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  1. #1
    Senior Member chandltp's Avatar
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    2nd broken spoke, repair or re-lace?

    So I broke a drive side spoke at the beginning of last season. LBS replaced that. I noticed I suddenly developed a bad wobble on my ride on Wednesday so I took a look tonight. I broke a non-drive side spoke.

    It's a Matrix 550 rim (stock on the Trek 7000) with about 6000 miles on it. I have no idea how good the rim is at this point without any spokes on it.

    So should I re-lace the wheel, or just replace the spoke?
    There are 10 types of people, those that understand binary and those that don't.

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    Sounds like the spokes do not have enough tension. Have the LBS inspect the wheel, replace the spoke if the rim is not bent, and bring all spokes up to proper and even tension. They should also true the wheel radially and laterally, and check the dish (center the rim).

  3. #3
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    So its all apart?, get a new rim, and do a premium parts rebuild
    DB spokes the works, do it up right.
    easier to use a new rim than try to pull an abused one , round again
    with spoke tension.

    If all the other spokes are in-place , just replace that ones for now..
    Last edited by fietsbob; 05-26-11 at 05:04 PM.

  4. #4
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    One year apart is far enough to consider both isolated incidents. Spoke breakage is often like making popcorn. First a few isolated pops, then they start popping in close order.

    I'd replace this spoke, align and maybe retension the wheel, and keep going until the interval gets shorter, indicating you're heading to cluster failures.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member CACycling's Avatar
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    Repair. I popped two spokes on my commuter a few years back. Both were rear NDS spokes and broke a few months apart. The trick is to buy extra spokes. I only bought one the first time and the second one broke soon after. I bought extras when the second one broke and haven't had an issue since.

  6. #6
    Senior Member chandltp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CACycling View Post
    The trick is to buy extra spokes.
    Yea.. when I got to look at the wheel last night and found the broken spoke, I realized both of my LBS's were closed.
    There are 10 types of people, those that understand binary and those that don't.

  7. #7
    Senior Member chandltp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Al1943 View Post
    Sounds like the spokes do not have enough tension. Have the LBS inspect the wheel, replace the spoke if the rim is not bent, and bring all spokes up to proper and even tension. They should also true the wheel radially and laterally, and check the dish (center the rim).
    Well, they supposedly did that last time I broke a spoke. When I checked with my tension meter after I got it, I found out that tension was all over the board. I have all the tools to do this myself, and I don't really feel like waiting a week (it's spring after all) to get my spoke replaced. And quite frankly, I only trust one (maybe two, I haven't had dealing with the other one) of the mechanics there. The one I typically get doesn't seem to do a good job. I think he works on the entry level bikes such as mine. He didn't even adjust my front derailleur and brakes right when I went it for my free tuneup. I had to go home and do it again myself.

    Thanks for the advice all. I was thinking this was probably an isolated incident so I'll just replace the spoke and true and check spoke tension.
    There are 10 types of people, those that understand binary and those that don't.

  8. #8
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    Broken spoke

    In my opinion, if the broken spoke was not hit it is a result of uneven tension. Its quite a task to satisfy minimum or zero side to side play and out of roundness together with even tension per side. It takes time, but its worth it. Stress reliving it a very important part of the process. In yr case I would replace the broken spoke and true the wheel from square one provided yr rim is in good condition.

    YannisG

  9. #9
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Once something is screwed up anything that you do trying to make it better just makes it worse. Once the second spoke breaks I assume the wheel is bad unless proven otherwise.

    You've had a spoke on one side break. When the first spoke was replaced I assume some spoke tension fiddling was also necessary. Now a spoke on the other side has broken. My bet is that. if you were to put a tensiometer on every spoke, the tensions will be all over the board. I'd rebuild the hub with a new rim and spokes.

  10. #10
    Senior Member chandltp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
    You've had a spoke on one side break. When the first spoke was replaced I assume some spoke tension fiddling was also necessary. Now a spoke on the other side has broken. My bet is that. if you were to put a tensiometer on every spoke, the tensions will be all over the board. I'd rebuild the hub with a new rim and spokes.
    Well, I figure I'm going to try with a replacement spoke tonight. If I can't get good spoke tension and a true wheel, I'll plan on rebuilding. They couldn't have been good wheels to begin with. It's as entry level as you can get on a Trek. People pay more for one good wheel than I did for my bike.

