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  1. #1
    Great guy poululla's Avatar
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    Stupid bloody spokes!!

    Here is the story, my rear wheel keeps on breaking spokes. I have Campagnolo Record 10 speed gruppo. The spokes are DT Swiss (very good according to the LBS) and the rims is MAVIC OPEN PRO. I weigh 77 kg's (169 lbs). My LBS claim that I may weigh to much, therefor the breaking spokes. If this is true, do I need to upgrade my rim to a MAVIC CXP33, to compensate for my "weight". I really do not feel like buying a new set of wheels, I just bought a house, so my finances is a bit tight for the next few months (years!!??)
    I have used a set of wheels with MAVIC CXP33's before, and was quite happy with them.
    Any ideas guys? Thanks in advance

  2. #2
    Don't Believe the Hype RiPHRaPH's Avatar
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    i ride open pro's with the same spokes. this wheelset is very sturdy and normally bombproof! i weigh 180lbs and had a problem with broken spokes on the same NON-DRIVETRAIN SIDE - i'd be going up a hill, standing and stomping and hear ---POP!! the fix isn't simply to keep replacing the spoke....the LBS has to back off the tension on most all the spokes and nearly rebuild the wheel. my shop did it for nothing because i was always in there and bought the wheels from them initially.,....no more broken spokes since then.
    I have enough words to get me into trouble, but not enough to get me out of trouble.

  3. #3
    The Flying Scot chewa's Avatar
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    I may be wrong, but I thought the whole point of spokes was that they are strong when in tension and therefore strengthen a rim. Don't think i's a problem with the rim, just the spoke tension must be out. maybe some spokes are overtensioned compared to the rest.
    plus je vois les hommes, plus j'admire les chiens

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  4. #4
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    Your weight has nothing to do with it. At 169lbs there shouldn't be any undue strain on the spokes or the rims. A properly made wheel should have equal tension on ALL spokes.

    A wheel will run true even if the tension is not equal.

    The next time you get your wheel back, pluck the spokes with your fingernail. They should all sound almost the same; if not, have him do the wheel over.
    ljbike

  5. #5
    Forum Admin lotek's Avatar
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    Well for what its worth I thought the Open Pro is mavics top of
    the linerim (other than prebuilt stuff like Ksyriums) so going to a
    CPX33 wouldn't really change anything.
    As stated above the problem is in the spokes, not the rim.
    One suggestion might be to go to a butted spoke. Although
    counter intuitive (smaller guage spoke) the theory is the butted
    spoke is more flexible than a straight guage spoke.
    I know in the past you've really praised your LBS, but on
    this issue if they're truely saying the RIM is wrong for your
    weight they are, as Pokey says, "full of hooey".
    Have them rebuild the wheels. while they are at it, ask if you
    can watch/assist/learn, especially if they are going to relace
    the wheel with DB spokes. A great learning experience and a
    skill that not many folks have anymore.

    Marty
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  6. #6
    Just Pedal
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    There are instances when a wheel is built if one does not relieve the tension before it is ridden this can lead to broken spokes. There have also been cases of some production runs of spokes having the heads pop off. However it sounds to me like there is too much tension on the spokes without having the stress relieved.

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    I,ve been building wheels for a long time, I perfer wheelsmith spokes over DT spokes but I don't believe one is truely stronger that the other. Your weight has nothing to do with the broken spoke problem you have. Your spokes are breaking for one of two reasons. Reason 1: the rim you have is bent and the LBS is straightening the rim with over stressed spoke tension in one area. Reason 2: The LBS you are using doesn't know how to properly build a wheel. The spokes should be tensioned to about 105kg on the drive side for recreational riding, but most importantly, the spoke tension has to even around the wheel, I like to get them all within 1 or 2 kg of each other. If your wheels are being built using straight rims, and the spokes are tightened to the proper tension and tensioned evenly your wheels should be able to carry your weight plus bags for many many trouble free miles. I also like to get the wheel straight using dial indicators, I like to see wheel be within .001" round and .002" true before they leave my shop. They also need to be properly dished, but that has nothing to do with broken spokes if everything else is within spec.
    Achieve your goals: Attitude is everything:

  8. #8
    Senior Member mechBgon's Avatar
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    Lots of good advice already given I would add that obviously, the spoke tensions should be only compared to other spokes on the same side of the wheel... you will have much lower tension on the rear non-drive side as a whole, naturally.

    DT spokes are certainly good quality, and in my experience it's very unusual for them to break under any circumstance (ditto for Wheelsmith). My guess is there wasn't enough tension initially, or the spokes lost tension as their elbows settled against the hub (which many wheelbuilders do during building as a preventative measure). With low tension, the non-drive side may suffer temporary loss of spoke tension as you ride, so the spoke goes limp-taut-limp-taut-limp-taut... and fatigue is aggravated. Just a speculation.

  9. #9
    Just ride. roadbuzz's Avatar
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    Originally posted by poululla
    My LBS claim that I may weigh to much
    Bzzzt! Wrong. Next contestant, please.

