" rel="stylesheet" type="text/css">
Wheel Truing Tips
Truing-stand and spoke wrench.
Truing a wheel is a difficult task to complete
properly due to varying tension in spokes. A common mistake
that most home mechanics make is tightening the spokes too much.
- When you true a wheel you have to
remember to loosen almost as much as you tighten.
- Using a truing stand is the best way
to complete this task. You can complete a basic true on
the bicycle on the trail but the precision of the adjustment
- If you must adjust it on your bike
you will have to use your brake pads to let you know which
way the rim is out of true or "tweaked."
- Find where the rim is out of true.
Most truing stands have a device that will touch the rim
in the area that is tweaked. You will want to adjust the
rim back over to the original position.
- To get the rim to move the opposite
way of the tweak you can either tighten the spokes on the
opposite side of the tweak to pull the rim over to the original
position, or, you can loosen the spokes on the side of the
tweak. Both of these adjustments will allow for the rim
to move the opposite direction back towards it's original
To tighten the spoke
you must turn the spoke wrench counter-clockwise. Start
with a 1/4 turn and pay attention to the results. Do not
ever try to tighten one spoke a full turn. Gradual adjustment
is best for proper adjustment. By turning the wrench counter-clockwise
it tightens the tension on the spoke and will pull the
rim to the side of the hub that the spoke is attached
to (See Picture). The mechanic
is turning the spoke wrench counter-clockwise and tightening
this particular spoke that is attached to the left hand
side of the hub. It is pulling the rim to the left which
happens to be the opposite direction of the tweak. (This
particular wheel is out of true to the right). Again,
notice how the spoke is connected to the side of the hub
that the mechanic wants the rim to travel.
NOTE* If you tighten every spoke you will just be increasing
the tension on the entire wheel and it will maintain it's
- Remember, again, that every other
spoke is connected to one side of the hub the other spokes
are connected to the other side of the hub.
- It is best to adjust the "tweak"
by adjusting several spokes. If you just adjust one spoke
or only one side of the hub you will have to put too much
tension or loosen the spoke(s) way too much.
- After tightening one spoke a half
turn or so, you will probably want to loosen the next spoke
in line (connected to the other side of the hub) which will
continue to move the rim in the direction you want it to.
To loosen spokes, you need to turn the spoke wrench clockwise.
This will decrease the tension to the side of the hub that
you are loosening and the tension from the other side of
the hub will pull the rim over. Again, this will loosen
the tension on the side of the hub that you are working
on (check which side of the hub the spoke you are adjusting
leads to) and the tension from the other side of the hub
will pull the rim the opposite way.
- Ideally you want to have consistent
tension on all of the spokes. However, this is not always
possible so you must try to tighten and loosen the spokes
so that the tension is somewhat consistent.
- Normally, after a tweak, one side
of the hub will have spokes that will always have to be
slightly tighter to make up for the tweak.
- For really badly tweaked rims, take
to your local shop for expert service.
- Use this guide for simple tweaks.
The chances of you making the tweak worse is definitely
- Good Luck!
Please understand that by working on your own bike you are
taking responsibility for the adjustments. Most adjustments
require expert service and the descriptions above are written
for reading purposes only and are not factory directions.
Bikeparts.com claims no responsibility for any adjustments
made by the reader and recommends that you take your bike
to a shop for proper adjustment.