57. How to Replace a Wheel Rim

Learn how to replace a worn out wheel rim (rim transfer).

IMPORTANT: Nuts and bolts on your bike should always be tightened to the manufacturer's specifications.
How to Replace a Wheel Rim

In this tutorial we will learn how to replace a worn out rim. This repair is often called a rim transfer.

What You’ll Need

For this job you will need an appropriately sized spoke wrench, a wheel truing stand, an optional nipple driver, waterproof grease and a toothpick, linseed oil, rim tape, and some tape or zip ties to fasten the rims together. You’ll also need a replacement rim. The new rim must be the exact same size and spoke count as your old rim.

Grease Spoke Holes

Using a dab of grease on a toothpick, grease all of the spoke holes on the new rim. You’ll only need a tiny bit. This helps the nipples turn easier when you’re tensioning the wheel.

De-tension Old Wheel

Next you’ll need to loosen all of the old spoke nipples. The safest way to do this is to start at the valve hole and loosen all of the spokes by turning clockwise 1/4 turn each. Repeat this step until all of the spokes in the wheel are de-tensioned but still attached.

Attach New Rim

Tape or zip-tie the new rim to the old rim in 2 places directly across from each other. Make sure that the valve hole and placement of the spoke holes in the rims match up exactly.

Transfer Spokes

One at a time, you’ll need to move each spoke from one side of the wheel over to the new rim. Turning counter-clockwise, unthread each nipple from the old rim and place a drop of linseed oil inside the nipple threads. This will keep the nipples tight while still allowing them to be turned in the future. Move the spoke over to the corresponding hole on the new rim. Thread the nipple on most of the way, but leave 2 spoke threads showing.

Once all of the spokes on the first side of the wheel are transferred, repeat the process and transfer the spokes on the other side of the wheel, until all of the spokes have been threaded onto the new rim.

True and Tension Spokes

You can now undo the tape or zip-ties and remove the old rim. Starting at the valve hole, tighten all of the nipples by turning each 1/4 turn counter-clockwise, all the way around the wheel. Repeat this until all of the spokes are fairly tight, and then tension and true the wheel. See the video titled how to true a wheel. In the next video we’ll learn how to properly tension your spokes.

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Discuss this topic in the Wheel Forums

08/18 Need GMC Denali Front Rim Replaced

Hello all, new to bikes and the forum and needed some simple help. I can't seem to find on the internet what size rim i would need. I have 2 of these bikes.. 1 of which had both wheels stolen.. and the other i had an accident that cause 4 of the spokes to bust out and the wheel slightly bent.. so now i am out of 2 bikes!!!

anywho here is the information to the model i currently have

22.5" GMC Denali 700c Men's Road Bike, Black/Orange:

Shimano FD-TZ 31 Index front derailleur
Shimano RD-TZ30GS 7SPD rear derailleur
Promax 501A alloy caliper brak... Read more >>

08/17 135mm axle to 126mm axle??'s

Hello,
I've got an older set of 700 wheels that should be replaced with a set I picked up recently. The problem is that the newer set has a 135mm rear dropout spacing axle and the old set is 126mm, which fits my older road bike frame. The newer set has a 9 speed cassette and the older is a 7 speed cassette.
Can I change the axle in the newer set to fit my older frame and will the older 7 speed cassette work fine or do I need to change the cassette freewheel??... or if there is a better way... ?
Thanks !... Read more >>

08/10 Spoke Tension Meter?

Hi there, I just wanted to know if you all use a spoke tensioning meter (park tool TM-1) when tensioning your spokes, or if there was another way of doing it without one as they are quite pricey for a bit of plastic! I wondered whether you just guess within reason or go by feel? thanks... Read more >>

08/09 Front wheel not centered in fork

I've just noticed my front wheel is not centred within my front fork and is off to the left, which is causing the right v-brake caliper to lean over towards the left also. How can I fix this? I've tried taking it off and rebolting it back in, but it just goes back to the same position. Thanks for any help!... Read more >>

08/06 New hub doesnt freewheel

I have had built a custom rear rim which uses a Novatec D042 hub. I received the rim back via courier yesterday, fitted the tube and tyre on and mounted it back on the frame (a Specialized Cross Trail Sport Disc hybrid).
When I turn the pedals with the bike on the maintenance stand and then stop turning, simulating freewheeling down a hill for example, the hub doesnt freewheel, it keeps turning the pedals like it was a fixed gear bike.
I know the obvious answer is to go back to the guy who built the rim (and who also put the disc brake and cogs back on the new rim for me) but he is... Read more >>

08/05 Very little space between tire and fork crown

Hi!

