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  1. #1
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    Spokes puncturing through the rim instead of being flat. Maybe new bike?

    Hi guys,

    Found out that my back wheel has its spokes going through the rim instead of lying flushed and flat like the front wheel. This might be the reason why I keep getting flat on my rear wheel.

    Is there a cheap way to fixed this? I was looking at replacing the back wheel completely, but they look expensive.

    The next step up is to buy a new Walmart or Canadian Tire bicycle. Think it would be cheaper to get this bicycle?

    http://www.canadiantire.ca/AST/brows....jsp?locale=en

    http://www.walmart.ca/en/ip/26-trium...Box=&addFacet=

  2. #2
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    Are you saying that the spokes are coming up though the tops of the nipples and puncturing the tube?

    Is the wheel aligned, meaning does the rim wobble or move up and down when the wheel spins? If the wheel is round and aligned, then it's a simple matter for grinding the excess spoke down to the nipple, then covering both with a rim tape to protect the tube. If you don't have an actual rim tape, you can use one or two turns of cloth surgical tape.

    The reason I ask about alignment, is that it's rare to see this in a new wheel, and I was wondering if someone attempted alignment by working the nipples.
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  3. #3
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    What kind of bike do you currently have and what condition is it it? this should be the biggest factor in deciding if its worth fixing vs buying another bike.
    BTW, the 99$ walmart bikes are not worth fixing, keep that in mind if you decide to get one of those as the replacement...

    The cheap fix would be;
    Make sure the wheel is perfectly true and tensioned right radially and laterally. then if there are still protruding spokes grind off the ends. DIY this job is free, at LBS probably about 30$

  4. #4
    7-speed doomsday prepper ThermionicScott's Avatar
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    You need to narrow this down as the cause. When you pump up the punctured tube outside of the tire, can you tell where the leak is?

    Protruding spokes shouldn't be an issue if you're using the right rim tape. Velox is good stuff.
    Quote Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
    There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
    RUSA #7498

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    I bought this used 5 months ago. I would say medium/bad condition? I will check if the rim wobble up and down tomorrow.

    I havn't checked for leaked. Whenever I kept getting flat, I just buy new tubes.

  6. #6
    Constant tinkerer FastJake's Avatar
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    What kind of bike is this? Walmart bike?
    Why "derailer" is the correct way to spell the gear-change mechanism: sheldonbrown.com/derailer.html

  7. #7
    7-speed doomsday prepper ThermionicScott's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by valvido View Post
    I bought this used 5 months ago. I would say medium/bad condition? I will check if the rim wobble up and down tomorrow.

    I havn't checked for leaked. Whenever I kept getting flat, I just buy new tubes.
    First step of solving problems is to find out what the problem is.
    Quote Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
    There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
    RUSA #7498

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by FastJake View Post
    What kind of bike is this? Walmart bike?
    I don't know if it was bought from Walmart. Its a Schwinn Cro-moly frame mountain bicycle.

    Quote Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
    First step of solving problems is to find out what the problem is.
    I guess my computer habit carried over. Something is wrong? Format it!

    I first replaced the tube, then bought new tires. Then it still being flat. Once I compared the front (new wheel from a electric bike kit) with the rear (original) wheel, I notice the spokes problem.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Bill Kapaun's Avatar
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    IF the spoke ends are protruding above the end of the nipple into the tube, than you have an obvious problem.

    WE CAN'T SEE your rim, but you can.

    Send pictures

  10. #10
    I let the dogs out AlphaDogg's Avatar
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    Maybe get some high quality velox rim tape?
    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart View Post
    Weird spell/word check. "***" is "***". I'll never understand this computer. Andy.

  11. #11
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    'cro-moly' refers the the material your bike is made from, not the model
    at any rate, knowing that it is cro-mo does indicate its most likely higher quality than the bikes in your links. So don't trade it in for one of them.

    this may be too obvious but, how were you able to see that the spokes were protruding into the rim; there should be a rim strip (band of cloth or thick rubber/plastic) covering them up. was it missing?
    how far do they protrude?
    did the punctures in the inner tube correspond do the spoke locations?

