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.
Hello to everyone,
I'm new to the forum and I want to congratulate with all of you for your excellent work! Now we can go to the serious stuff:
I'm not an expert of bikes and I'm trying to fix my old TREK. The freehub is broken so I decided to replace it. It was not easy but, finally, I removed it from the bike. Now I have two questions:
1) I'm not sure I removed it correctly because the back of the freehub is different from what I can see online
2) if I removed it correctly, can someone tell me what kind of freehub is this? I want to buy the replacement <... Read more >>
I have a road bike with a Shimano Tiagra, 12-25T cassette. I have a freewheel that should provide higher power on top gears. How would I go about removing the cassette and hub and installing the freewheel?
What exactly is needed? Is it possible
Will swapping the cassette... Read more >>
The rear wheels seems to fit fine. The spacing was perfect. Both wheels are off of different Raleighs. The rear brakes need changing. The bent 27" forks are being replaced with 26" forks. I serviced the bottom bracket and put a single chain drive and new peddles on as well. I think it will work but until it's finished, you never know for sure. There will be 4 or 5 pics. Will change the drop bars to flat bars, put a comfort seat on and see where it goes from there. If anyone has any advice I am interested in hearing it.
Read more >>
I have a fairly nice Raleigh with a bad 27" front wheel. Too far gone for truing. I have a nice spare 26" wheel set.
Can I replace the 27"wheels with 26" wheels. I'm thinking the brakes pads would need to be move 1/2 inch and as the replacement rear 26" wheel is a 3 speed Shimano hub, their would be no dersillers to set up. Am I missing anything that would derail my plan?... Read more >>
I picked up Nishiki Custom Sport with what I think is a Shimano 600 freewheel. Odd set up. The freewheel has the axel bearings were the freewheel removal tool would normally go. the only adjustment on the free wheel side is a single nut which goes up against the bearing seal. I wondering if I am missing a part or is that the way it is supposed to be? anyone familiar with this setup?... Read more >>
Recently the front wheel on my 2012 Specialized Sirrus Sport became wobbly. I'm the kind of guy who would normally just take this to the shop to get trued by a professional, but I'm planning a long bike trip this Fall and decided I need to learn how to keep my wheels true myself. I went down to the bicycle dealer and bought two things: a triangle-shaped spoke wrench that fits three size nipples (0, 1, 2), and a $100 truing stand. I wanted to do this right.
I was not expecting the problem I ran into: I could fit the wrench (size 2) onto about 2/3rds of the spoke nipples, bu... Read more >>
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 >>
Found a good video on the different kinds of BMX hubs. Quite interesting and well done.
Here is the link.
http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=mongoose+bmx+casette+repair+video&FORM=VIRE1#view=detail&mid=0C2B7B8BF61D3384F6E10C2B7B8BF61D3384F6E1... 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.