Bicycle Mechanics - Spokes
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I've been experiencing some troubles with my rear rim spokes lately. I'm worried of having a broken spoke in one of my longer weekend rides.
Being a complete newbie as far as spokes and truing goes, am I likely to damage the rim even more if I try to install a replacement spoke to get me home from the ride? I'd be interested in learning the basics about truing, but it seems a bit complicated, to say the least...
07-31-02, 05:51 AM
With a 36spoke wheel, it is possible to ride with a broken spoke. You may need to adjust the spoke tension to get the wheel true enough to ride, but I have done this several times on an old, worn-out wheel. Well built wheels are much stronger than poorly built ones, suffer very little spoke breakage, and when they do break, they hold their shape better.
You can get emergency spokes made of synthetic fibres which work quite well, and you dont need to remove the rear cogs to fit it.
It is worth learning to true a wheel. Its easier than it sounds and all you need is a spoke key. I practiced on my old worn-out wheel, so I wasnt too worried about breaking things.
07-31-02, 08:06 AM
Wheel truing does take practice. For the basics see http://www.parktool.com/repair_help/howfix_truing.shtml
OK, MichaelW and Calvin Jones, consider yourselves responsible: I just bought a couple of spare spokes, a spoke wrench and a freewheel puller. I cannot see this ending any other way than causing major damage to my bike.
Seriously though, thanks for the encouragement. I have read and printed out several web pages on this subject (including ParkTool and Sheldon Brown) and I will practice with my older bike (which needs a major overhaul before winter, anyway). I'm actually quite enthusiastic as this is one of the repairs I've needed somewhat regularly and have been quite unable to do myself. We'll see...
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