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How do I straighten a bent wheel rim?

One of the rims on my bike is very bent; it stops after 1/2 a revolution because the bent part hits the brake pads.

I've heard that I need a spoke key, and also read that the best way to get a rim straight is to just take it to a pro, since it is somewhat of an art. Is this something I can tackle on my own?

Answer this question I have this problem too

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Hi,

a pro uses a special tool that shows the bent in two directions horizontal and vertical, but later more of that. With a little practice you can do that on your own.

First of all you will need a good spoke key, my favorite brand is Spokey. For normal bikes you will need the red one and for mountain bikes the black one. The link from 040304 shows the technique quite well, but I'm doing it a little bit different.

The bent has a given length, at the beginning a little bent, that gets more until the middle and then less to the end of the bent.

Depending on how much the rim is bent i would start at the beginning of the bent with something like an 1/8th turn of the nipple then increasing until a full turn at the middle of the bent and then decreasing again to an 1/8th turn at he end of the bent.

Then turn the rim and see if it hits the brake pad and if yes, how hard and is the length of the bent shortened. Repeat that process with a decreasing turn angle until the bent is gone. At the end you will need a very little turn angle like 10°.

If the bent was to much for the rim you will notice that the bent from brake pad to brake pad is gone but now you have a vertical bent. That's the reason why a pro uses a tool that shows the bent in both direction at the same time.

http://www.parktool.com/products/detail....

For a normal bent the brake pad method will do the trick.

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well stated +, I also like the hal icon

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I actually like this answer much better!

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Here's a tip to help. Get a non-permanent felt marker. With the bike upside-down or mounted to a stand, spin the wheel, then hold the marker against the fork near the rim, and slowly move it closer to the rim until the marker just touches the rim as the bent part passes it. Repeat this on the other side of the rim. Now you can just look at the marks on the rim and know exactly which spokes to tighten or loosen to move the bent area back towards the center. After you adjust the spokes, wipe the rim clean and repeat the process until the rim is straight. Finally, make sure no spokes were loosened too much.

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iFixit has a guide for wheel truing. While this guide uses a truing station, you can, as Crisb instructed, get pretty close just using the brake pads on the bike.

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There is a good link right here to a website that illustrates the technique pretty well.

Have fun,

Frank

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research + Ralph

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I was going to run that site through geocities-izer, but it looks like there's no need! :)

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there is a method that uses a pattern of tightening the spokes and you have to get the pattern from who ever made that rim some use a four spoke pattern while some use a three spoke pattern and the easiest way to get to your spokes is take the tire off the rim and take the rubber used to protect your tube off and the top of the spokes has a standard screw driver slot that way you can mark the spokes with a marker of the pattern you need to follow and you can use a cordless drill and this way is much faster than a spoke tool that's my opinion any way hope this helps you good luck this is not a easy task thanks Matthew Walter Phx Az

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use a torque wrench. all spokes should be turned to the same lbs per ft.

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If its truly bent you might need a new rim the only way to tell if you rim is bent or out of true .You will need to take the tire and tube off loosen all the spokes .And run over a flat surface.If it wobbles then ,you will need a new rim!I know it sucks and its not what you. Want to here i am going through the same thing, you might be able to adjust the spokes to.lessen the wobble so it wont touch the brakes .I am doing it right now. I crashed into a curbed flew off my bike gashed my head my hand and messed up my leg .I dont even know how it happen .I looked over the other side of the road .And the bike steered into the curb i must have hit a stone.But my bike was doing the same thing so i have been working. On it i got good enough not to hit the brakes but its a little but rough go slow .Instead of me telling you go to Youtube.And look up trueing .It would i got mine rideable but its not perfect.its slightly off a 1mm or 2mm .And good luck and get a good spoke key i didnt have one .And had to do it from the inside buy deflating the tire and fliping the bike over. And little buy little try to feel it straight and see it.It does take a bit of a time .Good Luck. I loom at it this way you probably cant make it any worse.And you get some know how.Good Luck!

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Oh i forgot i seen on other post use brake pads as a guide.

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take wheel off, put in vice , push as hard as you can and see weather it will work

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Sorry that is not going to accomplish anything but a destroyed rim.

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I have lots of wheels that have been over tightened by someone and the wheels have flat spots spots and are out of round, can they be repaired? I there a tool for that?

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If there not bent yes,go to youtube they have videos.That can help but you need some mechinical ability. i you have some .You can learn ,if the spokes are tight or loose.They will tell and show you.Good luck.

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I meant if its not bent.

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Ian will be eternally grateful.
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