Member Question: Truing a Spoked Wheel

author : FitWerx
comments : 0

My back wheel needs to be trued up. It has a slight side-to-side wobble, and I feel at times like I'm going to lose control when I ride. Is this something that I should only trust to my LBS to do?

Question from Jazon71
I think my back wheel needs to be trued up. It has a slight side-to-side wobble, and I feel at times like I'm going to lose control when I ride. This is especially true when I reach around 20mph. I haven't done many repairs on my bike because I don't want to mess things up. Is this something that I should only trust to my LBS, or is it simple enough to learn how to do it at home?
 
Answer from Mark 
Spoked wheels are one of man’s greatest inventions and nowhere is it more apparent than on a bicycle! While truing a wheel is simple in theory, it can be complicated by many things: damage, improperly built from the factory, and a range of tolerances in the equipment to name a few. The wheel you describe does sound like it is out of true but it may be something else. The “lose control” part is worrisome because this may indicate a bigger problem. A wheel that is only slightly “out of true” but otherwise fine should not cause undue wobble at any reasonable speeds.
 
There are many good books on wheel building which really are interesting and cover the specifics in great detail. You need special tools and/or methods to true most wheels but it is not unreasonable to do at home provided you understand what you are doing. Since you have not done many repairs, I’d say let your LBS take care of your wheel but watch as they do it and ask questions to better understand the exact nature of your wheel wobble. Ask some friends if they have old wheels that they no longer use and have a go at the wheel truing/building on something that won’t place you at risk.

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date: December 15, 2008

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Fit Werx offers the most scientific and complete bicycle fitting services in New England, the Northeast and beyond. Regardless of where you are from (Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Hampshire, Maine, Rhode Island, Florida, Pennsylvania, Texas, Vermont, Australia, Macau...) a Fit Werx' bike fit is guaranteed to be worth the trip.

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Fit Werx offers the most scientific and complete bicycle fitting services in New England, the Northeast and beyond. Regardless of where you are from (Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Hampshire, Maine, Rhode Island, Florida, Pennsylvania, Texas, Vermont, Australia, Macau...) a Fit Werx' bike fit is guaranteed to be worth the trip.

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