How do wheels become untrue



reub2000

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Jul 10, 2007
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I recenetly had my bike tuned up. Part of the tuneup involved truing the wheels. I was wondering how the wheels got warped in the first place. My dorm has a storage room, where the bike is hung on the wall from the front wheel. Could this be bending the wheel?
 

Mampara

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Sometimes when they build the wheels the spokes "wind up". They "wind down" again, sometimes with the first ride, and that is how new wheels go out of true. Good builders will actually take the wheels for a short ride to check that the stress get released and re-check them.
 

janiejones

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Jul 8, 2005
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reub2000 said:
I recenetly had my bike tuned up. Part of the tuneup involved truing the wheels. I was wondering how the wheels got warped in the first place. My dorm has a storage room, where the bike is hung on the wall from the front wheel. Could this be bending the wheel?
how do wheels become untrue you ask...mmm.. generally it starts when they are feeling neglected, maybe you haven't been for as many rides as you should, your riding over some rough patches.. but yes, wheels will become untrue when they start to lie to you, not coming home when they should.

They could be living it up with the Cervelo, the bianchi or even the Trek from the local bike club...but before you go and start a full on argument with your wheels, try and consider it from their perspective - sitting in the garage, often in the dark, for up to 20 hours a day, maybe, when your not too busy, they get to go out for a nice ride, but truthfully how often does that happen, when did you last buy your wheels some new tires, tubes, or even 2 dollar rim tape.

Go on, do sometihng for them now, a blow of fresh air, back up to the old 120psi. You'll be gald you did.
 

Scotty_Dog

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Jul 30, 2004
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janiejones said:
how do wheels become untrue you ask...mmm.. generally it starts when they are feeling neglected, maybe you haven't been for as many rides as you should, your riding over some rough patches.. but yes, wheels will become untrue when they start to lie to you, not coming home when they should.

They could be living it up with the Cervelo, the bianchi or even the Trek from the local bike club...but before you go and start a full on argument with your wheels, try and consider it from their perspective - sitting in the garage, often in the dark, for up to 20 hours a day, maybe, when your not too busy, they get to go out for a nice ride, but truthfully how often does that happen, when did you last buy your wheels some new tires, tubes, or even 2 dollar rim tape.

Go on, do sometihng for them now, a blow of fresh air, back up to the old 120psi. You'll be gald you did.
Classic post!
 

kdelong

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Dec 14, 2006
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Mampara said:
Sometimes when they build the wheels the spokes "wind up". They "wind down" again, sometimes with the first ride, and that is how new wheels go out of true. Good builders will actually take the wheels for a short ride to check that the stress get released and re-check them.
Not only is it spoke wind up. Just about any time that you hit a pot hole or a rough patch of pavement, you are stressing the wheel, usually by just a little, but it stretches the spokes a little and pulls at the nipples just a little. All of these "just a littles" add up over the course of a year and can throw a wheel out of true, usually just a little. Trueing the wheels is normally part of everyone's yearly maintenance. There will be some out there who say that they never have to have their wheels trued, but I'll bet if you checked really closely, they could probably use a trueing too.

A lot of people have their bikes stored like yours and it does not really effect the wheel anymore than all of the other "just a littles" that you will encounter.
 

buckybux

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Jul 14, 2005
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For wheels to stay true, they should be round (that is a part of the trueing process) and the spoke tension should be equal on all the spokes (test with a spoke tensionmeter). If these factors are good usually the wheel will remain true with little work needed.
 

reub2000

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kdelong said:
Not only is it spoke wind up. Just about any time that you hit a pot hole or a rough patch of pavement, you are stressing the wheel, usually by just a little, but it stretches the spokes a little and pulls at the nipples just a little. All of these "just a littles" add up over the course of a year and can throw a wheel out of true, usually just a little. Trueing the wheels is normally part of everyone's yearly maintenance. There will be some out there who say that they never have to have their wheels trued, but I'll bet if you checked really closely, they could probably use a trueing too.

