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Thread: Poppin' Spokes

  1. #1
    Senior Member askrom's Avatar
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    Over the past two years of not-too-heavy riding (maybe 50-100 miles/week in New York City), the rear wheel of my bike has popped a spoke *twice*, including today. Once it was at the hub end (the fat nub broke off) and the second time it was at the nipple (it broke just beyond the threads, leaving the threads in the nipple).

    This wheel has also gone more than 1/4" out of true three times during this period (not including the times the spokes popped), sometimes going noticably out of true within only a week after getting it trued.

    The wheel is about 15 years old, Mavic MA-40 rim with Suntour Sprint hub. Before the pops, the spokes all seemed tight, with no loose spokes. Oh, and I suppose I should mention that I'm only about 145 pounds.

    From anecdotal reports from a couple of friends, this kind of thing seems unheard-of. And my front wheel (also MA-40+Sprint) hasn't been trued in 10+ years of riding.

    Has anyone heard of such a thing before? Did some bike mechanic do something incredibly wrong on my rear wheel? Maybe the spokes are cheapo?

    I'm pretty convinced now that I should just buy a new wheel. I'd been meaning to upgrade my old-style freewheel to something a little more racy, but it always seemed a little pointless to seek out a new old-style freewheel as a peicemeal upgrade instead of upgrading to a proper modern cassette hub on a brand-new wheel build.

  2. #2
    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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    Are you the only user of this wheel? THe spokes might be cheap, and breaking from fatigue. But if its losing true like that, it sounds like your spoke tension is off. Try to feel it with your hand, you may even be able to feel it.
    I would start looking at getting a new wheel all together, or get one built.
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  3. #3
    You need a new bike supcom's Avatar
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    The spokes have reached their fatigue life and are likely to continue failing. You can either buy a new wheel or simply have your current wheel rebuilt with new spokes.

    If you are otherwise happy with the wheel and the hub is in good condition, then just have it respoked.

  4. #4
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    Somethings not right, but spokes are cheap. I would fix it until it starts to break spokes more frequently, then at some point I would replace. Just keep in the back of your mind that the wheel is a little weak.

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