  12. #12
    Lover of Old Chrome Moly Myosmith's Avatar
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    You're getting some good advice above. Any time you get a flat, find the hole(s) in the tube and using the stem as a reference, find the corresponding location on the tire or rim to see if you can determine what made the hole and fix it. If you don't you'll just get more flats and spend a lot on tubes. Rim tape or a rim strip is an absolute must. Rim strips cost about $1 and tape is just a few dollars.


    If you have a chrome-moly Schwinn that is of a style that you like and it fits you well, it is probably worth fixing. Is there a community bicycle cooperative in your area? Cooperatives are usually volunteer run organizations that recycle used bicycles and provide shop space and training for people wanting to learn to do their own maintenance and repair. They are also a good source of used parts, like wheels.

    If you are at all serious about cycling, don't buy $100 bikes from big box stores like Walmart. You would be far better off buying a used higher quality bike for the same money. The safest way for a novice to do this is to check with reputable local bike shops that take trades. I have purchased two 1990s Trek 800 series MTBs in good cosmetic condition and excellent working order for under $100 each. One my wife still rides and it looks almost new. Even though it is 20 years old, it will be around long after a 2012 $100 WalMart bike bites the dust. A reputable shop won't sell you anything that isn't safe and in good working order and can help you with style and fit choices.
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  13. #13
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    I'm assuming that you have spokes pokeing your inner tube from the rim side. That's not common but it isn't unheard of either. If that's the case, a new tire isn't going to help you.

    If it was my bike, and I wanted to fix it as cheaply as possible, the first thing that I would do would be to file down the protruding spokes. Then I'd throw away those rubber rim strips and replace them with a thicker rim tape like Velox.

  14. #14
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    There is nothing wrong with your current bike that buying a WalMart or Canadian Tire bike won't make even worse. Either have yours repaired properly or buy a decent quality bike from a true bicycle shop.

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    I havn't had time to open up the bike for those pictures. Soon I will. What I don't understand is why the overwhelming consensus regarding the poor quality of Walmart and Canadian Tire bicycle? What is a true bicycle shop? Cyclepath?

    Isn't a bicycle a bicycle? The one from Canadian Tire has 1 year warranty and life time on frame. Seems like they stand behind their product. The bicycle from Cyclepath starts at $400. If it last 4 years, then it won't end up being the same price as the Canadian Tire one?

    Anyhow, just some questions I had while working through this problem.

  16. #16
    Constant tinkerer FastJake's Avatar
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    Sheldon Brown on department store bicycles:

    "There are two entirely separate bicycle industries. Bicycles intended for real use are sold primarily in bicycle shops, and also, to some extent, in sporting goods stores. Bicycles sold through this side of the industry are well made and sturdy, and are sold fully assembled, tested and guaranteed.

    A parallel business uses department stores and discount stores for distribution. They concentrate on a much lower price segment, and sell a drastically inferior product. The bicycles sold in department stores are made as cheaply as possible, from the poorest materials available. The average department store bicycle is ridden about 75 miles in its lifespan from showroom floor to landfill. The manufacturers know this, and build them accordingly. Department-store bicycles are most commonly sold in a partially disassembled and un-adjusted condition."
    Why "derailer" is the correct way to spell the gear-change mechanism: sheldonbrown.com/derailer.html

  17. #17
    Senior Member Bill Kapaun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by valvido View Post

    .....Isn't a bicycle a bicycle? The one from Canadian Tire has 1 year warranty and life time on frame. Seems like they stand behind their product. The bicycle from Cyclepath starts at $400. If it last 4 years, then it won't end up being the same price as the Canadian Tire one?.....
    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...the-cheap-bike

  18. #18
    Certified Bike Brat Burton's Avatar
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    This will complicate your life a little more, but better you are at least told. You mentioned an electric front wheel so I'm assuming there's also a battery and some other goodies and that we're actually talking about a Schwinn MTB that's been retrofitted with an e-kit.

    Here's the issue: Electric hubs put out a lot of torque and there isn't one on the market that isn't supposed to be installed without special washers or arms to control the torque effect and prevent the axle from eventually spinning in the dropouts and ripping out the wiring while dumping you in the street. Next up is the additional load on the frame resulting from adding an e-wheel, a rack and battery, wiring harness and driving at higher speeds than normal for those kind of bike. Straight out - it isn't and never was intended for that and the brakes certainly aren't up to the job.

