I took my new Trek 1.5 out for 2 spins after I got it and the front wheel is running a few mm off true. The back is too but it isn't that bad. I rode it approx 35km.

I stupidly didn't check the wheels to be properly trued when I left the shop but I didn't think I rode it that hard.

Is it normal for new wheels to need to be trued after bedding in or could they have been off true from the factory? Do I have to be really paranoid about every little bump in the road?

Rims: Bontrager Tubeless Ready Tyres: Bontrager R1 Hard-Case Lite, 700x23c

  • 1
    For it to go out of true in 2 rides is improbable, likely it has always been out of true - sloppy setup perhaps. After just 2 rides, I'd take it back to the shop and ask them to adjust it. It won't take them long. Building/Truing wheels yourself can be fun (if that's the right word), but you'd expect to have to shell out (couple of hundred $/£/€) for the kit to do it yourself.
    – PeteH
    Sep 8, 2014 at 20:27
  • 2
    You can set yourself up with an inexpensive truing stand for maybe 30-40 dollars. Otherwise, I agree with @PeteH -- you should take the bike back to the shop and they should true the wheels for free. (In fact, good shops will include a free "checkup" with a bike sale, including truing the wheels if they need it.) Sep 8, 2014 at 20:31
  • sorry @DanielRHicks, I had my Park Tool blinkers on. I'm sure you're right and it can be done more cheaply
    – PeteH
    Sep 8, 2014 at 20:35
  • Are you excessively heavy?
    – Batman
    Sep 8, 2014 at 22:37
  • Likely the spoke tension was uneven when the wheels were assembled - were they machine-built? Either way, it's 10-20 minutes for someone with the right tools.
    – Móż
    Sep 9, 2014 at 0:55

3 Answers 3


I'd say it can be normal because there are many factors can stress a wheel and depends on the quality of the wheels, they might need to be trued again. There's an article about how they build wheels at Bontrager: Inside Bontrager Wheel Factory.


Expensive wheels are trued, stressed, trued, and stressed again, trued again. Your wheels were trued in the factory (maybe only once), then you stressed them and now somebody needs to true them again.


Typically lower-level wheels are machine built and oftentimes not pre stressed. When you ride the bike, the nipples and spokes will seat themselves into the rim or the hub, changing their length and tension slightly.

After a couple rides they will need to be trued. Once or twice is fairly common.


I'd say that making sure the wheels are pre-stressed should be a standard part of a bike shop's prep of a bike. If you know that your customers are going to come back with wheel that are out of true, why not get it right before the bike goes out the door?

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    I don't think it's really a bike shop's job to pre-stress wheels on a factory bike. They don't "know" that the wheels are going to be out of true in 2 weeks because that's really unusual. To be slightly out of true after a month or two might be expected, but the amount should be hardly noticeable. Sep 27, 2014 at 2:40
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    True, but it doesn't take too long to squeeze the spokes and check the wheel on a truing stand. Spoke heads, well I can see time being an issue there. Of course, I don't have any idea how long it takes to assemble a bike fresh from the factory so I don't know percentage wise how much checking the wheels would take.
    – JenSCDC
    Sep 27, 2014 at 3:47
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    I would guess most shops leave the wheels on the bike and just spin them to check true. They'd only remove them if they looked bad in the spin check. And there's no way to tell whether a wheel has been sufficiently "pre-stressed" other than perhaps by knowing that some manufacturers do it better than others. Sep 27, 2014 at 12:20

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