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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 07-27-07, 08:50 AM   #1
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Should I just throw away my !@#!@ bike?

So I've had continual rear wheel problems with my Trek 7.3FX. They went away for about 5 or 600 miles after getting a handbuilt rear wheel from the LBS. Then it popped a spoke. No biggie, had another LBS close to work replace it. Then another. Annoying, but buddy has truing stand and tools, replaced it, tensioned everything, good to go.

37 miles later.. another.

At this point, I just want to put the damn thing in the trash and give up on cycling. I'm beyond frustrated at the whole ordeal, and never riding the piece of !@#! again seems more appealing than fixing it again.
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Old 07-27-07, 08:55 AM   #2
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If I remember correctly, you have a couple bikes don't you? Do you have problems with the other bikes?
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Old 07-27-07, 08:56 AM   #3
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Oh, man. I'm so sorry. I don't have any suggestions, but I know someone will shortly.
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Old 07-27-07, 08:59 AM   #4
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If I remember correctly, you have a couple bikes don't you? Do you have problems with the other bikes?
I also have a Hardrock Sport that I've had 0 problems with. Heck, I've taken it offroad several times, without issue. Well there was one, but that was me straying a inch off the trail and becoming friendly with a root .

At this point I'm tempted to get rid of the Trek, and just stick with the MTB. I love the speed of the FX, the handling, and the fit.. but this is just plain ridiculous.
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Old 07-27-07, 09:03 AM   #5
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Some questions:
  1. Are the spokes snapping at the hub end or the nipple end?
  2. Drive side or non drive?
  3. Are you hammering up hills really hard when it happens? If so, you generate a big torque load.

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Originally Posted by bdinger View Post
So I've had continual rear wheel problems with my Trek 7.3FX. They went away for about 5 or 600 miles after getting a handbuilt rear wheel from the LBS. Then it popped a spoke. No biggie, had another LBS close to work replace it. Then another. Annoying, but buddy has truing stand and tools, replaced it, tensioned everything, good to go.

37 miles later.. another.

At this point, I just want to put the damn thing in the trash and give up on cycling. I'm beyond frustrated at the whole ordeal, and never riding the piece of !@#! again seems more appealing than fixing it again.
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Old 07-27-07, 09:04 AM   #6
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I just went though this. Some LBS mechanics who might generally be pretty good still aren't good at building wheels.

Buy a new wheel. Buy a high spoke count good quality factory built wheel and install it yourself. It'll be cheaper than fixing what you've got more than a couple times. See what Colorado Cyclist has available. Try to get one without weird spokes so you can easily learn how to fix a broken spoke yourself. It's not hard and can be done on the road.
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Old 07-27-07, 09:05 AM   #7
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So it's a wheel issue, not a Trek(bike issue)? Is it the same spokes that keep breaking in the same location or random?
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Old 07-27-07, 09:06 AM   #8
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I am having similar issues. LBS said to upgrade the wheel. They are not cheap, but it should cure it. I am about 245# and carry between 20-40lbs on my trunk/pannier setup. I have about 1300 miles on the original tires and wheels. The wheels were the lower end because it was the Sirrus and not the sport, comp, or expert. I have busted two spokes and the LBS said they would continue and if I plan on carring the same type of weight I should upgrade the wheel and try to get a front rack to distribute better. My hub on the rear wheel is also wearing out.

Don't give up. And if you throw out the bike tell me where I can pick it up at.
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Old 07-27-07, 09:12 AM   #9
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Some questions:
  1. Are the spokes snapping at the hub end or the nipple end?
  2. Drive side or non drive?
  3. Are you hammering up hills really hard when it happens? If so, you generate a big torque load.
Hi Tom!
First, every other spoke I've broke were at the hub, today was at the nipple.

It's been a mix, but the last two were non-drive.

And finally, it seems to happen when I'm not really hammering it. The last time, basically coasting on a MUP after a long ride. This time, costing through an intersection.
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Old 07-27-07, 09:14 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zowie View Post
I just went though this. Some LBS mechanics who might generally be pretty good still aren't good at building wheels.

