grab yourself one of those nice Rowe spoke wrenches and have a go at it.....
it's really not hard
a magic marker and a dial indicator is nice to have
even if it's one of those less than 20 buck chinese jobs
get it true radially first
then work out the side to side variation
don't beat yourself to death trying to get it perfect
I'm absolutely thrilled when I can build a wheel and get it to within 0.025" in one or both planes
and I think the industry standard is 0.060"
gladly stand corrected if that is wrong
I had the same problem. I had to drive 2 hours each way to deliver a set of wheels to a builder, then repeat the drive to pick them up, and pay for the work. Shipping would be prohibitively expensive. After that I bought a $100 stand and a spoke wrench and built the next three wheels myself. Truing is mainly a matter of patience and keeping track of where the wheel is vs what you are doing to it. It is possible to lose your concentration and be turning a spoke the wrong way on the wrong side. Otherwise it is so simple that seems a shame to pay anyone.
See Lonnie Walker's wheel page... the truing part is toward the end:
Here's my setup. I have a dial gauge but a pointer that can be positioned to rub on the rim is just as good. Even just eying the turning rim against a reference point across the room works.
Note one detail. When the wheel is hanging on the axle in the stand, the weight of the wheel tends to spread the right and left tapered bearings, and this allows the wheel to sag down a tiny bit. This can throw off truing and balancing as the axle is not in the center of the wheel. To prevent the sag, the bearings must be restrained or held from the side. This can either be done by slipping a sleeve on the bike's axle and using the axle nut to hold it, or using a custom machined two-piece axle. I don't know how important this is, as I bet many people don't know or bother.
and really, wheels aren't hard to true or build
growing up as kids, many of us learned on our bicycles using a little butterfly type spoke wrench
BMW wheels are very straight forward to lace compared to many patterns which can be extremely trying
the simple appearing front disc brake hub on mid seventies HD sporties and superglides is a real bear and some of the wheels having 60 to 100 spokes will flat out test the patience of even the the most mellow craftsman
get a good spoke wrench and the Rowe is the best one I've ever found
anyone that has a bike with spoked wheels needs one
you can simply true it while on the bike........ easy enough
yep......... your forks make an excellent truing stand
I just laced a Zuki 4LS hub to an 18 inch low shoulder alloy rim using custom made stainless spokes from Buchanons
my guess why most shops want no part of helping you is the liability issue, I can't say I blame them unless you are willing to buy new rim, hub, and spokes....... and then only if it is legal to actually waive liability where you live....... it isn't in my state
Isn't there grease in the bearings? Seems the wheel wouldn't spin freely...
Kurt in S.A.Yes, but spinning freely is a requirement for balancing, not truing. I think EuroIron is right about being able to true a wheel on the forks, but nobody said that you could balance a wheel (and tire) that way.
That said, I've only trued a wheel using my wheel balancer. It was convenient, as I could have everything up on my workbench, and it provided a variety of possibly places to mount a pointer (I, too, used a dial indicator, but it's not necessary).