Cyclists don’t skip workouts while on vacation. The adrenaline-filled rides across lush trails make a sublime experience. However, maintaining your own gear provides even greater satisfaction.
When it comes to mountain bikes, a robust rim is essential for rolling smoothly, but impacts challenge it all the time. Therefore, everyone who loves to paddle must know to straighten a wheel. And this is where the best wheel truing stands lend a helping hand.
This one tool saves you from hassle in the woods and from the unnecessary charges of a repair shop. Following are the five well-fitted options for any home-mechanic repertoire.
Minoura FT-1 Pro Wheel Truing Stand
Minoura has become a life-saver of DIY cycling enthusiasts with lightweight and low-cost accessories. Similarly, its best wheel truing stand easily detects uneven spoke tension in the rim.
Due to its innovative foldable design and five pounds of feathery weight, it quietly sneaks into a backpack or roof rack to help whenever, wherever you need!
FT-1 Pro comes with two gauges: side-checking arms to check lateral problems and a vertical shaking gauge to eye out circular irregularities. Swap metallic arm tips with a plastic body if you don’t want your expensive carbon rim to endure scratches. But contact sound will get less noticeable – trade-off everywhere!
All the critical parts are made out of aluminum alloy, including adjustment knobs and pillars, to not compromise on the stand’s lifespan. Furthermore, the stand is relatively stable. It contains a retractable anti-rolling leg underneath the steel base with screw holes.
Although the adjustable uprights accommodate 12-29 inches wide wheels, removing the tire beforehand is better.
FT lineup is full of the finest products a beginner wheel-fettler can choose. But they’re not professional wheel truing tools. You would require a vernier scale for centering and adapters for axle-style cam. Thankfully, the accompanying instructions make it a piece of the cake. Download it from the official site.
The seller gives an amazing discount on pairing FCG-310 dishing tool and NW-300 nipple wrench with it. These are reputable gadgets, making this package a foolproof kit to take matters into your hand.
BIKEHAND Bike Wheel Truing Stand
Now a bicyclist can perform heavy-duty wheel repair with a Bikehand at hand. Inspired by the high-end models of Park Tool, this best wheel truing stand is neck and neck with the trailblazers of industry.
It possesses vital strength and stability, justifying its 20-pound weight. You can service any MTB wheel with tires on – rear and front – ranging up to the standard size of 27.5 inches. However, tires are unwelcomed if you’re dialing in acclaimed 29ers or 700C for inspection.
The substantial downside to this otherwise iconic item is its hub width. The maximum distance between pillars is 150 mm, adequate for most wheels. Nonetheless, 12-speed cassettes or wider hubs won’t fit into this stand. Similarly, calipers don’t allow more than 3.8-inch rim width, which is quite rare anyway.
If limited compatibility doesn’t bother you, invest in a Bikehand truing stand and forget to buy another!
The spring-loaded caliper arm prevents binding and moves seamlessly with specialized bolts. Another commendable feature is the unparalleled grip and control of its hard plastic knob. Also, the steel gauge can withstand years of rough use due to multilayer chrome plating.
The versatile construction enables you to clamp it on a workbench or use it on the ground. It can also sit inside a bench vice. Moreover, three spoke wrenches are available free of cost. They handle different gauges, varying with their color scheme.
YC-512NB is the product code; you’ll find this wheel truing tool under different brands – Cyclist Taiwan, LifeLine Pro, etc.
Park Tool TS-8 Home Mechanic Wheel Truing Stand
The sixty-year legacy of Park Tool has cemented it as the Mercedes of bicycle accessories. Pro wheel-builders have always relied on their best wheel truing stands. However, with the release of T-8, laymen have also joined this supreme club.
It brings the accuracy of its predecessors at a fraction of their price. From fixing subtle wobbles and giant bulges to synchronizing the rim with hub locknuts, this decent wheel truing tool doesn’t let you down!
Only if Park Tool improves its calibration, no bike artisan will ever consider other jigs. Also, some people find its assembly tiresome.
TS-8 doesn’t have any compatibility issues since you can install the widest of hubs (up to 170 mm) with little to no effort. It’s manufactured for quick-release wheels. So, don’t forget to attach adaptors with thru-axles.
It has a V-shaped sliding dropout that is tuned according to wheel size. Therefore, immovable uprights are not a drawback. On the other hand, it is high enough to cope with 16-29 inches of the diameter without taking tires off.
Whether you’re detecting lateral or radial problems, the setting remains unchanged. Dishing is also a matter of just flipping your wheel.
The left pillar is slotted to hold the gauge. The company advertises it as “constructed from heavy gauge steel to resist flexing.” And every user attests to the durability of its shaft and holder.
If you’ve dreamt of tinkering with your bike, get a Park Tool TS-8 to realize it.
M-Wave Wheel Truing Stand
M-Wave is a new player in town. But its best wheel truing stands have garnered tons of fans in the amateur market, and rightly so!
You can compare it to Minoura FT-1. They both claim double-digit prices and feature foldable designs. However, M-Wave stands have a few unique benefits to offer.
It comes with a self-activated clamp system. Meanwhile, you don’t need other paraphernalia to keep the wheel-centric in place. Still, a micrometer centering gauge can boost the accuracy.
