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Old 02-06-12, 11:31 PM   #1
Reeses
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Should I just keep the bent spoke?

I'm attempting to repair my friend's front wheel which has several loosened spokes and one bent one (15-30 degrees of bend). He caught his foot in the front wheel when he got a flat on a downhill (don't ask me how) and bent the spoke, however it is still attached to the rim and threaded on the nipple. He claims that he can just "bend it back" (the bent spoke) and have me tighten the loose spokes and true the wheel, and he'll be on his way for the Sunday ride, but I have my doubts.

Should I go by what he says, or does the spoke absolutely need replacing? I'll have more details and maybe a picture up on Wednesday, when I actually see the damage... right now I'm going by his descriptions.
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Old 02-06-12, 11:46 PM   #2
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If you are going to leave it in...

1. So long as it doesn't have a sharp bend at one specific point...
2. Just draw the bend through a couple strong fingers and thumbs...
3. Let re-tensioning of the wheel take care of the rest.

It'll still have a slight "bent" appearance when done but should otherwise be okay.

If there is a well defined sharp bend at one finite point - better to replace.

=8-)
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Old 02-06-12, 11:54 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by mrrabbit View Post
If you are going to leave it in...

1. So long as it doesn't have a sharp bend at one specific point...
2. Just draw the bend through a couple strong fingers and thumbs...
3. Let re-tensioning of the wheel take care of the rest.

It'll still have a slight "bent" appearance when done but should otherwise be okay.

If there is a well defined sharp bend at one finite point - better to replace.

=8-)
+1, straighten it gently to reasonable straightness then true up the wheel and the tension will do the rest of the job.
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Old 02-07-12, 12:49 AM   #4
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spokes are $1.. replace it. if its a front wheel it's super easy. if his foot got caught it may have made the spoke head weak which makes it worth it for safety.
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Old 02-07-12, 12:53 AM   #5
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Why are you fixing it if he is the "expert"?
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Old 02-07-12, 01:10 AM   #6
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If you are going to leave it in...
1. So long as it doesn't have a sharp bend at one specific point...
I will see how severe the bend is.
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Originally Posted by sp4ce4lien View Post
spokes are $1..
Yeah I was going to tell him that but the only bike shop worth going to around here is five miles away - and he and I both want to take the shortest, most hassle-free route in fixing the wheel ... we're just high school kids so no cars or anything.
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Why are you fixing it if he is the "expert"?
Well all he said was that if he bent the spoke back to its original straightness it'd be fine to ride on, he's not claiming to be an expert - in fact I don't think he even knows how to adjust spoke tension or what "truing" a wheel means
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Old 02-07-12, 02:28 AM   #7
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I just finished putting about a 1000 miles on a front wheel with a bent spoke. It was used, came to me that way, with a an almost "Z" bend (slight) in the middle of one of the spokes. Remained true and gave me no problems all that time, on the pretty rough streets of Seattle, and I'm a Clyde. The only reason I stopped rolling it (about a week ago) was because I finally got around to mounting a new wheelset on my commuter when I upgraded to 8 speed. My new (used-Craiglist $30) front wheel is on my favorite rim - Sun Rinolyte, and I'm experimenting to see if I can actually roll a 32 spoke wheel. Otherwise I'd still be rolling that old wheel with the bent spoke.

I say, give it a try!
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Old 02-07-12, 06:27 AM   #8
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Remove spoke, straighten by hand, reassemble and true. If you leave the bent spoke bent and true the wheel as is, it will straighten out over time and become loose. I wouldn't bother replacing it. It's one spoke, not your brakes. If it breaks in the future, replace it then.
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