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Old 02-13-08, 08:02 AM   #1
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Replacing a spoke-are some more difficult?

The spoke I'm having to replace threads in from the outside to the inside of the wheel. I can't get it to go where I want to get it without bending the spoke. I don't want to do that.
So, I have removed the cassette, tire, and tube, and I have put a small drop of oil on every nipple in preparation to loosening all the spokes so I can get some leeway to wiggle the spoke into place. The base of the spoke is on the outside of the hub, under the gear rings.
Due to fit, do you sometimes have to do this or is there an easier way?
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Old 02-13-08, 08:07 AM   #2
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It's normal to bend a spoke while installing it.
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Old 02-13-08, 08:12 AM   #3
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The beauty of steel is that there is a bit of bending that can be done before it reaches its fatigue point. Unlike aluminum, for instance. So, bending it some to get it around the other spokes, and around the rim, and into the hole, is just fine.

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Old 02-13-08, 08:39 AM   #4
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It's normal to "flex" spokes to get them in place. You shouldn't have to kink them or put a permanent bend in them.
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Old 02-13-08, 08:51 AM   #5
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When I'm repairing a wheel I always remove the components (if any). It makes for a cleaner more professional job.
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Old 02-13-08, 08:57 AM   #6
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If you are replacing a rear wheel drive side spoke, it's absolutely necessary to remove the cassette or freewheel.
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Old 02-13-08, 09:24 AM   #7
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The beauty of steel is that there is a bit of bending that can be done before it reaches its fatigue point. Unlike aluminum, for instance. So, bending it some to get it around the other spokes, and around the rim, and into the hole, is just fine.

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Old 02-13-08, 10:08 AM   #8
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Aluminum doesn't like to bend. More than once, that is.

Bend the spoke and don't think twice about it. Think about how much bending you do to it when you stress-relieve the wheel after building.
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Old 02-13-08, 10:16 AM   #9
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Aluminum doesn't like to bend. More than once, that is.
This is simply not true! Different aluminum alloys with different levels of heat treatment certainly have different 'bend' characteristics . . . but the same is true with steel and all other metals.

Making a blanket statement that aluminum doesn't like to bend more than once is ridiculous!
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Old 02-13-08, 11:22 AM   #10
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Making a blanket statement that aluminum doesn't like to bend more than once is ridiculous!
I'd guess 95 out of 100 bicycle wheels have steel spokes. I'm not going to enter into a metallurgical discussion as I'm unqualified - but to the OP question, it's perfectly fine and expected to bend steel spokes during wheel building or spoke replacement.
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Old 02-13-08, 01:14 PM   #11
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I am not a metals expert, but as I understand it, the kinds of aluminum alloys that we are likely to see in bike applications do not like to bend. Is this wrong?

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Old 02-13-08, 02:35 PM   #12
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I am not a metals expert, but as I understand it, the kinds of aluminum alloys that we are likely to see in bike applications do not like to bend. Is this wrong?

jim
Probably true in most bike applications, especially true of frames that have been heat treated after welding. But it has less to do with the "alloy type" than the heat treatment. I'm the first to admit that I am not involved in aluminum bike frame construction any more so I do not know what they are doing these days.

My problem with some posts are the generalizations made concerning materials and processes in the manufacture of metal items, urban legends that seem to repeatedly show up in various forums. Nothing personal in any of my remarks.
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Old 02-13-08, 03:19 PM   #13
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Nothing personal taken. jim
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Old 02-13-08, 03:27 PM   #14
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Gentle spoke replacement

Gently flex and weave the new spoke into place being careful to get the cross pattern right and trying to avoid bending or kinking the spoke. Bending the spoke in some gentle arc shape is normal. Truing will bring it back to straight. And don't loosen the other spokes! You may have to do some select loosening during truing but to unload all the spokes is making far too much work and overly complicating a fairly simple procedure.
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Old 02-13-08, 03:30 PM   #15
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Us being on a bike forum and all, I was merely commenting on the fact that, as we all know, once you bend your aluminum anything on a bike, it's toast.

I have nothing against aluminum personally. I kind of like it. It's probably single-handedly responsible for the aeronautical industry as we know it. And my house is covered in it, meaning I haven't had to paint or re-side in 40 years. But even my blown-in insulation guys will tell you that my siding won't look the same once they've taken it off and bent it and then put it back on.
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Old 02-14-08, 08:12 AM   #16
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Here's what I found out:

Instead of bending the spoke, I temporarily removed one that was in the way.

Next time someone asks maybe we can remember to tell them this.
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