If you’ve ever hit a particularly bad pothole, you might have suffered damage to your bicycle rim. Though flats are more common, a strong impact can result in the bending of the wheel rims. In this article, I am going to show you How To Fix a Bent Bike Rim with few easy steps.
Like a flat tire, bending your rim is a frustrating experience as it will impact on your riding performance severely. And in the case of a major bend, it can render your bike immobile, altogether.
But after getting a bent rim, does it mean that you need to throw the entire thing out and get a new rim? Is the bent rim entirely useless? Can you fix the bent rim?
Yes, you can, and in this article, we shall explore some of the savvy ways to fix your bike rim.
Based on the severity of the impact, you might be able to fix the bent rim without the need of purchasing a new one.
Rims remain vital components of your bike as they form the link between the axle and tires of your bike.
Though a majority of the bent rims are incredibly sturdy, having been constructed from robust metals such as aluminum, steel, or chrome, they tend to lose their structural integrity with time. This is largely due to high impacts such as speed bumps, potholes, running into curbs and uneven roads.
When that happens, the rims are likely to get bend.
As mentioned earlier, the severity of the bend will depend on the impact; it can be so bad immobilizing your bike or a mild that you’ll hardly notice off the get-go.
As it turns out, therefore, the signs of bent rims may not be cut and dry as you hope, but knowing the signs of a bent rim means the difference between an expensive flat tire and a small repair.
Typical signs of bent rims include:
- Unusual vibrations and shakiness
- Unresponsive handlebars
- Flat tires
- Tires keep on deflating
- Poor braking
- Visible physical damage
Spokes on your wheels are yet another component that is often ignored, but it’s equally important as the wheels and rims. In any case, if your spokes break, you will have a reason to worry as they will eventually result to a bent rim.
The good news, however, is you can check the status of your spokes using a spoke tool or spoke wrench.
Using a Spoke Wrench
Bike shops usually have tuning wheels that take off a bike frame and test the frame of the rim on a spinning stand. However, you will not need service, unless you’re working on a racing or professional bike, but you can still do this if you’re a perfectionist and looking to make your bike straight.
If you’re are a regular DIYer, you can easily use a spoke wrench to remove and straighten your bent rim.
Here is a breakdown on how to go about the process:
- You will first need to turn your bike by flipping it so that the wheels are up in the air, while the handlebars and seat rest on the ground. Alternatively, you can use a bike stand machine. Either way, the essence is to allow you to access the wheels more conveniently and without a hassle.
- With the bike in position, take your spoke wrench, and carefully measure while straightening out individual spokes to ultimately straighten out the rim.
If your spokes are straight, so will your rim straighten.
As easy as it seems, you’ll be surprised at how incredibly easy a spoke wrench can straighten all your spokes resulting in a straightened rim.
Severe Bent Rim
If something crazy happened to your bike rim and it is bent severely, a slight tap is enough to crack or break it.
In any case, a severely bent rim is usually fragile, and the process of tapping it back to its original state could result in snapping of the entire rim, clearly making it irreplaceable.
If your rim is severely bent, you can first give a try by using the spoke wrench to help with the spoke, though the rim will have to get straightened by use of a hand.
The dent on your rims can be put relatively in place by first turning the bike upside down, and then using a hammer to tap the rim back into the general place lightly.
After that, you can use the spoke key to straighten out the individual spokes and ultimately straightening the entire rim back in place.
Alternatively, you can visit your nearest bike shop, where they will use a tuning wheel to reinstate your rim.
Hopefully, if the main kinks on the wheel are worked out, then the spokes might come in, and probably get the rim to the original state.
Remember the spoke key is only functional is the damage on the rim is relatively mild.
Bent rims are often associated with strange sounds emanating from the spokes or rims.
If you do happen to hear such sounds, it’s vital you ensure that the bent rim is not pressing against the brake pads.
See, if your bend rims are pressing on the disc brakes, even on a minor scale, it could seriously cause a damage on the brake pads, and might result to an accident later on.
Therefore, we advise that you remain observant and take every sound you hear with cautiousness to avoid any damage or injury in the future.
It’s evident that the secret to straightening your bent rims lies in having a wonderful spoke key.
Again, if your rim is severely damaged, there’s nothing much to do about it.
Fortunately, you can avoid all the above hassles by safe-cycling; keep your speed to a bare minimum, especially if you’re cycling on rugged terrains and always be extra vigilant when cycling.
Otherwise, a severely bent rim cannot only result in accidents but can even destroy your bike if you try to ride on it.
Here’s a video in case you want to learn more
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Nathan Is a Semi- Professional Cyclist & Founder of Mybikexl. He own 2 bike shops and a full time passionate rider. When he is not in his shop fixing stuff, you will find him in the road or mountains enjoying himself with his bike.
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