Buy a new wheel. Buy a high spoke count good quality factory built wheel and install it yourself. It'll be cheaper than fixing what you've got more than a couple times. See what Colorado Cyclist has available. Try to get one without weird spokes so you can easily learn how to fix a broken spoke yourself. It's not hard and can be done on the road.
Well, that's the thing, this wheel was hand built and not exactly cheap (well to me it was, but.. long story). I'd hope that it's stronger than machine-built, but heck, the wheels on my Hardrock are indestructible..
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Old 07-27-07, 09:15 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Caincando1 View Post
So it's a wheel issue, not a Trek(bike issue)? Is it the same spokes that keep breaking in the same location or random?
Well, the wheel is on the bike, so I like to place blame on the whole thing.. . Anyway, different locations and seemingly at random.
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Old 07-27-07, 09:15 AM   #12
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I don't know what problem is....the only time I ever had wheel problems was after I crashed and screwed one up. I started riding at about 375 pounds.

It's got to be either a problem with that particular bike or just really, really bad luck with wheels.
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Old 07-27-07, 09:17 AM   #13
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I had similar problems until I replaced the original rims with double eyelet rims and had a very experienced builder build the wheels up. The spokes I chose are dtswiss stainless straight guage 2.0, beefy as heck and more likely to be used on tandems, which make for a very stiff but strong wheel.

I'm told that the problem with single/no eyelet rims is it allows the spokes to become loose as the wheel rotates which in turn leads to metal fatigue and spokes snapping. That pretty much confirmed my experience with single eyelet rims and, so far, there's been no problems with double eyelet rim and thicker spokes.

hope that helps
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Old 07-27-07, 09:17 AM   #14
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I am having similar issues. LBS said to upgrade the wheel. They are not cheap, but it should cure it. I am about 245# and carry between 20-40lbs on my trunk/pannier setup. I have about 1300 miles on the original tires and wheels. The wheels were the lower end because it was the Sirrus and not the sport, comp, or expert. I have busted two spokes and the LBS said they would continue and if I plan on carring the same type of weight I should upgrade the wheel and try to get a front rack to distribute better. My hub on the rear wheel is also wearing out.

Don't give up. And if you throw out the bike tell me where I can pick it up at.
See, this is the most frustrating part. The stock wheel lasted all of like 150 miles, before it popped spokes every 10 miles. They told me they'd warranty it out, build me a new wheel that would "definitely" last. Well, it sure did hold up to the promise.. .

Anyway, that's the most frustrating part.
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Old 07-27-07, 09:17 AM   #15
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Was it a Velocity Deep V? What kind of wheel and how many spokes?
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Old 07-27-07, 09:19 AM   #16
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It sounds like an assymetric stress issue, uneven spoke tension from the original build. You may want to ask about this in the mechanics forum. Refresh my memory about this wheelset, brand, spoke count, etc.
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Hi Tom!
First, every other spoke I've broke were at the hub, today was at the nipple.

It's been a mix, but the last two were non-drive.

And finally, it seems to happen when I'm not really hammering it. The last time, basically coasting on a MUP after a long ride. This time, costing through an intersection.
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Old 07-27-07, 09:26 AM   #17
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A couple of other ideas -- I don't think they are all the cause but they might contribute to early breakage:
1. Do you hit the turns really hard when going fast, and do you move your body off the seat to the inside of the turn so the bike itself stays more vertical? If so, that would increase the sideways force on the wheels and stress the spokes more. I think the couple of spokes I broke, on an old bike with old wheels, happened when going hard around a corner with a heavy backpack strapped on the back wheel.
2. Also, I am in the habit of starting my bike by standing on one pedal and swinging my leg over as it starts to roll. For stopping, I swing one leg off and stand on one pedal as the bike comes to a stop. I heard on BF that Sheldon says that's bad to do because of the sideways force it puts on the wheels (I am trying to learn to be straddling the bike when I start or stop rather than be off to one side). If you do that, especially as a clyde, that might shorten spoke life also.