    I have requested a quote from Peter White cycles just to see what he would charge / recommend for my bike and riding conditions. If I'm doing a wheel rebuild, I'm putting a dyno hub on the front.
    There are 10 types of people, those that understand binary and those that don't.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
    Well, I figure I'm going to try with a replacement spoke tonight. If I can't get good spoke tension and a true wheel, I'll plan on rebuilding.
    OK, since you have a tension meter, try this:

    1. As you are replacing the broken spoke, unscrew each and every spoke until only 1 spoke thread is showing. That will get all of the spokes to a common starting point.
    2. Now slooowly built up tension by tightening each spoke exactly 1/2 turn. It's going to take several laps of the rim to bring them up to tension. Don't be tempted to cheat at this step by tightening the spokes too much at a time. The object is to keep the rim round as you gradually build up the tension. If you do a good job, the extra time that it takes will be more than made up by taking less time to do your final wheel trueing.
    3. I'm not convinced that "stress relieving" is the proper term, but I do it. My method is to squeeze parallel pairs of spokes together HARD with my hands. Then I set the rim on the floor and push down HARD on opposite sides of the rim.
    4. For final trueing, I tighten and loosen opposing pairs of spokes an equal amount. That helps keep the rim round and it results in the least deviation in spoke tension differences.

  12. #12
    Senior Member chandltp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
    OK, since you have a tension meter, try this:
    That was kind of my plan. Sort of rebuild the wheel without actually replacing all the spokes. Although for curiosity's sake, I'll probably install the spoke and see how close everything is once I get the rim relatively true.
    There are 10 types of people, those that understand binary and those that don't.

  13. #13
    In the right lane gerv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
    OK, since you have a tension meter, try this:

    2. Now slooowly built up tension by tightening each spoke exactly 1/2 turn. It's going to take several laps of the rim to bring them up to tension. Don't be tempted to cheat at this step by tightening the spokes too much at a time. The object is to keep the rim round as you gradually build up the tension. If you do a good job, the extra time that it takes will be more than made up by taking less time to do your final wheel trueing.
    +1... So easy to mess this step up if you don't go slowly.

  14. #14
    Can'tre Member 3alarmer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
    One year apart is far enough to consider both isolated incidents. Spoke breakage is often like making popcorn. First a few isolated pops, then they start popping in close order.

    I'd replace this spoke, align and maybe retension the wheel, and keep going until the interval gets shorter, indicating you're heading to cluster failures.
    +1.......but it's your wheel.
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  15. #15
    Senior Member chandltp's Avatar
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    Well, I spend about 1 1/2 - 2 hours working on it this afternoon. I managed to get all the spoke tension fairly even and a pretty true wheel. I'm happy with the results. Time will tell if I really did a good job.

    Thanks everyone for the advice. As a side note, I feel a lot better about a potential wheel build in my future.
    There are 10 types of people, those that understand binary and those that don't.

  16. #16
    Newbie Phoenix Bueller's Avatar
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    What You (probably) Have Done There Is The Tedoius Part of a Wheel Build

    [QUOTE=chandltp;12707238]Well, I spend about 1 1/2 - 2 hours working on it this afternoon. I managed to get all the spoke tension fairly even and a pretty true wheel. I'm happy with the results. Time will tell if I really did a good job.

    I think you've every right to be pleased, and will be even more so when you notice you've put four or five hundred miles underneath it without a whimper.

    Somebody up there talked about retruing it from square one, another about turning all the spokes back until a thread showed. Then you tighten it up a half- or quarter-turn at a time until it's nice and tight, keeping things straight (both vertically and horizontally) as you go.

    Short of that, a 2-hour truing resulting in more-or-less even spoke tension (without any huge outliers, I take it?) is unquestionably more attention than that wheel got when it was built. How long do you think the {$IMPORTED_INTERNATIONAL_LABOR** who laced it ever spent actually tightening it?

    It sounds like you have an economical bike (if it "co$t less than one 'quality' wheel"!), as the dealer would say: "entry level". It's certainly proven its worth (6000 miles, did I see?). As it ages, things will come loose. You're likely to find that investing in the tools to tighten them back down yourself is a better investment than paying the LBSs to 'supposedly' tighten them. They have to make money, and tinkering with your wheel doesn't make them money. Selling new bicycles makes them money.

    Like fixing your own flats, keeping the wheels straight and, for that matter, replacing the odd broken spoke (2 a year apart is no big deal, buy spares) is something you can better do for yourself. You mentioned having a spoke tension guage. Do you have a truing stand? While not essential, these are pretty nice. My brother loaned me his Park stand (which was gathering rust at his place) and it turns wheel truing (and dishing) into plain fun.

