How to Straighten a Bicycle Tire

How to Straighten a Bicycle Tire
Like cars, many people depend upon bikes without knowing exactly how they work or what they can do to maintain them. Unlike cars, bicycles are relatively simple systems with simple steps you can take to maintain them. A common problem people face is a bent wheel. Not only is it unsightly, but it can affect your ride's efficiency by dragging against the brakes. It seems like it would require some hammering to knock the wheel back in place, but it is actually a very simple repair that anyone can do.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Spoke wrench
Step 1
Find the properly sized spoke wrench. There are three basic sizes of spokes, with .136 inches being the most common. Many spoke wrenches will work with multiple sizes. Regardless, knowing you have the right-size wrench in advance will help minimize frustration.
Step 2
Turn your bike upside down on the seat and handlebars, with the wheels aligned as straight as possible.
Step 3
Spin the wheels and watch the brake pads carefully. Any curvature in your rim is likely to rub on the brake pad. Look at both front and back wheels and on both brake pads.
Step 4
Once you have found a bent curve, twist in the spokes on the opposite side of the curve. Use the spoke wrench to turn the spoke at the tightening point along the bike's inner rim. Turn less than a full turn at a time. Tighten two or three spokes around the opposite area of the curve by turning each spoke to the right.
Step 5
Loosen spokes on the opposite side. It is important not to do further damage by keeping everything too tight. A half turn or so to the left on the spokes directly surrounding the curve should be adequate in most situations.
Step 6
Check the tightness of the spokes. All spokes should feel taut and produce a pleasant "ping" when flicked.
Step 7
Spin the wheels again. Watch the brake pads carefully to make sure any rubbing has been eliminated. Make adjustments as necessary.


Article Written By Louie Doverspike

Based in Seattle, Louie Doverspike has been a professional writer since 2004. His work has appeared in various publications, including "AntiqueWeek" magazine, the "Prague Post" and "Seattle Represent!" Doverspike holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Hamilton College.

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