I have no experienced in this so I am going to refer you to some videos and web sites that can explain it better then I ever could.
Wheel building videos
Wheel building web sites
These are for you less visual learners that like to read more then watch.
An amendment to the section twisted added on wheel building...
what to do after your wheel is built... by ridebmxnc
Once you've built your wheel and your spokes are all properly tensioned (barely move when you squeeze two of them together if at all), your going to want to break in your newly built wheel.
Just like you have to break in a new pair of shoes, a wheel needs to be broken in before its riden too hard or your going to create a lot more work for yourself. Why you ask? Because spokes are typically much harder than the material your hub is made out of and when you put stress on two metal parts rubbing together one of them is going to have to give. If you've ever taken apart a hub before you'll notice that some if not all of the spoke holes on your hub will have a little indentation around the hole. That is where the spoke has pulled on the flange and set itself during its initial break in period.
So what are you supposed to do with this knowledge now? Pre-stress your wheel before you go really ride it for the first time. Now getting back to what next from the first paragraph...
First thing after youve built your wheel, go and find a block of wood. Set one side of your axle on it and press down on the rim, do it gently at first but enough to make the wheel flex a little. Rotate it around and then flip it upside down and do the same thing on the other side.
Next, go back and re-tension and true your wheel because this will have started some of the break in process and the spoke heads will have set a bit.
Next go back to your piece of wood and do the same thing except this time your going to stand on your wheel instead.
Now go back in and re tension and true your wheel again.
Now your wheel is ready to start riding, but not anything hard. Try taking it around the block a few times and doing some bunny hops or 180s.
Go back inside and re-tension and true your wheel. Do this a couple more times and your wheel should be about broken in and ready to do some real riding. After every session your first couple of sessions make sure you re-check the tension and true again.
Performing this process will greatly improve the stiffness and life of your wheelset. Note be very careful stressing the wheel by standing on it... if you're a big dude it might be a better idea to find a smaller person to do it for you just to be safe.
In short to true all you do is loosen and tighten spokes. Finding out which spokes you tighten and loosen and by how much is the tricky part. Truing is a very time consuming process, which the more times you do it the easier it will become. No matter which method you use you will do the same thing to true you wheel.
First you will find out to which side the wheel is wobbling too. If the wheel wobbles to the left you tighten the spokes on the right then if need be you also loosen spokes on the left just slightly and vice versa. You will only want to turn the spoke about a half turn each time because the spoke could twist and you don’t want that. TAKE YOUR TIME.
Normally you would want and truing stand to do this but there are other ways. Some common ways to check to see if you wheel is true is to use your brakes as guides. We all know most of us don’t run brakes anymore so what else can we use? I will try to explain some of the other things we can use and how to use them. You can use zip ties, markers and you can even build your own truing stand.
Okay, for this you will want to get some zip ties. They will act as you indicator and help you figure to which side the wheel wobbles. You will just put them on your forks so the end is near the wheel.
If the wheel wobbles to the left you tighten the spokes on the right then if need be you also loosen spokes on the left just slightly and vice versa
1. Get a marker
2. Spin the wheel
3. Slowly move the marker towards the wheel using the forks as a brace.
4. As soon as it touches the wheel you remove it.
5. It should leave a nice mark where you wheel is out of true.
6. Find the mark and tighten the spoke on the other side of the wheel and loosen the spokes on the marked side of the wheel.
7. Repeat on both sides of the until it’s completely true
Home made truing stands.
For the people that want something a little permanent then Zip Ties but don’t want to spend a bunch of money on a truing stand.
Forks and a vice
What you will need
2. Zip ties or anything else that you want to use as the indicator
3. Old forks
I could tell you how to build it but it would be easier to just show you a picture
Here is a link to another one.
Please message me if you think if something should be changed or added to it.
HOW TO PUT YOUR BIKE TOGETHER
BMX riding Cop... Let that sink in for a minute.