Wheel truing?

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by rudycyclist, Apr 9, 2006.

  1. rudycyclist

    rudycyclist New Member

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    Today while I was riding, I was on a descent of a hill and it felt like I was rocking a little bit almost as if my wheels were not tru (sp?). I've only ridden on these wheels about 5 times. Could they really be out of tru already? How can I check if they're tru? Do I need to buy special tools and equipment? Thanks guys.
     
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  2. dhk

    dhk New Member

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    Just pick up your bike (or put it in a repair stand or rack) and spin the wheels. Look at the rim sidewall as it goes past the brake shoes. Side to side movement is called wobble or lateral runout, and up/down (hop) is called radial runout.

    Some runout is present in all wheels as they are built and tuned to a tolerance for spoke tension and runout. New wheels may settle in and develop runout in the early miles, depending on how well they were built. Retruing should be included in your new bike tune and checkup service at about 500-1000 miles. If you can see a wobble of 1/8" or more in either lateral or radial direction, suggest you take them in to your dealer earlier to be corrected.
     
  3. rudycyclist

    rudycyclist New Member

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    I know park tool sells truing equipment. How does that work? Is it worth the investment?
     
  4. John M

    John M New Member

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    A spoke wrench is definitely worth the $5-7 or so investment. For occasional touch-up truing of your wheels, that can be done on the bike and a truing stand is not really necessary. For really precise truing, a nice stand does help and for wheelbuilding, it is essential.
     
  5. dannomyte

    dannomyte New Member

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    ... and you will also need a lot of patience! If you tackle this yourself, take your time and don't get frustrated...
     
  6. dhk

    dhk New Member

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    Agree going slow is important when cranking on spoke nipples. Also some know-how helps a lot before starting to adjust tension on spokes. One good source of info is the fine repair how-to's at parktool.com
     
  7. RocklinResident

    RocklinResident New Member

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    nobody has mentioned that if these wheels are new they should be covered under some type of waranty (take them back to you LBS for info. on that).

    I had the same problem today (faulty nipples or something - we'll see if the fix works tomorrow). They told me that if I have any more problems that I get a new wheel for free. BUT, I'm assuming that these wheels are new, I could be wrong.
     
  8. RocklinResident

    RocklinResident New Member

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    btw, your wheel could be off-centre - ask your LBS about that one too
     
  9. TooTall999

    TooTall999 New Member

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    I live over 2 hours from the nearest lbs,so I made the investment into trueing stand,wrenches,dishing gauge,etc. Paid for itself the first time I needed spoke replacement on my mountain bike wheel.
     
  10. daveornee

    daveornee New Member

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    What you may have experienced is a common oscillation which likely has nothing to do with wheel truing at all.

    The article at Park Tool that will give you a good understanding about wheel truing:
    http://www.parktool.com/repair/readhowto.asp?id=81

    Many times it pays to bring it to a professional.
    A spoke wrench in the hand of a "novice" can cause more problems than it solves.

    If you want to work on wheels it takes more than the proper tools. Some shops and local colleges offer classes regarding bicycle trouble shooting and repair. Most often the classes teach you things that you can handle yourself and help you understand how to communicate effectively with the shop when you decide to have them deal with it.
     
  11. dhk

    dhk New Member

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    David, as usual you speak truth. Many years ago I totally screwed up a rear wheel with a spoke wrench just trying to give it a minor "touch up". Since that time, have learned that it's better to get the wheel built by a good pro, then leave it alone.

    As you know, a wheel that's properly designed for the rider and intended conditions, and carefully built, will last a long time without need of the spoke wrench.
     
  12. TooTall999

    TooTall999 New Member

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    Well not all of us are so fortunate as to hop in the car and drop off a wheel at a "local" bike shop.My closest is over 2 hours away..so I've taught myself wheel trueing and building.I now do all my own repairs and have done repairs for friends as well.Hopefully one day I'd like to actually open a repair shop as a part-time business venture.
     
  13. esandman

    esandman New Member

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    IMO if you're biking regularly I think this is a essential maintainence skill to get a handle on. Start off with small corrections, make sure you're turning the nipples in the right direction, and use the correctly sized tight fitting wrench. The truing stand will pay for itself many times over, in the long run it's an excellent investment.

    Erik
     
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