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truing wheels(4 posts)

truing wheelsstan_b
May 7, 2001 9:01 AM
Sorry if this topic has been brought up ad nauseum but I was wondering if I could get some simple directions for truing wheels. I'm a bit intimidated as I don't want to wreck them but I don't want to have to run to my LBS everytime either.

I remember hearing advice to turn only 1/4 turn at a time and to do so on both sides of where you are adjusting. I'm not sure when I should tighten or loosen the spokes.

Thanks for any advice.
You're on the right trackSpoke Wrench
May 7, 2001 9:37 AM
First thing is to be sure you have the right spoke wrench. Wheelsmith and DT spokes take the black park wrench. Most moderately priced bikes come with wheels that use Japanese nipples and take a red wrench. There are a couple of other colors that are rarely needed. Too big will round out your nipples, too small won't fit.

Second. Imagine you are tightening or loosening the nipples by using a screw driver from the outside circumference of the wheel. That is the clue to tell you which way to turn your spoke wrench.

Most anyone can get a wheel pretty true from side to side. Basically, if the rim is too far to the right, you want to loosen the spoke on the right side and tighten its counterpart on the left side. If the right side spoke is already loose, you have a bent rim. You might be able to pull the rim straight by tightening the spoke on the left, but it will never be a good wheel again.

Good luck!
You're on the right trackstan_b
May 7, 2001 11:00 AM
Thanks. That's a good illustration about the screwdriver. I tend to always get mixed up.

So if I want to tighten the spoke do I turn the "screwdriver" to the right as in the old saying "righty tighty, lefty loosey"?
My Tipgrz mnky
May 7, 2001 4:57 PM
I'd strongly encourage you to get one (or more) of the excellent books currently available. They're not a lot of money and the knowledged contained is very useful, both in terms of the details and the big picture. Jobst Bradt's The Bicycle Wheel is a classic and a fairly quick read. The Art of Wheel Building goes deeper into the methods of building. Either one of these will give you a good base of knowledge and help you sort things out - there is a lot of bunk out there. Even if you don't plan on evr building a wheel it is good to know how to care and feed them. Plus you can figure out what you may want built for you.