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  1. #1
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    How to perfectly true a rim

    Hey guys,

    I'm wondering how to get that perfect true on a wheel. I can usually get the wheel pretty true, but it almost always has a slight, slight imperfection or whatnot. Any tips or suggestions?

    Do the calipers on the truing stand indicate wheel dish?

    thanks

  2. #2
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    Sometimes / most times there's a flat spot or whatnot that can't be fixed with spoke tension so perfect?

    Some stands measure dish but whether it does or not always flip the wheel and check from both sides.
    the strongest trees grow on the windiest plains... ~Tone's

  3. #3
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    You will drive yourself absolutely insane trying to get a wheel 100% "perfect"...trust me on this. You will always have some minor imperfections but most important for a strong wheel, a wheel that will last, is even spoke tension.

    As far as I'm concerned about dish, the only way to get it right is to put the wheel in your frame/fork and measure with an inside caliper to your fork legs or chain stays to center the rim where it's going to live.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ricko View Post
    As far as I'm concerned about dish, the only way to get it right is to put the wheel in your frame/fork and measure with an inside caliper to your fork legs or chain stays to center the rim where it's going to live.
    This is true, but if you flip the wheel in the stand and measure both sides it is what it is. If it's different on your bike than something outa whach so it's good to know that also.
    the strongest trees grow on the windiest plains... ~Tone's

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by 94hardtail View Post
    Hey guys,

    I'm wondering how to get that perfect true on a wheel. I can usually get the wheel pretty true, but it almost always has a slight, slight imperfection or whatnot. Any tips or suggestions?

    Do the calipers on the truing stand indicate wheel dish?

    thanks
    That's a case of diminishing returns.
    Spend as much time on it as you think it's worth.

    If you haven't done a lot of wheels, then you might be over-shooting minor adjustments and making it harder on yourself. It is also tricky to make fine adjustments if your spoke nipples don't turn easily. It feels like you're adjusting something, but you're really just twisting the spoke.

    Some (usually cheaper) rims also may have a slight mismatch at the seam.

    Used wheels will prob'ly never be "perfect".

    -F
    It's never easier - you just go faster.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ricko View Post
    You will drive yourself absolutely insane trying to get a wheel 100% "perfect"...trust me on this. You will always have some minor imperfections but most important for a strong wheel, a wheel that will last, is even spoke tension.

    As far as I'm concerned about dish, the only way to get it right is to put the wheel in your frame/fork and measure with an inside caliper to your fork legs or chain stays to center the rim where it's going to live.
    Even spoke tension ?
    I have a set of Black Flag Pro which were a bit off. I had trouble getting them "perfect" so brought to LBS. The wrench there is supposedly the best wheelbuiler in the area.
    So i pick up the wheel and he says he had to remove tire yada yada as there was a slight crimp in the rim. He fixed it and trued wheel.

    Oddly spoke tensions are allover the place. A couple soundlike bass guitars!
    I asked him about this as I was under the impression that tension should be within 5% of each other (at least I read that on a few sites).

    He says only in a new wheelset. Once it is ridden you will never get tensions that close. Frankly a couple of the spokes are pretty slack. i took the liberty of tensioning a haquarter or half turn. Oddly wheel is even truer after I played with it.

    Does anybody know if in fact spoke tensions should be "similar"?

    Oh yes he claims to have completely loosened all spokes to threads and than retensioned. So why are my tensions not within 5%?

    Totally lost on this. But wheel is true !!!

  7. #7
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    The more the rim is off, the more the tension will need to be off to hold it true. The more even the tension is, the more durable it is.
    the strongest trees grow on the windiest plains... ~Tone's

  8. #8
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    A perfectly built wheel will NEVER need to be trued.
    You will be scarred for life if you click my avatar

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by dickeydoo View Post
    A perfectly built wheel will NEVER need to be trued.
    Seriously? Even after some small hits, drops etc.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by drjay9051 View Post
    ...The wrench there is supposedly the best wheelbuilder in the area...spoke tensions are allover the place...he says only in a new wheelset. Once it is ridden you will never get tensions that close...
    dude is a 'tard and far from the best wheelbuilder with that nonsense....


  11. #11
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    How to perfectly true a rim

    Quote Originally Posted by drjay9051 View Post
    Seriously? Even after some small hits, drops etc.
    Because no wheel is ever perfectly built.
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  12. #12
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    and because wheels and wheel builders don't use magic, or defy simple laws of physics. If you always ride within you and your bikes limits I suppose an as close to perfectly tuned rim would last, but don't stick a big enough landing, or the bike gets away from you, when met by an equal or greater force reality happens, wheels included.
    IMO it's impossible to always ride within your limits, eventually you're gonna roll over something, or around something, and hit something else. Hopefully it's not a homeless guy's strawberries, a kid, or a mtber with Samurai Swords. Be careful out there...
    the strongest trees grow on the windiest plains... ~Tone's

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by drjay9051 View Post
    Seriously? Even after some small hits, drops etc.
    I bought rims and hubs (Mavic 819,XTR) and took them to a shop in my area that has a wheelbuilder said to be the best in the area. Its been 5 years and the braking surface is starting to feel concave, (I don't know how much longer they'll last) but during those 5 years the wheels have stayed perfectly true. To me that was a perfectly built wheel. If you want to split hairs about a flaw in the build, I don't know what it would be for.
    You will be scarred for life if you click my avatar

  14. #14
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    I build my own wheels and am by no means a "master wheel builder" and have recently purchased the Park spoke tension meter tool and I can say that I sort of agree with him. When I built up my most recent wheelset I started by threading all the spokes so only the first thread was showing and then slowly brought the wheel into true. I would then check with the Park tool and everything was fairly close as it came together.

    When working on a used wheel I started by checking spoke tension and getting them to all the same value with the Park tool and the wheel wasnt true at all.

    Honestly I stopped using tension meter as I didnt find it resulted in any better of a wheel vs. feel by hand and visual truing. But again Im no pro.
    “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did." Mark Twain

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Douger-1 View Post
    When working on a used wheel I started by checking spoke tension and getting them to all the same value with the Park tool and the wheel wasnt true at all.
    I am no expert, but I would have gotten the used wheel trued and round visually as much as possible first, then check for tension afterwards... after all, it is theoretically possible to get very "perfect" tension with alignment totally out of whack.
    You better just go ahead and drop that seatpost down to the reflector... the trail gets pretty rough down there.

  16. #16
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    How to perfectly true a rim

    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Six Pack View Post
    I am no expert, but I would have gotten the used wheel trued and round visually as much as possible first, then check for tension afterwards... after all, it is theoretically possible to get very "perfect" tension with alignment totally out of whack.
    And vice versa. I have built wheels that were true and round with totally whacked out tension on a few spokes. Balanced the tension and the wheel remained straight.

    (Ab)Used is always going to be a compromise.
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