This happened on a month old hybrid bike with 350km on it. I unluckily got the back wheel stuck in a grille when getting off a sidewalk. The wheel now wobbles a lot and keeps hitting the rear V-brakes on each rotation. The damage is isolated to this small region and I was wondering if this wheel could be straightened out, as opposed to replacing it.

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    Yikes, replace it, that is your breaking surface, also the tire will not clinch properly assuming it is a hooked rim. Maybe the retailer will give you a crash replacement discount.
    – BMW
    Commented Jun 14, 2020 at 20:38
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    If I were desperate I could probably MacGyver a fix by dismounting the tire, flattening the bent spot with pliers or a vice, and filing the spot as smooth as possible. (And then re-truing the wheel.) But the rim would still be seriously weakened and the brakes would be compromised. I'd advise replacing it. You could just replace the rim, but, unless you do the job yourself, the cost of labor would be more than the cost of a whole new wheel. Commented Jun 14, 2020 at 21:00
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    @DanielRHicks Your comment should be an answer. It's the answer, imho. Commented Jun 15, 2020 at 9:48
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    This is what happens to a low quality wheel. Still, you have been unlucky but, this wheel now is very dangerous to ride. Anyhow, nipples/spokes/hubs are probably fine (although I expect of low quality) ... if you have a lot of free time and you are up to the challenge, you can just buy a new rim and put together a new wheel from "scratch" (spokes measurement must be accurate and you should be able to find the correct rim with some help from spokelengthcalculator.com .
    – EarlGrey
    Commented Jun 16, 2020 at 8:39
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    well, if you go for very high quality, you obtain this: singletracks.com/mtb-videos/… I still think you have been unlucky, wheels usually stands abuse and the description of your "accident" seems pretty inncouous. Try to get replaced under warranty, if not don't be surprised: the bike is one of the cheapest bike of Trek ... they must save money on some components to sell the bike for 400$/E/usd.
    – EarlGrey
    Commented Jun 16, 2020 at 21:06

2 Answers 2


That rim is dead. You need to replace the rim at least.

Being Aluminium it won't straighten, it will crack if you un-bend it.

If you choose to continue riding it then you may get more punctures, and you will be damaging the rear brake pad with every revolution./

If the tube/tyre is still holding air then they're probably ok to reuse.

  • 1
    OP is probably asking because straightening automotive wheels is a thing. youtube.com/watch?v=96ABCTDpgCw (Spoiler: heat is used.) Not clear how/if a bike wheel would hold up to that sort of treatment.
    – Kaz
    Commented Jun 15, 2020 at 7:53
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    @kaz yeah vehicle rims are a lot thicker too, they're also made by casting and machining whereas a bike rim is an extrusion in a coil, which is then cut into rings and joined. So the manufacturing process is significantly different. Separately (and sadly) its more economic to replace something when the fix cost more than a new one.
    – Criggie
    Commented Jun 15, 2020 at 8:50
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    In OP’s case it’s also not just a slight bent.
    – Michael
    Commented Jun 15, 2020 at 9:18
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    I agree, deffo not safe. Rim is dead. You can't compare a car rim to a bicycle rim.
    – abdnChap
    Commented Jun 15, 2020 at 9:57
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    I've decided to get the wheel replaced. Thanks for the input! Commented Jun 16, 2020 at 19:39

If its an aluminium rim it will most likly break when trying to bend out the dent. But if the dent isn't being bent back but just the wheel straightened I would be scared of the brakepad getting caught up in the dent when braking heavily. Furthermore it seems to have a crack inside the dent, if this really is the case, the integrity of the wheel is compromised.

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