How to Straighten a Bicycle Wheel

How to Straighten a Bicycle Wheel
It doesn't take much to bend a wheel or knock it out of alignment. As you use your bike, the nuts and bolts holding it together start to settle in, and your bike's wheel can begin to ride crooked. It is a good idea to check your bike wheel's alignment every so often--crooked wheels wear out quicker. If your wheel needs to be straightened, you can do this in just a couple of minutes.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Spoke key
  • Spoke key
Step 1
Turn your bike upside down so the wheel can spin unobstructed. Spin the wheel slowly and watch the space between the wheel rim and the brake block. If the distance between the two fluctuates at all, you need to straighten the wheel. Mark the point on the tire that comes closest to the brake pad.
Step 2
Tighten both spokes on the opposite side of the wheel from where the wheel comes close to the brake block, turning the spoke key no more than one-half of a turn at a time.This will help pull the rim back into alignment.
Step 3
Spin the wheel again, keeping an eye on the spot. If it is still out of alignment, use the spoke key to tighten the spokes again. Do this until you cannot see any fluctuation in space between the rim and the brake block.
Step 4
Check the rest of the wheel for inconsistent spots, repeating the process if necessary.

Article Written By Jonathan Croswell

Jonathan Croswell has spent more than five years writing and editing for a number of newspapers and online publications, including the "Omaha World-Herald" and "New York Newsday." Croswell received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Nebraska and is currently pursuing a Master's of Health and Exercise Science at Portland State University.

Keep Me Informed

Weekly newsletters, announcements and offers from to your inbox.

Sign me up!

We HATE spam and promise to keep your email addresses safe and secure.