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Old 09-05-02, 11:23 PM   #1
TotalKos
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Help with spokes breaking

Well I don't know much about truing a tire or spoke tension. Recently (in a bout a month) I have had five or six spoke breaking incidents at times while I'm riding on the pavement, not jumping or anything. I have had them fixed and another one breaks after a couple of days.

I have an 18" 2000 Kona with Mavic X138 rims w/32 spokes. This bike has been used on pavement, gravel, dirt, and occasionally, mud. I do a lot of easy-on-the-bike riding with a little bit of -hard-on-the-bike riding to break a sweat. I weigh no more than 210.

Can anyone please tell me the possibile causes of this problem and how I might remedy it so I don't have to visit my LBS every week.

Do I need new rims? New something else? Hub? Upgrade to 36 spokes? Is it cuz I'm too heavy?

Please help.
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Old 09-06-02, 12:22 AM   #2
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Spokes break from fatigue, not overload, so the blame lies with the wheelbuilder. The wheel was most likely not stress-relieved and because so many spokes have broken, you will need to rebuild the wheel. Assuming that the rim is not damaged and that the rim sidewalls are not overly worn then it can be reused. You can also reuse the hub, making sure to follow the same lacing pattern. Find a competant wheelbuilder who will stand behind their work or, even better, pick up a copy of The Bicycle Wheel and learn to build better wheels than the average joe.

Last edited by bikerider; 09-06-02 at 12:25 AM.
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Old 09-06-02, 01:03 AM   #3
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Also, many original-equipment wheels are built with lower-quality spokes. DT-brand or Wheelsmith-brand spokes have a much longer fatigue life than the typical OEM spokes do, so make sure to insist on them when building or having the wheel built.
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Old 09-07-02, 09:13 AM   #4
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I build my own wheels. When I first bought my Giant mountain bike, I had the same problem with spoke breakage. The problem was the spokes. Once I re-buildt the wheel with DT spokes, the problem ended.
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Old 09-07-02, 09:47 PM   #5
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Cheap spokes are false economy. Always insist on DT or Wheelsmith!

The advice about keeping the same lacing pattern when reusing a hub is spot-on. The only time I have ever experienced chronic spoke breakage was when I experimented with a new lacing pattern on an old Campag. Record hub, whose spoke holes had elongated with use and age.
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Old 09-08-02, 03:25 PM   #6
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To add on to what John E said, aside from
avoiding cheap spokes, Butted spokes are
actually stronger than straight guage spokes.
I'm of the opinion that 14/15 guage spokes are
about the best thing going.
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Old 09-09-02, 12:53 AM   #7
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Spokes, like anything else, wear out!!!, not necesarily anyone's fault. When they start breaking- replace them, NOT one at a time. Have your wheel rebuilt with QUALITY SPOKES, like DT or Wheelsmith etc.

Ride Well Spoken
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Old 09-12-02, 06:33 AM   #8
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Thanks all for your help.

I am going to rebuild the wheel. I will have them both rebuilt at the end of the season, which is coming up toooooo fast over here. I still have a couple months. If I can find this thread later on I will let you all know how it went. Thanks again.
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