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  1. #1
    Senior Member Hawkster's Avatar
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    Do I need heavier spokes?

    Hey guys, I got a new Fuji Ace at the end of this past March, it is my first road bike and I like it very much. The thing is that I broke a spoke on it when It had about 400 miles on it, I took it to the shop and they replaced it free of charge, then the next time I went riding another broke after 25 miles. (I was making a tight, low speed left turn when it happened) I replaced that one myself and trued the wheel as best I could and have gotten about 40 to 50 miles out of it so far with no trouble. I was wondering if it would be wise to put in 12 guage spokes on just the drive side of the back wheel as this is where I am having the trouble, or were the spokes just improperly tensioned or something? I weigh ~245 lb. and do not want to have to always worry about braking a spoke when I'm somewhere out in the boonies. Thanks for the advice, Paul J.
    Three wheels do not a bicycle make.

  2. #2
    Chi
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    Rides with Cows Chi's Avatar
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    What kind of wheels are these?

  3. #3
    Career Cyclist threadend's Avatar
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    Heavier spokes aren't necessarily the answer. Where are the spokes breaking? What kind of wheel / spoke / hub are you using? If they are breaking at the elbow that hooks into the hub then it is more likely that improper tension is the culprit.

    There are as many causes of spokes breaking as there are spokes in the wheel. More information will bring out many informed opinions from BikeForum members.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member djbowen1's Avatar
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    I agree with threadend, it may not be the spokes, rather the spoke number and layout.

  5. #5
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    I should think that you need a 36 spoke wheel properly built and probably 14g spokes.
    ljbike

  6. #6
    The Red Lantern Rev.Chuck's Avatar
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    I bet a quarter that the spokes are either straight guage 15's or black or both.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member Hawkster's Avatar
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    Ok,
    The wheels are AlexRims RP-15F they come standard on the Fuji Ace, and there are 32 spokes, for more info visit Fuji bikes/ Ace . It says at the site that they are stainless steel , 14ga spokes.
    They are breaking at the elbow where they go into the hub. Also, when I was trueing the wheel I noticed that a couple of the spokes on the drive side were bottomed out in the nipple, don't know if that is relevent but the more info the better right?
    I guess thats all for now, thanks
    Three wheels do not a bicycle make.

  8. #8
    Forum Admin lotek's Avatar
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    Have your LBS stress relieve all of the spokes.
    I'm betting that the Alex wheels are machine built
    and nothing is done with them after they are done on
    the machine.

    Marty
    Sono più lento di quel che sembra.
    Odio la gente, tutti.

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  9. #9
    Carfree Retro Grouch hayneda's Avatar
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    Originally posted by lotek
    Have your LBS stress relieve all of the spokes.
    I'm betting that the Alex wheels are machine built
    and nothing is done with them after they are done on
    the machine.

    Marty
    Yes.

    Unfortunately an all too common problem

    Dave
    Bikes are either fixed or broken

  10. #10
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    This is an interesting thread.....I was just looking through this section hoping that someone would ask this exact question about busting spokes......I am having the same problem....2 spokes busted at the elbow in 2 months....I weigh about 230lbs and ride a large frame (59cm) LeMond. My wheels are Mavic CXP22's with the black spokes....and I am told that the spokes are quite soft (what do you want for an entry level road bike)....It seems as though this is a common problem....Should I just upgrade the rear rim to a better guage spoke instead of constantly replacing individual one?

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    Large duys should ride on 36 spoke, properly built wheels.
    vini... vidi....bici

  12. #12
    Senior Member
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    that should have read "large guys"
    vini... vidi....bici

  13. #13
    Senior Member BAC5.2's Avatar
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    thicker spokes do nothing but add weight.

    A spoke almost NEVER breaks in the middle, always at the elbow.

    I would never run anything bigger than a double butted 14/15/14 spoke, and that's what I had on my old mountain biking wheels.

    Large guy's don't necessarily need to run 36 spokes. I have a 230 pound friend that rides a 32 spoke wheel on his mountain bike (Chris King hub laced 3x on Sun Rhynolite rims with 14g straight gauge spokes), and he rides almost as hard as me.

    What you should do is take the wheel to the shop. Have them rebuild the wheel with 14g straight gauge spokes in a 3x pattern. If I'm not breaking spokes at a 75 rating on the Tensionometer, you won't be doing it on a road bike.
    2003 Banshee Scream. Banshee Pride!

  14. #14
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    Originally posted by bikerchas55
    that should have read "large guys"
    Check out the Large Riders in Road Cycling I started. It has some interesting discussion about wheelsets for large riders. The reason I started it is I am 6'3" and weigh 240lbs and wanted to find the best wheelset available, among other components.
    "My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die."

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    Last Sunday, I broke six spokes. Had them replaced and the wheel trued. Today, I broke another one. Seems that guys my size, 6'3" 240lbs, should have a 36 hole rim and at least 14g spokes. If this one doesn't hold, I am going to order a new wheel.
    "My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die."

