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Old 07-09-08, 02:41 PM   #1
Camilo
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replaced spoke - wrong size

Hi: OK, I'll get it off my chest. After doing this for about 15 years and literally hundreds of times, and never screwing up, about a week ago I took the front wheel off my bike to load it into the back of the car and..... you guessed it, I forgot about the wheel and returned an hour later to find I'd run over it when leaving my parking lot. I have gotten complacent - my usual technique is to put the wheel on the driver's side of the care where it can't be missed. This time I put it on the passenger side for some unfathomable reason.

The good news is that it was a soft sand/gravel parking lot and I believe that helped mitigate the damage.

I looked at the wheel, and the rim was obviously, but not severely bent. There was little or no obvious scratching of the hub or rim. There were no obvious broken spokes and the most obvious damage was the severly bent skewer.

Took it to LBS and they replaced one spoke and trued the wheel. The wheel isn't perfect, but it's very, very good, and probably nothing I'd notice if they hadn't pointed out to me that it wasn't perfect. In fact, it's no worse than my other front wheel which is also a tiny bit out of true, but not enough to bother getting it tweaked. I might bring it to another shop later just to see if it can be trued better. But, even if it can't be trued to perfection, it's well within being within my personal tolerance for imperfection and there is no brake rub even with my normal degree of "pretty close" brake adjustment.

But, I was looking at the wheel the other day to see which spoke was new - and after looking at it, it's obvious because the new spoke is larger diameter. It's a good quality spoke (DT), and the same color (black), but it's obviously a little thicker. I did a rough comparison with the micrometer, and it measures thicker although I can't tell you how much because I didn't have my reading glasses with me at the time. I was just setting the micrometer to compare diameter.

I'm riding the wheel and it works great. I'm frankly VERY relieved that I have a fully functional wheel after my boneheaded error. I just want to know if I should insist they replace the spoke with one of the same specs as the others.

Thanks.
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Old 07-09-08, 03:33 PM   #2
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Functionally I doubt it matters. Aesthetically, you'll have to decide for yourself.

Spokes have become a major problem for bike shops. They're a money loser.

Back in the day you could pick from 14 ga. or 14/15/14 ga. You could also have any color you liked as long as it was silver.

Today there are several different gauges + bladed in reasonably common use. There's both black and silver and they all come in a gazillion different lengths. Many wheels require specialty spokes too. The bike shop can't usually buy just one and the likelihood of selling the extra's in any reasonable period of time is slim.

When bike shops are willing to expend the time to hand cut and thread blank spokes that typically sell for about a dollar, you know the inventory issue is a problem.
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Old 07-09-08, 03:51 PM   #3
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Functionally I doubt it matters. Aesthetically, you'll have to decide for yourself.

Spokes have become a major problem for bike shops. They're a money loser.

Back in the day you could pick from 14 ga. or 14/15/14 ga. You could also have any color you liked as long as it was silver.

Today there are several different gauges + bladed in reasonably common use. There's both black and silver and they all come in a gazillion different lengths. Many wheels require specialty spokes too. The bike shop can't usually buy just one and the likelihood of selling the extra's in any reasonable period of time is slim.

When bike shops are willing to expend the time to hand cut and thread blank spokes that typically sell for about a dollar, you know the inventory issue is a problem.
Thanks. Aesthetics isn't an issue. Nobody - including myself - would ever give it a second look. Heck, I wouldn't even care if it were the single silver spoke among the black ones. Sort of a badge of honor (as long as the true story doesn't come out).
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Old 07-09-08, 05:32 PM   #4
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The size won't matter You'll never know it's different unless you show everyone.
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Old 07-09-08, 06:03 PM   #5
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You're worrying about nothing. Leave it be. Its fine.
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Old 07-09-08, 06:14 PM   #6
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The size won't matter You'll never know it's different unless you show everyone.

Actually, I'm trying to hide the whole fiasco!
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Old 07-09-08, 09:44 PM   #7
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And you posted this on the internet? ! ? ! ? !?

I can see it now. Months will go by and one day you'll end up at a coffee stop with another cyclist comparing rides and he'll notice the spoke and suddenly the light will go on, his eye's open wide and an accusatory finger will rise to point at you.... "HEY! YOU MUST BE CAMILO! THE GUY THAT RAN OVER HIS OWN WHEEL IN THE DRIVEWAY! ! ! !" at the top of his lungs in surprise and amazement. And then the whole coffee shop will know and look at you and they'll shake their collective heads in the shame you'll feel....

.... or not....

Where do you live? I gotta check out coffee shop addresses in your area....
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Old 07-10-08, 02:12 AM   #8
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Remember Six degrees of separation? Soon the whole world is going to know!
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Old 07-10-08, 01:24 PM   #9
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Remember Six degrees of separation? Soon the whole world is going to know!
Oh, did you guys think it was me? I must have mis-wrote, because it happened to a guy I know and I'm just trying to help him out, because, er, he currently doesn't have web access. Yea, that's the ticket.
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