13. How to True a Wheel
Aspects of wheel truing covered include radial, lateral, centering (or dishing) and spoke tension.
Wheel truing is a delicate procedure that requires time and patience. In this tutorial I'll try and demonstrate the many aspects as clearly as possible. Ideally you'll want to have a wheel truing stand, good lighting and a comfortable workspace.
If you don't have a truing stand, lateral, or side to side adjustments can be done using your brake pads as a guide. If truing the wheel on your bike, be sure to deflate the tire before you begin. For radial, or up and down adjustments, you can use an L-square as a guide by attaching it to your fork or frame.
It is very important to use the correct size spoke wrench to avoid stripping the spoke nipples.
Before you begin, carefully inspect your wheel for any bent or broken spokes. Make sure your hub bearings don't have any play and then carefully squeeze a drop of light oil into all of your spoke holes.
Spoke nipples have a regular right-hand thread, but that while you're truing a wheel, you will be looking at the nipple upside-down, so you have to turn the spoke wrench clockwise to loosen and counter-clockwise to tighten.
Make sure the spoke doesn't turn with the nipple, which will cause it to twist and break. If it does turn, apply some light oil to the nipple threads and try again.
If a spoke does break while you're truing, it'll shoot out the spoke hole with great force, so be careful not to place your face in line with the rim. Safety glasses are highly recommended.
To check radial alignment, place the guide near the highest point on the outer edge of your rim. Find the high spots in your rim by spinning the wheel and correct them by tightening both left and right side spokes evenly. Correct any low spots by equally loosening the spokes in the effected area.
Tighten or loosen spokes in 1/4 turn increments. For example, if the effected area spans the length of four spokes, tighten all four spokes 1/4 turn, and then tighten the middle two spokes another 1/4 turn. Then re-check the radial alignment and repeat the process as needed.
To check lateral adjustment, place the guide close to the rim sidewall and look for high spots on either side. To correct a left or right high spot, tighten the spoke that leads to the opposing hub flange and equally loosen the spoke that leads to the hub flange on the same side as the high spot.
Just like radial adjustments, tighten or loosen the spokes in 1/4 increments. Again if the effected area spans four spokes, loosen and tighten all four spokes 1/4 turn, and then loosen and tighten the middle two spokes another 1/4 turn.
Re-check the lateral alignment and re-adjust as needed. Remember that on the rear wheel, the right side spokes have a lesser angle and effect lateral movement less than the left. The left side spokes have greater angle and effect radial alignment less than right. To compensate for this difference, the right side spokes should be adjusted two turns for every turn on left.
Rims should be exactly centered between the axle nuts. To check this you can use either a dishing tool, or your frame to check the measurement on each side.
If the rim is off-center, pull it in either direction by equally tightening all of the spokes on one side 1/4 turn, and loosening all of the spokes on the other. Then check the alignment again and repeat the process until the rim is centered.
To check spoke tension, pluck each spoke in the middle and listen to the sound. On the front wheel, all of the spokes should sound the same on both sides. On the rear wheel, each side should sound slightly different, but the spokes on each side should sound the same as each other.
Most people don't have a spoke tensiometer, so it's a good idea to compare the sound of your spokes to the sound of a wheel that you already know has proper tension. Remember that spoke changes effect the whole wheel, so you might have to repeat these steps several times before it is true.
After the wheel is true you should always pre-stress the spokes and re-adjust before riding. Failure to do this could cause broken spokes later. There are two ways to do this. The first way is to squeeze together the parellel spokes on both sides of the wheel. The second method involves resting the wheel sideways on the floor and gently pushing down on both sides of the rim, all the way around the wheel in 1/8 increments.
After pre-stressing the spokes you will usually have to re-check and make some minor adjustments. If after stressing the wheel you notice that your rim is severly warped, it means that your spoke tension is too high. Loosen all of the spokes 1/2 turn and re-true the wheel.
Can anyone tell me how to choose the correct rim tape width for my wheel/rim? My wheel has an inside rim width of approx. 19mm. Would an 18mm wide rim tape thus be the ideal size for my wheel?
Thank you... Read more >>
|I want to buy a electric conversion kit for my bike but the smallest rear wheel that they supply is a 26"
rim. I asked if they can supply a 20" rim with spokes and the fella said he just sells them he dose not know if that is possible. If I do buy the 26" rear wheel can I change the rim and spokes for a 20" one?
and what size spokes would I need?
