I have a new 199.99 Schwinn I got from Wal-Mart a few months ago.

Just the other day, a lady didn't stop for me and knocked me off my bike. The front wheel was stuck under her SUV, rest of the bike is fine. Now, it's still rideable but has a bent rim that wobbles when I ride.

Is there a way to repair by straightening it rather then replacing it?

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    You can try taking it to a bike shop to see the the rim is repairable by "truing" the wheel. however, based on the price of the bike, the wheel may need to be replaced. also you should always have a mechanic give the bike a once over for other damages that might not be as visible that could have occurred, like a small frame crack, or bent frame. Jan 8, 2018 at 14:28
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    Did you get her information? You SHOULD be dropping your bike off at a shop, and sending the bill to her insurance. Or, if repair costs exceed the value, they should cut you a check for a new bicycle. Jan 8, 2018 at 15:21
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    I'd worry about the forks too -- get them checked
    – Chris H
    Jan 8, 2018 at 15:54
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    Get a new wheel and have the lady pay for it. I would not have it repaired.
    – Carel
    Jan 8, 2018 at 16:36
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    Also, your bike may have suffered other damage that you can't identify. Get it checked out by a proper independent bike shop, (not walmart) and keep all your records/invoices/receuipts. Every cost should be met by the motorist or her insurer.
    – Criggie
    Jan 8, 2018 at 21:50

3 Answers 3


It depends on how much the rim is bent, and if the deformation is lateral (side-to-side) or radial (in the direction of the spokes).

Take the wheel to a bike repair shop and get it evaluated. The shop may be able to true it. If it's not repairable they should be able to recommend a replacement.

As a safety precaution, don't ride the bike in the meantime.


When a metal is bent, it means it has undergone plastic deformation.

Even though it might be brought back to the original shape, its mechanical properties with respect to impact absorption are severely degraded.

The only way to restore the integrity of a plasticized metal is to use a thermal treatment known as annealing (heat it above a certain temperature, keep it for a certain time, cool it down slowly), which is going to cost more than a new rim.

Considering how critical is the wheel for your safety and the fact you say the wheel wobbles, I would replace the rim.


I agree that if the driver was at fault, she should be paying for a new wheel. But if you're stuck with paying, I'd ask around at your LBS and/or look on Craigslist to get a used replacement. You'll likely be able to find what you're looking for, and you'll certainly save some money if you find one.

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