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Thread: broken spokes

  1. #1
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    broken spokes

    Hi,
    I'm having problems with broken spokes. I'm 63 and just getting going with biking. I have a Schwinn Sierra 700 and have broken three spokes in about two months of light duty riding.

    I'm a big guy, 6-2 and 220 Lbs. All three broken spokes have been on the back wheel.

    I'm quite mechanical and would like to fix the problem myself. I have downloaded several wheel building/spoke fixing things. Is there a brand or type of spoke that would be best for someone my size?

    The rims are ALEX RIMS and have 32 spokes. Should that rim if spoked correctly work ok for me? I'm just a recreational bike rider and don't want the have an ongoing problem with spokes.

    Thanks for any help/ideas.

    sorebut

  2. #2
    Kev
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    Most likely the wheels were machine built, and not properly tensioned. What really should be done the tension should be released on the wheel and retensioned. So all spokes have equal tension all around. With uneven tension it puts alot of stress on some spokes on not others. How long have you had you're bike?

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    I have had the bike for about three months. I bought it used from a real bike shop and they replaced two of the spokes for me for free. But I want to be able to fix things myself. I have made a home made truing stand from an old bike rear fork and a c clamp with a wire.

    You think lostening them all up and starting over would help.

    You think the existing spokes should be ok?

  4. #4
    Senior Member BAC5.2's Avatar
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    When you buy new spokes, get some Wheelsmith spokes.

    14 gauge, straight gauge. I use them, 150lbs (in gear) and riding a good bit harder than your average rider.
    2003 Banshee Scream. Banshee Pride!

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    Spokes

    I agree that 14ga stainless steel spokes are the way to go, but there is more than just the wheelsmith brand: DT, Sapim, Marwi all make good ss spokes.
    remember that those on the drive (FW/Cassette) side are usually 2mm shorter than those on the non-drive side.
    Check the Barnet manual here in the mechanics section for step by step instruction.

    It's really not very difficult if you are careful and take your time.
    lj

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    Senior Member BAC5.2's Avatar
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    Wheelsmiths are more consistant lengthwise and weight wise than DT spokes (we got bored one day and weighed out and measured 100 of each spoke)

    Marwi spokes and Sapim spokes are significantly more expensive than Wheelsmith and DT spokes.

    When I get some money I feel like spending, I'll build my new huck/DH wheels with the Sapim bladed MTB spokes. Those things are INSANELY strong! I just gotta make a phone call to see how much they actually are...
    2003 Banshee Scream. Banshee Pride!

  7. #7
    60mph in the 42 ring! Dave Stohler's Avatar
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    At 220 lbs, whith 32 spokes, you'll need at least straight 14 gauge spokes. My guess is those spokes are 15 gauge.
    Cycling Addict
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    (techinical questions gladly answered via AIM)

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    Kev
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    I know on average I see the bladed sapim spokes for about $2.50 a piece so very expensive, I have one wheelset built with them from speeddream. That wheelset has been virtualy bulletproof on my road bike.

  9. #9
    Geezer Member Grampy™'s Avatar
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    I put a 1000 miles on a Schwinn Sierra 700 and never broke a spoke. (at that time I weighed 250 and worked down to 220). Spokes were not tensioned correctly on your bike. Having all your spokes even in tension is very important to durability.

    If you are going to do it yourself (and more power to ya!) just keep the tension thing in the back of your head....

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grampy™
    I put a 1000 miles on a Schwinn Sierra 700 and never broke a spoke. (at that time I weighed 250 and worked down to 220). Spokes were not tensioned correctly on your bike. Having all your spokes even in tension is very important to durability.

    If you are going to do it yourself (and more power to ya!) just keep the tension thing in the back of your head....
    Thanks to you and the others for the advise. I loostened all the spokes up and replaced just the broken one for now. I thghtened everything back up and trued the wheel. I got things pretty good.
    I have a home made trueing stand made form an old bike frame, a small c-clamp and a piece of light wire. I got the wobble down to almost nothing I can see. Still a little bit of hop but the rim is better than the tire itself.

    The tension on all the spokes seams about the same.

    Haven't got it back on the bike, but will give it a ride tomorrow and see what happens.

    THANKS

  11. #11
    The Red Lantern Rev.Chuck's Avatar
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    Most of a wheels strength comes from the rim. So, if you plan to completely rebuild the wheel get a quality box section rim. Many models are available from Mavic, Sun and others. You can get a shop to figure spoke length or use an online calculator.
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    I am in the woods and I have gone crazy.

  12. #12
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    I had a problem with the my rear wheel holding up under my 6'3", 240lb 57 year old bod. The wheel was 32 hole, straight 14 gauge spokes. Kept popping them left and right. Replaced the wheel with a Sun Ryno lite with 32, straight 12 gauge spokes. So far - 2500 miles - no problems.
    "My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die."

  13. #13
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    I have just finished re-tensoning my rear wheel. I have put just about 20 miles on it and so far it seams to be doing ok. No broken spokes.

    Where do you go about getting 12 ga. spokes and are the hubs or rims drilled to accept them?

    We are just about to get our first SNOW here in Minnesota. I may build up a better, heaiver duty rear wheel this winter.

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