Bicycle maintenance is extremely satisfying but also quite expensive, because a lot of the tools required to take care of a bike are very specific.
In the long run it’s not a huge issue, because over time the money that you’d spend at a LBS (local bike shop) for maintenance, replacements, upgrades etc. etc. could sky-rocket as well.
Moreover, having all the tools to take care of your bike at home means that you won’t have to worry about working hours, distance to the store and other annoying details.
Broken dent in the cassette? No problem.
Need to replace the crank set? Presto!
A broken spoke? No worries!
OH WAIT….how about the truing station?
To me, truing stands are a mystery. They can sell for hundreds of dollars, and their sole purpose is to keep the wheel in place while a calliper will guide you to align the tension of each spoke.
So basically they do the job of your bike and a calliper…and cost hundreds of dollars? Wat?
THE ULTIMATE DIY TRUING STAND
Here is my professional tutorial that will allow you to create a professional truing station.
- A bike, better if it comes equipped with wheels
- A calliper
- A floor or any kind of flat surface. Earth would work just fine.
- A professional stool
- Spoke key
Since I already had most of the required tools I just had to go to the closest hardware store and buy a 8” calliper for 4$.
Step number 1:
Turn your bike upside down and place it on the floor. It’s important to make sure that nobody is riding it while you do so.
Step number 2:
Position your professional stool close to the wheel you need to true. As you can see, I don’t have a pro-stool, so I had to rely on a bench. It worked out just fine, but results may very.
Step number 3:
Place your calliper on the professional stool.
Step number 4:
Open the calliper, leaving a couple of mm on each side of the rim is usually enough for fine adjustments.
Step number 5:
Using your spoke key, proceed to tighten or loosen spokes accordingly.
And that’s how you can easily true your wheels by yourself for less than 5$, forever.
Of course you also need the spoke key, but that’s a tool that comes with every toolset, and a lot of multi-tools have one as well. My Lezyne multi-tool comes with chain breaker and spoke-key, it cost me a bit more than the average tool but it allows me to fix anything on the road, unless the frame explodes.
I can see the point of a truing station in a bike shop, simply because they’re already set-up and ready to use. But I don’t think that having a truing stand at home is something that most people should worry about, definitely not worth the money.
In addition to that, a turbo trainer can have the same cost as a truing stand, it will still lock your wheels in a perfectly horizontal position and you can use to train at home if the weather sucks or you don’t want to miss the last episode of Breaking Bad where Walter White reveals himself as the last son of Elvis Presley, gets kidnapped by a gorilla and is force-fed ants until Jessie finally rescues him and they get married.