July 14, 2011

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Wheel Truing

In my experience, front derailleurs, headsets and wheel truing are the hardest things to teach people. All have subtilties that folks have a hard time grasping. When I teach a wheel building class it lasts 4 hours and everyone ends up with a new wheel they can ride. I don't even touch on wheel truing when teaching regular repair. I say, "Take my wheel building class, because it takes 4 hours to teach you how to true a wheel!"

Aaron Goss more than 2 years ago

brute force

Truing wheels is a subtle art, with which I have a longtime, admittedly amateur acquaintance. But I think you have ignored the most useful tool in the mobile shop - placing the rim across your knee (as if trying to break it up for firewood) and bending it back into shape. For me this is an essential prelude to any kind of fine adjustment with a spoke wrench. And usually this step alone is enough to make the wheel rideable. In any case spokes just don't have the leverage to effect large changes in rim position without huge variations in tension. I find that a properly manhandled rim can often be trued well enough to be forgotten about, at least until the next accident. Given a choice between the knee and the spoke wrench, I'd take the knee.

Mike London more than 3 years ago