This is (was) an Equation (Alex) 20-spoke hub laced to an Alex 700c rim. About two miles out, heard a pop, felt the rear brake grab, thought I'd broken a drive-side spoke (again ). Well, I've got a spare spoke in the seatpost, and my hypercracker (cassette lockring tool) in the seat bag, chance to try it out. Pulled over, grabbed what I figured was the broken spoke, and the spoke was intact! WTF?!? Turns out the hub flange (stupid design, there's basically a separate flange for each spoke elbow) broke.
Obviously the hub is toast, and since these reduced-spoke-count wheels seem to bust spokes more frequently, rather than rebuilding I'm just gonna look for a decent 32-spoke conventional 3-cross wheel. I'm just wondering if anyone has any thoughts about what might have caused this, or what, if anything, could have been done. I'm not a big guy; 145-ish lb; I DO put a beam rack on it with (call me Fred) a laptop pannier occasionally, but I've ridden it with the laptop no more than about 40 miles, and besides, with my weight, that's still no more than about 165 lb.
The wheel is about 6 years old, and has probaby 5000 miles on it.
Well, the picture of the failure isn't too clear but from what I can tell, there was a flaw on the edge of the flange for awhile (the dark part of the bare metal) and then it finally just suddenly gave way, tearing through the main bulk of it (the shinier/brighter bare metal).
Most of the new and improved stuff is not worth the money. Conventional wheels built with 32 or better 36 double butted spokes are dull, but discustingly reliable. I have wheels with over 40k miles on them all are either 32 or 36 spokes and trouble free.
and if you look at the opposite flange, one or two other spoke heads are doing the same thing.
Yeah, it's sad that a hub doesn't outlast a couple changes of tire. I looked again based on your reply, and actually ALL the spoke holes appear elongated. Well, that's what the bike came with.
Fortunately I found an old-school Shimano 600 32-hole hub laced to DB spokes and a Matrix old-school (no deep-V) rim on Craigslist already; just took the 7-speed cassette and spacers off it and put my 9-er on it, so I'm already back on the road tomorrow.
Guy I bought the wheel from said that Bontrager had a similar problem with some of their low-end reduced-spoke-count hubs, and they replaced them on warranty. Alas, the closest thing to a web presence I can find for Avenir (the only "brand" name I could find on the hub or rim) is a twitter page and a year-stale blogspot page.