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How to fix a taco wheel

Old 10-01-08, 03:06 AM
  #1  
mike
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How to fix a taco wheel

Check this out. I tacoed this baby good. I was going into a turn, skidded, hit traction, and BOING.

Amazingly, none of the spokes broke.

Obviously, too warped to fix with a spoke wrench....

How do you fix a wheel like this?
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Old 10-01-08, 03:31 AM
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lbs?
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Old 10-01-08, 03:37 AM
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Did you skid and then hit something? Or did the countersteer leave an "impression" on your wheel?

I would say you'd need to bend the rim back into shape and probably *better* if you did it after you uninstall the whole thing, including the spokes. You can do it just as is - I remember someone saying they just worked it against a tree. It will not be as good as before - changing spokes and/or the rim would be *best* - hub is probably barely affected so that is fine though I would check the flange/spoke holes to damage.

I would think using the same spokes would make it impossible for both a radial true and a lateral true and have proper/consistent spoke tension. It'll be safe to ride without swapping out anything, but in my experience, it requires truing more often than a good wheel.

Also, from what I read around here, aren't you a relatively experienced bike mechanic? I've only been dealing with bikes for a grand total of 3 years. If you think otherwise than what I said, you're probably more likely to be right.

Good luck.
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Old 10-01-08, 03:58 AM
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Originally Posted by z415 View Post
Did you skid and then hit something? Or did the countersteer leave an "impression" on your wheel?

I would say you'd need to bend the rim back into shape and probably *better* if you did it after you uninstall the whole thing, including the spokes. You can do it just as is - I remember someone saying they just worked it against a tree. It will not be as good as before - changing spokes and/or the rim would be *best* - hub is probably barely affected so that is fine though I would check the flange/spoke holes to damage.

I would think using the same spokes would make it impossible for both a radial true and a lateral true and have proper/consistent spoke tension. It'll be safe to ride without swapping out anything, but in my experience, it requires truing more often than a good wheel.

Also, from what I read around here, aren't you a relatively experienced bike mechanic? I've only been dealing with bikes for a grand total of 3 years. If you think otherwise than what I said, you're probably more likely to be right.

Good luck.
Hah! I like your bending it against a tree idea. That might not be so crazy considering that it got bent in the first place by unsophisticated means (skidding into a turn on grass and then hitting pavement).

Yes, I could take the whole thing apart and rebuild the wheel, but well.... alas, that is just more than I want to do - especially with the rear wheel and trying to figure out dish, etc. This is an old 27" wheel - If I can't fix it in some practical way, I will bone it out for the spare spokes and bearings.

My friend Johnny used to be able to fix wheels like this with a wooden mallet and an old bentwood chair. Alas, Johnny is gone and it is the one magic trick he did not pass on to me before he died.

So, I am looking for some knowledge here...
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Old 10-01-08, 05:07 AM
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Originally Posted by mike View Post
Check this out. I tacoed this baby good. I was going into a turn, skidded, hit traction, and BOING.

Amazingly, none of the spokes broke.

Obviously, too warped to fix with a spoke wrench....

How do you fix a wheel like this?
Did you ever built a wheel? I fixed wheels more or less like this in the moment just enough to reach home. All you need is a gap where to insert the wheel and bend it back. The gap can be between branches of a tree, between steel profiles of a gate or somewhere in a trailer of a car. To fix properly a wheel in this condition, you need to disassemble the spokes, straight the rim and respoke the wheel.
Good Luck

Last edited by caotropheus; 10-01-08 at 05:36 AM.
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Old 10-01-08, 05:29 AM
  #6  
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Originally Posted by mike View Post
How do you fix a wheel like this?
My method:
1) tape spokes together at outer cross
2) undo spokes from wheel
3) bend rim straight. I usually do it by putting a broom handle or similar on the floor, then putting the rim's "troughs" on the broom handle, then I step on the "crests". Repeat, with various implements and foot positions until an acceptable trueness has been reached.
4) reattach spokes. The tape at the crosses should make this a reasonably speedy affair. True, tension and hope for the best.

