Bent Rims and loose spokes

Hello All,

I was hoping to get advice from the experts.

My son and I went on the Dual Sport ride in Ocotillo this Weekend and when we got home I noticed both me and my son's front wheels are dented in pretty good (flat spots)and some of the spokes are now loose.

This was my first ride in that desert and found out there were large rocks under the sand. When I hit a few of these, I could almost feel my teeth rattle.

The question is, do I need to buy new rims, or can I bang the old ones out and tighten the spokes, or just leave it (They still holds air?

Any suggestions?


Rick :cry:

wow! that's impressive. i can't help but i want to hear what they say! i've heard of trueing a rim that's warped but flat spots sound tricky.

of all those that run the baja and dakar i know someone has had the same problem.

but along with his questions...can that be prevented with suspension adjustments, tire press. etc...?

i guess that's why so many get excel rims and upgraded spokes and hubs?



you will want to go to your local shop and purchase a spoke wrench.

it's important to keep your spokes tight all the time. they will loosen constantly so check them as part of your pre-ride prep.

everybody has a different way to tighten spokes. i don't play the "tap on the spoke and listen for the tone game," frankly i think it's bs. here's what i do when i tighten spokes.

1. start at the valve stem

2. turn each nipple no more than a quarter turn

3. work your way all the way around the wheel until you get back to the valve stem

4. then reverse direction

5. turn each niggple no more than a quarter turn

6. repeat until all spokes are uniformly tight.

as far as flat spots go, that's just part of life. you can mess around with running more tire pressure, or taller sidewall tires, but eventually the off road environment is going to beat up your wheels.

the flat spots or "smiles" in your rims are part of off road life. you can run more tire pressure and a taller sidewall tire to help combate this but like i said, they come with the territory.

you will find that the spokes tighten differntly around a flat spot. you will have to compensate for that difference.

the rim will be fine and you can pretty much run a rim with several flat spots until it turns into an octagon. in fact, if you put your bike on a stand and spin the wheel, i'd be willing to bet that your wheel is still true with no wobble. watch the tire, not the rim.

run the rim until the flat spots build up to the point that it obviously effects the way your wheel spins. otherwise, keep your spokes tight and keep with it.

cracks are about the only time when you need to replace a rim on the spot.

also, only old school guys attempt to "pound out" flat spots in rims. the excells are so brittle they will shatter. the dids so soft the pounding just forces them in another direction.

old schoolers may beg to differ but i think pounding out flat spots is a thing of the past.

hope this helps.

Good points. I guess I'm old shcool since I'll beat my wheels into submission with a piece of wood until they're round again :cry:. It's not easy and it's not quick to do, but I've had pretty good luck on improving the flat spots on various bikes I've owned. What kills me time wise is getting my wheels round & true because I'll sometimes work on them for hours while on the wheel stand to get them close to perfect. I now keep all my spokes at 48 inch/lbs (just short of elongating the spoke nipple), which I believe is higher than Honda's stock torque spec, but my wheels have stayed in check much longer this way with very little maintaince. If the wheel is bad enough, it's much quicker and probably more cost effective to buy a new rim, cut out the old spokes and lace up a new rim. It's not that bad to do when everything is new & straight once you get the hang of it.

Thanks All,

This helps me out alot, I don't think I am going to mess with the rim, but I will tighten all the spokes, especially the ones that are really loose by the bent part of the rim.


qadsan, i figured you would be the guy who replies saying that you still beat on rims. lol. i think it's the generation gap coming into play. i just don't have the patience. i'll sit and watch my dad play that same game that you talked about with a block of wood and a ballpean hammer. me, i just run the rim till the flat spots create enough of a hop or wobble or eventual crack. then i cut out the spokes and lace a new one on (my buddy jimmy does my wheels for me, i don't have the patience to lace wheels either, lol).

i gotta say, everytime you post i learn something new. you said you run all of your spokes at 48 inch/lbs... and have had success keeping your wheels together longer. i'll give it a try since i've been destroying wheels all year long.

qadson is The Source!

I find a fine line between tight and to tight. To tight and i end up with cracked rims...but not sure where the line is... i dont have a spoke torque wrench...yet!

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