True up 36" Rim

Is it possible to true the rim without a jig?

I have limited experience with this, and the last results on an MTB weren’t too good. I ended up taking it to a shop.

I’ve put some emails out to local shops, and hopefully one of them can do it.

Failing that…

Are there commercially made jigs available?

Anyone that’s made one, do you have plans for a jig?

Any suggestions about tensioning the spokes?


Yes – I’ve built my 36" wheels without a jig. One thing that is essential is getting a proper spoke tension gauge. I have the park tool one. That improved my wheel builds by 100%!

When truing, I stick it in my old Nimbus 36" frame and jerry-rig an old (ground down slightly) razor blade to contact the rim – I just stick it on the frame with a rubber band and tape, and move it in out. It works better than using your finger.

In the future, I’m going to build a jig. (maybe this weekend). It’ll use a metal working gauge to see the offset. Pics later…


I do the same as Corbin (Park tool Tensometer and frame as jig) but use a zip tie to contact the rim. If you cut it a bit long you can rotate it in and out to adjust where you want it.

good luck


I’d be interested in your stand when you finish it Corbin.

Are you both truing laterally and radially, or do you worry about the latter at all?

GENIUS! :smiley: I think to make some sort of measurable balance between right-side and left-side spacing one could make a mark on the zip tie lined up with some reliable feature on the fork so that both sides get the same “reading”. (or would flipping the wheel around in the frame without touching the zip tie be better?)

Thanks to you and Corbin for the advice, I suspect the tensometer might be a tad more accurate than my plucking/listening to the tone method.

both, a straight but egg shaped wheel is not really ideal.

Sheldon Brown has a great tutorial on wheelbuilding on his site that also goes pretty in-depth on wheel truing if I remember correctly, it has been a while since I read it.