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Thread: Bent spokes/rim

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    Bent spokes/rim

    Hey everyone. I'm relatively new to the mountain biking world and just recently bought myself a Giant Talon 29er. It's a wonderful bike and I'm enjoying it a lot. Except today i was out biking and I decided i wanted to get myself some lunch. I parked the bike on a bike rack (big mistake) and went inside. It was a fairly windy day so as you can probably guess the wind blew the bike over. I came outside and noticed the thing on its side and rushed over and picked it up. I looked for and damage and couldn't see any so i hopped on the bike and was on my way. About 10 minutes later i glanced down at the wheel as i was riding and noticed it wasn't straight. It was wobbly. I was devastated, i really was because this brand new bike of mine just got screwed up.

    So the deal is. Is it fixable? Or am i screwed and need to buy a new wheel? Its only the front tire thats damaged so I'm not too sure the cost. Anybody have any suggestions for what i should do or similar experiences and what you did? Many thanks.

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    Wheels can go out of whack 2 ways: due to uneven spoke tension, or a traumatic force causing the rim itself to bend. (or both, as a bent rim will generally take spokes out of tension) It is sounding like you are experiencing the latter given the circumstances. If the rim is in fact bent, you can sometimes 'cheat' your spoke tension and manage to get it pretty straight again, though uneven spoke tension might cause the wheel to come out of true easier in the future. If it is really bad, sometimes you can apply equal and opposite force to get the rim straight again (i.e. smash it straight) but while this is something I enjoy doing for my customers it can result in complete destruction of the wheel if it doesn't work so you should be mentally prepared to write the wheel off before proceeding with that option.

    If you managed to ride 10mins without noticing it, probably means it isn't hitting the frame/fork, which probably means cheating the spoke tension so that it is moderately straighter is possible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by veteran_youth View Post
    Wheels can go out of whack 2 ways: due to uneven spoke tension, or a traumatic force causing the rim itself to bend. (or both, as a bent rim will generally take spokes out of tension) It is sounding like you are experiencing the latter given the circumstances. If the rim is in fact bent, you can sometimes 'cheat' your spoke tension and manage to get it pretty straight again, though uneven spoke tension might cause the wheel to come out of true easier in the future. If it is really bad, sometimes you can apply equal and opposite force to get the rim straight again (i.e. smash it straight) but while this is something I enjoy doing for my customers it can result in complete destruction of the wheel if it doesn't work so you should be mentally prepared to write the wheel off before proceeding with that option.

    If you managed to ride 10mins without noticing it, probably means it isn't hitting the frame/fork, which probably means cheating the spoke tension so that it is moderately straighter is possible.
    Thank you sir, but i don't think the rim is bent because the bike fell on its side. I'm thinking (my interpretation of the scenario) is that the wind blew the bike over and the front wheel (the one in the rack) pivoted and then got itself jammed in a really bad position, that position being the weight of the whole bike was all on the interior of the wheel so in that case the spokes took the damage. I'm not too sure if the actual rim itself is bent because i just took a quick look at it and it seems as if the bent spokes are throwing the rim off whack and the rim is fine. What do you think?

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    If the spokes are bent the rim is likely bent also. You really should have a competent person (LBS or riding buddy) have a look at it to assess the damage.

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    It's not like I rammed a curb with 10 psi in my tires at full speed so i think the rim should be fine? Again you're the expert :$

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dirty $anchez View Post
    If the spokes are bent the rim is likely bent also. You really should have a competent person (LBS or riding buddy) have a look at it to assess the damage.
    So i should definitely bring it in right?

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    Quote Originally Posted by mrgarbageman View Post
    So i should definitely bring it in right?


    Yes, have someone look at it and help you form a plan of action to correct it.

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    I am over 200lbs and last year hit hard on a gee out and broke a few spokes and tweaked the rim. I was amazed that the LBS fixed it and trued it up like new and while I don't remember the cost I do remember thinking wow that was really cheap. Take it in I bet they can fix it up no problem.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mrgarbageman View Post
    It's not like I rammed a curb with 10 psi in my tires at full speed so i think the rim should be fine? Again you're the expert :$
    Wheels are very strong in the vertical plane. Not so side to side. It doesn't take much to bend the rim in that direction. That being said. If it's not so bent that the tire is hitting the fork, it will probably be able to be saved.

    FYI, in your first post you ask if you need to replace your wheel of if the tire is damaged. It's a pet peeve of mine, but it drives me nuts when customers use tire and wheel interchangeably. The terms are not interchangeable. Your wheel is made up of the hub, spokes and rim. The tire is mounted on the rim and their is a tube inside of the tire (unless it's tubeless). Ask the LBS to look at your rim, or wheel. But don't ask them to look at the tire when you mean the wheel. There is a distinct difference.
    Disclaimer: I no longer fix bikes for a living.
    National Ski Patroller to feed my winter habit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by shellshocked View Post
    I am over 200lbs and last year hit hard on a gee out and broke a few spokes and tweaked the rim. I was amazed that the LBS fixed it and trued it up like new and while I don't remember the cost I do remember thinking wow that was really cheap. Take it in I bet they can fix it up no problem.
    Thanks for the help. I'll bring it in and see what's really up with the bike and take it from there

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    Quote Originally Posted by dwnhlldav View Post
    Wheels are very strong in the vertical plane. Not so side to side. It doesn't take much to bend the rim in that direction. That being said. If it's not so bent that the tire is hitting the fork, it will probably be able to be saved.

    FYI, in your first post you ask if you need to replace your wheel of if the tire is damaged. It's a pet peeve of mine, but it drives me nuts when customers use tire and wheel interchangeably. The terms are not interchangeable. Your wheel is made up of the hub, spokes and rim. The tire is mounted on the rim and their is a tube inside of the tire (unless it's tubeless). Ask the LBS to look at your rim, or wheel. But don't ask them to look at the tire when you mean the wheel. There is a distinct difference.
    Whoops sorry about that :$. I got you on that though, thanks for the extra info on the wheels and where the strong and weak points are

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