Some will cringe in horror at the thought of this procedure, but IME it's proven good enough for beater bikes and casual riding. It might be good enough for more, but that's all I've used them for.

An alternate method is to clamp rim to work bench/table, and use that as a brace to bend portions of the rim back.

Yet an other alternate method is to use brute force until it snaps out of the taco configuration, but that's usually only considered a ride-home fix.
Some will say that loosening spokes and then bending back will be sufficient. But IME the spokes will go tense and prevent you from reaching the amount of overbend needed for the rim not to spring back when you release it.
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Old 10-01-08, 05:38 AM
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Originally Posted by dabac View Post
My method:
1) tape spokes together at outer cross
2) undo spokes from wheel
3) bend rim straight. I usually do it by putting a broom handle or similar on the floor, then putting the rim's "troughs" on the broom handle, then I step on the "crests". Repeat, with various implements and foot positions until an acceptable trueness has been reached.
4) reattach spokes. The tape at the crosses should make this a reasonably speedy affair. True, tension and hope for the best..
Thats more or less the standard procedure....mines similar to dabacs:

I loosen all of the spokes but dont remove them from the rim. Once loosened, I use a similar technique to strighten the rim. Once its fairly straight I'll place a know straight rim against the bent one and continue to straighten it.
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Old 10-01-08, 06:10 AM
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I did that to my wheel the other day although perhaps not as bad (the bike was still rideable but felt terrible).

I took it to an LBS who told me I need a new rim. I took it to another LBS and they gave it to some guy in the shop who grabbed onto the rim opposite the bent area and hit it HARD on the floor to knock it back into shape more or less.... inspected it and then hit it one more time. About 10 minutes of adjusting the spokes and it's almost as good as new.
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Old 10-01-08, 06:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Doohickie View Post
I did that to my wheel the other day .. I took it to another LBS and they gave it to some guy in the shop who grabbed onto the rim opposite the bent area and hit it HARD on the floor to knock it back into shape more or less.... inspected it and then hit it one more time. About 10 minutes of adjusting the spokes and it's almost as good as new.
The thing with that method, although fast and effective, is that while it certainly can get the wheel back to round you'll usually end up with the spokes battling residual deformations in the rim, with fairly uneven spoke tensions as the result.
Depending on lots of things this might still leave you with a serviceable and reasonably durable wheel, but for anything more than a ride-home fix I definitely prefer straightening the rim while untensioned first over that method.
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Old 10-01-08, 07:06 AM
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I agree; I was just pointing out one method that worked. I would never attempt this myself, mind you...
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Old 10-01-08, 07:37 AM
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Originally Posted by mike View Post
How do you fix a wheel like this?
Buy a new one. Or, if you like the hub you could just buy a rim. You can get a 27" rear wheel for around 30 bucks.
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Old 10-05-08, 04:11 PM
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Originally Posted by mike View Post
Hah! I like your bending it against a tree idea. That might not be so crazy considering that it got bent in the first place by unsophisticated means (skidding into a turn on grass and then hitting pavement).
Yea, the tree thing isn't really my idea. I just read it somewhere on here and in retrospect, I would no do that because the tree bark can be rough (around here at least) and can possibly scratch rims leading to annoying pulses when breaking.

And somebody mentioned taping the spokes... tape is a good thing to have with you on rides. Can be used for a bunch of stuff: taping broken spokes so you can limo hom, tape some ripped clothes together for modesty, etc.
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Old 10-05-08, 05:04 PM
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This is one of mine from a month or so ago. I have used a tree, log, rock, etc. to temporarily fix a wheel to limp back to the car. Most stuff this bad will NOT fix by spoke tension alone. I personally will not trust any rim 'brought back' by bending, you have fatigued the metal by doing so (was already fatigued once by whatever mishap had occurred), and aluminum does not fatigue well at all. I would replace the wheel or rebuild with new rim/spokes/nipples.
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Old 10-05-08, 09:26 PM
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+1 its junk, move on
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Old 10-05-08, 09:55 PM
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Aluminium does not like to be straightened after it has been bent while steel rims tend to be more workable... I restore a lot of old bikes and in many cases rim salvage is an important operation when you don't have an abundance of replacements.