  16. #16
    Senior Member Hawkster's Avatar
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    Just an update, I have now put over 700 miles on the bike since I replaced the second spoke myself and have not had any more trouble from them. I guess that they were just not trued and tensioned carefully enough when I took it in for the tuneup. Later, Paul J.
    Three wheels do not a bicycle make.

  17. #17
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    Since my last post, I have broken five more spokes. I replaced the last two myself and so far, no trouble, but only 40 miles on them.

    I also ordered a new, 36 spoke heavy duty wheel. It should come in today or tomorrow.

    Frankly, I am a bit leary of venturing too far from home. I don't want to be 20 miles from home and break so many spokes I can't even limp home.
    "My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die."

  18. #18
    Cabrõnista™ dprayvd's Avatar
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    aaaaa
    Last edited by dprayvd; 02-06-08 at 01:55 PM. Reason: aaaaa
    .
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  19. #19
    Senior Member miamijim's Avatar
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    32 or 40 spoke rims with 14 gauge DT's and silver rims. Those dark hard anodized rims are so rigid they absorb litlle road shock sending it to yuor spokes.
    The counter point to this is the sliver rims are not as rigid and may flex to much for heavy riders.
    WWW.CYCLESPEUGEOT.COM 1984 Schwinn Paramount; 1987 Schwinn Paramount; 1975 Tom Ritchey, 198X Vitus

  20. #20
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    I am a wheelbuilder who offers a lifetime warranty against spoke breakeage and truing on wheels I spec and build. It's no surprise then, that many of my customers are folks who have had lots of wheel issues and are seeking a solution. For riders who put a lot of stress on wheels, I usually recommend 36 hole rims like the Velocity Dyad(465gr), or Mavic CXP-33(470gr) or the Mavic T520(565gr) for Clydesdales, built 3x with 2.0-1.8-2.0mm DT or WheelSmith spokes with spoke head washers and a tie and solder job. The guys I do this for ride happy and wheel trouble free.

    Your best solution is to only deal with wheelbuilders who will guarantee their work. Big guys don't have to put up broken spokes as a way of life!!!

  21. #21
    Senior Member miamijim's Avatar
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    Why dont you lace you wheels with these:
    http://www.dtswiss.com/index.asp?fus...ikedetail&id=6

    no washers needed....if you need washers with 2.0mm spokes its probably time to buy new hubs...
    WWW.CYCLESPEUGEOT.COM 1984 Schwinn Paramount; 1987 Schwinn Paramount; 1975 Tom Ritchey, 198X Vitus

  22. #22
    The Red Lantern Rev.Chuck's Avatar
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    The spoke washers are to provide a smooth seat for the spoke, not to "repair" an enlarged hole. I always use them on rebuilds.
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  23. #23
    Senior Member miamijim's Avatar
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    Rev. I politely disagree with you. According to DT's website the washers are indeed to make up for 'slack' between the spoke and the spoke hole itself not to smooth out the hub. Hubs being re-laced do have enlarged or distorted holes quite often so it does make sense to use them. I have never used them on any of the wheels I've built and my wheels have always held up fine.

    http://www.dtswiss.com/index.asp?fuseaction=spokes.bike

    Then click on FAQ then click on why do spokes break.
    WWW.CYCLESPEUGEOT.COM 1984 Schwinn Paramount; 1987 Schwinn Paramount; 1975 Tom Ritchey, 198X Vitus

  24. #24
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    First to avoid confusion, I recently posted as dvankat. He works here as well, and I didn't realize he'd logged me out.

    miamijim,

    It would really be nice to have all gauges of spokes on hand, but it's just not practical. So whenever a hub, whether new or a re-lace flunks the slop test, it gets built with spoke head washers. In wheels in which I've spec'd the parts I have had zero spoke failures. That's several hundred pair worth!

    I don't disagree that Alpine III's with their extra diameter at the head is an elegant solution, but washers work just fine as well, and I don't have to stock several hundred extra spokes...
    Doug Hamilton
    www.rounderwheels.com

  25. #25
    Senior Member miamijim's Avatar
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    Dave I do agree that washers are a nice solution to failing the 'flop' test. I do remember the days of having a myriad of spokes in stock and the customer always wants the ones you dont have. The Alpines with thier extra thickness are just another option. I just wanted to clarify that spoke washers are for taking up 'slop' not for smoothing out the surface of the hubshell. I will admit that wheels I have built have broken spokes but they always broke after what could be considered to be the lifespan of the spoke. You are right, properly spec-ing a wheel is important and adds to the lifespan of the wheel.
    WWW.CYCLESPEUGEOT.COM 1984 Schwinn Paramount; 1987 Schwinn Paramount; 1975 Tom Ritchey, 198X Vitus

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