Touring - Changing drive side spokes on the road
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09-04-07, 06:16 AM
On our recent tour this was a problem. I didn't want to carry a big cresent wrench and a chain whip so I didn't carry any tools to remove the cassette. This was a real PITA since I broke spokes in parts of the country where bike shops were few and far between.
On hindsight I am thinking that if I had carried the cassette tool I could have improvised something by using a vise and or a big cresent wrench at an auto shop or someone's home workshop.
Is there a way to carry tools to pull the cassette without carrying much weight? The PAMIR ENGINEERING HYPER-CRACKER sounds like the ticket. Has anyone used one or something similar?
09-04-07, 06:24 AM
09-04-07, 06:25 AM
Upon more checking the Pamir Engineering Hyper-Cracker is no longer available, but...
Harris Cyclery has:
Unior Pocket Cassette Cracker (Lock Ring Tool) (TL137)
Trophy Bikes has:
STEIN TOOLS Mini Cassette Cracker - $29.50
Any comments on these or other tools made for this purpose?
09-04-07, 07:11 AM
I know of a couple of failures (http://www.vwvagabonds.com/Bike/BikeSuccessFailure.html) of the Stein... I am strange in that I still use a freewheel on one of my tour bikes. I carry a remover and a extra wide jawed small adjustable wrench, that the handle has been trimmed down to fit in the seat tube for extra leverage.:eek:
09-04-07, 07:23 AM
Also, the FiberFix Spoke is a temporary kevlar spoke that does not require any tools for installation. I have heard it works great and you can ride on it for a long time, long enough to get to a bike shop. Haven't used it yet (no need, knock on wood) but I carry it. Costs $11, weights nearly nothing.
09-04-07, 12:59 PM
The Stein tool is being reworked and I hope to have the new more robust version in the next week or so. Will post here when I get it. We successfully used the earlier version about 3 times before we broke it.
You can also try the fiberfix, a flexible kevlar emergency spoke. never used it but heard good things.
09-04-07, 03:39 PM
In the end we decided to simply carry the lock-ring key (see photo below). In case of a broken spoke we would borrow a crescent wrench and use a nylon strap.
I saw a photo of this procedure somewhere. It involved wrapping one end of the strap into the teeth of the cog and the other end around the rim. When torquing on the key the strap bites into the teeth of the cog and holds it from spinning, allowing removal of the lock ring.
As of yet, we have not had to perform this roadside repair. Perhaps someone knows where that photo resides on the web and can post it.
09-04-07, 05:09 PM
I ordered the Unior Pocket Cassette Cracker (Lock Ring Tool) (TL137). I will try it out and see how it works when it gets here if it proves unsatisfactory I will reevaluate. I suspect that it will work fine if no one went crazy when tightening the lock ring in the first place.
I have reasonably strong hands, but I can always hack it with just a cassette lockring tool. I insert the tool into the lockring, then wrap a rag or bandana or something around the cassette so the teeth don't poke my hand. Then I just grip the cassette as hard as I can and unscrew the lockring by hand. This is maybe the ghetto-est way ever, but it's really light on tools and you shouldn't have to do it much.
It's nice to know you can do it in an emergency too!
09-04-07, 11:30 PM
Recently, and I can`t remember where, I read a tribute to a cyclist who`d recently passed away on someone`s blog. This cyclist apparently could change a spoke on the drive side without removing anything! So, it must be possible.... how??! Now that I would love to learn.
I believe the trick is to grind away enough of the head so that what remains is an "S". There is the spoke body, running into the bend, then the bend, then the mushroom is ground off all around except the side furthest from the threads. When done properly the last bit of the mushroom can be clearanced through the hole in the hub, but when the spoke is aligned to the nipple the head won't pull out.
Sounds as though you might have been browsing Ken Kiefer's site. If so perhaps there is a clear description there.
09-05-07, 02:59 AM
Interesting.... hopefully we will never have to try it but if we are stuck in the middle of nowhere with a few days to kill and a broken spoke maybe we will give it a shot! It wasn`t Ken Kiefer`s blog -- the blogger on this site was still living but gave a tribute to his friend. It was an active site. Oh anyway, if I find it I'll come back with a link.
The Human Car
09-12-07, 08:47 AM
FiberFix Spoke: http://www.adventurecycling.org/store/moreinfo.cfm?Product_ID=299
You can make a cheapo 'hypercracker' type tool from a normal one. Check this guy's page out : http://www.hoogie.co.nz/info/hypercracker.htm
09-12-07, 02:33 PM
Check out this old thread http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=256400&highlight=cassette
Velonomad's illustrated method works very well unless the cassette is way over tightened
I've used the longer spoke with the head clipped off, and put in a "z" bend in the past with great success. No need to remove the cassette at all.
This Thread (http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=239070) has a picture of what I'm talking about.
09-13-07, 12:15 AM
I tour every summer usually with our family, I figure odds are some one will be having problems with spokes at some point. After searching for a hyper cracker and not being able to find one I copied the idea and made one up in my garage it works well and took less than an hour.
Its pretty simple if you have a drill press, large bit, a metal chop saw and a way to join metal.....
I drilled a hole in in a cone wrench using a 15/16 inch bit (I think) using the stantard park tool I cut down the splined part to be about 1/4 inch deep, and removed most of the nut on the tool leaving about a 1/16 of an inch like a flange a chop saw worked great for this. I think I could of been brazed but I was a little worried about loosing the temper in the wrench so I sort of tack welded it together using a cheap wire feed welder.
In hind sight I think that silver solder or brazing would of worked just a well and may of looked a little more pro, the home made version has worked so well I use it in the home shop as its faster and easier than the using the "right tools".
I keep meaning to file in a couple of slots to be used as spoke wrenches but not yet.....
09-13-07, 12:35 AM
The easiest is the fiber spoke, but be carefl not to tightenit too much. I always have the long spoke/head cut off/z end in place when I tour because it works really well too. I have also done the grind the outside of the head off so that it looks like a j, but that requires that you fit it ahead. The lockring key and vice is an old trick that works because there are a lot of places with a vice. Now that i know these tricks and have used them all, I lightened my load AND got better and new spokes so i do not break them, the easiest solution of all.
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