Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Road Cycling
Reload this Page >

Trueing your own wheels

Notices
Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Trueing your own wheels

Old 05-29-05, 11:54 AM
  #1  
timmyquest
Banned.
Thread Starter
 
timmyquest's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Woodstock
Posts: 5,761
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Trueing your own wheels

Do most of you take your wheels in to a shop or is this a simple procedure?

I remember when i was a kid my dad would always straighten our wheels ubt then it was 10 year olds on 20 inch bikes that cost $100.

Now i'm riding a $1000 road bike so i presume it may not be so easy, that is, back then i would have had a little different tollereance to a perfectly trued wheel.
timmyquest is offline  
Old 05-29-05, 01:17 PM
  #2  
filtersweep
Senior Member
 
filtersweep's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 2,615
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
A standard-built wheel is very easy to true. Everyone should learn.

I won't touch my race wheels, but they don't ever need to be trued. They have bladed spokes and much higher tension... and cost much more.
filtersweep is offline  
Old 05-29-05, 01:59 PM
  #3  
johnny99
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Northern California
Posts: 10,877
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 104 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 4 Times in 4 Posts
Originally Posted by filtersweep
A standard-built wheel is very easy to true.
It is not that easy. You need to account for roundness, wobble, dishing, and uniform tension. Fixing only one dimension often causes problems with the others. I have seen several poorly trued wheels with spokes breaking or pulling out of the rims.
johnny99 is offline  
Old 05-29-05, 02:21 PM
  #4  
Romulus
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 160
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I've been doing it myself, and without a truing stand... But then, I did not spend a grand on it... It's usually only one dimension to return a wheel back to true, and you could alternate, take it in every second time you feel like it needs a true. It's not that hard as long as you are patient, and stay focused. If you make it worse, take it in. Half a turn will not break the spoke...
Romulus is offline  
Old 05-29-05, 04:24 PM
  #5  
el twe
crotchety young dude
 
el twe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: SF, CA
Posts: 4,818

Bikes: IRO Angus; Casati Gold Line; Redline 925; '72 Schwinn Olympic Paramount

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I like doing it miyself, but if I get stuck, I don't hesitate to take it to the pros.
__________________
Originally Posted by CardiacKid View Post
I explained that he could never pay me enough cash for the amount of work I had put into that bike and the only way to compensate me for it was to ride the hell out of it.
IRO Angus Casati Gold Line
el twe is offline  
Old 05-29-05, 07:59 PM
  #6  
pjbaz
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: CT
Posts: 857
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I read the chapter in the Zinn book (several times) and built my own wheels for my fixed gear. I had ZERO experience and they haven't blown up yet. It's not rocket science if you can read, follow directions, and take your time.

Truing a wheel is the part that frustrates you- making sure it's set on several points. Lateral and Radial true...of course, radial is the one that'll give you fits.

Good luck
PJ
pjbaz is offline  
Old 05-30-05, 04:05 AM
  #7  
kefin
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 150
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I think truing wheels is one of the easiest maintenance tasks you can learn to do. Just buy the truing stand Performance Bike sells and a spoke wrench. That's all you need. You can find instructions online if you don't have a repair book. The tools are not that expensive, especially compared to paying someone else to do it repeatedly. Plus, your wheel will stay true much longer if you spend the time to do a good job yourself. My wheels never go out of true unless I get a flat and end up riding on the rim a bit. I only have to true my wheels once or twice a season.

Have fun!

-Kevin
kefin is offline  
Old 05-30-05, 05:36 AM
  #8  
filtersweep
Senior Member
 
filtersweep's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 2,615
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by johnny99
It is not that easy. You need to account for roundness, wobble, dishing, and uniform tension. Fixing only one dimension often causes problems with the others. I have seen several poorly trued wheels with spokes breaking or pulling out of the rims.

Dishing? How messed up is this hypothetical wheel? Uniform tension? I'll take a truer wheel over one equally tensioned.

IMHO- a wheel with a bent rim is a nightmare. A round, properly built wheel should be quite easy to true.
filtersweep is offline  
Old 06-03-05, 06:47 PM
  #9  
timmyquest
Banned.
Thread Starter
 
timmyquest's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Woodstock
Posts: 5,761
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanks for the feedback guys!
timmyquest is offline  
Old 06-03-05, 06:51 PM
  #10  
53-11_alltheway
"Great One"
 
53-11_alltheway's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Might as well be underwater because I make less drag than a torpedoE (no aero bars here though)
Posts: 4,463
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by filtersweep
Uniform tension? I'll take a truer wheel over one equally tensioned.
https://www.velomax.com/faqfull.php3#1 (read first question and answer)

I've had wheels trued where the guy didn't bother to check on the tension of the other spokes. Guess what happened? A: Came out of true very quickly. All the spokes need to be equally tight (on their side of the wheel) and only when this was done did I cease to have problems with my rear wheel.

