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Truing your wheels at home could save you money and get you back on the road

If you have some free time you should practice a new skill – truing a wheel!  
Before diving into the details, understand what ‘truing’ means. Often times, hitting potholes, curbs, and foreign objects can adjust your wheel, making it different than before. Truing a wheel means to shape it or adjust it exactly as it was before.

What you need:

wheel, spoke wrench, and truing stand( or your bicycle frame)

Truing a severely bent or out-of-true wheel can be more of a task or cause more problems than you are willing to deal with. However, for those small wobbles in your wheel, here are some easy tips to get you back on the road without running your brakes unsafely open.

The wheel consists of:

Truing your wheels when needed allows you to spend more time riding.
Truing your wheels when needed allows you to spend more time riding.

– hub: center of the wheel
– rim: outside of the wheel that the tire is put on
– spokes: connects the hub to the rim
– nipples: small metal pieces holding individual spokes in the rim (the nipple is the part that is tightened or loosened to adjust tension between the hub and rim)

Directions:

  1. find the place where the rim is rubbing the brake pad
  2. locate the spoke nipple that is opposite the side that is rubbing
  3. tighten that spoke nipple with a spoke wrench (Remember to only turn the spoke nipple a quarter turn at a time. To tighten a spoke, turn the nipple clockwise. To loosen the spoke, turn the nipple counter-clockwise.)
  4. always start at the worst spot and work your way from to the least out-of-true spot
  5. keep going until the wheel no longer rubs the brakes

When you’re done, clean your bike with these tips to get it ready for your next ride. Remember: truing a wheel requires tension in the spokes to be perfectly balanced. This generally takes a bit of patience and practice. If needed, call James Balentine at City Limit Cycles. He’ll visit you at home or at work and take great care of your bike.

We highlight the pros and cons of tubulars and clinchers

If you’re relatively new to triathlon then you’ve probably noticed many new terms, like tubulars and clinchers. Even veteran triathletes are learning new terminology about the sport. Whether you’re new to triathlon or you’ve been racing for years, we break down the difference between tubulars and clinchers.

Learn about the pros and cons before you decide to make any purchases, replacements, or upgrades. Click To Tweet

Tubulars

Tubular tires, also known as “sew-ups” or “sprints” differ from clinchers in that they don’t have beads. Instead, the two edges of the tire are sewn together around the inner tube. Tubulars are used on special rims and are held on to the rims by glue.

Pro
– the lightest practical tubulars will always be lighter than the lightest clincher
– if you flat, you can ride on it for a little longer
– if glued properly, the tire will stay on the rim even if it flats
– ride quality

Con
– costs more (rims and tires)
– more difficult to maintain
– hard to repatch as an individual without team support on the road
– you could get tire/rim separation, especially when rims are hot from braking and end up like Joseba Beloki in the 2003 Tour de France.

Clinchers

Conventional tires used on 99% of all bicycles are “clincher” type, also known as “wire-on.” They consist of an outer tire with a u-shaped cross-section and a

state wheels clincher wheel

State Wheels Carbon Clinchers come in a variety of depths and are handmade in Austin, Texas

separate inner tube. The edges of the tire hook over the edges of the rim and air pressure holds everything in place.

Pro
– wheelsets are less expensive even if you get a really nice set
– replacement tubes are way less expensive
– you can replace the tube without replacing the tire
– wheels are more common
– easier to patch on the road, no need for gluing, stretching tire, etc.
Con
– if you flat, you can’t really ride on it
– some say a lower-quality ride
– will always be heavier than tubulars (tube, tire, clincher interface)
The ride quality and weight differences between tubulars and clinchers are getting smaller, but will always continue to be there. Especially with carbon wheels – carbon clinchers are more difficult to make and will be heavier than their carbon tubular rim counterparts.