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How Much Does It Cost to True a Bike Wheel?

how much does it cost to true a bike wheel

Have you heard faint swinging sounds on your bike’s wheel in every turn? It’s more likely that your bike wheel is bent. When this unfortunate time comes, you’ll not be able to ride your bike, and re-adjusting its alignment is not an option.

You can buy a new wheel, bring it to a local bike shop for some fixing, or true the bike wheel on your own. So, how much does it cost to true a bike wheel? You’ll be surprised when you can easily fix it for just around 15 dollars. Scroll down to know how.

Straighten Your Bikes Without Making a Hole in Your Wallets

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Yes, you read the headline right. Truing a bike wheel yourself will only cost you less than 20 dollars. Surprising, right? All you have to do is to dedicate your time to learning some simple truing.

Right after knowing this fact, you might wonder how to do it. The solution is simple as you will only need a few things.

What Do I Need

First off, you can start fixing your bike wheel with a leg strap and a spoke wrench. You do not have to be particular in choosing your spoke tool because any type works. So, if you want a cheaper one, then go for it.

For a more comprehensive product guide, you can check out this tactical thigh strap from IDOGEAR that I recently discovered. I love the strap’s buckle locking system that efficiently secures the strap around your thigh.

Plus, this leg strap is made with an elastic thigh band lined with neoprene to ensure that it does not shift or slip off. It is highly flexible, and the fact that you can use this to true your bike wheel says so.

The next thing to have is a spoke wrench. I highly recommend the Goabroa Spoke Wrench, a 9H-rated hard-steel 8-way truing tool. If you love to go on long cycling trips, this one is a must-have to keep you always ready anytime and anywhere.

This round bicycle spoke wrench fits all common sizes. I love this wrench because it is compact and lightweight, allowing me to bring this handy tool whenever I go.

If you have difficulties with what wrench to use, then this one comes with premium quality that you can try out.

But even the finest tool is no good if you have no idea how to use it. So, you should know the basic steps to true your bike wheel in case of emergency. It is also good to know some things before truing up your bike.

A Good Habit

You can easily determine that your bike wheel needs some truing by lifting your bike and spinning the bike wheel. An issue can easily be found when you look at it from the rear.

Knowing and ensuring your bike wheel’s problem first is always a decent habit to maintain. To do this, you must first understand its mechanism by doing some very basic truing.

You will know when truing is effective if your bike’s ride is getting smoother. This is where it is advisable to keep going a few more miles while doing a few in-between truing sessions.

By doing so, you can easily assess the problem of your bike wheel and which side of a pull needs a little fixing.

How is It Done

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We never expect our bike wheels to fail, and with the right knowledge and equipment, you can have smoother trips to enjoy. So, how do we get started?

The leg strap will serve as the right brake grip for the bent wheel on your inverted bike. Ensure to pull your brake wads in just enough that it rubs at the worst part of your bike wheel.

For more detailed instructions, you can go and check out this video.

After watching the video, you now know how to have an out-of-true wheel that is extremely safe on your bike’s brakes. However, for veteran bikers that tried countless truing, this method still produces an “out of round” wheel despite its huge improvement.

No worries, though, you can easily fix that even without a truing stand. You just have to use the leg strap or masking tape to simply piece it off together.

You can adjust the leg strap or the tape just like what you did with the bike’s brake calipers for this process. Slowly bring it in a millimeter tighter each time your wheel no longer touches.

To fix out-of-round wheels, you will have to tweak the two side spokes at a time. Give it a one-fourth turn or less. This part usually takes more time and patience, so it is better to put some tunes on.

By doing these steps, you will have a perfectly-trued wheel at the end. If you are a true cheapskate like me, this method is a good way to breathe fresh life into the bike wheels as long as they hold a circle.

Few Things to Remember

On your bike’s rim, the spokes alternate between those attached to the left and right side of your bicycle’s axle, which we call left and right spokes. By loosening and tightening the spokes, you can straighten your wheel with no worries.

However, it is best to remember a few things when loosening or tightening the spokes. And some of these are the following:

  • Tighten the side spoke in clockwise turn, which is opposite to the conventional right-tight and left-loose wisdom. When you are from the UK and Australia, you should twist it in a counter-clockwise direction.
  • You would just need half or quarter turns to effectively pull going to one side.
  • Tighten as you loosen. In every spoke tightened, you must loosen a nearby contrasting spoke equally. This method protects the rim from over-tightening issues.
  • Remember to cinch the brake snugger each time you prevent the rim from rubbing on a single side.
  • When you start trying and feel really unsure about it, going to the nearest bike shop for proper assistance and repair can certainly help.

Can I Make Mistakes

For first-timers, we come with good news for you. Truing does not do lasting damage to your wheel, even when you mess up.

I have been truing my own wheels for a while now, and I can tell that the only mistake possible is when we over-tension a spoke to the point where we break it. This may also result in stripping the thread on the bike’s spoke or nipple.

Conclusion

After following all the steps above, you probably resolved all perceptible wobbles, and you are all set for your next adventure. You even fixed it with just 15 dollars in your pocket.

  • To keep your expenses at bay, you can use a thigh strap or a spare spoke wrench to true your bike.
  • If you do not have these spare items, you can start off by trying the IDOGEAR’s thigh strap and Goabroa Spoke Wrench. I guarantee that these items would not go beyond 15 dollars.