Scrap Metal Challenge: DIY Bike Wheel Truing Stand

After the apparent success of my DIY wheel dishing tool I decided to take on the next obvious project: a wheel truing stand.  I currently have seven bikes. That makes 14 wheels to maintain not counting  the bikes of my other family members. I could do this at the local bike co-op but it is often not convenient for me to get down to that end of the city.  I’ve trued  wheels while they are on the bike but it isn’t as easy as using a stand. The commercially available stands I’ve seen start at about $80 for the cheaper ones and are more than $200.00 for  a good one. Naturally,  a DIY version appeals to my frugal soul.

The source of most of my materials.

As an exercise in re-purposing I  decided to build it as much as possible from scrap metal  parts I could salvage from the scrap bin at work. This proved to be something of a constraint during the design process but it was a fun and satisfying bit of problem solving.  You can really do a lot with materials that would otherwise end up at the scrapyard.

Salvaged goodies (These are actually the leftovers because I forgot to take a picture before I started)

The salvaged materials I used were a length of anodized aluminum channel, some slightly twisted steel shelving uprights, a short length of threaded rod and a few carriage bolts.  The nuts and 4 small bolts were  purchased or sourced from my own supply. To paint the stand I used surplus stock of a colour we no longer use at work.

I had a few false starts and had to rethink things more than once.  I would have done things differently if I were buying the materials instead of working with what was at hand, but I’m quite happy with the results.

While building this stand dusty childhood memories returned of playing with  odds and ends of meccano left over from one of my older siblings. The finished product does have a meccano-like quality, I believe.

DIY Wheel Truing Stand

Separate lateral and radial gauges

The radial gauge is a bit clunky looking but adjusts to diferent wheel diameters.

The stand is adjustable to accomodate different hub widths.

The shelving sections came with premade slots for the axles.

26" Mountain Bike Wheel

26" mountain bike wheel

27" road Bike wheel

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22 thoughts on “Scrap Metal Challenge: DIY Bike Wheel Truing Stand

  1. That’s fantastic. I’ve had no end of problems with truing my wheel this summer and something like this would have been great to have in the garage. I just can’t break down and pay the money for a store-bought truing stand. This is a great alternative.

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  2. This blog post has given me a few ideas, I had a problem after a small accident a while ago and the shop was a bit funny about fixing it but they did it anyway, I don’t like having to deal with shops all the time so a wheel truing stand like this is a great idea. I’m probably giving myself too many projects to do though if I did this!!
    Ben

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    • I completely understand about having too many projects to do. I am a big fan of doing bike work myself. The truing stand worked well and I was able to build my first wheel using it. There are a few small changes I might make, however.

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    • I pretty much just used it without making any changes so far. I still think the radial gauge is clunky but it does work. I’ve trued wheels in it several times and I used it for my first few wheel builds as well. I haven’t actually used it much recently because our local bike co-op opened a shop in my neighbourhood.

      It’d be great if you could let me know how it works out for you. Thanks for commenting.

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  3. WOW this is EXACTLY the type of Idea I’ve been looking for! I DIY everything I can, bc shopping is for suckers and the bourgeois lol (sometimes you have to). Ive been searching for truing stands, thinking a “good/decent” one would be like “eh maybe $100 at the most, wtf it’s just some cheap ass metal and low end indicators right?” WRONG! A G-Zilla staggering price of “eh about ~250 wit tax kid meh, heh, heh…” WTF I thought, I was “how it’s made” and have been DIY’ing since I was a child and I KNOW it does not cost ~$230+ to make a “GOOD” truing stand from metal and some gages — I just couldn’t get the motivation to attempt a DIY; until I found your page!

    This just goes to show you how everything people buy is over-priced and marketed to them, so they think they are getting a deal, when IRL that are getting ripped off! The parts are simple to acquire as well, from what I see. I can make this with just a drill press and a Dremel! Excellent, now I have a new project! I’m gonna clown everyone on the forums that spend mints on Park tool excess scrap! THANKS!

    BTW- Do you have any schematics for this, so I can duplicate it exactly, or better yet, how do you set up the truing gages once you have the whole think assembled? This NEEDS to be on instructibles.com

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    • This stand worked pretty well for me truing quite a number of wheels and on my first couple of wheel builds. Although it was inexpensive to build and is functional it is not as convenient to use as a manufactured stand like the Park one.

      I didn’t draw up any plans as I was really just making it up as I went along and using whatever scrap material was at hand. I’m not sure specifically what you mean by setting up the gauges but I will try to provide some further information if you can let me know what details you are looking for.

      Thanks for commenting.

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  4. This is great mate. I am a bike mechanic and have trued a few wheels either on bike or using the trainer stand. This would make it so much easier and may even have a go at building wheels.

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