For any rider willing enough to take on the challenge of a new bike trail, there are always adventures waiting around the bend. Sometimes these are great surprises, while at other times; they can spell the recipe for disaster. Riders have to be on their guard at all times, expecting the worst and bracing themselves against any dangers or situations that may be cause for an accident. This can happen suddenly and may be the perfect time to get that new tire that has looked good in the shop. Since many times trauma has been caused to the wheel itself, there is no other recourse than to get a replacement in this case. However, if is not the tire, but the rim itself, there may be a way to fix this without having to shell out big bucks to get a replacement part at the shop.
These bikes and their parts are designed to take a lot of abuse and be able to withstand some rugged use before having to require a replacement item. This may be the case if the wheel itself is just a little bent and is not totally so out of shape that it cannot free spin on its own. Companies use different materials and construction methods to build these units and the wheel is dependent upon the type of suspension, the metal used in the rims, how much traction there is on the tire itself, and also if there is an inner tube present.
If the wheel is just bent, it is typically due to the loss of tension from the rim. This is a problem that may be able to be repaired if there are no other dents visible in the rim itself. By slowly rotating the tire, it is possible to see if there is any kind of wobble that would be the result of a bent rim. These can be fixed if there is only a very slight bending of the rim and this cannot be seen unless closely inspected. This can be accomplished by turning the bike over on the seat and handle bars and spinning the tire in question slowly to determine where the rim has been damaged. By focusing on a level plane with the top of the spinning tire, it can be established whether there is a wobble present. A specific area of interest is the space that exists between the two brake pads that are on opposite sides of the wheel. The tool of choice here is the spoke wrench, and this can be readily obtained through a local bike shop or even a hardware store that is outfitted with a large variety of tools. The bend may be able to be adjusted back to normal by finding the spoke on the opposite side of the tire and tightening it up carefully. Rotate the wheel carefully after tightening up a few turn to see if the rotation has improved. If not, then tighten up the spoke again.
Once this is completed, the bike can be taken for a short test run to see if the problem is under control.
Another common issue that may cause riders to consider adding a new wheel is a problem with a wobble. This can be quickly evaluated by turn the bike upside down and spinning the suspected tire very hard for about 3 to 4 turns. The hubs should be also inspected carefully at this time as well. When evaluating the wheel for wobbles, it may still spin freely but also could have a definite funny look to the spin. This may indicate a lopsided wheel that could be adjusted by tightening the spokes, but this could also just be a temporary fix and may lead to the tire wearing out completely due to excessive wear. It could also cause major problems with the braking power and this may not be safe to ride in this condition. It is possible to put a new rim on the old hub in the interest of brevity and saving money. But the best solution in this case is to buy a new wheel or two of them in order to keep the bike in good stead and rolling true for greater enjoyment on the trails.