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· Ace Tuner
4,980 Posts
When I spin my front wheel and tire on my dirt bike, I can swear that I see a "lump" or "high spot" in the tire. And, maybe it's just in my head, but I can swear that I feel it on road. This got me thinking either the tire is bad and/or the wheel isn't true. A couple of questions.

1. Is it possible the problem is just in the tire? Or, is it more likely the issue is the wheel, which is causing the "high spot"
on the tire?

1) Possible it is only the tire but not at all likely. BTW, that is called "hop".

2. What is the best way to true this wheel or check for trueness without a wheel stand. Can I do this with the wheel on the bike?

2) If it is WAY OUT OF TRUE you could probably see it just by getting the tire off the ground and spinning it while eyeballing the wheel/tire assembly, but the best way is to remove the wheel so.....
Without a truing stand you can slide the axle thru the wheel bearings and rest each end of the axle on chairs, cinder blocks or whatever.
Position a long-ish screwdriver (resting on a third chair/block and pointing to the flat inside area where the tire bead would be) so that as you spin the wheel you can watch for "hop" as the wheel turns.
The max out of true spec is usually no more than about .040" out. Where I went to school it was no more than .020" out.
You'd be surprised how easy it is to see .020"~.040" with nothing but a screwdriver and the naked eye.

You can check for side to side true the same way but with the screwdriver 'pointing' to the outside edge of the rim.

3. Do I need to take the tire off or can I leave it on? I've read that sometimes, a spoked wheel can be trued without the tire and then when a tire is installed (and air put in) it can lose its trueness.

3) To check for hop you will need to remove the tire.
If the spokes are tight enough installing the tire will not change anything.
Answers in bold above.

Also note:
You did not say how old the bike is. Older spokes are almost always rusted making truing and torquing correctly a real problem if not impossible without replacing all of the spokes.
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