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How to Fix a Buckled Bike Wheel

Updated July 20, 2017

Hitting a curb sometimes leads to buckling a wheel. A buckle usually occurs on the front wheel as this is the wheel that tends to hit the curb with the most force. You might notice a buckled wheel when the wheel rubs against the brakes as you ride your bicycle. Fixing a buckled is often called "wheel truing." The process is relatively straightforward, and you only need two tools to fix the problem.

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  1. Turn the bicycle over so the handlebars and seat touch the floor. Put the piece of chalk close to the tire without touching the it.

  2. Start spinning the front wheel while simultaneously moving the chalk nearer to the rim of the bicycle. Stop spinning the wheel when the chalk makes contact with the rim. The chalk will have marked where the wheel has buckled.

  3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 for the other side of the wheel.

  4. Use the spoke wrench to turn the nut at the end of the spoke one full turn nearest the chalk mark in a right-to-left direction to loosen the spoke.

  5. Use the spoke wrench to tighten the nut on the spoke at the exact opposite side of the wheel by turning the nut on the spoke one-half turn in a left-to-right direction.

  6. Repeat steps 1, 2, 4 and 5 to fix the other spokes until the buckle is repaired.

  7. Check and fix any buckle on the back wheel by repeating the same process.

  8. Warning

    You might have to replace the spoke if it is badly damaged.

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Things You'll Need

  • Spoke wrench
  • Chalk
  • Bicycle

About the Author

Nigel Ward has been writing for internet sites since June 2009. His articles have appeared in "Fitness Uncovered," "Earnest Parenting," and "Age Concern." A qualified TESOL and primary school teacher, he has a Post Graduate Certificate in education from St Martin's College, Carlisle and a BA (Hons) Degree in applied theology from Manchester University.

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