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Is there a tool for fixing bent rims?

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Is there a tool for fixing bent rims?

Old 04-09-20, 08:31 PM
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Oliver Starley
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Is there a tool for fixing bent rims?

This may seem like a silly and trivial question for something that could be easily solved at a bike shop but it can't hurt to inquire, right? I have a problem with three bikes I own. Two of them are vintage (Raleigh- 1967, Triumph- 1968) and one is a newer bike, a Flying Pigeon (Raleigh DL-1 replica, rod brakes and all). All of them can be ridden but the former vintage ones have slight dings/dents in the rear rim which can be felt with every wheel revolution and it appears to me that the latter is also developing this problem. A while ago, I had the wheels of the Raleigh trued but the issue of the slight dent was still there. Is there a specific tool for fixing this or will I have to replace the rims entirely?

As a side note, when the Triumph was bought, it had been sitting in the same place most likely since it was purchased from the bike shop in 1968, so the rims still hold up aside from the dent. I would say the same for the Raleigh, although it has seen some use.

EDIT: I should also clarify that the bikes have an outward dent/ding in their back wheels, but thank you all for your answers!

Last edited by Oliver Starley; 04-12-20 at 12:15 PM. Reason: Making a clarification
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Old 04-09-20, 08:45 PM
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https://www.pinkbike.com/news/Tech-T...ents-2012.html

https://hollandbikeshop.com/en-gb/bi...l-wobble-tool/

https://www.ebay.com/itm/BICYCLE-RES...-/184083650380
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Old 04-09-20, 09:21 PM
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Old 04-09-20, 10:36 PM
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If the dent goes into the rim you can use an adjustable wrench to pull it out some, if the dent pushes out you can use a block of wood and a hammer, set the flat side of the rim on a workbench edge or table edge, set a block of wood against the rim and use light taps to flatten. It will never be perfect due to the metal stretching but you can get it to the point that you will only feel it while braking.
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Old 04-09-20, 11:50 PM
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There was a tool specifically made for pulling dented rims back out to round. We used them all the time. Every shop had one. With the advent of much higher strength sluminum rims in the early '80s, they fell out of favor because they weren't needed as often and because the much stronger aluminum was far less forgiving about being bent, then bent back. Shops feared suits (and this was a great reason to sell a new wheel) and these pullers disappeared.

I tried googling it but cannot remember what we called them. They looked a little like a curved dishing tool. Instead of a threaded plunger, there was a much stronger claw that pulled the rim out. Made child's play out of pulling rims out. You still had to address the sidewalls for smooth braking. (In those days we didn';t sweat bead hooks. Many rims didn't even have them.)

The OP's wheel, mad in the 1960s, would pull out just fine and be rideable as long as the wheel's gonna last anyway.

Ben
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Old 04-10-20, 08:28 AM
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
There was a tool specifically made for pulling dented rims back out to round. We used them all the time. Every shop had one. With the advent of much higher strength sluminum rims in the early '80s, they fell out of favor because they weren't needed as often and because the much stronger aluminum was far less forgiving about being bent, then bent back. Shops feared suits (and this was a great reason to sell a new wheel) and these pullers disappeared.

I tried googling it but cannot remember what we called them.
Perhaps the Overland "Rim-True?"



There was also the Bicycle Research "Rim Saver" for dented rims:

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Old 04-10-20, 12:58 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
Perhaps the Overland "Rim-True?"


Yeah. Now that's an order of magnitude more hefty that anything I've ever seen or used. Looks like that was scaled down slightly for a motorcycle version! The ones I've used were sturdy bent flatbar. Still VERY stiff and strong compared t any rim. But yes, that is the tool.

Ben
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Old 04-10-20, 01:46 PM
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
Yeah. Now that's an order of magnitude more hefty that anything I've ever seen or used. Looks like that was scaled down slightly for a motorcycle version! The ones I've used were sturdy bent flatbar. Still VERY stiff and strong compared t any rim. But yes, that is the tool.

Ben
dedhed linked to a cyclus version above that's a little lighter weight but the one I've used in the past was pretty heavy built to pull against the spokes that might be a little slack from the flat spot but still exert some pressure since you have to pull slightly more then round so it can settle to round. I worked with a guy who did most of the jobs and could do an amazing job with the tool. Mostly we limited doing the job to old school aluminum and steel rims.
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Old 04-10-20, 03:03 PM
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...I have one of those Cyclus tools, and I have access to the others over at the bike co-op here. I hardly ever use them. Unless you're trying to save a rim for historical value, the modern replacement wheel rims you can buy and lace to your hubs are so much better in lightness and performance, (hook beads and cross sectional reinforcing within the rim itself,) that the time you spend fixing dents and flat spots is better spent on re-lacing a new rim to your wheel.

The above is an opinion, but one from someone who has done quite a bit of this.
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Old 04-10-20, 03:26 PM
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I would never attempt this myself, try to buy bike from the same era at cheap and get all the spare parts you need for your vintage bikes
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