Out of true already?



RedRider2009

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Nov 24, 2007
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Hello, I just bought a new bike about a month ago and i realized today when I washed it that my rear wheel is really out of true. it rubs on the brakes to the point that if you spin the wheel with your hand...the wheel stops about 1/2 through the rotation. Is this a manufacturing defect that I didn't notice? What could have caused this? How do I fix it? Should I bring it to the dealer and ask them? I have no idea what to do really.
 

Phill P

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Jul 9, 2006
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Is it a Mavic wheel?? :p

Take it back to the shop and get them to true the wheel. Unfortunately it is not uncommon for prebuilt wheels to go out of true because of the lack of decent wheel building processes in the factory (no stress relieving). What often happens is either the wheel is not evenly tensioned, tensioned high enough, or the spokes rotate in the nipples and become loose.
 
Dec 30, 2007
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RedRider2009 said:
Hello, I just bought a new bike about a month ago and i realized today when I washed it that my rear wheel is really out of true. it rubs on the brakes to the point that if you spin the wheel with your hand...the wheel stops about 1/2 through the rotation. Is this a manufacturing defect that I didn't notice? What could have caused this? How do I fix it? Should I bring it to the dealer and ask them? I have no idea what to do really.

Take it to the shop and have them take care of it. Hopefully the bike didn't come with completely inappropriate wheels for you and your riding needs.

NOT operator error but probably pisspoor assembly and attention to the wheels when new.
 

kdelong

Well-Known Member
Dec 14, 2006
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lava said:
My money's on Bontrager.
Why does everyone hate Bontrager? I have a set and they have been very good wheels for the past 1K miles. They have been so good that I'll probably relace the hubs to new rims once the old ones wear out. Admittedly I don't race so they may not be the most suitable wheelset for that pursuit, but they have been great for the recreational and quasi-training riding that I enjoy.
 
Jun 6, 2006
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I have heard that new wheels, especially machine-built ones, will go out of true pretty quick sometimes, but when you have them tensioned and trued it will last provided the job was done well.
 

RedRider2009

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Nov 24, 2007
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Great guess lava, they are the stock bontrager wheels on my 2008 trek 1.5...they have 20 spokes in front and 24 in back. I have put just over 500 miles on the bike since I bought it, is that an excuse for why they would be out of true already? Maybe I shouldn't have been bringing it to the skatepark, but I just cannot resist those jumps.
 

alienator

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Jun 10, 2004
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RedRider2009 said:
Great guess lava, they are the stock bontrager wheels on my 2008 trek 1.5...they have 20 spokes in front and 24 in back. I have put just over 500 miles on the bike since I bought it, is that an excuse for why they would be out of true already? Maybe I shouldn't have been bringing it to the skatepark, but I just cannot resist those jumps.

Having 500 miles on 'em is no excuse for wheels to go out of true.
 

lava

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Feb 16, 2005
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RedRider2009 said:
Great guess lava, they are the stock bontrager wheels on my 2008 trek 1.5...they have 20 spokes in front and 24 in back. I have put just over 500 miles on the bike since I bought it, is that an excuse for why they would be out of true already? Maybe I shouldn't have been bringing it to the skatepark, but I just cannot resist those jumps.
Speak of the devil. I had the same experience with the same bike (albeit a few years back). Not only did the Bontrager wheels go out of true once a week, but the Bontrager crank warped over time. I had the rear wheel replaced under warranty, and the new one did the same thing. So I bought a pair of Campagnolo Zondas and an Ultegra crank and never looked back. It's been two years and and the wheels are still true. Low-end Bontrager stuff is absolute junk.
 

daveornee

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Sep 18, 2003
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lava said:
Speak of the devil. I had the same experience with the same bike (albeit a few years back). Not only did the Bontrager wheels go out of true once a week, but the Bontrager crank warped over time. I had the rear wheel replaced under warranty, and the new one did the same thing. So I bought a pair of Campagnolo Zondas and an Ultegra crank and never looked back. It's been two years and and the wheels are still true. Low-end Bontrager stuff is absolute junk.
I talked with Trek's Bontrager Wheel folks a few months back and I think I understand why they have the wheel issues. I was trying to locate a Rolf wheel "Pre-Stress" box and they said they don't use them and don't have any ideas where to get them.
The box Pre-Stresses the spokes so that they are bedded in. This requires a few "extra" steps that most wheel builders take.
 