"superficially true" doesn't mean anything.

Last edited by 53-11_alltheway; 06-03-05 at 07:35 PM.
53-11_alltheway is offline  
Old 06-03-05, 07:33 PM
  #11  
stealthbiker
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Shenandoah Valley, VA
Posts: 273
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I do some of my own truing - primarily on my standard 32 spoke "training" wheels. I have done my Canecreek wheels - they have the spoke nipples on the hub instead of the rim - but it takes longer since I feel like I am looking in a mirror. Some sort of mental block about the nipple being in a different place.

Minor adjustments I make. Broke a spoke and wanted the drive side spokes replaced so I took it to the shop.
stealthbiker is offline  
Old 06-03-05, 09:16 PM
  #12  
cyccommute 
Mad bike riding scientist
 
cyccommute's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 22,727

Bikes: Some silver ones, a red one, an orange one and a few titanium ones

Mentioned: 112 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3362 Post(s)
Liked 816 Times in 514 Posts
Originally Posted by stealthbiker
I do some of my own truing - primarily on my standard 32 spoke "training" wheels. I have done my Canecreek wheels - they have the spoke nipples on the hub instead of the rim - but it takes longer since I feel like I am looking in a mirror. Some sort of mental block about the nipple being in a different place.

Minor adjustments I make. Broke a spoke and wanted the drive side spokes replaced so I took it to the shop.
Truing wheels is a pretty simple skill to learn. Most of the time truing a wheel just takes small adjustments. It really shouldn't require messing with the overall tension of the wheel.

Building a wheel is a rewarding skill to learn especially as it helps you understand how to true the wheel and the balance of forces needed to make the wheel. There are few things in the world as satisfying as riding a wheel you built. Even after building dozens of them, it still gives me a thrill.
__________________
Stuart Black
Gold Fever Three days of dirt in Colorado
Pokin' around the Poconos A cold ride around Lake Erie
Dinosaurs in Colorado A mountain bike guide to the Purgatory Canyon dinosaur trackway
Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
cyccommute is offline  
Old 06-03-05, 09:19 PM
  #13  
53-11_alltheway
"Great One"
 
53-11_alltheway's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Might as well be underwater because I make less drag than a torpedoE (no aero bars here though)
Posts: 4,463
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by cyccommute
Truing wheels is a pretty simple skill to learn. Most of the time truing a wheel just takes small adjustments. It really shouldn't require messing with the overall tension of the wheel.
Truing wheels is simple. However merely truing a wheel that has recurring problems doesn't do ****.

You have to have a deeper understanding of why it is going out of true and how a wheel really works (it's a tensioned structure and spokes going slack really screws it up ). If you never experience this problem good for you becasue then you never have to think about it.
53-11_alltheway is offline  
Old 06-03-05, 09:19 PM
  #14  
neil0502
My bike's better than me!
 
neil0502's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Northern Colorado
Posts: 2,041

Bikes: (2) Moots Vamoots, (1) Cannondale T2000 tourer, (1) Diamondback Response Comp mtb

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 1 Post
Truing is an easy, rewarding process (like most other elements of bike fixing) if taken slowly, patiently, and methodically. Here are two excellent sites to walk you through the steps:

https://www.parktool.com/repair_help/howfix_truing.shtml

https://www.sheldonbrown.com/tooltips/truing.html
neil0502 is offline  
Old 06-03-05, 09:24 PM
  #15  
cascade168
Klaatu barada nikto
 
cascade168's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Southern NH
Posts: 1,453
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Truing is not that difficult. If you do it six times you will recoup the cost of a TS2 truing stand. If you are a serious cyclist this math explains itself. As they say, practice makes perfect. If you are doing your own truing, dishing, and tensioning, you will end up with some awesome wheels. It's all a question of how much time and effort you want to put into it.
cascade168 is offline  
Old 06-04-05, 06:26 AM
  #16  
biker7
Senior Member
 
biker7's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 2,850
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Agree with above. I trued my new Campag Vento rear wheel which came from the factory with 1-2mm of lateral runnout. It has stayed true since. Best advice I can provide is always start with loosening the spokes on the side of the wheel opposite the direction you want the wheel to move...by no more than 1/4 turn and record the spokes you change. A slight tweak and you can normally bring the wheel right in. If you label the spokes you change you can always restore the wheel to its original shape if you get lost.
Good Luck,
George
biker7 is offline  
Old 06-04-05, 08:04 AM
  #17  
Bikeophile
BIG RING
 
Bikeophile's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Hamilton (Formerly Toronto)
Posts: 786
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
If you want some more great step by step type info on wheelbuilding, truing and dishing wheels, pick up THE ART OF WHEELBUILDING by Gerd Shraner.

