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Old 09-22-11, 06:53 PM   #1
Jonpwn
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Broke a spoke.. can i still ride it?

I broke one of my spokes today on my rear wheel.. they're 14g DT swiss spokes laced to a 32h formula hub with velocity deep v's.. basically the setup for a set of deep v's when you buy them complete on ebay.

anyways i'm in school right now and can't source a spoke immediately. I know it's probably not smart but can i still ride around campus without risking the whole wheel popping on me?

Last edited by Jonpwn; 09-22-11 at 06:55 PM. Reason: included which wheel it happened on
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Old 09-22-11, 07:24 PM   #2
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Yeah, with that many spokes it should be ok. It'll be out of true but probably still rideable. Just go easy on it until you get the new spoke, I don't think you'll do any more damage.

The real problem is that the cause of broken spokes is usually not enough tension. If your wheel was never properly tensioned you may find yourself breaking more and more spokes until you've just about replaced all of them.
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Old 09-22-11, 07:25 PM   #3
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No. It will shorten the life of the wheel. Don't do it except in emergencies.

Just get a spoke that's the same length as all the others from the side of the hub the broken one is from, put it in, and tighten until the wheel runs approximately true with no rim wobble. That will be hundreds of times better than nothing even if you don't have a shop tension and true the wheel.

Several online sellers have them.

Thing is, the wheel may be poorly tensioned or it may be close to the end of its life if you got it used.

Last edited by garage sale GT; 09-22-11 at 07:28 PM.
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Old 09-22-11, 08:10 PM   #4
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to be honest it's stupid how i broke it but it's hard to explain. Basically i was effing around on my homemade bike stand (made of two cut plates of sheet metal) and part of the stand got caught in between a spoke and the rear triangle..

I'm surprised, i haven't trued my wheels in over a year (they were trued by velomine when i bought em new). They're still pretty straight. this combo is very strong. but thanks for the tips I will try and stay off the bike, the next few days are rainy anyways. I will call my lbs tomorrow to see if they sell spokes at a reasonable price, otherwise i will buy a set of 10 or 20 identical spokes on ebay. Just wanted to know if i could temporarily go around as is while i wait if i do buy online.
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Old 09-22-11, 08:55 PM   #5
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I will call my lbs tomorrow to see if they sell spokes at a reasonable price, otherwise i will buy a set of 10 or 20 identical spokes on ebay.
Just go to the LBS. Any place that calls itself a bike shop should have spokes in stock. You don't need a DT Swiss or whatever was in there before, just the same length and gauge. Bring the old spoke in. Should be about $1 for a replacement.

Since you broke the spoke, it didn't break on its own, I change my previous opinion and agree with the others - don't ride the wheel until it's fixed.
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Old 09-22-11, 09:33 PM   #6
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ok thanks. Also, i've built a wheel before but never changed an individual spoke. Should i be able to replace the spoke directly or do i need to take apart the whole wheel and start from scratch? the nipple is still fine and intact and sitting in the rim hole (not lost in the sidewall)
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Old 09-22-11, 09:52 PM   #7
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You can just install the spoke and bring it up to tension.
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Old 09-23-11, 08:13 AM   #8
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got it. thanks so much guys
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Old 09-23-11, 05:23 PM   #9
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ok thanks. Also, i've built a wheel before but never changed an individual spoke. Should i be able to replace the spoke directly or do i need to take apart the whole wheel and start from scratch? the nipple is still fine and intact and sitting in the rim hole (not lost in the sidewall)
If it's a drive side spoke, you may need to have the cassette or freewheel removed in order to have enough space to put in the spoke.

I have put in spokes by themselves. Usually you can easily just tension the spoke until the wheel runs true again.
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