While doing my (almost) seasonal wheel truing I found an unwelcome guest: a harsh new crack in my wheel's rim, emerging from the spoke nipple. I drew the weight off of the offending spoke and re-enforced the neighbors: she still needs to get me to and from work for a week. Beside a bent spoke or two, a few worn out spoke nipples, and this new crack my wheel was still in pretty good shape. I found the exact rim for sale online for less than $20 and I proceeded to swap it out. Swapping rims is simpler than building a wheel outright as there is less to determine. This how I did it; and, how you can do it too.
Don't do it if:
The bent spokes I had were pretty minor. If you took a serious fall and a number of your spokes are damaged or if your hub is damaged then it is not worthwhile just replacing the rim; you are probably better off building/buying an entire new wheel.
Let's get started
The wheel I repaired is a rear 700c road wheel, but the principles here apply to the front as well as other styles and sizes. If it is front wheel you are repairing, try to ignore the emphasis on the drive versus non-drive sides, just make sure to switch sides when called for.