    I, too, had a rear wheel that mysteriously kept breaking spokes. In my case the problem was solved by doing a complete rebuild with new spokes (the rim was fine). If the shop you're dealing with gives advice like that quoted above, I think you should find another shop to do the work.

  10. #10
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    As everyone else has said, you have a spoke tension problem. If your LBS cannot figure that out take the wheels to a shop that knows how to properly build a wheel and pay for it, at least your problem will be gone. I had weighed as much as 220 and broke maybe three spokes in 12 years on my touring bike. Yeah I know more spoke on the touring bike, but it had relatively low grade wheels. I bought a new bike with improperly tensioned spokes and broke spokes all the time. Eventually I ended up buying a set of wheel from a different shop. Ask them if they have a spoke tension gauge if they do not go somewhere else.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Richard Cranium's Avatar
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    Of all the comments previously stated, only Mr FIX seems to have the clue......

    Quality parts, regular guy = broken spokes (wrong answer)

    Now, the plot thickens, the wheel has been "worked on" several times......

    I think we're missing info about that "hop" in the rim that just won't go away.

    You damged the rim, the bike shop didn't tell you, corrected the damage by tightening spokes. The corrected spokes are tight beyond spec, and fail after a while.....

    On the other hand it COULD be a goof-ball mechanic... evidenced by the "you are heavy" remarks........

    Sounds like a new wheel at new bike shop.....is in order.

  12. #12
    Great guy poululla's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the advice. I have been dealing with my LBS for some time and most of it was good, but recently he seems to suck. I am going to tell him tomorrow that I will have to take my business somewhere else in the future. He reminds me of my previous dentist who specialized in "patchwork" dentistry - just enough so that you had to go back a few months later....

  13. #13
    Just Pedal
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    Originally posted by Richard Cranium

    I think we're missing info about that "hop" in the rim that just won't go away.

    Sounds like a new wheel at new bike shop.....is in order.
    I do not think that a new wheel is in order. I seriously doubt his rear hub has been compromised from broken spokes. The "hop" was not included in his original post, and a wheel does not have to have this present in order for spokes to break. What needs to be done though is for the wheel to be rebuilt by a better qualified mechanic. Spoke tension is the problem. Everyone itterated that here, just used different words. You said it as well in your own way.

  14. #14
    Senior Member mechBgon's Avatar
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    I thought I'd mention for the record that I weigh about 165 pounds and used 32-spoke wheels with 15-16ga. double-butted DT spokes on my road racer... front and rear. The LBS's ideas that you are too heavy are certainly off-base, as everyone's said.

    There is a lot of dish on a Campy 9sp or 10sp rear wheel, and it does call for careful building. Good luck with the next build, and if it were me I would use 14-15ga butted spokes and a fresh rim, since rims sometimes take a warp when spokes break. Hope it all works out for the best...

  15. #15
    Forum Admin lotek's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Richard Cranium
    Now, the plot thickens, the wheel has been "worked on" several times......

    I think we're missing info about that "hop" in the rim that just won't go away.
    Richard,
    Where did you get this info? One can assume each broken
    spoke resulted in trip to the shop.
    I didn't see anything in any of the posts about wheel hop.
    Did I miss something or is this pure conjecture?

    Just Curious
    Marty
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  16. #16
    Senior Member Richard Cranium's Avatar
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    Hey truing wheels over the internet is hard----...

    Usually posts are short on specifics, like how long and well did the wheel work in the first place, or did it?

    I mispoke regarding a "whole" wheel, I meant rebuild it...with a new rim and spokes..maybe....

  17. #17
    Great guy poululla's Avatar
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    OK, here is more information about the wheel. The wheel has been completely rebuild after 2 spokes broke in a race. The wheel looked pretty warped that time....My LBS used new spokes after we found out that the original wheel builder used different spoke lengths!! This is now the second time that a spoke has broken, and this is a re-build, re-spoked wheel!
    I think we all are in agreeance that my weight has nothing to do with it, but that it has instead something to do with spoke tension, when he tried to true the wheel after the first re-build.

    What annoyes me is that I now have to confront my LBS with this information. Having a good relationship with your LBS is paramount.

  18. #18
    xc AND road WoodyUpstate's Avatar
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    If, after dismantling the wheel, the rim is warped (lay it on a flat surface and watch it rock), it's time for a new rim as it will be impossible to get even tension on the spokes.

    I "enjoyed" this scenario last summer when my rear MTB wheel came back from the LBS trued, but had loose spokes and some very tight spokes - on the same side of the wheel. I asked the wrench about it and he said the rim was toast, and not to ride it. He didn't charge me for the truing. I took the wheel apart and the rim was badly warped. No amount of truing or new spokes could have saved it.

  19. #19
    Infamous Dumpster Diver Buddha Knuckle's Avatar
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    One other possibility...

    I read about spoke elbow/flange hole mismatch problems on Peter White's website. If your spoke elbow does not fit snugly in the hub's flange hole, the spoke breaks from fatigue much sooner. The fix is to use tiny brass washers at the hub/spoke interface. I doubt this is the problem, but just for the sake of completeness...

    By the way, I agree. Your LBS mechanic is a boob.

    BK
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