Things like EA1 rims and 28 inch Westwood rims are worth the effort it takes to straighten them but a low end steel or aluminum wheel in a common size isn't that hard to find.
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Old 10-05-08, 10:00 PM
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Originally Posted by dabac View Post
My method:
1) tape spokes together at outer cross
2) undo spokes from wheel
3) bend rim straight. I usually do it by putting a broom handle or similar on the floor, then putting the rim's "troughs" on the broom handle, then I step on the "crests". Repeat, with various implements and foot positions until an acceptable trueness has been reached.
4) reattach spokes. The tape at the crosses should make this a reasonably speedy affair. True, tension and hope for the best.

Some will cringe in horror at the thought of this procedure, but IME it's proven good enough for beater bikes and casual riding. It might be good enough for more, but that's all I've used them for.

An alternate method is to clamp rim to work bench/table, and use that as a brace to bend portions of the rim back.

Yet an other alternate method is to use brute force until it snaps out of the taco configuration, but that's usually only considered a ride-home fix.
Some will say that loosening spokes and then bending back will be sufficient. But IME the spokes will go tense and prevent you from reaching the amount of overbend needed for the rim not to spring back when you release it.
Complete waste of labour given the price of a new wheel. And the end of all that you still have a crashed wheel. The easiest thing to do is smash it against the ground to true it enough so you can get home.
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Old 10-06-08, 08:21 AM
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Originally Posted by operator View Post
Complete waste of labour ....
...which is hard to label as a waste if I like the challenge, haven't got anything else that needs doing at the moment and it's only stealing time from watching TV.

Originally Posted by operator View Post
...given the price of a new wheel.
A price, however affordable, I don't have to pay merely by sacrificing an inane sit-com. Money that can be spent on something I merely want instead of on something I need.

Originally Posted by operator View Post
.. And the end of all that you still have a crashed wheel.
....which by repeated experimentation has shown itself capable of doing decent service on beater bikes. Good enough to be useful but still pretty much a write-off is the ideal status on a bike that gets left in a theft-prone area on a regular basis.

Originally Posted by operator View Post
The easiest thing to do is smash it against the ground to true it enough so you can get home.
But "easiest" rarely equals "most satisfying".
If I wanted "easy" I would have gone by car or not left home in the first place.
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Old 10-06-08, 11:11 AM
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lets give thanks in this country-- that we dont have to deal with rims on our bikes like this if
we can afford not to ---- trash the band, save the spokes and hubs for another day if your
handy and want to learn how to transfer bands.... my 2$
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Old 10-31-09, 08:11 AM
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fAFLj...om=PL&index=32

Try this?
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Old 10-31-09, 09:03 AM
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I'd replace the rim and spokes.
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Old 10-31-09, 09:50 PM
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Replace the rim. If the spokes are not kinked thay can be reused.
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Old 10-31-09, 10:47 PM
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1) Buy a new rim
2) Buy some new spokes
3) Put them together
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Old 10-31-09, 11:56 PM
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I watched a buddy straighten my taco'ed wheel for me after a crash by banging it against
a log and then messing around with a spoke wrench for about 5 minutes.
I was able to ride rather than walk the mile or so back to the truck.
Another 15 or 20 minutes and you could barely tell it had been bent.
I beat on it off-road for another year or so after that.
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Old 11-01-09, 06:38 AM
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Originally Posted by operator View Post
Complete waste of labour given the price of a new wheel. And the end of all that you still have a crashed wheel. The easiest thing to do is smash it against the ground to true it enough so you can get home.
What happened was the rim went "over center" and caused the spokes to pull from the wrong angle. Surprisingly, sometimes you can just "bang it back" into it's original shape.
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Old 11-01-09, 07:25 AM
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I did that to my wheel the other day although perhaps not as bad (the bike was still ride-able but felt terrible).....
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