In all my years of cycling, I have only tried to true a wheel one time and it did not work out so well for me. I tried to true it on my bike by using the brake pads and did not do enough research prior to engaging in the task. I ended up with a permanent wobble in my wheel by the time a pro had finished cleaning up my mess.
Learning how to true a wheel is on my "to do" list, however I am in no hurry and do not mind paying a professional to do it for me until I have the time to practice on some wheels that I do not hold dear.
Reader Rob from Melbourne, Australia contacted us recently with a great hack he came up with to move the true task from his steed to a table. He was kind enough to send along plenty of text with pictures to match. If anyone else has come up with their own stands, feel free to give us a shout out.
All text and pictures below are credited to Rob.
For 40 years I have always used the inverted bike as my truing stand, but lately have felt
the need for a chair and a desktop to work at, hence the need for a desktop truing stand.
This stand is made from the backend of a scrap large-size frame using a hacksaw and
angle-grinder. I kept the rear dropouts connected to the seat stays and a small portion of
seat tube, plus the chain stays and about a third of the bottom bracket. This was bolted to
a piece of 8" x 1" scrap pine about 18" long, after drilling suitable holes
in the seat post fragment and the bottom bracket. A couple of pieces of scrap pine moulding
nailed underneath prevent the bolts from scratching our table.
The indicators for truing are made from cantilever brake arms bolted to the existing posts,
and these have a couple of old rope cleats bolted to the ends using the existing bolts on
the brake arm ends. Almost anything shaped vaguely like a pointer could be used. These can be
adjusted in two planes and can be mounted in different configurations for different-sized
I discovered that adjustable width for the dropouts is not really necessary. The shortest
axle would be on a 20" front wheel. For this I mounted the wheel with the axle nuts on
the inside of the dropouts and tightened them outwards, just finger-tight. There is enough
axle in each dropout to keep them in position. However, I reinforced this arrangement with
some stubby bolts and nuts that fit in the dropouts snug up against the axle nuts, keeping
them in position, again finger-tight was enough. The photos show a rear wheel with the axle
ends protruding for illustration purposes. At any rate, it seems that there are enough
washers, nuts, and other assorted "adaptors" in my shed to accommodate any wheel
Photo 1: The completed desktop truing stand, 20" wheel mounted.
Photo 2: The base with bolts through bottom bracket on the left and a portion of seat tube
on the right.
Photo 4: For a short axle, axle nuts are on the inside of the dropouts and tightened
outwards. The head of each extra stubby bolt is hard against the axle nut to prevent