I have an old road bike with very narrow tires. I plan to use this as a commuter bike, so I'd like to swap out to thicker tires, something like the Schwalbe Marathons. The wheel size currently is 700c.

The issue that I have is that the fork crown is very close to the current narrow tire. I've attached a picture. The only option I can think of is that I need to get a slightly smaller wheel and also possibly new brakes with long-reach.

I wondered if anybody has suggestions or other ideas.


[attachment=5282]... Read more >>

08/01 Rear wheel troubles

Hello,
I have a 1998 GT Palomar and I put new wheels on it about 3 years ago and it was serviced just a couple of weeks ago. Anyway, after the service the back wheel has been spinning freely. However, I picked up a puncture and removed the wheel and sorted the puncture, but when I put the wheel back on and tighten the nuts the wheel only spins for about 1/10th as long as it was just before. I am completely stumped, could anyone help?
Ben... Read more >>

07/25 Bad freewheel?

I just mated a 7 speed wheel with my old 10 speed and have noticed that the freewheel is wobbling in driven mode only...not so much when coasting. Ideas?

Video here: http://youtu.be/eD-GCu0GHd4... Read more >>

07/24 Basic Spokes Question

I broke two spokes and resolved to fix them myself.

I removed the cassette on the wheel, removed the broken spokes, thread the new spokes through the hub and the other spokes, but I cannot get the new spokes to screw into the old nipples. Or, rather, I can get them started, but there is a point past which my spoke wrench will not turn.

I am starting to think that I need to replace the old nipple with the new nipple that came with the new spoke.

Now that I type it out it seems obvious, but is this right? New spokes will not always go into old nipple?
Read more >>

07/22 Hybrid wheels

Hello, I just would like to know if it's possible to put 26' hybrid wheels onto a mountain bike frame? and also if you take a look at the picture of this bike frame, whether or not the back end would be compatible with quick release as it's an old frame. The front should be as I've brought new forks for it, thanks. Daniel... Read more >>

07/20 Axle/dropout question

Hi, all,
this is a complete noob question i know, but please bear with me!
My front wheel had a bit of play so i did a bit of reading, took it off and tightened the cone nuts. Once i did this the hub turned freely and there was pretty much the same amount of axle showing at each side. the thing is, there is only enough axle to go about half way through the drop out. the way i see it, the axle cannot go all the way to the outside of the drop out, otherwise there will be no room for the springs to compress on the quick release skewer, but only about half the thickness of the drop out... Read more >>

07/16 Rear Wheel Nuts won't screw in

I don't know if I am doing this procedure whole wrong, but when I try to tighten my back tire, the nuts just keep spinning and not tightening. I made sure to hold the opposite still screw it in, but the nuts just spin rather than tighten. Is it something wrong with my bike or are the nuts faulty?... Read more >>

07/16 Plastic Spoke Protector Guard.

During cleaning on my bike, I've discovered that this guard has been damaged.

Do you really need this? Or would it be fine without it?... Read more >>

07/15 Wheel build problem

Hey Please to meet you I'm a new user.

I've recently built a set of road wheels

Stan's alpha 340 rims with 253g set of hubs, sapim spokes and nipples (20/24) weighing about 1200g all in with tyres.

I've ridden them twice and both times i've took out a different spoke from the rear drive side of the wheel, its pulled the spoke out of the nipple, thread gone (I believe brass nipples not sure til tomz if they are alloy til I ask my wheel builder guy).

Cant understand why?

I'm now starting to think my weight is the reason I'm 85kg.<... Read more >>

07/08 Need HELP with my hub and wobbling freewheel!

Hi, I bought a cheap foldable 6 speed bike with no front derailleur about a month ago and I have trouble having a nice clean shift of gears everytime I ride. The gears are always skipping when I just got it and some gears are not useable because the rear derailleur doesn't reach them.
I brought my bike the first time for a checkup and the mechanic got the screws on my rear derailleur at the right place, now all gears are useable, only the 5th and 6th occasionally skips but the 2nd gear is annoyingly loud! I lubed the chain using a dry lube and it still remained the same.
Brought my... Read more >>

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