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Thread: Loose Spokes

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Loose Spokes

    Ok gang, my mate asked me to look at his bike yesterday (Claude Butler MTB - I don't recall the model) because the back wheel was "wobbly." I dismounted the wheel and re-seated it, but that didn't help. The wheel still didn't rotate without wobbling. Yeap, remembering my Zinn (my mate and I are both newbies to the maintenance of bikes) I ran my hand around his spokes.

    "Can't be that," I thought. "The bike is only two months old and hasn't been ridden THAT much."

    Yeap - at last count I found no less than 9 loose spokes.

    So my question is, how do spokes (that many??) get so loose so soon? Is it something we can fix, or should he go to the LBS?

    Thanks, and I feel as if we averted a disaster. Had he ridden the bike again.....

    Paul in Harnham, Salisbury

  2. #2
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Every spoke affects the tension of every other spoke so loose spokes beget more loose spokes.

    At this point, unless you are confident of what you are doing, I'd recommend taking the wheel to a shop. What needs to be done is to loosen all of the spokes until just one thread is showing, then gradually build even tension back into the wheel.

  3. #3
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    Usually wheels come apart like you mate's has because the wheel was built too loose to begin with. If the bike is only two months old, take it back to the shop. This was an initial assembly error that the shop is responsible for. Even if they didn't build the wheel, any reputable shop, on assembly, will catch an undertensioned wheel and correct the problem.
    Il faut de l'audace, encore de l'audace, toujours de l'audace

    1980 3Rensho-- 1975 Raleigh Sprite 3spd
    1990s Raleigh M20 MTB--2007 Windsor Hour (track)
    1988 Ducati 750 F1

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