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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ordered a nice Nashbar 3-size spoke too on my last order from Nashbar. Thought I could learn to true a wheel myself. Didn't have a truing stand, so I rigged up a ghetto stand using my Thule wheel holder. Watched a number of Youtube vids and printed out Park's truing page. Well, as the title says, I gave up after a few tries. Not sure if it was me or the stand I made. Didn't look all that stable to give an accurate lateral reading of the spinning wheel. Today I took it to my LBS and had them do it for $10 a piece. Ouch. The guys said the wheels weren't off that bad. I thought they were--one reason I thought a pro should do it--but I'm untrained in knowing what's bad and what's good. Wheels spin true now.

I really thought I could true my own wheels. I mean the procedure looks straight forward enough. But maybe I just lack the experience of getting the feel of spoke tensioning/detensioning and the eye for trueness. Also, knowing which spokes to tension or detension confused me, and I would find myself going over a video again. Maybe next time.

*sigh*
 

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Class Clown
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Yeah it's the 1 thing I'm not really comfortable with. I'll get some nice wheel tools eventually and get better at it. Some can do it by feel or noise but I need proper tools!
 

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Aloha,

It actually isn't that bad to learn and do. I understand it takes some trial and error and lots and lots of patience. I always say never be in a rush when learning how to true a wheel, it helps.

Do you have any links to which videos and park's site you used? Do you have any specific questions?

Oh, one more thing. Get yourself a decent spoke wrench. It does make truing easier in that it fits the spoke nipples much better. This means is slides on and off easier has more area so the nipple doesn't get damaged.
 

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since 4/10/2009
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34,930 Posts
Truing a wheel isn't too bad. Having the proper tools helps a lot.

When I was an undergraduate in college 10yrs ago or so, I was given a pretty nice lightweight wheelset that was damaged. The previous owner had a poorly adjusted derailleur and threw the chain off the large cog, which chewed up ALL the drive-side spokes.

I had to re-lace the drive side....I came at it having very little idea of what to do, but I replaced the spokes one by one and when I was done, I put the wheel on the bike and used the frame as my truing stand. It actually came out fairly well...and that bike used rim brakes. It was a rigid SS, too, it wasn't bad.

I feel confident I could actually build a wheel these days if I took my time and had the proper tools (which I still do not have).
 

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You might head down to a local shop, or cruise the craigslist/ebays for a s**tty wheel that you can practice on. When I first started working at a shop that is what I did. it helps because you don't have the pressure of screwing up a nice wheel.
ALSO, less is more - don't tighten too much at once.
Usually I tighten/loosen in groups of three. (Only do this if all the spokes have the right tension) So if you have a spot that is out of true, fix that spoke (either tighten or loosen) and then do the opposite on the two spokes closest.

Good luck man, as with anything, the more you do it, the better you will become.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the support, guys. Since I have this spiffy spoke tool, I might as well put it to use. I found this guy on CL who will true wheels at $5 a wheel. Was gonna have him swap out a crankset/BB too, but he turned out to be utterly immature and insecure. So I ended up taking my wheels to a shop. The thing about shops is that they usually don't let you watch. Some shops charge $20 a wheel, but it loks like the average is $15 a wheel. Pretty pricey, if you ask me.

Gmats: There is one particular youtube video that was very helpful. Can't recall the link or the name, but the guy had sort of a midwestern accent. It explained everything well. I think my confusion is knowing which nipple (nipple! haha! immature moment!) to tigthen or loosen.
 

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Don't give up man. Like everyone is saying, Rome wasn't build in a day. Keep reading up on it and watching vidoes. It takes practice. Keep your turns in 1/4 to 1/2 turns max. $15 per wheel really sucks, not to mention the gas and time it takes to get to the shop. Take a week off from trying it, reset your brain and then give it another shot. Like above poster said, start with a old wheel, but make sure the spokes and nipples aren't binding with an old wheel. This video is pretty good.

How to True a Bicycle Wheel - YouTube

I think this is the video you are talking about:

How to True a Bicycle Wheel - YouTube

I would keep it simple and learn truing first and then learn about dish and out of round.
 
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