Overnight someone stamped on my wheels, hard enough also to bend a pretty substantial rear rack. (Not a great welcome to Copenhagen, my lights were stolen last week...) Neither wheel would turn more than 1/4 turn before jamming against the mudguards.

I laid each on a parking bay's "L" corner, and gently stood on them, which has made them true enough that they spin freely in the frame.

The disc brake pads are fine, and the frame and dérailleur look undamaged.

Is it realistic to true wheels after damage like this? I'm guessing it's beyond the skill of someone new to wheel repair.

  • I suspect it might be difficult. But, before getting into that, do you actually have the equipment necessary to true them (and, to potentially fix the rims)? Your average cyclist doesn't. I mean, if you're going to be reliant on a shop to fix the wheels for you, why not just take the wheels to them and let them tell you whether its possible?
    – PeteH
    Dec 4, 2015 at 20:27
  • I have a spoke key (I don't know why!). Is useful to get a second opinion when I'm new in a foreign country, I've been warned that some bike shops are pretty dishonest here. I'm good at other repairs (whole drive train, bottom bracket) Dec 4, 2015 at 20:44
  • I'm thinking more of things like a truing stand, being able to tell when the wheel is in dish etc.! From your comment I think your real issue might be finding a decent shop. I do wish you luck - it really is horrible when these things happen.
    – PeteH
    Dec 4, 2015 at 20:48
  • 1
    Realistically anything you do with a spoke key in the frame is going to be a temporary repair, not least because the rims will be deformed and putting odd stresses on the spokes. You really need to back the spoke tension off, bend the rim as straight as you can, then retension the spokes. The latter part is covered here or here (etc, use search)
    – Móż
    Dec 4, 2015 at 22:49
  • 1
    Depends on your budget and your skill level and how much time you can spend on this problem. I'd give it a go, because for me time is easier to find than money. You'll probably find some broken spokes or stuffed nipples, so there's going to be a parts cost. If it all goes badly, a bike shop might do better, but by that point it might be new wheel time. Check the local bike coop for a used replacement wheel.
    – Criggie
    Dec 4, 2015 at 23:30

1 Answer 1


Sorry to hear someone vandalized your bicycle. I've been a bike mechanic in the past and there is a point of no return for rims in my opinion. This issue is that point can be subjective based on bike use and needed quality. From this point on, the wheel will tend to come out of true easier due to the weakened rim. Interesting, what you did by stepping on the rim I've seen done at shops and recommended in how-to videos. You can get a spoke nipple wrench and improve the rim by truing between the brake pads. Grep "how to true bike wheel" on Google for a start. I've seen side-to-side improve a bit in extreme cases but up/down hops will be harder to get out. If you do take the self-serve option remember use little corrections at first. Also, attempt to keep all spoke tensions even. Taking it to a shop is an option but labor plus and parts will be a chunk of cash towards a new wheel at the end you'll still have a wheel on a rebuilt rim. Finally I don't know how the bike shops are in your area, I would give you a free assessment if you came to mine. After all this, if the wheel refuses to stay in true sorry but it would be replacement time.

  • Thanks, and to all the comments. The person in the nearest shop wants me to come back on Monday, as he thinks his boss will have a better idea. It looks like the frame might also be twisted, I think I was a bit too optimistic thinking it was just the wheels. Dec 5, 2015 at 16:22

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.