1. The most important thing about buying a new bike is to make sure it fits. The only way you'll know if the bike is right for you is to size up the bike and make sure that the bike's geometry matches your body's geometry. Ask questions and do some research.
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2. If possible, try to find a shop that will let you demo the bike on real dirt. Five minutes in a parking lot won't cut it. You wouldn't buy a car without a real world test drive, and a bike should be no different.
3. Don't belive the hype. Just because your favorite rider or best friend rides a certain bike, that doesn't mean that's the best one for you. Have an open mind and be realistic about your needs and ability.
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  1. #1
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    Truing your wheel

    Dropped off the bike at the LBS today, wasn't sure what was wrong with the back tire other that it being off. They related that the back tire needed some truing and I hope to pick her up tomorrow, expecting a $15 charge. Is this a job to have the LBS continue to do or is this something that I "should" be able to do next time? Some of the tools recommended are pricey, or is it an investment to purchase them or more cost efficient to have the LBS to continue to fix it when the need arises. If I were to do it next time, what's the best way to tackle the job next time and what are the essential tools to have?


    http://www.parktool.com/category/wheel-truing-stands

    Park Tool Co. ParkTool Blog Wheel and Rim Truing

  2. #2
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    Truing on a bike with V brakes is easy. Truing a disc bike requires a truing stand. What do you have?
    2009 Access 9.5 29er
    2010 Diamondback Insight RS (700c hybrid)
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by hardwarz View Post
    Truing on a bike with V brakes is easy. Truing a disc bike requires a truing stand. What do you have?
    are you saying the brake pad on the v-brake is the caliper/guide? if so, you can always have a buddy holding a makeshift guide against the frame and rim as you spin the wheel to true it. i haven't tried it yet but that was going to be my wife's job as i trued my wheel- or maybe vice versa

    of course a truing stand would be easier.
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  4. #4
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    what does the type of brake have to do with being able to true the wheel?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by krott5333 View Post
    what does the type of brake have to do with being able to true the wheel?
    You can easily true wheels on the bike using the v brakes as the guide. Using the lever adjusters to bring them in a little bit at a time, you can true the wheels pretty darn close. After you're done check for spoke tension and tighten/true as necessary.

    With disc brakes, you can use zip ties to get it close. I like the brake pads because the brakes stop the wheel where it's tight.

    Note: Truing on a bike will not account for dish.
    2009 Access 9.5 29er
    2010 Diamondback Insight RS (700c hybrid)
    Velorazzo frame build (26)

  6. #6
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    I do my own wrenching but I still don't like having to true wheels. You can do the ghetto approach but it just doesn't seem accurate enough for me. When I have all the right tools I'll feel alot more confident with it.

  7. #7
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    I have a truing stand but still like the "zip tie method" better. It can be as accurate as a stand, much faster to set up and costs.....well it costs zip.

  8. #8
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    I'd suggest dropping it off at the lbs to true. Learning on a set of spare wheels is the best idea, not the ones you ride on. Just my opinion.

  9. #9
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    I use the brake pads on my rim brake bikes for minor tuneups. I joined a bike coop in my area in large part so I could use their truing stands.

    It's really not that big a deal to use a truing stand to check dish. Just turn the wheel around. While a little more complicated if a bike is the reference, I think it should still be doable.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  10. #10
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    I bent the hell out of my wheel on the way to Texas, guess i had a load on the wheel in the trunk of my 350Z ( not really the greatist car for transporting a bike 1100 miles ) but the LBS set it up in 5 minutes and $7.50 , with prices like that i would never look at doing it myself.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by hardwarz View Post
    Truing on a bike with V brakes is easy. Truing a disc bike requires a truing stand. What do you have?
    Very true about the v brakes. I just did that for my wifes myka in which the rear wheel was so out of true that you couldn't spin it without it getting caught up on the brake pads. I just took the rear wheel off, checked the play on each spoke and tightened the loose ones. It took about 5 min and the only tool I had at the moment was a pair of needle nose pliers.
    Ahhhh...Ahhhh....it's the hammy, it's the hammy!!

