Instructables

Stomp Straighten a Bicycle Wheel

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Picture of Stomp Straighten a Bicycle Wheel
Seems like every time Star goes off a ski jump with her bike or finds a load of scrap iron to carry home, she needs a new bike wheel.
Here's how we straighten them back out in a hurry, or make "taco-ed" bike wheels from the bike shop's dumpster usable again.

This wheel is pretty bent. Notice how the joint is even coming apart.
Pix by Star
 
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Step 1: Find a Hole

Picture of Find a Hole
You can stomp a wheel pretty close to straight on regular pavement, but it's a lot easier if you find a way to do it without pushing on the hub. A hole in the pavement, a round table with a hole in the middle, the top of an oil drum, or a big iron garbage can are all good options. Cut a hole in a heavy piece of scrap plywood if you've got one handy.

As they say in Venezuela, "En tiempo de guerra, Cualquier hueco es trinchera."

I guess the city is planning to plant a tree here. In the meantime it's a good place to fix a wheel. Here I am uncovering the hole. Remember to cover it up again, this is a litigious society.

Step 2: Do the Stomp

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This is the easy part.
Just go for it and stomp it flat.
Extra points for yelling and gesturing.

Step 3: Overbend

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The metal rim has memory, so it'll spring back a bit after you flatten it.
So you have to bend it a little further than straight.
Put one or more sticks under the low spots and stomp again, a little more carefully this time.

After a bit of this the wheel will be mostly straight.

Step 4: Spin and Eyeball it

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Spin the wheel and hold it by the hubs to see where the bent spots are.
You can mark them on the side with a pencil if you want.

Step 5: Repeat

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Repeat sighting and bending.
Here's another way to arrange the sticks.
savant772 years ago
This should come in handy for trailside repairs, thanks for sharing man!
Lokisgodhi3 years ago
This reminds me of how I used to fix the rims of my old junker Datsun 200SX when one of the NYC potholes would swallow it and put dent in the rims.



Pull it off the car, utter a few choice curses, put the dented side up and wail on it with a large headed long handled ball pein hammer until it was mostly round again. Bolt it back on, pump up the tire with flat fixer and I was good to go.



Who says blacksmithing is a dead art?
It's too bad my local bike shop keeps their dumpster locked.
That's what bolt cutters or a crew bar is for. Pop that lock right off.
ortsa4 years ago
i hope you dont continue to use wheels repaired in this way.
Of course he doesn't actually use them, he goes to all the trouble of straightening them and then throws them away afterwards. (Make a passive agressive comment, you'll get a sarcastic answer.)

Thanks for the Instructable Tim, I'll have to try this out sometime. :-)

guatsamosa4 years ago
nice crocs man :D stomp in styleeee
{tauney}4 years ago
woohoo! I'll give this a try when I get home--too bent to be trued, this ought to do the trick tho!
i wonder what ppl in the street were thinking by seeing u like this
sscooley5 years ago
Perhaps OK to get out of the woods, or home in the city, but not a long term fix. The rim pictured (with compromised weld joint) will fail catastrophically, which is to say, all at once. On a rear wheel, that would at best mean a sudden loss of motion; on a front wheel, at best a severe endo. Add traffic or hillside trail conditions, and results could be much worse. Be safe folks!
Derin5 years ago
I dont think this would work with the superbent wheel i saw in italy,it was small enough to fit in a 9" CRT case,and the wheel was about 17"
JerryMopar6 years ago
Good instructable!!! I will have to try this on one of my "tacoed" wheels I got from an aquired bike!!
I just did it in a sitch I have nearby, worked GREAT, just needed to true it up a little bit
Jay Walker6 years ago
I gotta say that I don't think that's a fix I'd like to trust rippin' 'er down a slope at 60K. I mean, when the seam is coming apart, how stressed is the metal and the seam. Looks dangerous dude ...
nrlucre6 years ago
I've been poking around Instructables for a week or so now, spending most of my free time here, and this is the most useful item I've seen yet. Those who posted wondering how that wheel could ever get so messed up obviously didn't grow up in a college town, where few drive and many drink. To think all the stomped-wheel frustrations and missed appointments / late dates could have abated with an appreciation of this nifty technique.
Bent a rim on my bicycle wheel garden cart, carrying 400 lbs. of rocks on a side slope. Bent it back by levering a 2x4 against cart frame and rim. My cart is incredibly ugly. I put skis on it for winter; didn't bother taking off the wheels.
callmeshane6 years ago
Oh what a sexy clever man... Thanks for putting up a really neato "fixit".... I had a small problem with CHEAP, THIN and SOFT rims for a while...and because of my weight 6'2" and big and muscley and a bit fat too - and the flimsy rims, they would distort and go out of true just from riding on the flat roads... Ended up getting some very high quality "A" section rims with some extra thick stainless spokes.. I now have solid wheels that never go out of true. But it's a good fix for crashes and bad rims..
dillweed6 years ago
scul hearts taco stomping. -pilot dillweed
Korexz6 years ago
Without a spoke wrench and some time this is only a temporary fix at best. Cheap-O rims found on bikes from TRU, Target, and Wal-Mart will pretty much fall apart if you attempt to stand on them to right the wrong. The walls are not strong enough to resist bending in the first place.
ll.136 years ago
The only time my wheel looked like that was when I tried to stop a car.... .....it stopped me. -then again the whole bike frame was bent. :)
Slowpoke6 years ago
Once again Tim Anderson has posted a great instructable. Having viewed most of his instructables I am most impressed with his knowledge. Excellent 'Bush-craft'. But one question, how on Earth did that wheel suffer that much damage?
Ezza6 years ago
I've Used this technique before. I imagine your turnover rate of wheels is pretty high?
Ooh! Could use this for the bike wheel my cousin and I are using as a "reduction gear?" for our tree house elevator!
Spectrace6 years ago
i should try that with my BRAND NEW BIKE'S bent rims... first one i did something stupid, second one my friend tapped my back rim with his bike and it went all wacked... rear rims are mad weak.. nice instructable
Sun Gear6 years ago
that instructable is pretty useful and simple which makes me wounder why no body has ever thought about it.
lollerz6 years ago
nice shoes
zachninme6 years ago
Nice pix of Tim showing a wheel who's boss. ;-) That was a really bent rim... makes you wonder how it happened.
ItsTheHobbs6 years ago
1st comment!!!
only worth it if you have something to say