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While you don’t need a truing stand for straightening, fixing or building wheels (it’s almost as easy to use your bicycle to hold the wheel while you work), they sure are fun to own and use. And, over the years there have been many interesting and ingenious designs for truing stands and the wheelbuilding tools like spoke wrenches, nipple drivers, dishing tools and tensionometers that are used during wheelbuilding.

This page showcases some of these fun and handy tools. To start, here are some pictures of my truing jig, which features a custom base made by a woodworker friend, a Park TS-2 Truing Stand (note: I bought mine in the late seventies; Park now calls the stand the TS-2.2) and a dial-indicator (set up for lateral truing). Don’t want to build your own base? If you have a bench vise, you can clamp Park’s stand in it, or go with Park’s Truing Stand Base.

There are other makers of truing stands but I have yet to find one that is as easy to use, reliable and durable as Park’s. I highly recommend it. Any bicycle shop can order it for you, or you can order it online. Here’s a link to it on

Also read my extensive bicycle wheelbuilding instructions and tips & tricks.

Click photos below to enlarge

My stand is constructed of birch; roomy drawer is perfect for spoke wrenches, nipple drivers and more; drawer pull hides neatly in base trim when closed

The drawer slides smoothly on the rails inside; nice side and base details give the truing stand a proud stature on the workbench

Wood end caps press into the open ends of Park’s stand to hide the bolts and provide a finished look; notice the many steps to the stand's profile

A 30-pound lead weight inside the base ensures no wobbles when truing, while rubber feet keep it from walking
Some other interesting truing stands (hard to find or antique)
Var’s Atomic mounts to a workbench and is made of heavy-duty steel and cast components. Knobs are plastic/nylon
The PréciRay has built-in dial indicators that make truing easy:

"When the wheel is stopped the pointers indicate magnified three times every radial and axial deviation so you can find out without trial and error the nipple on which you have to operate and at the same time the number of turns to apply in order to bring the rim to the correct position."
Stands like this were probably used at the turn-of-the-century up until the 1920s
Circa 1910 self-centering stand from Whaley Manufacturing of St. Paul, Minnesota

Spoke wrenches for wheel truing and tensioning

A selection of spoke wrenches. There are many more you might find. The black wrench is Park’s SW-0, which fits many standard road wheels. They also make a red, green and blue model for different size nipples, plus an adjustable/locking model for those hard-to-turn rounded nipples. On the lower left is one for Shimano Dura-Ace wheels. The cylindrical one on the top left is for placing nipples in deep-dish wheels so you don’t drop the nipple inside the rim and have to shake it out—always a pain.

A lot of people will tell you that the round, multi-size wrench is a wheel-wrecker, but that’s only if you don’t understand how to use it. It’s actually super handy since with one wrench you can true almost any wheel with standard nipples. You just have to be careful to select the right slot with each spoke adjustment. But, that’s easy once you get the hang of it.

Not shown are the many unique spoke wrenches for the custom nipples often found on modern aero wheels. If you ride these, the wrenches are often provided with the wheels. If not, it’s a good idea to buy one and keep it in your seat bag. Even if you can’t true the wheel, if you at least have the wrench, someone might be able to help you on the road. I will.

Click to enlarge!
While you can flip a wheel around in your fork or frame to determine if the rim is centered over the locknuts (or do it in your truing stand), a more accurate way is to use a tool that lets you measure one side and compare it to the other. That tool is called a dishing gauge. Shown is the Park Wheel Alignment Gauge. It can be used while the wheel is in the truing stand too, a nice time-saver.
Click to enlarge!
Park’s Spoke Tension Meter puts a number on spoke tension and that’s important for finding the optimum tension for your rim, hub and spoke combination. It also lets you balance the tension to ensure you build the strongest wheel.
Click to enlarge slightly.
The Bicycle Research Nipple Driver is a faster and more fun way to install nipples when lacing wheels. You can also use an electric drill, however there’s something nice about this elegant, light, portable tool and it’s just about as fast as the drill in the hands of a pro. It’s also much less likely to overtighten the way a drill could.


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