Read Sheldons wheel truing article, make yourself a cup of tea and do it yourself. It's a skill you'll never regret learning.
I'm not that confident at doing it, more than happy to watch a professional and learn that way. I read that article and I've been watching you tube videos.
How long is a piece of string ??
Twice the length from the middle
While at the bike station the other day i asked one of the wheelbuilders to show me roughly how to true one.
Left at it for about 10 mins [that has ZERO experience in it and is pretty overawed by those that can ] i was quite surprised by how easy it is when you know what the basic that is required.
I took that wheel from being bad enough where you couldnt open the V's or canti's enough to allow the wheel to turn unhindered to something i would happily ride to get me home or to the lbs to get it professionally trued
AFTER ONLY TEN MINUTES
If the LBS will let me watch I'm more than happy to give it a go next time too.
I appreciate this is a "how long is a piece of string" question, but I've never had a wheel trued but I've got one that's out quite a bit.
So how much is it likely to cost me to get a wheel trued?
I've got a few good local shops near me - Merlin, Paul Hewitt, Ribble Cycles but I'd prefer to have a general idea of what a fair price is before I bother them.
Thanks in advanced!
If you're close to Merlin, I suggest taking it to them. I believe they have a full-time wheel-builder, so as he's all set up and ready, it should really only take him a minute or two to true your wheel. Especially as he has the best kit available and he must be an absolute master of his trade, as Merlin wheels are excellent. If you take it to an ordinary LBS, it'll be done by somebody who isn't as good at it and only spends 5-10% of his time working on wheels, so it'll take longer.
This is assuming your problem is just loose spokes. If your rim is warped, truing can be quite difficult, juggling the tensions so as to find the best compromise to pull the rim back from its natural untrue position.
I would agree that if you just want the wheel to be rideable and not necessarily perfectly true, you could do that yourself. That's especially if you don't have your brakes set up all that close to the rim. It's much easier with the tyre removed though - put the wheel back, close the brakes, turn the bike upside down to stabilise it, and you could do a reasonable job in 5-10 minutes armed only with a spoke key.
I've been told Paul Hewitt does Mark Cavendish's wheels. So I think Merlin would be the better option, plus the tech guy there gave me a load of shimano shims for brakes for nothing.
I think around a tenner isn't too bad.
It agree it's not that hard to do yourself, but it depends on how bad it is. My rear wheel needs some love because it's not very round! It is quite light and taken a bit of a battering on my old DH bike.
I think I'll drop it into a shop that I know has a good wheel builder as I think he'll need to muck about with the tension etc. I'd rather it was done properly as I'm not always that sympathetic on the SX!
I've found a bent spoke so not sure if that will have a large effect on it, presuming it needs to be replaced?