Jun 6, 2006
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daveornee said:
I talked with Trek's Bontrager Wheel folks a few months back and I think I understand why they have the wheel issues. I was trying to locate a Rolf wheel "Pre-Stress" box and they said they don't use them and don't have any ideas where to get them.
The box Pre-Stresses the spokes so that they are bedded in. This requires a few "extra" steps that most wheel builders take.
Wouldn't riding them then truing them a few times also pre-stress them?
 

daveornee

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Sep 18, 2003
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garage sale GT said:
Wouldn't riding them then truing them a few times also pre-stress them?
Yes, riding stresses will ultimately bed the spokes in toward the asymtotic function limit. The wheels then need to be trued, properly tensioned, and centered. That cycle needs to be repeated until further bedding in stops in riding.
I wouldn't call that "pre-stressing".
 

Jeff Vader

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Feb 26, 2008
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RedRider2009 said:
Hello, I just bought a new bike about a month ago and i realized today when I washed it that my rear wheel is really out of true. it rubs on the brakes to the point that if you spin the wheel with your hand...the wheel stops about 1/2 through the rotation. Is this a manufacturing defect that I didn't notice? What could have caused this? How do I fix it? Should I bring it to the dealer and ask them? I have no idea what to do really.
Did you make sure the wheel is even in both dropouts? It could be that the wheel is just **** pied.
 

daveornee

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Sep 18, 2003
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Jeff Vader said:
Did you make sure the wheel is even in both dropouts? It could be that the wheel is just **** pied.
A wheel not properly installed in the dropouts won't wobble if it is true.
I see from reading what the OP said, there isn't a specific statement about lateral or radial wobble. Your statement may be the solution, and certainly is worth dealing with.
 

zaku

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Jun 23, 2004
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RedRider2009 said:
Maybe I shouldn't have been bringing it to the skatepark, but I just cannot resist those jumps.

yea. there is your answer...
 

RedRider2009

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Nov 24, 2007
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I did not notice that my wheel was horribly out of true until I washed it, so I checked right away to make sure it was in the dropouts correctly. The wheel is definetly out of true, BIG TIME. It took me quite a while to get in back in and adjust the brakes so that the wheel wouldn't rub. I would have gotten the problem taken care of, but I had a race that night. I do not know how to true a wheel, is there much to it? If all of these problems lava is talking about are true, do you think it was just a clinker bike he got? If it truly is all low end bontrager components are ****, do you think I would be better off trying to sell my 1.5 and buy another new bike with better components? As I said earlier, I have had my 1.5 for 2 months now. What would the resale value be? The bike has no imperfections in appearance except a couple small scratches on my brake lever, and works fine except the rear wheel. The bike originally is $1039.99. I love my bike, would it be worthwhile to get a new groupset and wheels or would that be more expensive than just buying an entirely new bike? Would the resale value of my components nearly compensate for the cost of a new groupset?
 

alienator

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Jun 10, 2004
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RedRider2009 said:
I did not notice that my wheel was horribly out of true until I washed it, so I checked right away to make sure it was in the dropouts correctly. The wheel is definetly out of true, BIG TIME. It took me quite a while to get in back in and adjust the brakes so that the wheel wouldn't rub. I would have gotten the problem taken care of, but I had a race that night. I do not know how to true a wheel, is there much to it? If all of these problems lava is talking about are true, do you think it was just a clinker bike he got? If it truly is all low end bontrager components are ****, do you think I would be better off trying to sell my 1.5 and buy another new bike with better components? As I said earlier, I have had my 1.5 for 2 months now. What would the resale value be? The bike has no imperfections in appearance except a couple small scratches on my brake lever, and works fine except the rear wheel. The bike originally is $1039.99. I love my bike, would it be worthwhile to get a new groupset and wheels or would that be more expensive than just buying an entirely new bike? Would the resale value of my components nearly compensate for the cost of a new groupset?

How big is "big time?" If you turn the wheel and watch how far it wobbles with respect to a reference, like the brake pad, you can post how far out of true it is. For instance if the wheel turns and stays centered except at one spot where it moves 1cm away from the pad it's 1 cm out of true.

If it's hugely out of true and this happened all of a sudden, then you ought to look for something else that's amiss, like a broken spoke or cracks in the rim, emanating from the spoke holes.
 

RedRider2009

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Nov 24, 2007
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Cracked rim? You are scaring me now hehe, I don't think there is any serious damage like that, definetly no broken spokes, and I do not see any problems with the rim, would I need to take the tire off to see that? There are about 3 spots that stick out a bit, far enough to rub on the brake pad lightly.