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  1. #1
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    Do I need new spokes?

    So I was riding on a set of wheels that I bought off of CL a couple days ago and broke a spoke. My fault, the wheel is probably 20 years old and the spokes were not at tension. So I bought a new spoke and took the opportunity to de and re-tension the wheel and true it all up. However, when I had it just about up to tension, another spoke broke. Both spokes broke right at the head. I do not have a tensionometer but I sure didn't think that the wheel was at that high of tension and this type of thing has never happened to me before.
    So the question is, do you guys think that all the spokes may have been damaged in the past and I am in need of a new set, or can I just replace this second spoke?
    Thanks in advance for your replies.

    Dave

  2. #2
    Senior Member BCRider's Avatar
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    You may be all right but just as easily you may also see a few more break over the next couple of hundred miles. If you replace the broken ones pronto it'll soon settle back down. It's not likely that they are all shot but it is likely that at a couple more are not far from going if you broke two already the way you describe.
    Model airplanes are cool too!.....

  3. #3
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    thanks, I suppose I will buy a couple extra in advance and give it a shot then.

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    I'd suggest after you retension and true that you do the 'stress relief' procedure advocated by Jobst Brandt in his book - using gloves to protect your hands you tightly squeeze pairs of spokes to momentarily overtension them and properly seat them in the hub flange. This may induce some immediate spoke failures if the spokes are already damaged, but the surviving ones should last longer and it'll be better to replace the weak ones now rather than have them break later on the road.

  5. #5
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    Non driveside rear spokes often break at the "J" bend caused by excess flexture due to insufficient tension. The extreme dish offset required of multi-cog rear wheels makes it hard to get enough tension in the non-driveside rear spokes and maintain proper dish.

    Al

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by prathmann View Post
    I'd suggest after you retension and true that you do the 'stress relief' procedure advocated by Jobst Brandt in his book - using gloves to protect your hands you tightly squeeze pairs of spokes to momentarily overtension them and properly seat them in the hub flange. This may induce some immediate spoke failures if the spokes are already damaged, but the surviving ones should last longer and it'll be better to replace the weak ones now rather than have them break later on the road.
    This is bad advice.

    On older wheels you will unecessarily break more spokes, especially if you stress relieve. The best thing to do with older wheels that have already broken a spoke is to just replace it and ride. If you break more, you're looking at a new wheel anyways.
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by operator View Post
    This is bad advice.

    On older wheels you will unecessarily break more spokes, especially if you stress relieve. The best thing to do with older wheels that have already broken a spoke is to just replace it and ride. If you break more, you're looking at a new wheel anyways.
    But the OP has already detensioned/retensioned the old spokes. In that case I'd much rather find out which ones are weak by doing the stress relief while the wheel is still being worked on and spare spokes are at hand than to have them break later on the road somewhere.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by prathmann View Post
    But the OP has already detensioned/retensioned the old spokes. In that case I'd much rather find out which ones are weak by doing the stress relief while the wheel is still being worked on and spare spokes are at hand than to have them break later on the road somewhere.
    Yep, if stress relieving breaks a spoke it's best to find out at home or in a shop. After 2 broken spokes it's probably time for all new spokes or a new wheel.

  9. #9
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    thanks for the replies, I guess I have some things to think about.

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    I think you should replace all the spokes.

    Think of the spokes in the wheel as links in a chain - the chain has been stressed enough to break two spokes already - more are inevitable.

    The only way to have a reliable bike now is to relace your wheel with new spokes (if the hub and rim are good quality and in very good condition) or buy a new wheel and make sure the spokes are properly tensioned and stress relieved.

  11. #11
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    I'm considering getting all new spokes. The rim is an old Araya single wall, double box section, seems to be in good shape. Would you guys just get a new rim in the process? The hub is a shimano 105 and in very good shape.

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    Stress relieving won't do any damage. If it does it was time to replace them anyway. Jobst Brandt says that spokes will outlast many rims. The ones breaking are culling the herd.
    Wait a while and see what happens with the remaining spokes. I don't know how far back the quality was lower in the metal used in the spokes. I wasn't riding or building wheels in '89.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by daveinduluth View Post
    I'm considering getting all new spokes. The rim is an old Araya single wall, double box section, seems to be in good shape. Would you guys just get a new rim in the process? The hub is a shimano 105 and in very good shape.
    It's pretty hard to tell how good an old rim is while it's laced up.

    If it was my wheel I wouldn't want to put very much more money into this rim. I'd feed it one more spoke. If spokes continue to break, I'd want to replace all of the spokes. Unless the rim is perfectly flat when you take the wheel apart (I seriously doubt that's the case), I'd replace the rim too.

  14. #14
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    just an update for everybody supplying advice, which I appreciate. I got another spoke and tried the rim one more time. It laced up great, got it all up to tension and looks good. Haven't taken a ride yet, been busy and the weather has been bad. Thanks for all your help. dave

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