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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 05-05-07, 06:56 AM   #1
Air
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How many broken spokes would be dangerous?

36 spoke, 27" wheel. Just noticed 6 were broken, three on each side. Problem? About go to on a 60 mile ride, meeting up with some people in a few hours. I ordered a new handbuilt wheel but it looks like it's going to take a bit longer than it was expected.
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Old 05-05-07, 07:02 AM   #2
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It doesn't sound good to me. I am 210 lbs and when I broke one spoke on my rear wheel with a 32 spoke count it went way out of wack. Had to remove one of my brake pads to get home. I am kind of amazed that the wheel is still relatively true with six broken spokes. Are you sure they are broken? I wouldn't risk it unless you have a sure way of getting back because I can't see how you are going to make it. It sounds like you have an old bike. Can you borrow a wheel from someone who might have an extra wheel or bike?
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Old 05-05-07, 07:33 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by geraldatwork
It doesn't sound good to me. I am 210 lbs and when I broke one spoke on my rear wheel with a 32 spoke count it went way out of wack. Had to remove one of my brake pads to get home. I am kind of amazed that the wheel is still relatively true with six broken spokes. Are you sure they are broken? I wouldn't risk it unless you have a sure way of getting back because I can't see how you are going to make it. It sounds like you have an old bike. Can you borrow a wheel from someone who might have an extra wheel or bike?
I've been fixing it up, my first roadie. And yeah, they're as broken as I'm male.

It wobbles but I was able to bring it in enough that it didn't wobble nearly as much as it did before.

Unfortunately I don't think there's anyway back - 30 miles one way. So pissed - was planning on getting a ton of miles in this weekend
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Old 05-05-07, 09:02 AM   #4
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Problem? 6? Hell ya! Mine went outta whack once two popped. I doubt you'll go 60 feet, let alone 60 miles.

Just curious, how long have you been riding around on these broken spokes?
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Old 05-05-07, 09:16 AM   #5
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I wouldn't go down the driveway on six broken spokes...I'm surprised the thing will go around at all, and I think you're guaranteed to taco it if you ride.
Looking longer term, you might work on developing some sensitivity to the bike. I don't think I've ever even SEEN a wheel with six broken spokes, unless the derailleur shifted into it at speed. It's very unlikely they all broke at once, so you must've been riding around with five broken spokes, and before that four, and before that three....
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Old 05-05-07, 09:36 AM   #6
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I agree with all comments above, and echo your feelings. My new roadie has been busting spokes like crazy for the past two weeks, and I've finally given up on the crap machine built Bontragers it came with. My handbuilt rhynolite will be done on Monday or Tuesday, so until then I'm living with a lack of mileage.
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Old 05-05-07, 09:45 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Air
36 spoke, 27" wheel. Just noticed 6 were broken, three on each side. Problem? About go to on a 60 mile ride, meeting up with some people in a few hours. I ordered a new handbuilt wheel but it looks like it's going to take a bit longer than it was expected.
Yeah problem. Oops, too late.... it's after 11:30. Hope all is OK.
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Old 05-05-07, 10:34 AM   #8
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See - this is why you need to have at least 3 or 4 spare bikes!

Seriously, no way would i ride that. A pair of spokes on the rear wheel pulled out of the hub last fall on a ride, and there was no way i would even try to ride it home. A nice 6 mile walk in the evening uses different muscles than riding.
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Old 05-05-07, 01:25 PM   #9
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A spare set of wheels isn't unreasonable if you want to make sure you don't miss rides. When ONE spoke breaks, it is time to have the wheel repaired. Use a spare wheel until the first returns. As the spoke count goes down (OR the number of spoke-crosses decreases), the criticality of each spoke increases. Spare wheels are DIRT CHEAP on e-Bay. Even a machine-built set will work. Once your LBS tunes up the wheels, their reliability goes up. I'd never ride a wheel with even a single broken spoke. I've had a wheel disintegrate under me at speed. I have permanent damage from that accident. DON'T RIDE DAMAGED WHEELS! Just my two-cents...
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Old 05-05-07, 03:42 PM   #10
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I've had a wheel disintegrate under me at speed.
God, what does that sound like? Are there any warning signs (pops, twangs, squeaks)? This is a concern to me.
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Old 05-05-07, 05:54 PM   #11
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One is too many to leave on.
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Old 05-05-07, 06:06 PM   #12
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God, what does that sound like? Are there any warning signs (pops, twangs, squeaks)? This is a concern to me.
Here's the thread: catastrophic wheel failure - why?
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Old 05-06-07, 12:35 AM   #13
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Thanks everyone - I decided not to ride it. Started riding down to the bike co-op to see if anyone was there but the wheel was getting worse and took my mtb for the first 15 miles and turned back. Fell down a flight of stairs and knee was getting worse struggling against the bike and the hills.

Last Sunday I went for an easy 50 miles, no problems. Tuesday I went for a ride and hammered for 40 miles, climbed some hard hills, pushed it on the flats. Kept hearing pinging sounds along the way. Before I went I stopped by the shop to get a new wheel since it was hard to get true and had a flat spot - he's hooking me up with a hand built one which I'm excited about. Should have been here Friday but there's a problem, blah, blah blah. I checked the wheels 20 miles before those two rides and there were no broken spokes so it happened on one of those two rides, my money's on the hard ride. Fast ride, uneasy road surface....

This is the bike I've been fixing here and here. It's been outside in the elements for at least 2-4 years and probably longer, it's over 20 years old, and has original wheels. So I'm not all that upset that the wheel started to implode. I find it funny I had the new one ordered first - sixth sense is funny that way

Sidenote, was reading my first thread about fixing it up and found this little ditty:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Air
On the way over I heard some creaks coming from the rear wheel. When I checked sure enough there were about 8 spokes really loose. Tightened them and completely screwed up the trueness. Had to get a bit of help getting it to a rideable point (including slamming the rim on a table which surprisingly helped quite a bit to release tension) - will play with it more so I can concentrate on repacking the hubs and bb.
I forgot how many loose spokes there were - but I'd put money those 6 broken ones came from those original 8 ones
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Old 05-06-07, 03:05 PM   #14
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One broken spoke is too many. If I'm at work and I pop one (and don't have a replacement), I usually just twist it on real tight around it's neighbor. It'll work in a pinch, but you should get it fixed asap.

When one goes, usually more are to follow. Even with one broken spoke and a couple loose spokes you can taco that wheel REAL easy. I've done it before. It's not fun.
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Old 05-07-07, 09:29 PM   #15
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Break spoke on ride - Wrap broken spoke around adjacent spoke, open brake callipers ride home slowly and carefully by shortest route.
Broken spoke before ride - remove wheel, take to LBS for repair. Sulk.
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Old 05-07-07, 10:45 PM   #16
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Pfft! ONE broken spoke is too many. The wheel is built based on tension. One broken spoke will throw off the the tension of the remaining spokes!
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Old 05-08-07, 04:40 AM   #17
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Broken spoke before ride - remove wheel, take to LBS for repair. Sulk.
Yeah, that's been my weekend....
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Old 05-08-07, 09:17 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by John Z
A pair of spokes on the rear wheel pulled out of the hub last fall on a ride, and there was no way i would even try to ride it home.
the exact same happened to a mate of mine at the top of a hill we'd just ridden up. A bit of tweaking made it more like a circle than a square, but he still had to leave the brake disengaged. madman rode it home - I was seasick watching the bloody thing

that was 3 spokes, shudder to think what 6 would be like. Absolutely no way I would be riding it.
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