How to Repair a Mountain Bike Wheel

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If you have to repair a bent mountain bike wheel, you can straighten out by hand temporarily, but for a long-term fix you need to give it a precise adjustment on a truing stand. Get your wheels rolling again with the help of this free video on mountain bike maintenance.

Part of the Video Series: Mountain Bike Maintenance
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Video Transcript

Hi, my name is John. I'm from Competitive Edge Cyclery in Upland, California, and I'm going to be showing you how to repair a mountain bike wheel. Okay if you're on the trail and you have a bent wheel and you've got to get home, there's no other way to do it but to bend it back. Grab the wheel, remove it from the bike and find out where it is bent by looking down it and seeing exactly where it's bent. Determining where you need to bend it back at, you're going to take and smack it if it needs it. That would be straight enough to get you back home but it's obviously not going to be straight enough for the rest of the time so once you get it back to a place where you can actually have it trued, you're going to go and put it in the truing stand like this. Once you get it in the truing stand you can see how bad the damage is but I don't think we can rule this one out yet. We might be able to fix it and the way wheels are trued is by tensioning the spokes, by pulling them back and forth. Now we have loose spokes on this side and tight spokes on that side. Well basically we're going to have to adjust it again, much better. Alright, now we're going to have to address those loose spokes and basically you want to work with a quarter of a turn at a time pulling the wheel into the direction you need it to go. And don't be afraid to loosen spokes either if they're spokes that are too tight on one side and too loose on the other, well you're going to have to pull them that way and back and forth until you find exactly where you need to be and then it gets to the point where some wheels are just too bad. Alright, working in quarter turns all the way around until you get the wheel tensioned and straight. I don't think this wheel is going to make it, but it was worth a try. Hopefully we've been of help to you. Thanks.

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