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

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 >>

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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 >>

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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 >>

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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 >>

07/03 Rear hub replacement to disc brake type

Hi, I have a Raleigh Tandem that I want to load and take on trips. I am looking at replacing the rear hub (Shimano FH-RM30 8S) with a matching sized hub, but that also has disc brake bolt holes. Can anyone recommend a replacement hub that will accept a disc and is also sized so that I can use the same rim and spokes. I don't need a super light or high tech hub, but would like something that can be rebuilt and will accept my existing rear sprockets/cassette. Thanks, Michael... Read more >>

07/03 Trike Bike Rims

Hello,

Hopefully im at the right place i recently traded a bike for a 3 wheel adult Trike brand im not really sure of to be all honest i wouldn't doubt its possibly stolen since its all spray painted.

I'm unsure of what brand Trike bike it is in the morning when i have some sun light its going on 10 PM now so its too late to go out their are get a picture of what i need help with but i'll try to explain...

I wanna replace the rims on the rear of the 3 wheel bike they are i believe 24 inch rims they don't have a nut or bolt on the sides like most bikes do.... Read more >>

07/02 Need Help With My First Rim Replacement

I have a Fuji Absolute 3.0 I got from Performance Bike. It fell off the back of my car and I had to buy a replacement front wheel. I've taken the old wheel to two different LBS and both say the rim is beyond repair.

Since I have a replacement on the bike, I have decided to learn to replace a rim. I will try this to learn and not because I need a front wheel. I have replaced spokes and adjusted out of true wheels before without problem.

Finally, getting to my question: where can one buy a replacement rim. Some of the web sites leave one to feel, just about any 700 ri... Read more >>

07/01 Difference between aero elliptical spokes and aero bladed spokes?

Can anyone explain the difference between the 2 spokes? I've got hold of some spokes, and both ends are round (like standard round spokes) but the middle part is flat.

Thank you... Read more >>

06/20 Need help! Problem with skewer, wheel, frame?

Hi! New here! I have a fairly inexpensive mountain bike that I am trying to use with an indoor trainer. I have a Trek Cycleops trainer. This particular brand has a specific skewer and I have the correct one. I'm having two problems.

First, when I install the skewer, my wheel isnt stable on the skewer. It is loose and wobbles from side to side.

Second, ignoring the wobble, if I secure it into the trainer (correctly, btw) if I pedal full revolution, the tire (and skewer) pop off the frame. The skewer is still in the trainer. The frame of the bike is lifted off the ske... Read more >>

06/13 Stolen Back Wheel, need replacement

Hey guys,

So I left my bike locked up at a train station and the back wheel got stolen off of it (as well has the seat and seat post). I'm looking for suggestions on replacement parts. I'd like to get decent parts without breaking the bank (decent to mean means it works well and won't break/fall apart super fast). I mostly ride the bike on the road/dirt trails.

How much do you suspect it'll cost to replace the tire and seat?

I have a hard rock sport 2009 (without disc brakes). It has a 19" frame. I know it's not anything too fancy but it's been a gre... Read more >>

06/09 Hub race spinning?

Hey Guys,
Trying to figure what is going on here... Have a Fixie rear wheel that I have adjusted the cones on twice since I got it in November of last year. Noticed here recently that it had some more side-to-side play and just got a chance to check it out. Figured I would do a complete lube, so I broke it down and noticed that the drive side race(shell) was spinning in the hub along with some side play. The other side is fine.
Is there a way of tightening or getting the race(shell) to stop spinning??
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