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Smacked my wheel outta true

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Smacked my wheel outta true

Old 05-05-21, 02:11 PM
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Celeste Mike
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Smacked my wheel outta true

Recently I did this dumb thing. I was turning my bike around (while standing still) and I slammed my rear wheel into a fire hydrant I didn't see behind me. The wheel is now pretty outta true. Not unrideable, but visibly noticeable. (Not contacting the brake pads.) The wheelset is only two months old and was handbuilt by a friend who is a bike mechanic and wheel builder. I've already taken it back to him twice to have the rear wheel tuned after coming very slightly outta true on its own, and now I've smacked it badly outta true. (The front wheel has been fine.) To the wheel experts here: Is any of this unusual? Should I bring the wheel back to my friend to fix or give a bike shop a try? I trust my friend, he builds alotta wheels, but I'm not a wheel expert.

Also, how concerned should I be about the dent in the rim? Photos are of the fire hydrant paint left on the rim, and the resulting damage after cleaning off the paint. If it matters, it is a touring bike that I plan to fully load (haven't done it on the new wheels yet). They're 36h CR18 rims with DT Swiss Competition spokes.


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Old 05-05-21, 03:08 PM
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Bill Kapaun
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I can't imagine a wheel getting knocked out of true from something so minor IF the spoke tensions were as even as they should be.
Maybe someday your friend will build a good wheel?

ALL the spokes on the same side should have the same tension.
The NDS spokes will have about 60% as much as the DS spokes.
Give them a pluck test and listen for the tone. Compare the same side spokes. They should sound the same.

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Old 05-05-21, 03:20 PM
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Not impossible but not likely you actually bent the rim. Sand or file out the high spots on the gouges but don't worry about completely removing them. I couldn't say if your friend is doing anything wrong, you could be just having some bad luck hitting a pothole or ?? and then the fire hydrant. Check out some YouTube tutorial vids for checking spoke tension and truing to see if there are any obvious problems with the wheel build. A trip to another shop might at least tell you if the wheel had been built right to begin with.
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Old 05-05-21, 03:24 PM
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nice quality on those photos!
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Old 05-05-21, 05:21 PM
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Hmmmm, I have seldom seen a wheel go "out of true" when it hits something other than a curb, pothole or big rock, etc when riding. Hitting sideways on a fire hydrant with no ride load (weight), I'm kinda of the opinion of a previous post. Thinking maybe some of the spokes weren't tensioned correctly during the build and the wheel "sprung" slightly. A sprung wheel will never get back into real true. You can get them ride-worthy but that's about it.

One quick test you can do, your other wheel, yeah the one that didn't get hit. Check the tension on the spokes on that wheel. If you don't have a tensionometer just squeeze two spokes and note how much pressure there is. Go around both sides of the wheel and see if any feel tighter or looser than the others. If they are, then an improperly tensioned wheel may be the culprit. If not then, darn, just bad luck.

You can also do an eye-ball check on how much thread is exposed on each spoke nipple. Do some have more than others? Also a good indicator that the wheel wasn't tensioned uniformly.
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Old 05-05-21, 08:18 PM
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Wheels can become bent from way more then just pot holes or stuff and only when riding. If fact purposeful whacking a wheel just so can sometimes improve the condition/true (but can worsen things too, don't try this on your nice stuff without practice and then only when there's no other option). The last time I seriously bent a wheel was by riding into the back of my late wife's pannier while on tour. Here's a before roadside repair shot. By loosening the spokes and whacking the wheel on the ground then tightening/truing the spokes I was able to continue the tour.

To the OP's situation. Take the wheel back to your guy, explain what happened and ask if they can get it straighter, Lightly sand down the gauge's raised roughness. Ride the wheel more but perhaps budget for a new rim and get it replaced soon, before the spokes get too old. Andy
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Old 05-06-21, 12:01 AM
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If the wheel was built by a friend, why not ask them to take a look?
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Old 05-06-21, 10:44 AM
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'not hitting the brakes' is, for me, the same as saying 'doesn't need any adjustment'.

Unless you find spokes that are significantly looser or tighter than its neighbours, ride it and forget about it.
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Old 05-07-21, 07:45 PM
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Celeste Mike
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Thanks for all the responses! It's nice to hear opinions from other people who know wheels.

Originally Posted by ign1te View Post
nice quality on those photos!
iPhone 12 Pro 👍🏻
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Old 05-10-21, 01:01 AM
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sometimes wheels take a while to settle in.

back when Cupertino Bike Shop was importin Cinelli's and other nice frames, they would build the wheels and let them sit for 6 months til the frame came in.

this acted as kind of a 'burn in' period for the rims, so that after a final touchup after 6 months, they would stay pretty straight.

i bought a bike online a while back , as usual, the rear wheel came in out of whack. torqueing the spokes helped, but the wheel was still a little out. what happened was the rim was physically bent, so that in order to get it back, the spokes had to be tightened, then ride for a few months, the re-true, ride for a few months, gradually the wheel worked itself back to being straight. then the axle broke so i bought a cassette type wheel and have finally joined the 20th century.
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