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  1. #1
    Senior Member zandoval's Avatar
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    Best Replacement Spokes For Heavy Guy

    I am breaking spokes on the non drive side of my rear wheel for about 3 months now - Nothing special - Just my regular riding and then PING - I purchased a 27-1.25 ($96.00) wheel set two years ago and have been satisfied - I cannot really complain because they have held up well (at least 3000 miles+) with my 230# mashing up hills on other than perfectly smooth park roads...

    The spokes appear to be regular 14ga steel not stainless and are popping their little necks at the hub - They are seated correctly and the hub itself is not so thin - The wheel dish, rim (Weinman Rm19), free wheel hub and front are all in great shape - I suspect this is a problem of cheap spokes (maybe normal wear and tear)...

    So in that they are good wheels with bad spokes what would be the most economical (14 or 15 ga) spokes to replace them with?
    No matter where your at... There you are... Δf:=f(1/2)-f(-1/2)

  2. #2
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    DT Swiss double butted.

  3. #3
    Senior Member zandoval's Avatar
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    65'er - Thanks - I am of the same opinion...

    Ya know - My old steel FrankenVEGA has served me well - Especially with all the rough ridding I have been up to - It and my retired FUJI have taken me from 286 to 230 - Think I am going to buy a decent new wheel set with sealed hubs and stainless DT spokes and be very happy...

  4. #4
    Is a real super guy. Henry III's Avatar
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    How many spokes are on the wheel?

  5. #5
    likes to ride an old bike
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    Sounds like the overall tension in the wheel is too low, causing cyclic unloading and "worrying" wear on the NDS spokes ( which are most likely to go slack since they start out under the least tension ). Triple butted spokes ( like Alpine ones from DT ) will tolerate this a little better than most, but tension is probably the root cause. Let a wheel builder look at it if you don't build wheels yourself; your rim might be strong enough to support just pulling the whole wheel up in tension, or you might need a stronger rim back there.

    The fact that it was ok for years bears out the tension hypothesis, so you will want to respoke at least the non drive side before pulling the wheel tighter: all the spokes on that side probably have the wear that has killed the few you have lost already.
    Last edited by MrEss; 04-30-12 at 10:46 AM.

  6. #6
    Senior Member zandoval's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrEss View Post
    ...all the spokes on that side probably have the wear that has killed the few you have lost already.
    Henry - Its a 36 spoke wheel of questionable quality...

    MrEss - These wheels were most likely machine built and again I rally can't complain because they have served me so well over the past two years - Cyclic unloading on the non drive side is most likely the cause - Very interesting as I have been investigating this closely - A simple test has been just flexing the spokes and yes there are spokes with much less tension - I think I'll just take them all down and rebuild replacing all the non drive side spokes - But then again here I am spending 50$ on one wheel of a 90$ set...

    But ya know - Its not really about the money... What a great hobby this is!!!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by zandoval View Post
    But then again here I am spending 50$ on one wheel of a 90$ set...

    But ya know - Its not really about the money... What a great hobby this is!!!
    You sound like you're building them yourself... Cheap straight gauge stainless spokes of decent quality are about a quarter at danscomp and probably much better than the ones you are replacing. So maybe $10 and your time to save the wheelset for probably longer than a replacement of comparable quality would last. Plus it is always fun to have an excuse to build another wheel...

  8. #8
    Get off the lawn! Velognome's Avatar
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    Hey Zandoval, how heavy are you? I'm kinda agreeing with MrEss about your spoke tension. I've been riding 28H wheels with DT spokes for several years, no problems and I'm somewhere around 240lbs. Proper spoke tension and tire pressure is the key.

  9. #9
    Senior Member zandoval's Avatar
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    OK - Went over to my PR-10 that has a new set of wheels and did the old pinch and pluk test to the on the rear non drive side spokes then went over to my problematic wheel and ... MAN what a difference... The left side was almost loose - So now I just gave all the spokes on the left side an equal 1/4 turn checked and took it out for a ride - I have no idea if this is going to help but I do know for sure that they are abnormally not as tight as they should be - I know the drive side is usually tighter than the left but not really so much the left is loose - We will see what happens...

    Wish I had a spoke tension meter but - Oh well - The pinch and pluck test will have to do... Waiting for my new spokes and hoping I don't have a catastrophic wheel failure before they arrive... Still having fun...

  10. #10
    Senior Member Bill Kapaun's Avatar
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    And how is the dish of the wheel now?
    You probably need to do a similar turn on the DS spokes to pull the wheel back to center.

    You might have a better "feel" by squeezing adjacent spoke pairs together and compare to the "good" wheel.
    Last edited by Bill Kapaun; 05-01-12 at 01:25 AM.

  11. #11
    Senior Member miamijim's Avatar
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    DT Alpine are the strongest.
    WWW.CYCLESPEUGEOT.COM 2005 Pinarello Dogma; 1991 Paramount PDG 70 Mtb; 1976? AD Vent Noir; 1989 LeMond Maillot Juane F&F; 1993? Basso GAP F&F; 1989 Terry Symmetry; 2003 Trek 4700 Mtb; 1983 Vitus 979

  12. #12
    Senior Member zandoval's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Kapaun View Post
    And how is the dish of the wheel now?
    Took the wheel off and checked the dish - It was off to the right not the left - Still too loose on the left side - OK - Got my new wheel in from bikemanforU $64 happy - And am now taking the old wheel apart - I have noted that the spokes on the left inner side are deformed at the neck - Actually stretched out and no longer of a 90 degree angle to the head - No wonder they were popping - Form now on I will make sure of the quality of the spokes on my wheels - I am rebuilding the wheel with Stainless 14ga straight pull DT spokes...

    Again - The original wheel set has served me well for two years at my weight 230# and the less than smooth roads I ride...

  13. #13
    iab
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    Senior Member iab's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zandoval View Post
    These wheels were most likely machine built
    That is your likely problem. Spokes that were put on by machine are almost never unwound. That causes a tremendous amount of tension at the head and ping, off they go like Marie Antoinette.

    And if you replace as you go, they will all eventually fail. You should save yourself the hassle and replace them all. Wheelsmith, Dt Swiss, Alpine or whoever, it doesn't make much difference. Same can be said about straight gauge or double-butted. As long as the wheel is built properly, they are bullet proof for regular riding.

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