new videos
hot off the press!  
    more about rocket
mass heaters here.

more videos from
the PDC here.
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

Wobbly Wheels  RSS feed

 
Adrien Lapointe
steward
Posts: 3422
Location: Kingston, Canada (USDA zone 5a)
201
chicken dog food preservation forest garden fungi tiny house toxin-ectomy trees woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I bought a new "hybrid" bike a few years ago. The ones with the wheels' width in between the mountain bikes and road bikes. I think I did not pay close enough attention to the air pressure in the tires initially and now I have wobbly wheels (I think that is the cause). Apart from buying new wheels, is there anything I could do to fix the wheels?
 
Zach Muller
gardener
Posts: 778
Location: NE Oklahoma zone 7a
36
bike books chicken dog forest garden urban
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
If you have someone look at it they can tell you if it is minor enough to be fixed, or if you will need a replacement wheel. A lot of the time a mechanic can "true" the wheel and make it more straight by adjusting the spoke tension. But if the rim is physically smashed up or damaged than tightening spokes might help a bit, but not in the long term.
If you think they might be totally gone than you could get a spoke wrench and see what you can do.
[youtube]www.youtube.com/watch?v=aSdQcMSs6a0 [/youtube]
www.youtube.com/watch?v=aSdQcMSs6a0
 
Burra Maluca
Mother Tree
Posts: 9893
Location: Portugal
891
bee bike books duck forest garden greening the desert solar trees wofati
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
 
nathan luedtke
Posts: 165
37
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Truing wheels is REALLY FUN. Its a process-based activity that requires just a bit of skill- but as long as you follow the process, you are almost guaranteed succes. I find it easy to get into a flow state while truing wheels, and the time just flies by until my wheel is perfectly straight.

Access to a truing stand is the only issue- do you have a tool co-op nearby, or a friend at a bike shop who might let you use theirs?
 
Chip Haynes
Author
Posts: 53
Location: Clearwater, Florida
5
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Nathan is on to it: Building and truing wheels is about as Zen as it gets in my garage. Very relaxing, almost meditative, but you do have to be able to count to four. (Small wheel building joke there.)

For rear road wheels that I know are going to take some abuse (like bike commuting), I lace in 12 gauge spokes on the drive side. Saves much grief later.
 
Adrien Lapointe
steward
Posts: 3422
Location: Kingston, Canada (USDA zone 5a)
201
chicken dog food preservation forest garden fungi tiny house toxin-ectomy trees woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Do you talk about that in your book? Any inexpensive options to balance the wheels without specialized equipment?
 
Chip Haynes
Author
Posts: 53
Location: Clearwater, Florida
5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Adrien- In all honesty, no, I don't talk about it in that book. I didn't want to scare anyone. Bicycle wheels aren't usually "balanced" in the sense that a much heavier car wheel has to be balanced (but I've seen some people go to that length on their bikes). We're talking about "truing" the rim here, both in the left/right plane and the up/down relative to the axle center. (Left/right is the easier of the two.) If you prop the bike up and spin a wheel, watch the gap between the rim and one brake pad. Now you can see the wobble in the rim. With a spoke wrench, you can loosen the spokes on the side it wobbles TO, and tighten the spokes on the side it wobbles FROM. Always do both, never just one.

"Loosen" is counter-clockwise as seen from above.

"Tighten" is clockwise as seen from above.

Through a careful series of lossenings and tighenings, you will move the rim over to where it needs to be and/or learn a lot of new and interesting words along the way. Also, who knows? You may set a record in the Olympic Bicycle Wheel Throwing Event.

It is not a quick fix.

 
Adrien Lapointe
steward
Posts: 3422
Location: Kingston, Canada (USDA zone 5a)
201
chicken dog food preservation forest garden fungi tiny house toxin-ectomy trees woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Ah! I feel like I would indeed end up with a wheel stuck high up in a tree...
 
Peter Mckinlay
Posts: 182
1
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Adrien Lapointe wrote:Do you talk about that in your book? Any inexpensive options to balance the wheels without specialized equipment?


Not in the book. Turn the bike upside down so it sits on handlebars and seat. Hang a piece of string so it touches the side of the wheel rim. Tie a nut to the end of the string, this makes a plumb bob. Spin the wheel, look for wobble, take an adjustable spanner or pair of pliers and loosen or tighten those spokes that need attention to regain a true.
 
