How to Fix a Bent Bike Rim in 6 Steps
We may earn an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you when you buy through links on our website. Learn more
There are many damages that can be done to parts of a bicycle. Bent bike rims are quite common and sometimes unavoidable. If you ever find yourself with one, you should know how to fix a bent bike rim. You may think that there’s a bike mechanic for when that happens, same as for removing bike pedals.
But what if you’re far away from any assistance? Or what if you’re in a desperate situation and you need the bike fixed immediately?
How to Fix a Slightly Bent Bike Rim
There are certain processes to follow when you want to fix a bent bike rim. These steps have been explained in the rest of this article.
The damage done to the bike rim may be minute or excessive. So far as the rim isn’t totally damaged, fixing it yourself should be possible.
Advantages of knowing how to do this include the elimination of extra expenses that stem from hiring a mechanic or purchasing a new rim. The rim fixing process can also be fun, and keep you engaged.
Here are the steps you should take:
1. Inspect the Rims
The first step is observing the rims and spokes. To do this, turn the bicycle upside down.
Observe both the rims and spokes to see which is damaged and how much damage has been done. If the spokes have suffered some damage, they can be temporarily fixed with the same technique for fixing the rim.
Once the spoke has suffered damage, it cannot be subjected to heavy weights. This means that even after your temporary fix, the spoke remains vulnerable to potential damage.
The next step is to check whether or not the axle is in the right position. If it is, the rim shouldn’t be made true again. The bike brakes should also be checked for any displacement or damage from forceful impact.
2. Check Wheel Alignment
After checking the rim and spokes, also check the wheel’s alignment. Place your hand on the wheel being observed and turn the wheel gently about its axis.
As the wheel rotates, a gap can be noticed between the wheel and the brake pad. The gap may vary depending on the immediate position of the wheel; this doesn’t really matter.
3. Figure Out What the Problem Is
Observation is important when fixing a bent bike rim at home or any other place. When the rim has been bent, it collides with the brake pad at the deformed region.
Place your hand on the wheel and turn gently until you notice where the deformed rim touches the brake pad. With respect to which direction the rim is bent, tighten your bike spoke that’s opposite the deformation.
The idea here is to pull the spoke away from the bend by tightening it. Once tightened, that unwanted collision between the spoke and deformed rim will be avoided.
4. Tight the Spokes Properly
Now that you’ve identified the spoke in need of tightening, you’ll need to follow the proper procedure to get it done.
Fit the spoke nipple in the wrench’s notch. Once the spoke nipple is able to properly fit in, turn the wrench in an anticlockwise direction to make it firmer.
Turning in the clockwise direction makes the spoke loosened. You can check to see if it’s getting tightened by pulling at the spoke.
5. Double Check Everything
Depending on how much damage is done, you may tighten a spoke or more spokes.
The length of the bend can be straightened out by tightening a pair of spokes directly across the bend. Turn the wrench halfway in an anticlockwise direction and observe the difference.
Keep turning gradually until the rim is properly straightened. If the two spokes don’t seem to be fixing the bend, you may need to evenly tighten one or two more spokes.
There might be difficulty turning rusted spokes. But that can be remedied with some lubricating oil or degreaser.
6. Wrap Up Everything
At this point, the wheel shouldn’t be obstructed by the spokes when turned on its axis.
Next, squeeze the spokes around the remove to eliminate all stress present in the rim. The wheel should remain true in the end.
- To give room for more tightening, you can loosen some of the spokes opposite the ones you’re tightening.
- The rim may be dented in many places. If this is the case, focus on fixing the biggest dent first, and then move on to others later.
- If you’re in a situation where the rim’s dent is far from the hub when compared to other dents, you should simply tighten the spokes closest to that region.
- You can pull at the spokes to see how tight they are.
- There are times when the rim isn’t good anymore and needs to be replaced. Usually, when the spokes take about five wrench turns to become tightened, that means the rim isn’t road-worthy anymore.
If you own a bike, a mountain bike for instance, fixing your own bent mountain bike rim could come in handy at any time.
Make sure you have a wrench with the right size to fit your spoke nipples. The wrench will be used to turn the spokes and effectively tighten them.
However, you may still need to change the rim entirely. A replacement is usually needed when the rim has suffered too many dents.
The bike’s spokes opposite the dented area are the ones to be tightened. Depending on how the dent is, you may need to tighten as many as four spokes.
Some lubricating oil may also be needed when spoke nipples are rusted. With the oil properly applied, and your wrench in hand, fixing a rim dent shouldn’t be a problem at all.