How To True A Bike Wheel | 6 Simple Steps

In this article we’ll go over how to true a bike wheel on a bicycle. We’ll discuss the need for truing wheels in bicycles, and what you need to do to true a wheel. Finally, we’ll provide sources to get the right tools and find out more about bike maintenance.


What is truing?

Truing a bike wheel is a process of compensating for any imbalances in lateral and radial forces. When you true a wheel, it also means that you are tightening spokes to compensate for any looseness.

A slight misalignment in your rear or front wheels can cause major issues. A wheel that is out of true can cause serious damage to your bike and you, so it’s important that you know how to true a bike wheel correctly.

You should check your wheels before every single ride and if you notice any issues, like missed spokes or a bent rim, you have to take it to a bike shop as soon as possible where they can fix it properly.

I also recommend checking your wheel every time you ride through a pothole or experience any hard impact.

A Bike Wheel Which Has Been Trued

The steps for truing a wheel

This process is typically done by a wheel builder but it can be done at home with a little bit of know-how.

Step one – Make sure the wheel is off the bike and on a stand.

Step two – Spin the wheel to find out if there are any loose spokes.

Step three – if there are, tighten them in an alternating pattern.

Step four – Use a spoke tensiometer to identify any bent or warped spokes. This will require you to count how many times the wheel rotates before coming back to the same place.

Step five – Tighten any spokes that need it and then recheck with the tensiometer.

Step six – Use a straightedge to check for proper rim alignment and true it up by bending until you have no dish or waves left in your wheel.

What are the causes of a true wheel?

There are three major causes of a true wheel.

The first is that the rim and tire have been worn down and it is time for another set.

The second is that your bike frame has been bent out of shape.

Finally, there are defects in the hub bearings or spokes which need to be repaired.

What tools are needed for wheel truing?

If you have a bike with stock wheels that isn’t true, then you’ll need a few tools to get the job done. If your bike has a quick release hub, then you’ll need the necessary wrench and hex key for it.

If not, then you’ll need an allen wrench set (or hex key set), a spoke wrench, and a brake caliper alignment tool, you may also need a truing stand, radial arm saw, straight edge, and spoke wrench.

What does it mean to true a wheel?

To true a wheel means to make it straight, smooth and balanced. Trueing a wheel is different than fixing a bent or damaged one. To true a wheel, you’ll need to spin the wheel and find the side that wobbles. You’ll want to start by aligning this side with the flat surface of the bike’s frame.

Then, you can tighten the spokes on either side of this side. Once all spokes are tight, you should spin the wheel again to see if it still wobbles. If it does not wobble, your job is done!

How much does it cost to true a wheel?

The cost of a wheel true depends on the type of bike and how skilled the mechanic is. A professional may charge between $50-100 to true your wheel. If you’re handy enough, or have an adjustable wrench and other tools, you can do it yourself for much less!

Which way do you true a wheel?

The answer to this is really quite simple. True a bike wheel so that the spoke nipple is facing upward and the rim of the wheel is at the top.