Wheel Truing

Truing a traditionally spoked bicycle wheel

  • Author: Brett Hartt
  • Time required: 45 minutes
  • Difficulty: Difficult

A rim can be out of round in the radial or axial direction. A wheel truing stand is helpful but not a necessity. When tightening the spokes on one side of the wheel, remember to loosen the opposite spokes the same amount so they don't become over tightened.

Image #1

Edit Step 1 Wheel Truing  ¶ 

  • Fit the wheel into the wheel truing stand. It doesn't matter which way the wheel is facing.

  • The wheel should be snug and securely fixed to the stand.

  • Tighten the quick-release nut and lever, making sure that there is no room for the wheel to wiggle in the truing stand.

Image #1

Edit Step 2  ¶ 

  • Bring the calipers up until the teeth are are about half an inch from the metal rim of the wheel.

  • Start the wheel spinning slowly.

  • Slowly tighten the calipers until they contact the wheel on one side or the other.

Image #1

Edit Step 3  ¶ 

  • 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.

  • In the photo, the red marked spokes are being tightened, and the blue marked spokes are being loosened. This will shift the rim closer to the viewer.

  • Spin the wheel. Tighten the calipers again until they touch the rim on only one side at a time at certain point. Repeat steps 2-3 until the caiplers touch both sides of the rim evenly at every point on the rim.

The wheel should spin without wobbling from side to side or wavering up and down

For more information, check out the Bicycle device page.

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