I bent my front rim the previous day, and the LBS has already unbent it the best they could; however, there is still a slight wobble.

To add, he couldn't tension all the spokes to get a proper true or the deformation would be worse (which I think is causing a bit of pinging).

He said it can be ridden on, but may not take another large impact.

So here's my problem, should I go ahead and buy a new rim or should I keep riding with this one?

I feel I can make it last, but if it poses a major injury risk then I would much rather go with a new rim.

  • 1
    This question can not be answered without a detailed picture. And even with a picture, it's not sure that it could be answered without geting the rim into hands. Why don't you trust your LBS?
    – Alexander
    Jul 2, 2016 at 21:45
  • 1
    You will also need to plan on replacing the spokes if you replace the rim.
    – Rider_X
    Jul 2, 2016 at 21:48
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    In general, for the front wheel, it's more cost-effective to replace the wheel than to replace just the rim, when you take into account the labor costs to rebuild the wheel. As to whether it's safe to ride, that's impossible to say without at least a picture of the damage. Jul 2, 2016 at 21:59
  • I will replace the rim as the hub on it is brand new. This wheel was a newly built wheel (Just built it in March), so I plan to rebuild my current hub with new spokes onto the new rim since this is toasted. One question, will I need new nipples too? Jul 2, 2016 at 22:07
  • What did LBS do? If a wheel is severely bent, you cannot fix it just by playing with spoke tension. The spokes all have to be loosened, and the wheel has to be straightened with external forces.
    – Kaz
    Aug 3, 2016 at 23:33

2 Answers 2


Its impossible to answer this for you. The LBS who fixed the wheel is in the best position to give the advise you seek.

My motto here would be 'If in doubt, throw it out'. If it was the rear wheel my answer might be different, but front wheel failure tend to be more catastrophic and most often occurs when you load the front wheel - think what happens if you tacho the wheel under heavy downhill braking - is it worth the risk?

Additionally if there are loose spokes from straightening the rim, you are probably over loading other spokes. This along with increase rim flexing will almost certainly start to see spoke failure at some future time. How long the spokes will last and any ones guess.

If me, I would get a price from the LBS for new rim or wheel. I might look for a used rim or wheel (e.g. asking around my local cycling club, Craigs list etc), riding the one I have till I found something in my price/quality/value range.

  • I plan to replace the rim. One thing though, do you know if I will need new nipples? (I do plan on buying new spokes.) Thanks for the reply! Jul 2, 2016 at 22:07
  • 2
    @Grundlebear Yes you need a new rim, new spokes, and new nipples. Unless you have a weird wheel, its probably best to buy a complete wheel rather than reuse the existing hub. You can probably transfer over the tyre, tube, and rim liner if the new wheel doesn't have one, and the tyre wasn't damaged by your initial rim-bending event.
    – Criggie
    Jul 3, 2016 at 0:41

According the Jobst Brandt from one of his articles (http://www.sheldonbrown.com/brandt/reusing-spokes.html) on Sheldon Brown's site:

There is no reason why you should not reuse the spokes of your relatively new wheel. The reason a bike shop would not choose to do this is that they do not know the history of your spokes and do not want to risk their work on unknown materials. If you are satisfied that the spokes are good quality, you should definitely use them for you new wheel. The spokes should, however, not be removed from the hub, because they have all taken a set peculiar to their location, be that inside or outside spokes. The elbows of outside spokes, for instance, have an acute angle while the inside spokes are obtuse.

He goes further and explains why and gives an easy way to rebuild the wheel without knowing how to lace a wheel from scratch by placing the new rim side by side with the old with the stem hole aligned and simply transferring each spoke from the old to new rim, one at a time.

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