Rear wheel bent way out of true

Discussion in 'General Questions' started by DanTheDIYGuy, Jul 22, 2016.

  1. DanTheDIYGuy

    DanTheDIYGuy Member

    I need some advice in getting this fixed. First of all, it's from a Walmart bike, so not initially very expensive or high quality. Has been bent out of true once before, I DIY'd it back into shape. This time multiple spokes are bent way out of shape, and one of them can no longer tighten anymore due to stripped threads at the nipple. Rim seems to be in good shape, so that should be fine. There is a guy near where I live who advertises fixing of any kind of spoked wheel, and even mentions motorized bikes in his ad. I am unsure at this point the cost of having him fix it, most likely over $80 due to the bad shape of the wheel. I don't know if I want to fix this wheel because I've been very busy and stressed lately, and think I'd do a bad job of it. Also unsure if I should buy a new wheel as a replacement.

    Any advice? That's a lot to chew on but I need some experience to direct me. :)

    Also considering getting an upgraded sprocket clamp that attaches to the axle rather than the spokes to prevent this from happening again.

  2. FurryOnTheInside

    FurryOnTheInside Active Member

    Personally, and just from human powered bike experience, I think the best way to go is to buy a complete new (mountain bike if you have the right dropout width) wheel, since the hub is not likely to be worth much and the cost of a custom wheel (new rim, the right length spokes and build) using your hub is probably about the same or even more than someone's "standard" hand built wheel with the known spoke lengths that a shop can get in quantity to suit the hub and rim combinations they offer.
    Did you mean "the hub is in good shape"? Because the rim can't be if it's horribly bent. A rim can only be retrued if it is barely out of true. A bent rim straightened by messing with spoke tensions does not make a strong wheel. In fact is has hardly any strength due to all the grossly uneven spoke tensions and will bend again, probably worse, certainly sooner.
    Wire spokes (dull grey) are the usual for machine made Walmart etc wheels, and they're useless for anything other than kids' toy bikes. Stainless steel and branded (I like DT Swiss) spokes are much better. I suppose it's to do with elasticity.
    The hub mounted sprocket sounds like a great idea. The force from the chain will be divided by all the spokes instead of just the one or two that are at the top at any moment. That's how I think it works anyway. :)

    *I have been told that I am too fussy about quality and too slow building my motored bike lol.
  3. crassius

    crassius Well-Known Member

    I guess I just don't understand the problem - it's a walmart bike, for $80 buy another whole bike & take a wheel off it. I'd just go to a used parts store and buy a $10 wheel (or call 4 friends and one will certainly have an old bike wheel in back yard).
    Frankfort MB's likes this.
  4. bakaneko

    bakaneko Active Member

    Yes, don't repair it. And, don't worry. Just buy a nice low price used bike for ($15-30) from Craiglists and take the rear wheel off it. You can also buy a wheel from Craiglist but I like to just buy the whole bike since it comes with front wheels and tires and tubes too.

    You will be surprised at the value you can get out there. I saw some almost brand new bikes for $30, which you can negotiate down to $20-25.
  5. DanTheDIYGuy

    DanTheDIYGuy Member

    Thank you all for your input. It has helped considerably.
  6. jaguar

    jaguar Well-Known Member

    Once I took a turn too hot and the rear wheel slid outwards and then when it caught traction the rim was bent.
    I just loosened the spokes on the side it was bent towards.
    Then I used my feet and hands to bend it back to where it should be, then tightened and adjusted the spokes and it was good as new.
    Why buy when you can fix?
    Oh I forgot, this is the throw-away generation.
    Randall likes this.
  7. DanTheDIYGuy

    DanTheDIYGuy Member

    I am not a throw-away type of person, merely concerned for my safety on a wheel that has already bent considerably more than once on my rides. The wheel is out of my skill-range to repair because of the spoke condition I explained earlier.
  8. Frankenstein

    Frankenstein Active Member

    I think I still own all the spokes from every bike I had since I was 7...found a hell of a lot of creative uses for all those bits of metal and nice hard nipples... Ehmm sorry, Anywho, I have to second jaguar to a certain extent, if the wheel is horribly bent, which it probably is if you're even considering getting it rebuilt, then check craigslist and buy a nearly complete bike with wheels that fit your needs, also when looking at it, consider if you can out a motor in it if you want to in the future, as a backup for times like these. Also see if it's got similar parts, like brake type, and derailleur, single or 3 piece cranks. If you buy another, you'll have enough parts to replace almost any part of the bike you're riding, which you never know if you'll need, but you'll have them regardless if you do. Even take that little bolt with a hole in it that your brakes use to hold the cable, if you strip it you'll have another 2 to replace it with, and you'll have spare cables, and housings.