Very easy read
Bikeophile is offline  
Old 06-04-05, 08:18 AM
  #18  
Boogs
Kelly Drive Amateur
 
Boogs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: South Philly
Posts: 470

Bikes: '86 Super Sport with mods

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I had my rear wheel trued recently by a LBS, and they were sloppy, trueing without getting the tension as uniform as possible. It almost immediately went out of true, and I redid it myself. I didn't get it perfect (it's 1mm out laterally, maybe less, and a hair out radially), but since the tension is uniform, it's been rock solid. I might try to get it perfect tonight.

I'm glad I am learning this - I won't miss the inconvenience and expense of trips to the LBS, not to mention the chance of getting a sloppy/rushed tech.
Boogs is offline  
Old 06-04-05, 08:24 AM
  #19  
neil0502
My bike's better than me!
 
neil0502's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Northern Colorado
Posts: 2,041

Bikes: (2) Moots Vamoots, (1) Cannondale T2000 tourer, (1) Diamondback Response Comp mtb

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 1 Post
Originally Posted by Boogs
I'm glad I am learning this - I won't miss the inconvenience and expense of trips to the LBS, not to mention the chance of getting a sloppy/rushed tech.
Thanks for summarizing the basic logic behind DIY bike repairs. Throw in "because it's cheaper and it's fun" and you've pretty much painted the picture.

Most wrenches are caring, dedicated, bright people (they sure ain't in it for the $$ ) . . . but they get pressure from the top to get the **** bikes done and out . . . sometimes neater, sometimes sloppier.

When it's your bike, nailing down that last 1mm of runout may take you 30 minutes, but the stand goes on the coffee table, the spoke wrench in the left hand, the TV remote in the right (fine: beer). Time is on your side.
neil0502 is offline  
Old 06-04-05, 09:09 AM
  #20  
Boogs
Kelly Drive Amateur
 
Boogs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: South Philly
Posts: 470

Bikes: '86 Super Sport with mods

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by neil0502

Most wrenches are caring, dedicated, bright people (they sure ain't in it for the $$ ) . . .
I absolutely agree, and I've gotten great service at the two shops I've patronized over the last 12 years or so. These shops are madhouses sometimes, with loads of repairs and everyone needs everything five minutes ago... it's the kind of environment that encourages "get it out the door" rather than "let's make sure this is rock solid", and I am amazed and appreciative that they do good work under this kind of pressure.

Like you said, though, no such pressures at home - put something heavy on the stereo, and get spiritual about it.
Boogs is offline  
Old 06-04-05, 09:13 AM
  #21  
neil0502
My bike's better than me!
 
neil0502's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Northern Colorado
Posts: 2,041

Bikes: (2) Moots Vamoots, (1) Cannondale T2000 tourer, (1) Diamondback Response Comp mtb

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 1 Post
Originally Posted by Boogs
put something heavy on the stereo, and get spiritual about it.
And it doesn't get any better than that, folks. For truing, I tend to get out GD From the Mars Hotel.

Helps that it has Unbroken Chain on it....
neil0502 is offline  
Old 06-04-05, 09:51 AM
  #22  
53-11_alltheway
"Great One"
 
53-11_alltheway's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Might as well be underwater because I make less drag than a torpedoE (no aero bars here though)
Posts: 4,463
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Bikeophile
If you want some more great step by step type info on wheelbuilding, truing and dishing wheels, pick up THE ART OF WHEELBUILDING by Gerd Shraner.

Very easy read
I have a book called "The Bicycle Wheel" by Jobst Brandt. It's good reading as well.
53-11_alltheway is offline  
Old 06-04-05, 10:02 AM
  #23  
Ostuni
Guinea Hood
 
Ostuni's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: East of Shelbyville
Posts: 2,791
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by neil0502
I tend to get out GD....
gd?
Ostuni is offline  
Old 06-04-05, 10:04 AM
  #24  
neil0502
My bike's better than me!
 
neil0502's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Northern Colorado
Posts: 2,041

Bikes: (2) Moots Vamoots, (1) Cannondale T2000 tourer, (1) Diamondback Response Comp mtb

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 1 Post
Originally Posted by Ostuni
gd?
Sorry. Grateful Dead. I'm just lazy on the typing thing....
neil0502 is offline  
Old 06-04-05, 11:12 AM
  #25  
Ostuni
Guinea Hood
 
Ostuni's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: East of Shelbyville
Posts: 2,791
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by neil0502
Sorry. Grateful Dead. I'm just lazy on the typing thing....
doh. i know guys that would stop talking to me if they knew i had to ask what 'gd' stood for after you mentioned an album and song name....
Ostuni is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.