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How to Maintain Bicycle Rims

Learn how to maintain bike rims from Silk Road Cycles' Brendon Nicholas in this Howcast bicycle repair and maintenance video.


Okay. We're going to talk about maintaining your rims.

So basically what you should do is you should make sure you have a tune up at least once a year so a mechanic can look through your rims and make sure that they're true and also safe. But something that you can do at home is make sure that you keep them clean. Basically keeping them clean is going to help out with your braking, because the braking surface will be nice and clean. Also, it will make your rim last longer because it won't corrode as quickly, especially if you're leaving it outside. You need to make sure you clean off the rust and dirt, salt and things like that.

So the different parts of the wheel are the hub, which is right here, which holds the axel and the bearings, which makes the wheel spin nice and smoothly. The spokes, which are made out of different things, mostly stainless steel now so they don't corrode as fast. And then the actual rim. So when people are talking about a rim, they're talking about just the hoop and when they're talking about a wheel they're talking about the hoop with the actual spokes and the hub.

So the reason that you have just the rim maybe, if you're going to replace just the rim is if you have a very nice hub that you want to keep and it's in good working condition you can actually take spokes and build up a rim, or a bicycle mechanic can take spokes and build up a rim. But once you have everything together it becomes your whole bicycle wheel.

So just to demonstrate the different parts of a bicycle wheel. We have the rim, which is the actual hoop of the wheel. Bicycle spokes that are usually stainless steel now. Spoke nipples which thread on to the actual spokes. Then the actual hub, which holds the axle, and is what allows the wheel to spin on the bicycle.

So if you're a bicycle mechanic or somebody who is very savvy with bicycles and you want to try wheel building in the future you should definitely take a class before you try it. It's pretty involved and also there's a lot of information to be taught.

So basically there'll be a bunch of holes on each side. Most wheels, the most common wheels are like 32 hole and 36 hole and the spokes go through these holes. They have a little bend on the end and then they go, actually go into the rim. And that's what makes the rim sturdy and allows it to roll along the road. And once you have the wheel all built up it'll look something like this.

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