Quick and basic procedure for truing (straightening) a bicycle wheel at home. Does not require a stand. Snug up your spokes first, and then look for the worst bump. Start there, adjusting only three spokes at a time. Then switch sides and repeat the procedure, always checking for loose spokes. Eventually your wheel problems will become smaller and smaller! Yes, you can still use a zip-tie if you like (or a dial indicator, for that matter). And yes, you can remove the tube and tire first if you want 'truer' results.
Remember: the center of the three spokes gets ½ turn, but the two on each side of it get ¼ turn. If you want to try adjusting five spokes at a time, then try ⅛ of a turn on the outer two spokes. Repeat as needed, and then snug all spokes.
None of this is mathematically perfect, so the built-in error correction here is the post-procedure spoke tightening. Remember, there is no perfect in this world; there is only the asymptotic approach towards it. That pursuit of an ever-refined procedure is what gives us improvement. You can also buy a truing stand. Do that before you follow this procedure ad absurdum, since the net result is an ever-tighter set of spokes, which will eventually cause wheel failure. And I again yield to defeat; admittedly, internet, you are far smarter than I am. But I, being poor, have only my dreams. And unlike superfluous bike repair equipment, you don't have to store those somewhere in your garage.
Wooden bike repair stands:
"Too Cool" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
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