How To Replace Spokes On A Bicycle Wheel

How To Replace Spokes On A Bicycle Wheel

How To Replace Spokes on bicycle wheel

When working with bicycles, there’s always something to do! Whether you are trying to take good care of your bike for next time or just like doing things thoroughly, getting into all of the tiny parts is pretty fun.

However, if you ever needed to fix or replace a part of your bicycle, it can get slightly more complicated. Thankfully, we have some tips here for you to learn how to easily remove and install spokes in a bicycle wheel.

Removing a spoke is easy enough. Simply grab a pair of thin wire cutters and snip off the end. Now, try replacing one!

Installing a new spoke is tricky at first, but not because it is too difficult. It is actually much easier than removing one!

Why? Because when you need to remove a spoke, you already have a hole where it was attached to the rim.

Remove the old spokes

Once you have determined which wheel needs new spokes, you will need to start by removing the current set of spokes. You can do this either by using a spoke puller or simply pulling them out with your hands or a tool.

A spoke puller is usually a thin rod that fits over one of the spokes at an angle. You push down onto the end of the puller where it meets the head of the spoke and then lift up. The strength of the rod helps pull the loose piece off.

Some tools are designed specifically for taking out bicycle wheels. A common one is called a wheel stripper. This has a handle attached to two metal plates that fit together like a clam shell. One plate is put in place next to the rim and the other is slid along the length of the spokes to strip away the material.

Install the new spokes

The next step in replacing your wheel is installing the new spoke. You will need either metric or imperial sized length measurements of each spoke, depending on which size you get!

If your wheels are not too heavy, then it’s best to buy extra-long spokes so that you can cut them down as needed. This way, you won’t have to purchase separate lengths for each diameter.

And even if you run out before you use all the old ones, you can always break these down and sell them separately! (Be sure to include the country where you bought them in case of warranty.)

To install the new spokes, first measure the space between the center of one bead and the adjacent groove. This is how many inches apart the new spoke should be. Then, add this number to the circumference of the hole in the rim.

This gives you the total length you need to order the spoke.

Tighten the wheel

After you remove the old spoke, insert your new spoke into the hole properly! If it is too long, push it through the rim some more.

If it is too short, add glue onto the end of the spokes and reattach to the next set of holes in the rim.

Test for correct rotation

The best way to determine if your wheel needs a new spoke is by testing for proper rotation. You will need a long, thin object that you can easily pull out of the hole in the rim.

A good test item is a paper clip. If you can rotate it around the hole without any resistance, then the wheel does not require replacement.

For more difficult wheels, there are special tools designed just for this purpose. There are also some tricks you can do with your hand to check rotation. But these are only necessary if you cannot get access to a tool or if you do not feel like using one.

Everyone has different hands, so what works for someone else might not work for you.

Check for correct alignment

The next thing you will want to do is check your bike for proper wheel balance or what we like to call spokes! If one side of the wheel has more spokes than the other, then that end should have a shorter length.

This can be due to two things. Either the rider placed more weight on this area, which causes the tire to push down onto the shorter length sphwee. Or, the wheels are slightly out of true, which also causes the longer spoke to bend more easily under the force of the heavier load.

If this happens frequently, then you may need to replace both sets of wheels! This would cost less in the long run since it will give you new ones that work better. Make sure to research your options before buying though to make sure they’re good quality.

Repaint the wheel

After you determine which spokes need replacing, you will have to decide whether to buy new ones or use old ones as replacements! If using new spokes, you will first need to choose what size of spoke they are. There are two main types of bicycle wheels- solid (no holes) and hollow.

If your wheel is still in good condition and you do not mind having to purchase new covers, then you can just paint over it! For most people this is an adequate solution because even very expensive wheels do not require professionally installed covers.

However, if you are looking to maintain the integrity of the wheel, then buying a cover is better way to go. Covers are typically made out of plastic that is painted onto the rim of the wheel. These are relatively inexpensive and can be purchased at any bike shop.

Removal of the current cover and installation of the new one is also easy to do.

Repack the wheel

The next step in replacing your bicycle wheel is to pack it back into the hub. While doing this, make sure you do not push the outside edge of the tire away from the rim! This could cause damage to the tube or skin that sticks out slightly beyond the rim.

To pack the wheel back together, use packing glue to stick the hole at the center of the wheel back onto the shaft. Then, using the same tool used to take off the old brake disc, reattach the braking surface. Make sure both are dry before moving onto the next part!

Once done, let the wheels sit for an hour to ensure proper bonding. Once finished, try riding your bike down a gentle slope to see if it functions properly.

Replace the tire

A lot of people do not realize that you can replace the inner tube or tire of your bicycle wheel! This is very important as there are several types of wheels, some with and some without spokes.

Bicycle wheels with spokes typically have either solid tires or an empty space in the center where the rim meets the tire. These types of wheels are more durable than those that use an inner tube because they do not require air to stretch across the gap between the outside edge of the tire and the inside wall of the frame.

If you find that your wheel is becoming less rigid due to the loss of this buffering layer, it may be time to look into replacing the tire or adding a new one. It is also possible to get new rims at this time if you are looking to keep things simple!

There are many places online and in brick-and-mortar bike shops where you can buy inexpensive replacement bicycle parts. Looking through various pictures and descriptions will help you determine which part goes where for your specific wheel.

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