Let the truth be spilled – dishing on this stand without precision tools can throw first-timers off. Since you have to align both truing arms individually, they don’t move in symmetry. Thus, a single ignored hitch can make centering unreliable, especially when inverting the wheel.
If the upcoming models incorporate an interlocking mechanism for comparator’s pins, there will be nothing to complain of.
Another incredible attribute at this price is the simultaneous control of the height and side tolerances. Both feelers move at the same pace as you guide one back and forth. Also, no bolt requires unscrewing to adjust the height.
In the end, you can pitch a wide array of wheels (12-29 inches diameter/ 170 mm hub width) atop a wedge-shaped, auto-centering plastic case. Also, storage cans are attached to both sides of the base.
This wheel truing tool is workshop-grade in built quality. The body is fashioned from a sturdy aluminum-steel alloy to rival most expensive models. But M-Wave truing stand for domestic use lasts longer at homes.
Super B TB-PF25 Classic Wheel Truing Stand
Super B bicycle toolsets are known to every do-it-yourselfer. Perfected over 20 years, they strike a much-needed balance between performance and price, convenience and cost.
Similarly, PF25 ranks as the best wheel truing stand in the classic portfolio. Despite introducing new variants, its popularity is yet to be eclipsed.
Its ergonomic holders accept all wheels between 16-29 inches. Adding on to the flexibility, these forks are made reversible to exchange front and rear wheels instantly. You can fit a 135 mm quick-release hub by drawing both uprights to an ultimate distance.
In fact, M-Wave borrowed their flagship features of simultaneous movement and automatic clamp from Super B. So, they are indigenous to this stand.
This wheel truing tool accompanies a typical set of gauges. Where a main dish identifies radial issues, two closely aligned pins maneuver to assess lateral problems of the rim. These caliper pins also wear a plastic cap to prevent scratching.
The only pitfall is their rubber o-rings attached at the end. Sometimes, they stick to fingers and impede tiny adjustments.
Many parts are all-plastic to cut down on frame weight – they’re orange-colored and used to lift the wheel. Of course, it decreases some points of stability.
This mobile workshop is ultralight yet brimming with exceptional qualities. Designed to true a wheel on the go, PF-25 folds flat to slide into a compact space. It has two overlapping legs with wear-resistant foam rubber pads. Extend them to service a wheel.
How to buy the best wheel truing stand?
Before buying accessories, you must understand that the art of bicycle maintenance is the feat of a craftsman while tools only expedite the process.
That mystique being cleared, the best wheel truing stand for amateur cyclists should rank high in the following five characteristics. Evaluate it against your targeted price-point!
Most kids have to pack up their toys after playing. Likewise, many bike service hobbyists don’t have the luxury of a permanent studio. And portable wheel truing tools impress them.
You can take a collapsible and compact stand on race days and other two-wheeled adventures without batting an eyelid.
The transportability comes with complimentary ease of storage as well. However, it should not complicate the assembly setup.
Stability is a deal-maker for any best wheel truing stand. You want a firm platform to install and inspect your untrue wheels. Therefore, a portable specimen must be bench-mounted and vice-held.
Minoura’s approach to affixing a rigid anti-rolling dish is decent enough for ground operation. But a workbench provides eye-level access.
Friction-fit truing pins are more susceptible to bind, whereas spring-loaded calipers amplify real-time steadiness.
For the results of an instrument to be valid, it must be accurate in the first place. The greatest threat to a truing stand is its potential lack of centering.
The effects of fractured geometrical alignment multiply from axle to the rim. In other words, an off-center rim is the leviathan of the whole truing saga.
However, tried-and-tested products successfully dish a regular wheel, whether a front hub or a rear one. For perfect results, you might need multiple spoke wrenches, a spoke holder, tension meters, dishing tools, and lubricants.
All items target a different market segment. So, you must pick a wheel truing stand compatible with your bike.
So the greater this versatility, the better this choice – because you’ll be servicing many MTB and BMX wheels!
Consider your wheel size, its hub width, axle style, and the space required by its rim. The extraordinarily fat or small sizes exclude some models. But the majority fall under 29 inch high uprights.
Repair tools are an investment by bicyclists. The best wheel truing stand will never sacrifice its durability to advance in other features.
In the end, a well-made stand is stable and smooth. Meanwhile, it should be manufactured with heavy-duty and long-lasting materials. Aluminum, brass, stainless steel, and composite are trendy options.
But lightweight stands also have plastic components. Make sure that the base, caliper arm, and uprights are sturdy.
How to true a bike wheel using wheel truing tools?
The venture of truing your bike wheel can be as grueling as entertaining it is. However, break it down to four simple steps and call yourself a big-league player!
First, you need to spot an out-of-true wheel. Check if it wobbles or rubs against the brake pads and chainstays of the cycle.
A general rule is to always test them before embarking on a ride.
After detecting an untrue wheel, it’s time to set it up on your wheel truing stand. Position its gauge at a slight distance from the rim surface.
Then, rotate the wheel and wait for any interaction.
The sections of a wheel that make contact with the gauge are essentially warped and need fine-tuning. Remember their spokes.
Start with the noisiest ones and descend to smaller wobbles!
Tighten these spokes (or nipples to get rid of radial errors) with a wrench by turning them anti-clockwise. Hear chords of true spokes to distribute the same tension throughout the rim.
Voila, install the wheel again – Nothing goes in vain!