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Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

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Old 07-08-08, 05:40 AM   #1
making
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broke spoke

Almost 14 miles out today I broke a spoke. I was stopped at a light half mile from work and just as I crossed the intersection I felt a clunk in my back wheel and it seemed like my back end went a little to the right. My first though was I dropped my water bottle or light or something. I looked back and seen nothing on the road. It is a very rough and high traffic road, but I dont remember hitting anything. After I got up to speed it was smooth and I came the last half mile to work and slowed down in the parking lot. Then it was obvious somthing was wrong. The spoke is broke and the wheel does not look true. It is the rear wheel. Why would my spoke just break like that? I think I have had 7-8 flats on the rear and none or one on the front, any connection? How much should it cost to get my LBS to fix it? I have a Raleigh Grand Prix 2006, I try to do as much maintence as I know how and if I dont know how I take it to the LBS, but it seems like this bike is not that dependable. I guess it is just wheel and tire problems but it has to be dependable to get to work on. At least I was at work when I had the problem. The other day my tire blew out in my garage just as I got home and another time last it my tire blew right by a park bench so I sat there and comfortably changed my tire. Could be much worse. sorry I will quit
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Old 07-08-08, 05:55 AM   #2
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Spokes

Broken spokes is part of bike riding.
The group I ride with All Carry Spare Spokes, 3 Tubes and a Spare tire.
Mine broke 35 miles from home on a 90 mile ride.
Made a temporay fix witha Kevlar String.
I now carry a spare.

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Old 07-08-08, 06:02 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
Broken spokes is part of bike riding.
The group I ride with All Carry Spare Spokes, 3 Tubes and a Spare tire.
Mine broke 35 miles from home on a 90 mile ride.
Made a temporay fix witha Kevlar String.
I now carry a spare.

so do I need one of those little spoke tools? It wont come out due to the gears is there a trick to that? Thanks for the info.
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Old 07-08-08, 07:34 AM   #4
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1. Broken spokes. The underlying cause is usually uneven spoke tension. If some spokes are significantly looser than others, the loose ones break at the bend. Simply replacing the spoke and retrueing the wheel often doesn't fix it because you still have some spokes that are looser than others. The fix is to use a tensiometer to obtain even tension on all of the spokes and then true the wheel as needed.

I build my own wheels and have never broken a spoke on a wheel that I built.

2. Flat tires. There's a huge difference in tires. Some are much more puncture resistant than others but at the cost of ride quality. Specialized Armadillos are the gold standard relative to puncture resistance but they are so stiff that they ride like cart wheels. All of the tire manufacturers offer tires that might be a little less puncture resistant than Armadillos, but ride a bit better.

I use Continental Gatorbacks on my tandem and retro grouch bike. I carry supplies to fix one flat tire and, so far, that's been sufficient.

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Old 07-08-08, 07:48 AM   #5
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I got spoke tensions all over the place. The card that comes with the tensiometer gives a range of 18-24 or something and mine read from 14-28 or so.
But it is mostly true...
If I adjust all the spokes to the same tension, will I end up needing to readjust them close to what they are at now to true it?
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Old 07-08-08, 08:03 AM   #6
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If I adjust all the spokes to the same tension, will I end up needing to readjust them close to what they are at now to true it?
They won't be exactly the same but you can almost surely get closer than what you have now.

Back off all of the spokes until you have 1 thread showing. That's to make sure you are at a common starting place. Then tighten each spoke exactly 1/2 turn at a time. It'll take several times around the wheel to bring it up to tension but the spoke tensions will be close and the wheel will be pretty round. When it comes time to true the wheel, tighten and loosen opposing pairs of spokes the same amount to achieve the least possible spoke tension deviation.
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