DIY Truing Stand for less than 15 EUR

Folks, wheelbuilding is a skill you definitely should master. Especially when you’re a cyclist. ON top of that, it’s a good way to spend your time, much better than sitting on the couch watching the tele.

I build wheels for more than 15 years, because the ancient country lore proved true once more:

If you want to have it done right, you have to do it yourself.

Triggered this had been by spokes coming loose on my Stuttgart-Nordkapp Adventure, despite me having told the wheelbuilder to use extra special care on this aspect, as my bicycle maintenance realated skills back then were basically limited to fixing flat tyres.

Theoretically

you don’t need a truing stand when you only build or repair a wheel every other year. This can be done with a little bit of improvising within the bike frame. But as soon as you start feeling annoyed by it, it’s time to look for a better solution.

Not satisfied with the cheaper purchasable ones, I went to a DIY builders market and had a look around. This is the result:

Ta Ta... der Zentrierständer!
Ta Ta… hier it is, the truing stand!

Material

  • 2x Aluminium profile 30 x 30mm, length 1m
  • A couple of suitable screws, nuts and washers (in Germany you can by hardware by weight at Hornbach)
  • some (old) spokes
  • some zip ties

Tools

  • Power drill with metal drills in various sizes
  • A center push is usful for marking
  • Hacksaw
  • Roundfile, ideally a smaller and a bigger one
  • Sandpaper
  • Something to measure
  • Pencil

Quick Guide

  • Cut both profiles in two even parts
  • Take to and screw ’em together with 2 screws, back by back
  • Take out the material for the hub rest in the vertical beams and attach them with 2 screws to the base
  • Offseting the beams: 100mm and 135mm for rear wheels, one beam is fixed, the other should be attached using wingnuts for easy of removing to adjust for front and rear wheel truing respectively
  • A little bit more expensive, but the beams might be stiffer when using square profile tubing
  • Installing calipers: easiest way is to cross 2 zip ties over a spoke (see image)
  • caliper for radial runout* actually not necessary, can be improvised with axial calipers
Die Achsaufnahme
Here goes the axle …
Sonden/Taster aus Speichen mit Kabelbinder befestigt
Calipers made from spokes attached with zip ties – works better than it looks

* Most rims suitable for adventure cyclists are not perfectly round within a certain range. This is due to the manufacturing process, and has to be accepted/lived with it. Truing using force to get the wheel perfectly round is not a good idea – it will result in uneven spoke tension which is the cause for breaking spokes. Apart from that tolerance in tyres is usually greater.

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