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
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.
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
Mark the rim in the middle of the bulge if you wish, or just take
hold of the spoke.
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
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:
live with your wobble - many couch potatoes do.
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
your wheel is worse than this you need a new rim and the method at Trail
Fix - Bent Wheel.
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.