Wheel Truing

All three of my bicycles are in working order again, and it’s because I bought and used a wheel truing stand to fix the warped wheel on my hybrid bike.

This past February, and again in August, I failed to correctly strap my bike into my bike rack, and the rear wheel dropped onto the road while driving at highway speeds. Both times, the rim was bent out of shape, and the bike was unridable.

The first time, I resolved this by purchasing a new wheelset. Inexpensive ones, for sure, but for front and rear wheels, tires, inner tunes, new brake pads, and a couple of tools, I spent more than $300. I was happy with the result, and I considered it an upgrade.

When it happened again, I thought I could just buy the same rear wheel. Unfortunately, no one has them in stock anymore, and that’s a situation that will probably remain indefinitely. I went out and bought a new road bike, with which I am very happy, but I still hoped to fix the hybrid.

This week, I bought a bicycle wheel truing stand. The “professional” one from Park Tool. I had watched a few of their videos on the subject. I figured I could buy a rim, instead of a whole wheel, to fix my bike. It arrived today, and just to see how practical the task would be, I mounted the bent wheel in the thing and tried adjusting it.

In no time at all (okay, 20 or 30 minutes), I had the wheel running true within acceptable tolerances. I put it back on my bike, and I took the bike out for a test ride this evening. It runs as good as it did before.

I feel like I probably should have done this sooner. The tool itself costs nearly $300, so I really wouldn’t have saved money the first time around, but it seems like it could have been the more straightforward repair. Certainly the most efficient one. Still, I’m very happy that I bought a road bike.