Bicycle Wheel Truing Stand
A bicycle wheel truing stand is a must have tool for any bike mechanic. The shape of the wheel, its lateral (wobbling side to side) and radial (up and down) trueness are a function of spoke tensions. By using a spoke key and tightening either odd spokes or adjacent pairs of spokes, out of true wheels can be gradually straightened out.
There’s nothing fancy about a truing stand, it simply has to hold the wheel firmly in place as you spin it, and have indicators of the two degrees of trueness. Commercial stands are at least £50 and you can pay a lot more. There’s no need though. I learnt to build wheels with Alf & Teresa Webb at The Bike Inn on an old cast-iron stand with perfect results.
Here’s the stand I built, loosely based on Roger Musson’s design from his book, The Professional Guide to Wheel Building:
The upright in the foreground can slide in and out to accommodate a range of hub widths from 100 mm front hubs, up to 150 mm dowmhill rear hubs. The two gauges are free to move around on the white surface making adjustment very fast, no fiddly screws to wind in and out, no levers, and swapping from a 700c wheel to 26″ is instantaneous. The gauges are black plastic which show up great against the white background. The corner gauge is used for lateral trueness with the longer angled one for radial trueness.
In total it cost about £15, I bought the M8 nuts and bolts, the angle brackets and a lump of aluminium for the ‘jaws’. The wood and plastic was all scavenged from the street/skips.
I am still lacking a dishing gauge though, haven’t quite worked out how to make one I’d be happy with yet. Any bright ideas, let me know!