    If you have a stand, or access to one, I would (if I were you) collect up some niice parts (secondhand hubs in particular can be excellent bargains) and plan on building a set of wheels, both for the learning experience, and to have a nice new straight set of wheels (though it honestly doesn't sound like there's anything wrong with the ones you're riding on). Pay no attention to the superstitions of the mystics, building (& maintainning) wheels isn't rocket science. My smugness took a big upturn when I started riding on wheels I'd built myself.
    Last edited by Phoenix Bueller; 05-28-11 at 06:27 PM.

  17. #17
    Senior Member chandltp's Avatar
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    I actually just bought a Park PS-2 used from someone. I don't think I could have done this without it. It would have been too labor intensive to pay attention to the level of detail while the wheel was on the bike (for me anyway, I would have had to take off the panniers and rack).

    I fiddled around with the spoke tension of adjacent and opposing spokes until I didn't have any huge outliers. I think I must have gone around the wheel about 20 times before I got it into a state that I was pleased with. Some of which was probably due to mistakes I'd made on previous rounds.

    It is a very entry level bike that has served me well with all kinds of riding. Many people wouldn't take a Trek 7000 (comfort hybrid) on a 60+ mile ride, but it works well for me. I'm anticipating my quote from Peter White Cycles to be roughly double of my $300(ish) purchase price 3 years ago.
    There are 10 types of people, those that understand binary and those that don't.

  18. #18
    Newbie Phoenix Bueller's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=chandltp;12710982]I actually just bought a Park PS-2 used from someone. I don't think I could have done this without it. It would have been too labor intensive to pay attention to the level of detail while the wheel was on the bike (for me anyway, I would have had to take off the panniers and rack).

    The bags, yeah, but not the rack. You have to stand the bike up upside-down.
    Of course it does go much easier with a stand, and the PS-2 is probably the best on the market.

    I fiddled around with the spoke tension of adjacent and opposing spokes until I didn't have any huge outliers. I think I must have gone around the wheel about 20 times before I got it into a state that I was pleased with. Some of which was probably due to mistakes I'd made on previous rounds.

    It's an iterative process. If you don't turn one enough, you'll wind up there again. Take it slow and patient. The initial imbalances you experienced were most likely from the original factory (FAST & sloppy) tightening. With those smoothed out, you have a better wheel...

    It is a very entry level bike that has served me well with all kinds of riding. Many people wouldn't take a Trek 7000 (comfort hybrid) on a 60+ mile ride, but it works well for me.

    {Googles for:"Trek 7000"**... Oh, sure. That'll run well. I'd lose the saddle (good excuse to buy a B-17), and the plastic pedals in favor of decent dual-purpose pedals with walkable cleated shoes, but that's me. If you're willing to ride 60 miles without cleats, that bike'll carry you just fine. I'll bet you put most of your mileage under it commuting, and it's about ideal for that.

    Peter White Cycles Quote? Are you buying a new bike?

  19. #19
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    Sounds like you are learning. I built up a set of touring wheels for a 285 pounder who was having trouble with his stock wheels. At the moment he is happy with them.
    With a rear wheel it is important to maintain close tension on the drive side. If you are breaking nondrive side spokes raise the DS tension To 120kg. This will allow more NDS tension.

  20. #20
    Senior Member chandltp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phoenix Bueller View Post
    {Googles for:"Trek 7000"**... Oh, sure. That'll run well. I'd lose the saddle (good excuse to buy a B-17), and the plastic pedals in favor of decent dual-purpose pedals with walkable cleated shoes, but that's me. If you're willing to ride 60 miles without cleats, that bike'll carry you just fine. I'll bet you put most of your mileage under it commuting, and it's about ideal for that.

    Peter White Cycles Quote? Are you buying a new bike?
    I got a quote from Peter White cycles for hand built wheels. His prices to build wheels seemed pretty reasonable.

    As far as platform pedals, I've never had any reason to switch from them. I replaced the plastic ones with some BMX style pedals with pins after they stock ones got a little stiff. My feet never slip now.

    I tried the B-17 last year and I couldn't look at my bike after a week. I'm working on a B-67 right now with promising results so far. I had initial hip pain. Today I just had some aches in my hip when I was riding but it disappeared. Not sure if I'll be able to adjust that away or not. The setback isn't far enough, and I already have a setback post that came on the bike. I might be able to raise the height a bit more and that might help.
    There are 10 types of people, those that understand binary and those that don't.

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