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The rim is mostly round, but in one place it's bent a little bit (3-5 mm) towards the center.

I only found manuals about fixing wheels that are wobbling side to side, but nothing about vertical bendings.

So my questions are - is it worth to fix it or it's better to just buy a new rim? If it's possible to fix it - how to do that - just by adjusting spokes or by removing them along with the tire and straightening the rim itself?

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    You're unlikely to be able to fix this satisfactorily (or safely), so I think you're better off just buying a new rim. It's already weakened, and aluminium is very susceptible to fatigue failure, so bending it back into shape will weaken it even more. Of course, this will mean rebuilding the wheel, and you'll have to make sure you get a rim of identical dimensions if you don't want to buy new spokes as well! – Will Vousden Aug 23 '16 at 10:56
  • There used to be special tools to fix this sort of thing, but I haven't seen them advertised in maybe 25 years. I think it's harder and less reliable to fix this problem on modern aluminum rims. (Plus purists turn up their noses at such fixes, where previously people took pride in such self-reliant repairs.) – Daniel R Hicks Aug 23 '16 at 11:53
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    Is that because 25 years ago rims were steel? Or were people repairing aluminum rims? – user2525 Aug 23 '16 at 13:39
  • @user2525 - It's because 25 years ago people were more self-reliant and we had less of a throw-away society. – Daniel R Hicks Aug 23 '16 at 21:19
  • Is the rim actually visibly damaged (pictures would help)? Have you tried following the directions for radial truing here? – Batman Aug 24 '16 at 4:53
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Vertical adjustment of a wheel is exactly the same as adjusting for wobble, except you loosen the nipples going to both sides of the hub rather than tightening one side and relaxing the other side.

Wheel truing is an art that can be explained but not learned without doing.

Most wheel truing stands have a way to measure "out of round" as well as left/right wiggle.

Depending on what happened to the rim, it may be stretched or dented in that spot, or it may require ridiculously spoke tensions to pull it back to "round"

You have to make the judgement call about how bad it is and whether replacement is required.

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  • I had a triple-wall 26" wheel on my MTB for years, where one spoke had zero tension on it because that's what make the rim run true. Turns out it was slightly damaged. – Criggie Aug 23 '16 at 11:15
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I had the exact same problem with one of my bikes, where the wheel rim was bent due to 'loading troubles'. Luckily, the wheel was not excessively bent, so I put a wood block under the wheel and bent it in a vertical position hoping to get it back to shape. After I got it fairly close to new again, I put it in a clamp and spun it around, hitting it with a hammer lightly on the bent spot. These procedures fixed my tyre up very well. It takes a bit of practice, just a little really, and if your rim snaps from bending, then it has become brittle and you will obviously will need a new tyre.

Hope it helps, Pyotr

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