This is my first post, I guess I have to introduce myself. I'm Ricky.
I had my first over the handlebar accident yesterday. I'm ok, but the front wheel of the bike was at a awkward angle when it hit the pavement. I could be a bike hypochondriac, but I believe the front wheel suffered a bit from it and is now untrue. The question is, how much wobble do you allow on your wheels?. Or more specifically how often do you true your wheels?
Welcome. Glad you're OK. I've had a couple of those, with concussion, broken collarbone, etc. You did well to avoid injury.
If the wheel contacts the brake pads, or if you can find noticeably unequal spoke tension, it should be trued. Pluck the spokes and listen to the tone. Looser spokes will have a lower pitch, or if they're really loose won't have a tone at all. If you're lucky, tensioning the loose spokes will make the wheel more true, but if the rim has been deformed that's not always as simple as that. You can do minor truing on the bike with a pointer affixed to the fork, or the brake pad as a guide. Someone with experience and a stand will be able to do a better job, but depending on how bad the wheel is you may be able to improve the trueness yourself without a lot of trouble.
Thank you Mark.
The rim is not touching the break pads. I have done most of my bike repairs except for truing. I will give it a try. I also heard that using a chalk to mark the points that need tensioning works great.
Welcome Ricky, and sorry to hear about your tumble.
I don't like any wobble, but more importantly, all of the spokes on your front wheel should have the same tension. Pluck them like a guitar and if any have a much lower pitch than the others, your wheel could be unstable and could have more serious problems down the road. You should have a tech look at it and give it a tweak.
With a properly built wheel, you might only true after a hundred miles or so after building/purchase and then they might stay true for the next 10 years. I have a set of wheels that have not been touched for 20,000 miles.
West Town Bikes is having a wheel truing class on Thursday night - if you can get down there, it may cost you a bit more (I think it's $30 for the one class) than paying a shop to do it, but it will be much more valuable for learning how to do it yourself!