My front bike wheel (the drive wheel) got so out of true that the tire was rubbing the chain stay. Yes, the chain stay! It had been getting wobbly for a while, but it really borked itself on my Saturday ride. The bike shop wasn’t open until today, and who knows how much more gorgeous sunlight I would miss before they got to it. So I decided to true my own wheel at home for the first time ever. I’d always thought it out of reach because of all the stories I’d heard about pretzeling wheels with the wrong tension, but as they say, necessity is a mother.

Before
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So, using a tip from the web, I got out my dremel and made a spoke wrench out of an old house key by grinding a 2.5 mm (kind of) notch.

Illustration for article titled I did it!
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Then I propped my front up on some trays, sans tire, and found the worst offending bulges. I marked it with chalk and began loosening and tightening spokes as need. It took about a half hour, but it worked! I slapped on my new Gatorskin tire, because the old one was starting to show belt, and I took it out for a ride around the lake to see how it went. Almost no wobble was visible. Yeah, if you put it up on a proper truing stand and use a tensionometer, you’ll probably see it’s as janky as a crown put in by a blind dental student, but who cares!

after
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This was a pretty good day.

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