    If you go long enough you will need the parts, it's just metal, it puts up a good fight, but in the end it still loses, have a backup for when it happens.
  9. Frankenstein

    Frankenstein Active Member

    As another comment, if you think you're feeling enthusiastic about bikes and the related parts, learn to build a wheel yourself, it's cheaper to do it on your own (with the help of the Internet of course) than paying a person to do it for you.

    I'm 24, I know how to build wheels because I enjoy hand making things, it aloud me to fix and true any bicycle wheel for anybody, and I couldn't justify letting the bike shop charge me 65 bucks for a wheel I wouldn't see for 3 days when I could do the same thing in an afternoon. I built 80% of that first wheel on the bus to and from work that day because it was the only time I had time, and I needed a wheel so I wouldn't sing wheels on the bus go round and round, on the bus, all the way home. I'm dead serious.

    Also you're probably going to make sure you do it effing right the first time since you wheel be the one who's sitting on it at 30mph.

    And as the old saying goes, teach a man to fish, and he'll have an excellent way to avoid his wife 5 days a month.
  10. Frankfort MB's

    Frankfort MB's Well-Known Member

    I'm curious about what people thought of you building a bicycle wheel on a bus if you don't mind me asking?:)
  11. crassius

    crassius Well-Known Member

    I re-laced an MG sports car wheel once, but wouldn't even attempt a bus.
  12. jaguar

    jaguar Well-Known Member

    I've trued a wheel without a spoke before.
    I used to be into bicycle motocross and I jumped a lot and loved to powerslide. So I bent the rim often and just bent it back and tightened everything up.
    Saved me tons of money and even though I was hell on wheels the repaired ones didn't warp again without lots of stress due to my kamakazi riding.
  13. Frankfort MB's

    Frankfort MB's Well-Known Member

    Those are some tricky little cars as well. Had one and it was about as picky as my bikes lol....

    To get back on topic, it would probably be best to just buy a new wheel and retire the one you have..... I wouldn't trust it on a MB again but it should be fine for regular bicycle use
  14. Frankenstein

    Frankenstein Active Member

    They were thinking that they wanted motorized bicycles after they asked what I was doing.
    Frankfort MB's likes this.
  15. jaguar

    jaguar Well-Known Member

    I had to ride the bus for a few months in the States and it sucks!
    anything is better.
  16. Frankenstein

    Frankenstein Active Member

    I get enough picky from my bike, so I have a ford that can still run after half the oil is missing, along with the trans fluid, and a spark plug cap or 2 removed... Just ease your way to the next gear at 25 mph,watch the shudder at 37mph and you're good.

    New wheel is a must unless you think a half inch is way out of true or bent. You will need to replace the spoke, so its probably less effort to buy a parts bike. Even less to find a wheel.

    Get a good wheel regardless, steel is a good thing to buy on a rear wheel if it's going to be driven from the spokes, with that rubber Pad, if you get the clamp on adapter then the lighter aluminum kind should work just fine. But make sure you are happy with the wheel first, very happy, then order the clamp after making sure a clamp won't damage the hub, or axle as you called it, because those very small ones you see for race bikes could get damaged by a clamp, go beefy. You can also double triple measure the hub and perhaps decipher the bad enligsh on eBay to be sure the dimensions match up.

    Since you have the bike under construction, pull the front wheel off too, then grease the bearings. Also hit up the engine with grease where it's normal needed and by the time you get the new wheel on you'll feel like you did a great job taking care of the bike and it will simply ride better.

    Have fun.
  17. Frankenstein

    Frankenstein Active Member

    Before I had the truck, and just had the bike, I told my wife I had to work on my bike, much to her displeasure, because if I didn't get it working I'd have to kill the bus driver(s), which would result in her having to visit me in prison...

    We unanimously voted for not prison.