How to True Bike Wheels?

Last Updated on January 16, 2020

This guide has been written by cycling review expert Alex Bristol

Last Updated on January 16, 2020

How to True Bike Wheels

The wheel is the most important part of a bicycle. However, it requires a lot of care and maintenance if you want to keep it functional.  One of the things you need to know if you love cycling is how to true bike wheels. This is the process of keeping your wheel round and straight or ensuring that it is in perfect state.  We know that it is not a very easy task  but with our guide, you won’t experience any problem. Below are the steps you should follow

Method 1

  • Fix the wheel on the truing stand facing in any direction
  • Ensure that the wheel is securely fixed onto the stand.
  • Tighten the lever and the quick release nut. Ensure that there is no way the wheel can wiggle while on the stand.
  • Move the calipers upwards until the teeth are half an inch from the metal rim.
  • Spin the wheel slowly
  • Tighten the calipers slowly until they get into contact with the wheel on one side.
  • Loosen the nipples of the spoke on the same side the caliper is touching.
  • Tighten the spokes on the opposite side of the hub.
  • Spin the wheel and tighten all the calipers once again. Ensure that they are touching the rim on one side. Continue doing this until the calipers touch the two sides of the rim uniformly at each point of the rim.

Method 2

  • Remove the tube and the tire if you want to get the best results. This will also allow you to check the shape of the rim easily.
  • Place a pencil, ruler, tape or any other thing that has a straight edge on the forks in such a way that it touches the rim. This will enable you to see any small fluctuations where the rim is far or close to the straight edge.
  • Spin the wheel and place the straight object where it touches the straight edge.
  • Tighten the spokes equally not more than half per turn. Ensure that you have tightened the spokes on the two sids.
  • Spin the wheel after every adjustment. Continue to do this until the rim is at the same distance as from the straight edge.

Method 3

  • Inspect the wheels to check whether there are some bent spokes.
  • Use a spoke wrench to determine the tightness of the spokes. There is a nipple at the end of every spoke which you can use for loosening or tightening the spoke. On a true rim or wheel, the spokes are usually tight.
  • Turn the bike upside in such that it is resting on its handlebars and seat. This will enable the wheels to turn freely which means you an easily check them for wobble.



If you want to continue enjoying cycling, you need to know some basic maintenance tips. Truing a bike wheel is one of the most important things you will require to do every now and then. Always follow the above steps for the best results.


1. How to Replace a Bicycle Spoke – Post by How Stuff Works

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