    Normally these kits are supposed to be installed by a qualified shop FOR YOUR OWN SAFETY! Some bikes just aren't suitable and you'll be recommended models that won't start exhibiting frame flex and stability issues at 20km/h. In any case, the spoke tensioning on both wheels needs to be checked. Yeah - that includes the e-hub you bought.

    So if the Schwinn had some issues before, adding an e-kit will just guarantee it'll fall apart faster. A Canadian Tire bike won't be any different and you'll void the warranty by installing an e-kit.

    So your problem goes a little past a few spoke issues, which may or may not also be a result of that kit.
    Last edited by Burton; 02-20-12 at 07:19 PM.

  19. #19
    Senior Member coldfeet's Avatar
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    You mentioned cyclepath, you are in Calgary yes? Which part? If you're near enough, I can meet up and give you some tips and maybe figure out the problem. One thing, how are you filling the tires? Are you sure you;re getting the right pressure? I have seen a lot of tires severely underinflated, they will always go flat when they hit a sharp edge.

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    I'm in Toronto actually. Thanks for the offer. I'm filling my tires up to 60 psi.

    Thanks for all the replies. Still doing research while waiting for an opportunity to open up that bike.

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    Some more specific reasons to not buy a Wal-Mart/Canadian Tire bicycle, having seen many of them (most of these will apply, if not all, to a $99 bike):
    -clunky drivetrain components that will not stay in adjustment, including a derailleur attached by a flimsy adapter claw rather than a hanger
    -one-piece cranks, or three-piece cranks with large portions made of plastic
    -nutted, rather than quick release, wheels
    -brakes that DO NOT STOP YOU, often paper-thin stamped calipers or V-brakes (compare to forged calipers or fancier V-brakes; stiffness and good pads are required)
    -wheels poorly built, at low tension, with soft nipples and plain, rust-prone steel spokes
    -shifters are usually abominations (low-end grip shifters are very difficult to service, and make cables hard to change)
    -low quality threaded forks and headests (I like *nice* threaded forks, and use them myself, but they are no longer widely available)
    -bearings, bolts, and the like installed to incorrect preload or torque, without adequate lubrication
    -frame made of more high-tensile steel or low-grade aluminum than most small cars, with a tendency to transmit bumps directly to the rider (a higher quality CrMo or other nice steel frame will absorb bumps instead)
    -often flimsy, heavy, squishy, limp, ugly rear suspension mechanisms, which tend to break quickly

    Of these, the wheels and brakes are the most dangerous. Everything else is just annoying. See if you can find a used '80s or '90s rigid MTB in the same price range, with nicer components. I frequently ride an '83 Norco Bigfoot and an '85 Bianchi Grizzly.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by valvido View Post
    I don't know if it was bought from Walmart. Its a Schwinn Cro-moly frame mountain bicycle.



    I guess my computer habit carried over. Something is wrong? Format it!

    I first replaced the tube, then bought new tires. Then it still being flat. Once I compared the front (new wheel from a electric bike kit) with the rear (original) wheel, I notice the spokes problem.
    Bad habit for computer repair, too. Anyway, format parallel would be a new bike.

  23. #23
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    Ok, I'm procastinating again. I hate opening up that bicycle caused it takes a long time for me and I always get cuts somehow on my hands. Don't laugh. I think I'm just going to buy a new used bicycle with a quality rim already attached.
    Last edited by valvido; 02-22-12 at 11:20 PM.

  24. #24
    You gonna eat that? Doohickie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by valvido View Post
    Spokes puncturing through the rim instead of being flat. Maybe new bike?
    There's never a bad excuse for N+1, but this is about as close as you can get.


    That bike above looks kind of cool. Have you ridden it?


    I would suggest keeping the old bike and working on it to make it work. Having a backup bike is a good idea. As for cutting your hands when you work, the way it works is this: When you first start doing mechanical stuff like that, you tend to cut yourself and it's a pain. After a while, you still cut yourself, but you don't care anymore.
    I stop for people / whose right of way I honor / but not for no one.



    Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."

  25. #25
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    I havn't ridden the bicycle. Going to do it tonight. Though, I won't be able to tell if its good or not. Just sit on and if it ride, it ride I suppose. It might be a bad excuse, but the price is so right! Its the same price as a new Walmart bicycle I linked up top. At least the cuts isn't just isolated to my case. I tried wearing gloves but it was hard to handle the nuts. Push on I suppose.

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