Chip Haynes
Author
Posts: 53
Location: Clearwater, Florida
5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Adrien- You'd better practice before that throw. I currently hold the world record for both distance and number of spins with a gas weed whacker.

It might be best to not ask.
 
Adrien Lapointe
steward
Posts: 3422
Location: Kingston, Canada (USDA zone 5a)
201
chicken dog food preservation forest garden fungi tiny house toxin-ectomy trees woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Peter Mckinlay wrote:
Adrien Lapointe wrote:Do you talk about that in your book? Any inexpensive options to balance the wheels without specialized equipment?


Not in the book. Turn the bike upside down so it sits on handlebars and seat. Hang a piece of string so it touches the side of the wheel rim. Tie a nut to the end of the string, this makes a plumb bob. Spin the wheel, look for wobble, take an adjustable spanner or pair of pliers and loosen or tighten those spokes that need attention to regain a true.


Dah! of course the bike itself is a stand for the wheel!
 
Justin Claassen
Posts: 3
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Before you go threw too much trouble. Check to make sure that the tire is just not off center on the rim. Sometimes the bead does not fully pop out and makes the wheel look out of true. The fix is easy pump up tire nice and full and spin the wheel. Look down the line and see if the tire jumps up and down.
 
Chip Haynes
Author
Posts: 53
Location: Clearwater, Florida
5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Yeah, Justin's got a point there: It might just be the tire not seated properly on the rim. But given a choice between the two problems, I'd much rather be able to simply true the wheel with a spoke wrench. I've seen some tire/rim combinations that just did not like me, or each other, and refuse to seat well. An old friend of mine that had a bike shop Way Back When used Murphy's Oil Soap to swap down the rim and tire bead to get it to pop into place. That, and way too much air pressure, usually did the trick. Or blew the tire to smithereens. It can go either way.
What I hear from bike shop mechanics these days is that they are seeing alot more tire seating problems due to the newer cheap rims that lack the significant bead cleat of older wheels. There's nothing there for the tire to latch on to. Not good.
 
Adrien Lapointe
steward
Posts: 3422
Location: Kingston, Canada (USDA zone 5a)
201
chicken dog food preservation forest garden fungi tiny house toxin-ectomy trees woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thanks everybody for the input, now I have to wait a bit for the garage to warm up (was -10 C today) so I can try these tricks.
 
Chip Haynes
Author
Posts: 53
Location: Clearwater, Florida
5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
And here I'm grousing about temps in the 50's (F). MINUS TEN?? Oh, my.

I've a small list of errands to ride around town tomorrow on my fixie, as I swapped out the front (and only) brake on it today, so of course I must test it! Spent the afternoon working on it in the garage, door open and sun shining in. Very nice, if a tad cool for me. It's supposed to be in the low 70's here tomorrow, and in the 80's by the end of the week. So much for winter. I'm over it.

I've got bikes to ride!
 
Adrien Lapointe
steward
Posts: 3422
Location: Kingston, Canada (USDA zone 5a)
201
chicken dog food preservation forest garden fungi tiny house toxin-ectomy trees woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Lol! I sort of envy you as it has been a long winter.

I guess I am too soft, I haven't been riding since November; the narrow snowy streets and the cold are not appealing to me. Some people are more courageous, I saw a few people biking the other day.
 
Chip Haynes
Author
Posts: 53
Location: Clearwater, Florida
5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Adrein-

I am always impressed with the winter riders up north. Wow. Would I do it if I were up there? I don't know. I've certainly lived where it was cold, but I was younger then. This has, for us, been a long annoying bit of winter even here in west central Florida. Sure, I still ride, but it's not like I'm going to freeze to death or anything. No snow, no ice, and the "wind chill" here is a joke compared to what you've had to face up there. You don't have to be that brave here to ride year around.
I think I'll stay.
 
matt hogan
Posts: 71
Location: Tennesse, an hour west of Nashville, zone 7
2
chicken hunting
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have trued my wheels by turning the bike upside down, then slowly moving the brake pads in while spinning the wheel.
 
Chip Haynes
Author
Posts: 53
Location: Clearwater, Florida
5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Unless the bike lacks brake pads (coaster brake, disc brake, brakeless fixie), that usually works very well, but make sure that when you turn the bike over, you're not sort of accidentally squeezing those brake levers against the floor- and tightening the brakes more than you might want!
 
Those are the largest trousers in the world! Especially when next to this ad:
Thread Boost feature
https://permies.com/wiki/61482/Thread-Boost-feature
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!