How to Straighten a Bent Bicycle Wheel
Hi, I'm Tim from Camas Bike And Sport here in Camas, Washington and this is how to straighten a bent bicycle wheel. The tools we're going to need are a bicycle wheel truing stand, properly adjusted; the proper size spoke wrench and a spoke ruler to measure out the proper spoke length if you are replacing a spoke. And there is also a nipple driver that helps if you are building new wheels or if you need to install a spoke that's got a lot of thread. Truing is actually one of three different measurements or adjustments that you can make to a wheel. There's also round and dish. Dish is where the center of the rim is centered with the center of the axle; not necessarily the hub body. Round is just; as far as, having hops in it. And then true is where it's side to side. Most of the time, you do just need to get your wheel trued because that's the adjustment that is the final adjustment in building wheel. And here we have a wheel that's slightly wobbly and it's in desperate need of truing, because they will just rub the brake pads or frame and not be a good experience. So, this whole wheel is under tension. Every one of these spokes has a good bit of tension on it. But, some are looser than others. If they're all the same length, then one would have to be a looser than the others in order for it not to be straight. So, right here, I notice if I grab the spokes on the right; the wheel straightens out and this is what you want to try to do to begin with. If the spokes that you need to pull are already too tight; that means your rim is bent and that you cannot true it and you have to replace it. But since this one moves back to its original place, I know these spokes that I'm squeezing on need to be tightened. So, I'm going to grab my trusty spoke wrench and I'm going to tighten and think about these as lefty loose-y; righty tight-y looking down at the end of it. So, it screws on and tightens this way. Unscrew, it's counterclockwise. You don't want to turn them a lot; just a little bit at a time and then give the wheel a spin and see how it looks. It doesn't wobble as much; but I can turn it back and you want to start at the very farthest point of out of trueness. It would be, and continue to tighten these spokes and just check once in a while that these spokes don't get too tight on the other side. Tighten a few more; give it another spin. We're very close. So, now we can start to use the gauge and this just tightens or rubs up against to where the wheel needs to be tightened. You want it to barely touch, somewhat like this; right there and that's where we have to tighten these spokes. Tighten this one a little bit. The sounds are normal; it's just from the tension. Give it another spin. Now we can adjust this gauge a little closer and notice that it doesn't want to rub anymore. So then to check the dish and make sure the other side is equal, we'll flip the wheel over and use this gauge to do the other side as well. And now I can get the out of true wobble out of the other side. And once again, I'm tightening. You never want to loosen the wheel because you'll take tension out of the whole wheel and it won't be as strong. Just give it a spin. It's rubbing right there; so, I want to tighten this spoke. Pull the rim this way. Give it another spin. It's very close. Turn that one and we'll turn that one. And however, this isn't absolutely perfect; what you want to do is go stretch the spokes. That popping sound is the spokes straightening out; the final kind of where they want to be seated as with the new adjustments. Give it a spin. And you know your wheels true when you spin it really fast and the rim, other than the sticker, looks like it's not moving. This one still has a little wobble as you can see. So, we'll straighten it out just a bit more. Make sure that; now see this other side, now I'm going to loosen because I know I've tightened this side a little bit too much. And I'm going to loosen this one just because it needs it. And now that's a lot straighter. I'm Tim, and this is how to straighten a bent bicycle wheel.