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The only way to keep my rear wheel straight is to have several sections of the rim where one side of the spokes are super tight and the other side is really loose. . . is this a sign that my wheel is shot?

I'm running a Flow EX rim with straight pull Hope Pro2 hubs that I've had since 2013.
 

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Elitest thrill junkie
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The only way to keep my rear wheel straight is to have several sections of the rim where one side of the spokes are super tight and the other side is really loose. . . is this a sign that my wheel is shot?

I'm running a Flow EX rim with straight pull Hope Pro2 hubs that I've had since 2013.
It could be, when you have to tighten over normal tension to keep it straight, you can enter into a pattern of breaking spokes. If one side has to be really loose, that's surely going to cause problems.
 

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I had a pair of road rims that did the same thing. I played and played with it after every ride. They would true up in the stand then go out of true a few miles into the ride as soon as I hit a bump. These were wheels with about 1000 miles on them.

"Take to a professional" all the experts said. So I did. Same problem. I replaced the rims and have had no more problems. They simply weren't strong enough for the roads I ride.

Also had some wheels that simply wore out and when they did they acted just like you describe.

If you have a LBS that knows how to build wheels you could let them look at it but I wouldn't be a bit surprised if you need a new wheel.
 

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No, they're not shot, no mention of a gun being involved :D

Yes, that rims sounds to be toast or at the very least the wheel needs to be completely de-tensioned to see just how out of whack the rim is. Sometimes you can apply pressure and bend rims back, sometimes with it laced, most times from what you're describing, the wheel needs to be unlaced to properly deal with the rim.

Personally, if it's a 5 year old rim, do yourself a favour and just purchase a new rim and have it laced in, will probably end up costing about the same as having a professional mess around with trying to straighten your old one.
 

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The only way to keep my rear wheel straight is to have several sections of the rim where one side of the spokes are super tight and the other side is really loose. . . is this a sign that my wheel is shot?
Yes, if you loosened all the spokes you'd see that the rim is bent. The need to use uneven tension to hold it straight is a sure sign that it's shot.
 

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If the spoke tension on one side of the wheel is particularly uneven to get the rim true, there's a bend in the rim. Have someone check it in a truing stand with a spoke tension meter. If it's really bad, the extra-taut spokes will start breaking over and over.

It is possible to "bend it back" and get some more life out of the rim. Hard to describe, but you have to find the ends of the bend, wedge the rim in a slot between two immoveable objects (uprights in a straircase handrails or a wall/ handrail work well) and gently cold-set the rim to counteract the bend. Do it gently a few times until you can get the rim straight without extreme spoke tension variation. This is not a permanent fix (that would be a rim replacement), but you can buy another season or more on a rim this way, depending on how bad off it already is and how hard you are on rims.
 
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