A lot of people have their bikes stored like yours and it does not really effect the wheel anymore than all of the other "just a littles" that you will encounter.
Well it was only a couple of months after buying the bike, and the wheels had a little wobble when they turned. Just wanted to make sure that I wasn't abusing my wheels. It does seem that the only harm that a bent wheel does is make the rim rub against the brake pad.
 

kdelong

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Dec 14, 2006
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reub2000 said:
Well it was only a couple of months after buying the bike, and the wheels had a little wobble when they turned. Just wanted to make sure that I wasn't abusing my wheels. It does seem that the only harm that a bent wheel does is make the rim rub against the brake pad.
If the bike is still under warranty, have your bike shop true them up at no charge! If the wheels are out of true after only couple of months, then the wheelbuilder did not prestress the wheels sufficiently after he built them. Prestressing is getting rid of the spoke windup that Mampara mentioned. A properly built wheel will not have any spoke windup left when it is returned to the customer. As you have ridden your bike, the wind up has been releasing little by little with the wheel going out of true.
 

reub2000

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kdelong said:
If the bike is still under warranty, have your bike shop true them up at no charge! If the wheels are out of true after only couple of months, then the wheelbuilder did not prestress the wheels sufficiently after he built them. Prestressing is getting rid of the spoke windup that Mampara mentioned. A properly built wheel will not have any spoke windup left when it is returned to the customer. As you have ridden your bike, the wind up has been releasing little by little with the wheel going out of true.
There wasn't any problem. The bike club at my school was doing tune-up for almost nothing, so I decided to bring it in. The wheel had a slight wobble, nothing that I would notice while riding. Hopefuly the wheel is fine right now.
 

Freehub

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Jun 15, 2007
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reub2000 said:
There wasn't any problem. The bike club at my school was doing tune-up for almost nothing, so I decided to bring it in. The wheel had a slight wobble, nothing that I would notice while riding. Hopefuly the wheel is fine right now.
One time I had my hands on the bars in an unbalanced position, while descending a gentle slope. Ran over one of those square, steel valve covers which sent me into an uncontolable shimmy. I thought i was going down but recovered, somehow. Because of the addrenalin rush, and being a mile from home, I didn't notice that the incident had screwed up my rear wheel. Well, dummy me tried to true it up, myself. I'll NEVER, try that again. I had that thing so outta true that I should've named it OJ.

Truing is a talent or an art form, depending on your point of skew.
 

kdelong

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Freehub said:
One time I had my hands on the bars in an unbalanced position, while descending a gentle slope. Ran over one of those square, steel valve covers which sent me into an uncontolable shimmy. I thought i was going down but recovered, somehow. Because of the addrenalin rush, and being a mile from home, I didn't notice that the incident had screwed up my rear wheel. Well, dummy me tried to true it up, myself. I'll NEVER, try that again. I had that thing so outta true that I should've named it OJ.

Truing is a talent or an art form, depending on your point of skew.
It's easy after a little practice and before the beer. You just have to have patience and remember that what you do to one side will effect the other side.
 

Freehub

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Jun 15, 2007
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kdelong said:
It's easy after a little practice and before the beer. You just have to have patience and remember that what you do to one side will effect the other side.
I guess I'd rather ride. So, do you do a lot of your own repairs?
Also, do you have a good bicycle repair manual. I've got one but it's not that good IMHO.
 

kdelong

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Freehub said:
I guess I'd rather ride. So, do you do a lot of your own repairs?
Also, do you have a good bicycle repair manual. I've got one but it's not that good IMHO.
None of my bicycles have seen the inside of a repair shop in over 20 years. I do all of my own repairs, and I've become pretty darn good at it too! It started out as economic necessity but quickly became a matter of pride.

The best manual that I have ever used is The Bicycling Guide to Complete Bicycle Maintenance & Repair for Road & Mountain Bikes by Todd Downs. It is published by Rodale Press and is available at most major book stores. I know that the Barnes & Nobles across the road from Kenwood Towne Center had a copy available last week. I got my latest one from Borders in Princeton Crossing near Tri-County. The cost is $19.95 + tax.
 

janiejones

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Freehub said:
I guess I'd rather ride. So, do you do a lot of your own repairs?
Also, do you have a good bicycle repair manual. I've got one but it's not that good IMHO.
You have to think like a bike...and the rest will follow