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Wheel truing brainfart

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Wheel truing brainfart

Old 03-11-17, 05:18 AM
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Wheel truing brainfart

OK, folks! I need a quick refresher course in wheel truing.

I have a handful of books on the subject, including Robert Mussons's excellent PDF style book. I have trued wheels before whilst out riding a few times and recently trued my girlfriend's bikes rear wheel after she hit a pothole a few months back. So, I'm not completely clueless, but I'm no master wheel builder either. The problem I have is with my wheels.

I recently bought a truing stand and dishing tool and noticed that my rear wheel is out of dish by about 3mm at the hub on the drive side. Also, the spoke tension is all over the place on the non drive side. The drive side spokes seem to be tight and at an even tension audibly. The wheel runs out a little bit all across the wheel and then there is one major deviation at one spot on the rim. I haven't checked lateral true, but I would guess that is out also.I haven't ridden the bike at all for months, due to the crappy English weather, but would like to get the bike on the road soon.

My question is: what order should I attempt to true this wheel if all aspects of the wheel need truing; lateral, radial, dish and tension? I was thinking about rebuilding the wheel completely, but don't want to get stuck in a jam if all goes to hell.

Easton 24 spoke wheel 12 radial spokes NDS/12 3 cross spokes DS

Thanks!
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Old 03-11-17, 05:56 AM
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They are all interlinked. But starting with radial is generally recommended.
Then Lateral. Then dish & coarse tension. Then dish & fine tension.
A 24 spoke can be a bit tricky to work with as they tend to run fairly high tension.
I've ended up pushing the rim sideways by hand to slack the spokes and make the nipples easier to turn.
One common recommendation is to let the dish end up too close to the DS with tension a little low. Then bring the rim to center and top up the tension by using the NDS.
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Old 03-11-17, 06:20 AM
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Cheers, dabac!

I realise that everything is interlinked and one affects the others.

I agree that the 24 spoke wheel is tricky. Ha! The last wheel I rebuilt was a 30 spoke 3 cross wheel and that trued up quite well, seeing as it was an old beater wheel.

Good call on the dish tip in your last sentence. I'll have a crack at that.

Thanks again!
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Old 03-11-17, 07:47 AM
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Just so you are aware, a dish stick doubles any error of the wheel, due to the way it works; you, for example, really only have a rim that is miss-dished by 1.5mm.

Double check a few things before you touch the wheel: if it is centered in the frame (more important, unless the frame has been crashed/misaligned... But just start by checking centering), and if you didn't, use the dish stick with the tire off, and the feelers resting on the rim (regardless of if the design allows you to do it with the tire on).

When you place the stick on the rim to measure both sides, make sure you measure directly opposite wherever you take your initial measurement, or you will be taking the trueness (or lack thereof) of the wheel into account, too.
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Old 03-11-17, 09:43 AM
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If it is way out radially I would slacken all of the spokes and start from scratch. I begin by getting the wheel radially true with only a little attention to lateral runout. As the tension builds I begin to work on the lateral true. I tension the drive side and then center the rim and finally stress relieve the wheel by squeezing the paired spokes.
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Old 03-12-17, 09:47 AM
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Originally Posted by wschruba
Just so you are aware, a dish stick doubles any error of the wheel, due to the way it works; you, for example, really only have a rim that is miss-dished by 1.5mm.

Double check a few things before you touch the wheel: if it is centered in the frame (more important, unless the frame has been crashed/misaligned... But just start by checking centering), and if you didn't, use the dish stick with the tire off, and the feelers resting on the rim (regardless of if the design allows you to do it with the tire on).

When you place the stick on the rim to measure both sides, make sure you measure directly opposite wherever you take your initial measurement, or you will be taking the trueness (or lack thereof) of the wheel into account, too.
It makes the 1.5mm seem not so bad, doesn't it

I did actually end up taking the tyre off, as to check for lateral trueness. One thing you mention that I did overlook was placing the dishing stick in the same spot on the opposite side of the wheel. Good point!

Last edited by migrantwing; 03-12-17 at 09:56 AM.
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Old 03-12-17, 09:55 AM
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Originally Posted by davidad
If it is way out radially I would slacken all of the spokes and start from scratch. I begin by getting the wheel radially true with only a little attention to lateral runout. As the tension builds I begin to work on the lateral true. I tension the drive side and then center the rim and finally stress relieve the wheel by squeezing the paired spokes.
I think this is where my lack of experience of truing wheels has kicked in. Truing a wheel on the road or taking out a decent bump in a rim, with the wheel on the bike, is not so bad. It's when you take a wheel and put it on a truing stand that you notice just how out of whack the wheel really is. Like thinking you have a straight line until you put a spirit level or plumb bob against it. I have built wheels from scratch and they have been fine, but the whole process is 'a little but often', so everything comes together slowly. Truing a wheel, you are fixing the bits that ain't right, which has an effect on everything else around it. I will try to adjust the wheel incrementally, if all else fails, I'll go down your route and slacken off all spokes and start anew.

dabac wschruba davidad Thank you ALL for your input. Much obliged!

Last edited by migrantwing; 03-12-17 at 10:01 AM.
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