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This blog is not about any one topic. It is about the many things the interest me and places I've been. It's about Travel, Bikes, Photography, Fly Fishing, Nature, Scenery, Projects, Genealogy, etc (the order of importance changes constantly!). Usually whatever is currently occupying my mind and time. Maybe something for everyone....or not!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Truing a wheel

It's taking quite a long time to finish my '70 Schwinn Suburban!  It will be a great bike when I'm done, but needed more work than I initially thought.  Most of it has been labor, but I've also probably spent  more than the bike is worth, but not too much more.  Oh well, I intended to keep this one anyway.

What has kept me from working on it, or rather, working on it sporadically, is that I needed to true both the wheels.  Most people who work on bikes (according to blogs, websites, and books) don't recommend doing this unless you have some experience.  Making a few minor tweaks is acceptable, but not an entire readjust.  Am I ever deterred by this.....No.  I plunge ahead.  Well not really plunge, but it doesn't stop me!  After all, I've always thought I'd inherited a little bit of my grandfather's engineering abilities, a little being the operative term here!

So I read up about truing in my Schwinn Tech and Spec by Geoff Greene (great book, BTW).  I learn about 'dish' and 'true'.  I find that, yes, both wheels are dished, meaning the rims are not centered over the center of the axle.  They are both also 'wobbly' meaning that as the wheel rotates, the rim wobbles back and forth abit.  I start w/ the rear wheel which has the derailleur, without the tire on it, and mounted loosely in the rear dropouts, with the bike upside down on the garage floor.  I do not have a truing stand or a work stand, so this is the only method available to me.  I manage to correct the dish and true in less than two hours!  Keep in mind, that as I'm truing and removing dish, I'm also constantly checking to make sure that the spokes seem to be the same tension, ie: none are getting loose and sloppy.  So, wish I had a spoke tension guage!  That was mentally taxing! 

A few days later, I begin on the front wheel.  I try the same method, but using the front forks.  I try this for about 45 minutes, seeming to get nowhere.  I find that I don't really have anything to guage the dish or true so it becomes laborious and mentally exhausting.  On the rear wheel, I had two places of reference on the frame of the bike to visually check the distance of the rim from it as it rotated (hope that makes sense).  Enough for one day!

Two days later, I decide to move the front wheel to the back, mounting them in the rear dropouts.  There is just enough axle, with the axle nuts placed inside the rear dropouts, to 'hang' the wheel in them.  And I begin again.  I spend about another 45 minutes, seeming to get nowhere.  Not sure if it's a state of mind thing, or something else.  I have managed to move the rim over, roughly centered it, but I just can't seem to get true.  And as I change it in one place, it just seems to mess it up somewhere else.  I realize rather late, that it seems a couple of spokes aren't really turning in the spoke nipples.

I've checked with the Sac Bike Kitchen Calendar, but no wheel truing class in the near future, :(.  So, the front wheel is again waiting for me to make another try before giving up and taking it to my LBS to have a go at it.  At least I tried!

Otherwise, everything else is back together.  I'm also trying to decide which rack to put on the back.  A twin rear carrier baskets, or a black flat Wald rack.  Hope to post a completed bike this week (fingers crossed)!

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