How to True a Bike Wheel Fix It Like A Pro with Some Easy Step

Today we’re going to be truing a road wheel but the principle is exactly the same for off-road hoops.

I’d like to welcome you to this tutorial article about truing the bike wheel all-in-one combo solution.

Even though we do have a huge number of how to post on the internet on how to true the wheel.

I do feel personally that they lack most of them if not all lacks some tips and instructions that would make our life easier with the wheels.

I’m not saying I’m the best guy in throwing the wheels but I do have many years of experience and try to give you all in all solution how to do it.

If you owner of a cruiser bike and want to avoid all these problems you should buy the best cruiser bike on the market.

Tools to Use

You’re going to need:

  • A spoke key that fits your wheels nipples
  • Wheel jig
  • Spoke tool if you’re running bladed spokes

We’re going to be using a double-sided jig but less expensive single-side versions are available.

First Step: Loose Spokes

Move around the wheel squeezing all the spokes in pairs to check for any that are obviously loose.

If you find any gently tighten the nipple until the slack is removed at this stage it’s important to understand the spoke nipples tighten anti-clockwise which is perhaps the opposite of what you’d expect.

Step 2: Lateral Adjustment

You’ll notice some spokes are positioned to pull the rim to the left and the others to pull it to the right.

When these spokes get out of balance your wheel goes out of true and we’ll need lateral adjustment.

Place the wheel in the jig and adjust the caliper height so that they line up alongside the rim.

Spin the wheel slowly and very gradually winding the calipers until is light intermittent contact at any point in the wheel’s revolution.

Take a mental note of the buckled area and identify the nearest poke that pulls away from the contacting caliper jaw.  Tighten that nipple via quarter turn anti-clockwise.

Spin the wheel again looking and listening for contact if the same contact occurs give the nipple another quarter turn be careful not to over-tighten the spokes.

If you don’t have access to a tension meter squeezing the spokes will give a good idea as will the tension required to turn the nipple if this does happen back off the tension of the opposing spoke rather than forcing it.

If there’s no contact slowly winding the calipers until it resumes then repeat the process of identifying

the problem spoke and making gradual adjustments.

Lateral tolerances for new wheels are not 0.12 nor point two millimeters but if you can adjust to anything less than one millimeter on each side you should be okay.

Third Step: De-Stress

Once you have the wheel Trued you need to distress the spokes.  To do this place the wheel across your thighs lean your elbows on it then pull up on the section farthest away from yourself.

You should hear the spokes click work around the wheel before flipping it over and starting again.

This action allows the nipples to bed into place in the same way they were during a ride. You may now need to make further smaller adjustments so go back and repeat step 2.

Repeat this two-step process until your wheel remains within tolerances after the distressing.

Step 3: Radial Adjustments

Radial adjustment affects how round the wheel is. Reset the calipers so they are now underneath the rim and overlapping it.

Spin the wheel and slowly raise the calipers so they approach the rim. When contact occurs tighten the two nearest spokes by one-quarter return anti-clockwise.

When performing radial adjustments, it’s crucial to remember that you should always adjust the spokes in adjacent pairs otherwise you’ll upset the lateral true that you achieved in step two.

Spin again raising the calipers if there’s no more contact or giving another quarter of a turn if there is.

Destress the wheel and repeat the cycle of checks and adjustments as with lateral truing.

Finally, Recap the Process

So, to recap you need to adjust for lateral trued stress check and repeat if necessary. Reset the jig and true for radial buckles de-stress and check as before.


Wheel buckles can be caused by gradual loosening of spokes over time or by crush damage. Heavy impacts can put rims completely beyond repair but it’s still worth you or a professional giving it a go.

It’s possible to permanently destroy wheels while attempting to true so visit your local bike shop if in doubt or at least get some practice in on an old unwanted wheel before working on one you’d miss.

For more information stay tuned to Outdoorxsports and get more bike repairing information and tips.

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