  12. #12
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    Gotta know how to true a wheel....especially if you have rim brakes...

    On the trail if someone tacos a wheel you first jump on it to get it close to straight then with a few deft moves with the spokes the thing will generally get you back without too much problem.

  13. #13
    Yes, that's fonetic
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    Quote Originally Posted by crazy03 View Post


    Very true about the v brakes. I just did that for my wifes myka in which the rear wheel was so out of true that you couldn't spin it without it getting caught up on the brake pads. I just took the rear wheel off, checked the play on each spoke and tightened the loose ones. It took about 5 min and the only tool I had at the moment was a pair of needle nose pliers.
    NOooooooo! Never never never use anything but a spoke wrench to turn the nipples. Hopefully she doesn't have alloy nipples (much softer and easier to crush than brass) because using pliers on them will distort them enough that you won't be able to use a proper spoke wrench again. Truing a wheel isn't always about tightening loose spokes (good way to create flat spots on the rim), once in a while you have to loosen them. By tightening spokes, you are drawing the rim towards the side of the hub from which the spoke begins. sometimes you have to loosen the opposing spoke(s). The issue with using brake pads as a truing gauge is that it's hard to assess exactly how round your wheel is staying as you're drawing the rim back and forth (and in).

  14. #14
    Yes, that's fonetic
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffscott View Post
    Gotta know how to true a wheel....especially if you have rim brakes...

    On the trail if someone tacos a wheel you first jump on it to get it close to straight then with a few deft moves with the spokes the thing will generally get you back without too much problem.
    Depends on the severity of the taco. If it's like this you're carrying the bike out.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by whodaphuck View Post
    NOooooooo! Never never never use anything but a spoke wrench to turn the nipples. Hopefully she doesn't have alloy nipples (much softer and easier to crush than brass) because using pliers on them will distort them enough that you won't be able to use a proper spoke wrench again.
    No, she has regular flesh nipples. But those little doodads at the ends of the spokes are alloy, and yes, I f**ked em up pretty good. We were in a pinch at the time and I did what I could to get her bike rolling again. Anyway, im getting her a nice fs bike soon, the spesh myka was just to see if she would like the sport.
    Ahhhh...Ahhhh....it's the hammy, it's the hammy!!

  16. #16
    Yes, that's fonetic
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    Quote Originally Posted by crazy03 View Post
    No, she has regular flesh nipples. But those little doodads at the ends of the spokes are alloy, and yes, I f**ked em up pretty good. We were in a pinch at the time and I did what I could to get her bike rolling again. Anyway, im getting her a nice fs bike soon, the spesh myka was just to see if she would like the sport.

    Well, Sally, if you're embarrassed by calling a part by it's proper name you need to toughen up if you plan on continuing in the sport. You'll have a hard time ordering "doodads at the end of the spokes" if you ever want to get replacement parts.

  17. #17
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    Buy a spoke wrench, and use a toothpick and a small strip of duct tape to hold it in place to use as a guide, and go to town with truing and tensioning it up properly. It's easy, with just a little practice and attention to detail.

  18. #18
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    Smile

    [QUOTE=whodaphuck;8331203]Well, Sally, if you're embarrassed by calling a part by it's proper name you need to toughen up if you plan on continuing in the sport. You'll have a hard time ordering "doodads at the end of the spokes" if you ever want to get replacement parts



    I don't understand why you felt the need to insult me when cleary I was trying to make a joke. I know the proper nomenclature for the "doodads" is nipple. By the way, my name is Frank and im plenty tough because that's what 8 years in Marine Corp infantry will do to a man. So do yourself a favor and relax over there dumbphuck, you'll live longer
    Ahhhh...Ahhhh....it's the hammy, it's the hammy!!

  19. #19
    Yes, that's fonetic
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    Sorry. Didn't catch the humor ...too early.

  20. #20
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    I tried doing it on my own once... Ended up making it a lot worse and took it in... now its perfect... I will work on everything else on my bike, other than the wheels
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