DIY: Wheel Truing Stand

If you are looking for a wheel truing stand that you may use 1 to 2 times per year you may not want to invest big bucks in one. There are a number of ways to use your bike as a truing stand with some zip ties or tape, but that isn’t very precise. I had been using an old fork as my truing stand, but that only works for front wheels. For the rear I had an old frame I would use with an old rim brake as the guide. Again this is fine for getting a wheel pretty straight, but not perfectly straight. For my new 650b wheels I wanted to get them perfect so I decided to build my own truing stand. I set mine up to accommodate 26, 27.5, 29 and 650c wheels, plus front and rear hubs. Here is how it is done:

Supply list:

  • 4 x aluminum or steel 36” 3/4”x1/16” 90 degree angle metal
  • 2x steel threaded rod 5/16”x 24”
  • 5x 5/16” wing nuts
  • 10x 5/16” nuts
  • 10x 10-24×1/2” nuts and machine screws

Tools needed:

  • Drill and drill bits
  • Hack saw or chop saw
  • Bench vice

My total bill at the hardware store was $23. I have a drill press, chop saw and bench vice, but you can make do with a hand saw and hand drill. Having a vice or at a minimum some table clamps will help when drilling and cutting, but if you are feeling adventurous you could do it with a buddy holding the materials.

Start out by cutting 2×25” lengths from the angle metal for the base. Then cut the 2×16” vertical supports and last 2×11” angle supports. Last cut one 7.5” horizontal support from the leftover angle metal. While you have the saw out cut the threaded rods down to something longer than 8”. I cut mine down to 12”, but will probably chop a bit more off them in the future. My logic is I wanted to leave a bit more possible width incase I ever build a set of fat bike wheels.

Next you can start drilling marking and drilling. The vertical supports go in the middle of the base support. Just center a hole in the point where they meet. Then equally place the 11” angle supports and again center drill holes where they meet. You can check your assembly with your ½” nuts and screws. Drill your holes for the threaded rod 2” from the ends of the 25” base supports. Last drill a hole about ½” down on the vertical supports for the hub skewer.

At this point you can assemble everything loosely and put a front hub in the assemble and make marks on the horizontal support for width. This support is primarily used for the wheel runout guide. It will end up with 2 holes in it. One for front hub width and then one for the rear hub.

Finish up the project by cutting 3 pieces of threaded rod for your guides. They need to be long enough to reach from the supports to the rim. Again I made mine a bit longer to account for a possible wider hub. Once you have them cut you can test fit everything with the wing nuts on the guides. If you are happy with how everything looks then tighten up all the ½” screws. Put your first wheel in and set your guides and give it a test spin. Mine does flex a little because I made it out of aluminum, but if you did this with steel it would be pretty rigid. Works perfect for the one or two times a year I will true wheels. Hopefully it will work for others.

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