I need to replace the axle on Ritchey hub that is part of a set of Pro DS wheels. Based on the hub ID document http://ritcheylogic.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Ritchey-HUB-ID-Sheet-20140121.pdf, I believe that it is V4 or V5 hub. It doesn't precisely match any of the pictures. It has a Shimano-compatible freehub.
Would this axle kit work? http://www.amazon.com/Ritchey-WCS-Roa... Read more >>
Probably a dumb question but here goes anyway
I have a rear wheel from a 1940's bike I'm rebuilding that has a 40 hole coaster brake hub, but the rim is rusted out. I want to know if it is possible to re-fit this hub into a 36 hole rim (I guess leaving 2 holes empty on each side). I would like to re-use this hub if possible but have no 40 hole rims. Any advice/opinions would be great! (I'll probably try it anyway just to see what happens...!!)
Cheers!... Read more >>
Can anyone tell me if it is possible to fit a hybrid rear wheel on a racing bike frame seeing that both hybrid and racing bike wheels have the same bead seat diameter?
Thank you... Read more >>
What size 29er tyre can I run on a 700c wheel with an inside rim width of 19mm? Would a 29" x 2.3 tyre be too wide or would it just about work ok?
Ibie... Read more >>
Have a set of MTB wheels that the rims(aluminum) have some corrosion around where the spokes fasten(nipples). It has a chalky white residue that seems to creep under the existing paint and makes the paint peel off.
What is the best way to clean them up and get them ready for a couple coats of paint?
Thanks !!! ... Read more >>
so my new bike will be here soon and I want to swap out my 15mm nuts up front for a quick release. not sure which yet..... might go for XT as I hear good things about them. i'll be getting a redline monocog, 29er SS. i'm an able tinkerer but just getting a bike tool kit together to take on more of my own repairs. pictures are encouraged as i'm new to all this. thanks all.
I don't believe I've posted this before....
By dating parts, I know the approximate age of Peugeot...
Front Normandy Hub made in 50th week of 1979, and rear Hub made in first week of 1980.
Trying same on Gitane Mixte that we believe is 1970-ish, with same Normandy Hubs and I hit a brick wall...
Stamped Normady, but that's it...
Searching on Internet for Normandy hubs I see only date code info as what I find on Peugeot.
Anybody hear of any other Date Codes on Normady hubs?
Every now and then I try (again) to date code th... Read more >>
have just watched the video on replacing rims. Just wondering what the indicators would be that you needed new rims. The video gave no info on this. Just curious.
Colleen... Read more >>
I'll preface this by saying I know very little about bike maintenance.
I recently bought a new bike, Vilano's generic, entry level 21 speed. I'd hoped to find a good deal on a used bike on Craigslist, but quickly realized I didn't have the bike knowledge to do that. The Vilano had good reviews for my price range, but I realize that, to an extent, you get what you pay for, too.
I got the bike yesterday and started to do some prep maintenance. I know I could've had a bike shop do everything for a reasonable price, but I like figuring stuff out and doing my own maintenan... Read more >>
Is the rear wheel on a bike properly dished if the rim is equally distant from the frame? I trued my rear wheel a little today, and I'm wondering if I need to go any further to check if it's centered than measuring the distance between the rim and the frame on either side of the wheel.... Read more >>
Hi. Riding in sub zero temps here and my rear brake has seized for the last three days heading to work but today I started off pedalling but after about 100m my pedals no longer moved the rear wheel. I had a major service a few months back where all cranks, chains etc were replaced. Could it just be the cold that is preventing me moving and if so what can I do to cure it.
Sitting sadly on the bus commute as I type.... Read more >>
I need a couple spoke protectors for a 70+ mm hub. I see some listed on e-bay, but they are the smaller hub spoke protectors.
Can anyone tell me where to find the bigger hub spoke protectors ??... and how do they measure for them ??
Thanks... Read more >>
Hi I need help. I'm rebuilding my bike ready for spring and noticed my rear wheel bearings needed changing so took cones off removed. Axel and the non driver side bearing and cassette and I'm struggling to get the other side bearing out I have tried Everything possible they are sealed bearings any help would be great I can post pictures if needed.... Read more >>