Truing Stand - To buy or not to buy?

Sierratim

Well-Known Member
So over the past week, I've been learning about how to true wheels. It's not rocket science, but it is somewhat tedious and time consuming.

How much your LBS charges for truing a wheel will, I'm sure, depend on where you live. My LBS charges $30-40 per wheel and both my wheels need truing. I figure I need to true the wheels annually, or sometimes more often depending on the need.

I've been eyeing the Park Tool TS-4.2 Professional Bicycle Wheel Truing Stand - Compatible with Fat Bikes & E-Bikes that costs $426.95. On one had, I can recover the cost likely in no more than 4 years depending on number of times used. As we have more than one bike in the household, the cost can be recovered in as little as 2 years.

I just wanted to ping the forum members and hear your thoughts on whether purchasing one is a good investment or not, as some of you likely own one and either have had good or bad experiences doing it yourselves.

You shouldn't need to true up your wheels even annually. Unless you hit something pretty hard, they are very stable if assembled correctly the first time. It sounds like your wheels weren't done correctly in that spoke nipples shouldn't just rattle loose. Normal practice is to put spoke prep on the spoke threads before threading on the nipples. Over several days this prep stiffens up acting something like removeable locktite. The nipples stay where you put them this way. I've built a handful of wheels this way and didn't need to true them unless something 'bad' happened.

What are the rest of the tools in your bike shop like? Are you equipped with decent tools for all the other bike tasks you might need to do? If so, go for it as a personal learning experience. Otherwise, I think your money is better spent on more good quality tools and have your LBS rebuild and true your wheels.

BTW - I've trued all the wheels I've built on an entry level trueing stand. I'm sure a pro level cyclist could telll the difference, but they were round and true for my purposes.
 

Sierratim

Well-Known Member
I've got the truing stand you linked in the first post. It is a nice one. I've used it on a Cattrike Expedition, where you can really tell the difference cause you got two wheels running parallel. I've used it on my Sequoia. I'll use it on my Vado 5.0 when I feel the need some day. Spokes will relax after the initial run in, whatever time that takes. I wouldn't go all out and respoke a complete wheel, but for maintenance it doesn't take a lot of experience if you're careful.
I guess we're lucky in that our LBS includes wheel trueing in their free new bike tune hp. Bring your bike back after a couple of months and they adjust and clean everything, with a smile...😉
 

byunbee

Well-Known Member
You shouldn't need to true up your wheels even annually. Unless you hit something pretty hard, they are very stable if assembled correctly the first time. It sounds like your wheels weren't done correctly in that spoke nipples shouldn't just rattle loose. Normal practice is to put spoke prep on the spoke threads before threading on the nipples. Over several days this prep stiffens up acting something like removeable locktite. The nipples stay where you put them this way. I've built a handful of wheels this way and didn't need to true them unless something 'bad' happened.

What are the rest of the tools in your bike shop like? Are you equipped with decent tools for all the other bike tasks you might need to do? If so, go for it as a personal learning experience. Otherwise, I think your money is better spent on more good quality tools and have your LBS rebuild and true your wheels.

BTW - I've trued all the wheels I've built on an entry level trueing stand. I'm sure a pro level cyclist could telll the difference, but they were round and true for my purposes.
I have standard set of Allen wrenches, torx and hex bits, torque wrench, bike repair stand, digital caliper, spoke wrench, and I just ordered a tension meter.
 

byunbee

Well-Known Member
Most of the areas where I ride are paved paths or road with concrete bumps here and there. I think hitting those bumps at 20-25 mph probably did it over period of few months.
 

Sierratim

Well-Known Member
Most of the areas where I ride are paved paths or road with concrete bumps here and there. I think hitting those bumps at 20-25 mph probably did it over period of few months.
We live out in the 'sticks' yet wheel trueing isn't a real issue.

I'd still suggest that your wheels weren't assembled with 'best practices'. Spoke prep isn't magic, but it makes wheels generally impervious to 'bumps'. BTW - I use linseed oil for my spoke prep. It stiffens up 'real good', it's cheap and multi-purpose.

Your $ might be better spent on more tools and a wheel rebuild at your LBS, just sayin'....😎
 

Marcela

Well-Known Member
I like to do my own work, than it is my experience, and I don’t have to parrot what everyone else says or convince others one way is better than another. I tell them my experience and let them decide, I’m not a government entity trying to tell everyone how to run their lives. I’m just saying. 😉
 

harryS

Well-Known Member
congrats!

My trueing stand is an old fat tire fork (135mm) clamped to my desk, some cardboard taped to the fork and a pencil. While it's worked for half a dozen wheels, nothing like the right too; for a job, and a real trueing stand would be cool. It wouldn't be in danger of crashing down on the ground when I get the motor spinning.