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How to Straighten a Bike Rim

how to straighten a bike rim

Even if your bike’s rims are made with durable materials, chances are they lose their overtime due to wear out. The bike rims are constantly dealing with the effects of speed bumps, potholes, and uneven roads. The high impact of these road conditions is the primary reason for the bike’s bent rim. But the question is that can this problem be fixed?

Yes, a bent bike rim can be fixed if you know how to straighten a bike rim. This straightening process is also known as truing and can be done to any bicycle wheel using normal biking tools. Also, as long as the damage to the rim is not so bad, a bike rim can still be straightened by using this process. In this article, we will share with you how to make the bike rim straight if it is bent or out of shape.

How to Straighten a Bent Bicycle Rim

how to straighten a bent bicycle rim

If you have the resources, you can bring the wheel of your bike with a dent to a professional mechanic, who will fix the problem for you. They have this unique truing stand that will fix the bent of the rim quickly. However, straightening a bent rim does not need to be expensive because you can do it on your own using several sizes of spoke wrenches. Using the tool, you can rectify the bent rim of your wheel without removing the wheel from the bike. Please check on the step-by-step process on how to straighten a bent bike rim below:

How to Fix a Dented Bike Rim

Step 1: Checking the Wheel

For you to be able to inspect and check the wheel of your bike, flip it over upside-down but make sure to do it slowly. Doing this action will give you a clear view of the wheel and will provide you with a chance to check it thoroughly.

Checking the Spoke and the Rim

You can first check the spoke and locate a broken or damaged part if there is any. Once you found a broken spoke, I suggest replacing it immediately. If there is none, you can process with the straightening process of the rim. But before that, you may also check the axle if it is full seated on the dropouts. Always remember that truing is not needed if the problem is only the axle or even the brakes. Ensure that these two components do not have any issues of their own before straightening the rim.

Checking the Alignment

After checking the spoke and the rim, you can now proceed to check the alignment. Start by slowly rotating the wheel while looking closely at any gaps between the rim and the brake pad. Make sure to check the size of the gap if you found any. If none, then the rim should have no dent at all.

Also, if you notice that the rim keeps jumping back and forth towards the brake pad, you will need to straighten it. A bent rim is not good because it will make you slow down as it keeps hitting the brake pad. It can also affect your braking and the overall quality of your ride. So you will need to straighten it through the process of truing the rim.

Step 2: Locating the Bent

After inspecting the alignment, you will not identify the location of the bent part of the rim. Begin by slowly rotating the part of the rim where it is hitting the brake pad. The one that is hitting the brake pad is the bent part, and you will need to tighten the spoke that is opposite to the bent to rectify the issue. Tightening the spoke on the opposite end will tighten the rim to the opposite direction, straightening the rim.

Step 3: Straighten the Bike Rim

Tighten the Spoke

Truing the bent rim involves tightening the spoke, which can be done using the set of spoke wrench tools. Since they came in various sizes, make sure to use the right fit. In tightening the spoke, you will need to put the nipple of the spoke into the notch of the wrench. Just make sure it is the right size of the wrench. Turn it counterclockwise to tighten.

But how do you check if the spoke is tightened? You can do one full turn of the wrench and then pluck the spoke to see if it is tightened or loosened. If the pitch is higher, then it is tightened, while if it is lower, then the spoke is loosened. Learning how to tighten the spoke is essential to straighten the bike rim.

“True” the Rim

The next step is to straighten the rim by doing the “true” process. Once you identify the bent area of the rim, you can start by evenly tightening the two spokes opposite the area. If you feel that the bent is a larger area, then tightening more than two spokes opposite to the area can be done. Then check the gap again after doing the tightening of the spoke. You can repeat the process until the rim is straightened.

Step 4: Finishing Touches

After doing the straightening process, you can spin the wheel again to check for any gaps that you have probably missed. Then you can go around and checked each pair of the spoke by squeezing it, making the stresses even at the rim.


Learning how to straighten a bike rim is an essential skill that you must learn as a biker. This skill will help maintain the quality of your bike ride and is an essential part of the overall maintenance of your bike. Knowing how to true the bike rim does not need to be expensive because you can do it on your own. Just make sure to have your own set of spoke wrenches because this is the tool you need to straighten the rim. After all, it is all about learning how to straighten the bike rim on your own without the benefit of asking for help from a professional mechanic.

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