How To True A Bike Wheel

how to true a bike wheel

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Truing a wheel can take both time and effort. But bad truing can affect your next riding performances, which can be pretty irritating to encounter. With every passing day wheels of the bicycles are becoming more complex. Riding a bike is the favorite sports activity among kids, teenagers, and even adults. But it takes quite a balancing and regular maintenance to keep bicycles working in good conditions. 

And to maintain them in good condition we need to true them from time to time. Before we begin we must know how to true a bike wheel first. Wheel truing has four aspects to it as it’s a process of changing the strokes of the rim using a wrench of the spoke. This is done to optimize each stroke of the tire, making them more straight and round. The strength and durability of the wheel lie in the optimal nature of their strokes. 

Everything has method and process to it, even if it’s as mere as truing a wheel. Mechanics are very well erased with this process, but if you want to know as wheel, and then you’re at the right place. If you’re planning to open up your garage or in-house repair of bikes, then keep reading the steps of how to true a bikes wheel.


Things To Know Before Starting:

Before you even start with truing your bike’s wheel you should be aware of few things. Before anything confirm wheel truing only when there is a necessity. If your wheel is showing issues like a wobbling, slipping, or some sort of broken behavior then chances are high that your bike needs truing. Wobbling check is very crucial because it’s related to the breaks. You should also look out for its accurate roundness by spinning the wheel of the bike. This will also be very crucial before going to truing the bike’s wheel. 

Check the alignment of both wheels of the bike, they should be properly centered and must be aligned. Also, look out for the tension in the wheel, whether the spoke tensions are way too tight or way too loose. Any of these things occur then go for respective truing but if it’s not the case then you might not need wheel truing. 

The best way to check the stability of the wheel is after every ride. The different tools that you can use in this process are A truing stand, a workbench for a better view of the wheel you’re truing, the second tool called the spoke wrench. The spoke wrench works perfectly to loosen up and tighten up the nipples of the blades and it’ll help them stay aligned. 

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Steps Of Truing A Bike Wheel:

  • The Beginning 

Very firstly, remove the wheel from your bike and glance at it completely to point out abnormalities. You can put the wheel on a wheel stand or turning stand. Once spin it to see how steady it is and then clamp it onto the stand. Once you’re done with the clamping part tightens the gauge as the wheel spins on the stand. Stop at the warped places, because it’s these warped places of the wheel where spokes are to be tightened. Once you’ve spotted the spot that needs to be worked on, then you’re good to go. Start from the lesser and smaller pieces and work all the way up to finer tunings later on. 

  • Check For Right Nipple

As you’ve found the spot, it’s time you do a little bit of work on the nipple that needs tightening up. If you’ve found out the warped area and want to check the tension, then start by location using the spoke wrench. The first check out f there is any deviation in the wheel and then you’ll have a proper idea of where to search for the warped nipple. 

Always check from the outer side of the rim to tighten or loosen it. In the case of the wheel rim, it’s easy because you turn the rim clockwise to tighten it and counter-clockwise to loosen it. This happens in such a way that it avoids extra tension to take birth in the rim. 

  • Take Off The Tyre

Taking off a tire is more convenient when you’re working on wheel truing for the first time. If in case you don’t know or are not able to true a wheel then consider removing it first and then look at the rims from lateral deviations. If in case the nipples are creaky and hard to remove you can use some grease or lubricant to loosen up a little bit. Few bicycles also have bladed spokes. You may be wondering how do we deal with it? Well, the answer is simple. You can use a plier to adjust the tension in the spoke but there might be a drawback. The drawback is that pliers may cause potential damage to the spokes.

  • First Spoke Tension Correction

As you’ve already spotted the spot, now begin by determining the right or preferable area to correct the tension of the spokes. This can be after locating the spoke that is nearest to the center. Generally tightening is more preferable to loosen them. By regular biking or riding, the spokes in the wheels of the bikes get to loosen up over time. To know how the tightening of spokes affects the rim’s position. Use rim’s indicator to check. 

  • Correct The Deviation 

Select the nipple of the right spoke and tighten it using either piler or spoke fitter. It depends on the level of its looseness. If there is any minor deviation, you need only 1/4th turn. And relatively if there is any larger deviation then you need a 180-degree turn to tighten up and correct the deviation. You can check the opposite side using an indicator and lookout for deviations to make corrections. 

wheel truing


Frequently Asked Questions-

  • When do we know it’s best to move on?

While wheel truing it’s important to know when to stop. Though we follow the above steps we should also know when we should stop the truing bike’s wheel. Before considering this question it’s important to consider few factors, how the tire has cared in the past. what are the types of frames and wheels used in it? What exactly does the rider want from the bike? Once you’re done checking the spokes with the help of an indicator, and after checking if the deviation between the rim and indicator turns zero it’s time you can move on. 

  • What after adjusting the deviations?

After adjusting the deviations between rim and indicators, it’s time to look after the radial trueness of the tire. With radial trueness, you can measure the actual efficiency of the tire and wheel. Expert mechanics go back and forth with the checking of the tire, like lateral and radial trueness. Radial trueness is checking the radial deviation of the wheel and checking for any abnormalities. 

  • How to de-stress the wheel after the whole course of truing?

The best way one can de-stress the wheel after truing is by simply taking it out for a ride. De-stressing after wheel truing will generally be to let the wheel spokes unwind which were wounded up with the nipples while trying them. But out of all the safest ways to the de-stress wheel after truing, it is by simply taking it out for a ride. It won’t be free from some popping and clinging sounds, in the first few pedals, but eventually, things will make way through their ride.

  • What are few rim damages that you may encounter?

Not every wheel is perfect. After truing the bike’s wheel, you may experience damage at the rim, or you even experience broken spokes. And if you have more than three spokes broken then you might have to get a new wheel.  Most probably it’ll break at its weakest point. So you might have to go out of your comfort zone and get another new wheel. 

  • How long does it take to true a bike’s wheel?

When you don’t know how exactly to true a bike’s wheel then you head to the nearest mechanic centre to fix your wheel. And on average it usually takes 1-3 days if you’re an expert in repairing the bikes. Or else if you’re giving your bike to a mechanic repair shop then it’ll 1-2 weeks and if it’s a busy season then it might take longer to fix the bike’s wheel. During the busy season, it might take around 3-4 weeks approximately. 



Truing a bike wheel can be pretty hard since it involves meticulous work in both loosening and tightening of the spokes in the rim of the wheel of the bike. But if done by an expert there will be fewer chances of permanent damage to the strokes. always get your bikes checked up after every 2000 miles. You can also do re-tensioning by greasing and deviating.

The spokes of the bike must be tight and even if they’re not too tight, aim for keeping them less loose. Trueing of the bike can be redone every one or two years. 

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