my mountain bike once. I'd call that pretty far out of true.
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Old 03-24-09, 12:37 PM   #7
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^no id call that broken....or a taco.
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Old 03-24-09, 12:55 PM   #8
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If you can see it's out of true fix it now; as others mentioned, this can save a lot of pain down the line.

It's really not that difficult to do with a little guidance. Sheldon's site has good instruction, especially if you read his info both on wheelbuilding and on truing.
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