Wheel trueness


My wheel on my Nimbus X is now really wobbling, and I can really notice it on my smooth garage floor. It’s like it has a little bump in the same spot on every rotation. I’m thinking about taking it to a b*ke shop, but it’d be nice if I could do something @ home. Any ideas?


first, you are going to need a spoke wrench. Aquire at bike shop- $5. Then, take 2 zip ties and snap them aroundeither side of the framw, so thre extra stick toward your rim. measure each one so they are the same length. then find the most true part of yur wheel and cut the ties so the extra plastic almost touches the rim. Then turn the rim until it rubs against on side of the rim. Use your wrench and tighten, not loosen the spoke. try a 1/4 turn, then 1/2, etc. keep doing this and you have a decent truing job for less than $7

Re: Wheel trueness

“DK” <DK@NoEmail.Message.Poster.at.Unicyclist.com> writes:

> Use your wrench and tighten, not
> loosen
the spoke. try a 1/4 turn, then 1/2, etc. keep doing this and
> you have a decent truing job for less than $7

This advice is messed up.

To get a wheel properly trued, you have to 1) make it round, 2) “dish”
(center) the wheel, 3) remove side-to-side wobble, and 4) evenly
tension the spokes. And that’s assuming the wheel has been “stress
relieved” already. In theory, it might be possible to achieve this
combination by just tightening spokes, but it doesn’t work that way in

Good truing technique requires that you work on one problem at a time.
For example, to correct a high spot on an out of round wheel, you
tighten nearby spokes maintaining the same number of turns on each
side of the wheel (after de-tensioning the wheel if needed). That can
mean turning one pair of adjacent spokes 1/2 turn each, or a series of
five spokes 1/4, 1/2, 1/2, 1/2, 1/4. There are lots of choices, even
maintaining the lateral (side-to-side) true invariant. When
correcting lateral true, you will tighten and loosen adjacent spokes,
thereby maintaining roundness.

Properly fixing an out of true wheel takes some skill. It is possible
to do it yourself, and can be very rewarding, but care and patience
are necessary. Watch the tension in your spokes by plucking then and
listening for the tone. If you can’t keep the tension even, it may be
best to loosen all the nipples to the top of the threads and start
fresh. You can always go to a wheelbiulder of you can’t make a go of

Check out Sheldon Brown’s wheelbuilding web site (via your favorite
search engine) of Jobst Brandt’s book The Bicycle Wheel for detailed

Finally, be warned that aluminum spoke nipples are easily damaged by
ill fitted spoke wrenches, gunked up threads, or attempts to
overtension the wheel. Brass nipples are much hardier.


As in my case, it may just be your tire.
My Gazz is bent and even turns the wheel and changes height.
I am currently trying different methods to fix it (like bending the bead, different air pressures, abuse).

Anyway, verify that it’s the rim/spokes before adjusting them.

I was in your position- had a nimbus wheel with a bad wobble and no experience of truing.

Here’s my thoughts-

Be careful with the spoke key, make sure that you get the right size because any slackness in the fit will strip the corners of the spoke nipples and make them un-adjustable when they get to a certain tightness.

My first key was a circular one with multiple slots for diff size nipples- after basically stripping many of the nipples I discovered that the key had two slots marked ‘15’, yet, on closer examination, they were not the same size!

Check: -

probably the finest resourse for any bike/wheel related issue; has a good section on truing/wheel building.

Get into your head which way you need to turn the key to tighten/loosen- if you’re working the nipples on the lower part of the wheel, looking down on the inner part of the rim- it’s anti-clockwise to tighten, which is a little counter intuitive.

Do a search for other tips.

Good news is that it’s a unicycle so perfect trueness isn’t necessary (no brakes etc).

My Nimbus 29-er had a serious ‘jump’- early attempts at truing it were scary, I made mistakes (mainly forgetting which way to turn and ending up tightening when I was supposed to be loosening).

Do check your tyres mounted properly (I once started truing a wheel then discovered the tyre wasn’t on properly- the rim was actually fine).

Initially I did things the ‘proper way’ ie took off the tyre; when I realised my 29-er had serious issues and that, since the main problem was the tyre rubbing against the frame- I chose to true it with the tyre on.

I never did get that 29-er perfectly true, but I did get it true enough that the tyre didn’t rub. I believe that the rim was possibly damaged in such a way that perfect truing was impossible.

Since then I’ve actually built from scratch a 26" uni wheel, usning a fairly expensive rim and hub, which was a scary prospect. My experiences messing around with truing the 29-er were a big help. It’s well known that, it many ways, it easier to true a wheel you’ve built than true an old one; nevertheless, I’m quite pround of my hand built 26-er, which IMO is, to this day, still very true indeed.

In your position, if you want your wheel perfectly true, the you’ll have to get an expert to do it. However, if you work on it yourself, it may not be perfect, but you’ll learn a lot (just make sure you do some research, and take things slowly).

good luck,