How to True a Bike Wheel – Step By Step Process

Proper bike maintenance is critical for safe enjoyment of your bike, whether you commute on it daily or you just take it out a few times a year when the weather is nice. When people hear about bike maintenance, they most likely think of brakes, gearing, and the chain; the wheels and tires only get attention when a tire goes flat. Keeping the wheels true, which means perfectly straight and round, requires equal tension from all the spokes, and it’s critical to bike safety and performance. A wheel out of true may wobble or rub on the brakes unevenly, probably leading to a crash. In this article, we will share with you how to true a bike wheel step by step process.

How to True a Bike Wheel Step By Step Process

We don’t want to discourage you, but wheel truing is not an easy task. So, be sure to pack a lot of patience to do it right. If you follow these steps it will become easy for you.

Prepare The Bike

Before truing, perform a quick check of your bike to see any problem and to determine if there is indeed a need for truing. Specifically, focus on the presence of bent spokes. Check the spoke to ensure that they are tight. Ideally, the spokes should be tight. If not, look for the nipple of the spoke and adjust it accordingly to make it tighter. Next, turn it upside down. To make this process easy, you need to have a bike stand to proceed to the next steps.

Check The Tension of The Spoke

This is important as it will decide if the wheels need truing. You also need to do this once you are done to ensure that the wheel is already true.

All that you need to do is to pluck the spoke and listen to the sound that it generates. For the front wheel, the spokes should create a similar sound on both sides. Meanwhile, on the back wheels, there should be slightly different sounds. To make this task easier, it will be a good idea to have a spoke tensiometer.

Take The Stand

To localize where the wheel needs to be trued, first you need to put it in a truing stand. And then you should adjust the calipers to the point that they almost touch the rim. Now, spin the wheel and wherever the rim contacts the calipers, is where the wheel is out of true. When you’ve found the affected area, use your forefinger and thumb to mark where it starts and ends.

Stand Alternative

Many people don’t have their truing stand. However, there is still a way for you to true your bike wheels. First, connect cable ties to your fork blades or seat stays and cut them to size. They should be close enough that they are just about to contact the rim. This affects the calipers of the truing stand. From here, the rest of the post will explain how to complete the process.

Give it a spin

Spin the wheel in the stand. Adjust the distance between the jaws of the caliper until it sits just clear of the rim. Check the wheel isn’t bobbing up and down, as this will require radial truing – or a trip to the bike shop.

Find the buckle

While slowly spinning the wheel, dial-in the jaws until they start to lightly contact the rim, this will indicate where it is most heavily buckled. Rotate the wheel rear and front to locate the center of the buckle.

Pick your spoke

Loosen the spoke nipples that attach to the same side of the wheel that the caliper is touching. At the same time, tighten the spokes that attach to the opposite side of the hub. As a starting point, turn all the spokes half of a turn for each of the spokes near the caliper contact point. Spin the wheel. Tighten the calipers again until they touch the rim on only one side at a time at a certain point. Repeat steps 2-3 until the calipers touch both sides of the rim evenly at every point on the rim.

Do the twist

Give the nipple half a turn. The nipple will tighten clockwise, however when viewed in the stand, this is reversed and it will need to be tightened in an anti-clockwise direction.

Check the results

Move the wheel back and front to check the result of your adjustment. If necessary adjust the tension further. Dial-in the caliper slightly and proceed on to the next buckle.

Final Word

With the steps mentioned above, we hope that you will know how to true a bike wheel. It is not an easy task, but that does not mean that you should bring your bike to the mechanic and spend money if it needs truing. Do it by yourself and you will feel accomplished! It is an important part of your bike’s maintenance to guarantee its highest level of safety in every ride.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 0 comments