MTBBritain Home    
   Route Guides    Top Tips    Links    Letters    Editor's Page    
   Steep Photos     Features     What's New?    Reviews   Recommended Stuff  Forum
Trail Fix : Wheel Truing

Truing a wheel is really pretty easy. There, don't you feel better now I've said that? No? tough. Seriously, though a few little twists with a plastic spokey is all it takes (get the genuine one in yellow, orange is for road wheels). Here's all you need to know to be Jedi master of this black art.  

The first and most important thing to do is make sure none of your spokes are loose. To do this grab each spoke in turn (just to the rim side of where they cross) and try to shake it back and forth. If the spoke wobbles you're not a moment too soon. It's also considered loose if it makes loud pinging and grating noises. Don't delay, add tension to the spoke by turning the spokey anti-clockwise with finger and thumb pressure. Keep turning and shaking until the dreaded noise is almost silenced (there should be a little movement, but only a very little) Move on to the next spoke until you've gone all the way round the wheel.

Now you need to see how true the wheel is. Turn your bike upside down (truing jigs are for pro mechanics) and spin the wheel to see where it comes closest to rubbing the brake (if you have disk brakes put a zip tie on the fork/swingarm and cut it so it almost touches the rim) Mark the rim in the middle of the bulge if you wish, or just take hold of the spoke.

You may need to rotate the wheel backwards and forwards to locate the middle of the bulge. Tighten the spokes which run to the other side of the rim here and for one or two spokes on either side. If the spokes on the other side are already pretty tight you'll have to loosen a few of the spokes which run to the bulge side of the hub.

If you have loosened the spokes on the bulge side to the point where they fail the shake test, you may have to apply more tension to the already tight opposite side spokes. If the bulge is still present you have two choices:

1. live with your wobble - many couch potatoes do.

2. Rotate the wheel till the bulge is close to the frame (or fork) Push hard on the bulge to attempt to straighten it. Then return to truing and tensioning.

If your wheel is worse than this you need a new rim and the method at Trail Fix - Bent Wheel.

When you're buying wheels, make sure to ask for brass nipples, these don't seize and make wheel truing a pleasure. Alloy nipples sieze in time, needing a complete re-build in the worst cases.

   Route Guides    Top Tips    Links    Letters    Editor's Page    
   Steep Photos     Features     What's New?    Reviews   Recommended Stuff  Forum

HOME