Buckled wheel, repair or replace?

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  • Buckled wheel, repair or replace?
  • I had a silly off the other day, landed on front wheel first at a bit of an angle and went over the bars 😳

    Ive managed to buckle the wheel, there’s about 4-5mm of sideways play over 150mm or so of the circumference.

    I had a little go at adding a bit more tension to the spokes on the opposite side, but it still won’t pull the rim straight without over tensioning the spokes.

    Would you take it to a wheelbuilder and have them attempt to pull out the dent? Will it need taking apart and re-building? How much is it likely to cost?
    The wheel is a 2012 mavic crossmax, not sure if its a better idea to just upgrade instead?


    All the wheel builder can do is try and bend it back.
    You might as well try this yourself.
    Iv had some success placing my knee in the middle of the buckle and pulling backwards on the sides of the wheel.

    skinny XC rims are easier 🙂


    Bought a wheel with 5 snapped spokes in it – 4 were next to each other so the rim was way out of line. Had them replaced and it was perfectly straight for £18 – bargain! 2 snapped on first ride.
    Now getting rebuilt from scratch with new DT Swiss spokes.
    In my experience when spokes snap you replace them and another one snaps and so it goes on.
    When rebuilt they have always been problem free.


    This’ll sound crazy and you’ll pull the ‘are you shitting me’ face (i did when I got told it after an off).

    Take the wheel out, hold firmly … smack it down on the ground, hitting with the sidewall. I thought this was bollox, but it sprung back a fair bit. It doesnt remove the need for trueing, but i *guess* it lets the existing tension in the spokes to spring it all back into position.

    Pretty sure the advice came from a bikeradar trail repairs article.


    Perhaps reduce the spoke tension slightly on the side that its pulling to as well?

    Ndthornton – I could always give that a go as a last resort. Do you need to remove the hub/spokes first though? Or loosen the spokes where the bend is?

    With the price of wheels now, I wonder if it will work out cheaper to get a hope hoop on the front instead rather than taking it to a wheelbuilder?

    Scrumfled – 😮 Do you have a link fo this?

    ETA: Bigyinn – tried that, but even with the spokes loose on that side its still not moving over much.

    Premier Icon lunge

    I’d certainly try having a chat with your local wheel builder, they may not be able to save it but it has to be worth taking to to save spending £200 ish.

    Cheers, I’ll do that.



    No you dont need to loosen any spokes – the spokes will be trying to pull the wheel back true as is – you just need to give them a little help.

    Pulling it back towards the center will release the spokes that have become over tensioned and add tension to the ones that have gone slack.

    You still will need to true it finish off.


    Its likely that the reason for snapping spokes in a certain place is that that place has a buckle. A Buckle over-tensions spokes on one side of the wheel while slackening the opposite side. Its sometimes possible to bring a bent rim back just by tightening spokes – but the ones you need to tension are the ones that are already extra tight. This makes them super tight and susceptible to snapping as well as making for a generally uneven and weakened wheel.

    Premier Icon Northwind

    Is it really buckled, or is it just a wee bit out of true? 4-5mm of play in the rim is bugger all really.

    4-5mm is about as good as I could get it adjusting spoke length, was orignally around 7mm play possibly.

    I’ll see what the shop reckons.

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