I am no expert, so ignore all this if it sounds like mere speculation.
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Old 07-27-07, 09:32 AM   #18
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I'm wondering about side pressure too. Do you stand when you climb and lean the bike over from side to side as you pump?
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Old 07-27-07, 09:44 AM   #19
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As far as the wheel, it's a 32h Sun RhynoLite with a Deore hub. Spokes are the heavy gauge DT stainless.

Regarding how I ride, occasionally I whip around corners, but not leaning overly far when I am. I guess I could back off on corners..

As far as climbing, I'm seated and don't do the whole side to side thing. In fact it's very rare that I ever get out of the saddle while riding, generally I only do it to give my bottom a break. I do, however, put out loads of torque, this I know. I power up hills with generally reckless abandon - ever seen a 360 pound guy fly up a 4% grade at 20 mph before? - and like to "light it up" on straightaways.

I think overall I just need to accept this as a fact of my cycling hobby, and deal with it accordingly. It kind of sucks that this spoke broke at the nipple, as I JUST put new rim tape on the bike .
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Old 07-27-07, 09:45 AM   #20
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So I've had continual rear wheel problems with my Trek 7.3FX. They went away for about 5 or 600 miles after getting a handbuilt rear wheel from the LBS. Then it popped a spoke. No biggie, had another LBS close to work replace it. Then another. Annoying, but buddy has truing stand and tools, replaced it, tensioned everything, good to go.

37 miles later.. another.

At this point, I just want to put the damn thing in the trash and give up on cycling. I'm beyond frustrated at the whole ordeal, and never riding the piece of !@#! again seems more appealing than fixing it again.
Once in a while a batch of spokes is not heat treated correctly and they fail too easily. Once you have broken two spokes on a wheel it is time to have the whole wheel re spoked with another batch of spokes, they are all going to keep breaking.

If the shop that repaired your wheel has a batch of bad spokes they might not know it. You can't tell from lookling at them. Have your wheel completely respoked, don't keep fiddiling with a wheel after two broken spokes,the others are stressed, it's a waste of time. Find another shop or wheel builder to respoke the wheel, the bad spokes are impossible to identify by looking. Anyone could get a batch of bad spokes and not know it.

If this does not work you probably need a better quality rim, or a higher spoke count wheel, but it almost always works, as long as the same batch of spokes is not used again. After two spokes break don't keep have spokes fixed, do them all with another batch of spokes.
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Old 07-27-07, 09:50 AM   #21
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I do, however, put out loads of torque, this I know. I power up hills with generally reckless abandon - ever seen a 360 pound guy fly up a 4% grade at 20 mph before? - and like to "light it up" on straightaways.
I think the spokes on MY bike broke when I read that... You're an animal!
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Old 07-27-07, 09:58 AM   #22
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If you throw it out will you tell me a couple days in advance so I can wait outside for it? hehe

I am rather new and have no helpful ideas for ya, would love to grab the 7.3fx for free though haha
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Old 07-27-07, 09:58 AM   #23
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As far as the wheel, it's a 32h Sun RhynoLite with a Deore hub. Spokes are the heavy gauge DT stainless.
32h? Guys like us might be better off on 36h or 40h...

My recommendation is to contact Anthony at Trinity Cycles in Texas:

http://www.trinitybicycles.com

Tell him your situation and have him build you a wheel. He is exceptionally good, and his rates are very reasonable, although the shipping will cost you a bit. Let him recommend the rim and hub combination; he knows what he is talking about.

There are various wheelbuilders around the country who have great reputations for building bomb-proof wheels. Where do you live?

- FBB
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Old 07-27-07, 10:20 AM   #24
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Given how you ride, I'd have to recommend at LEAST a 40 spoke rear wheel, just to handle the rotational sheer you can generate, given the fact that you power like that up hills! The few extra grams aren't going to make a difference, really, and the long term benefits in wheel durability will be enormous!
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As far as the wheel, it's a 32h Sun RhynoLite with a Deore hub. Spokes are the heavy gauge DT stainless.

Regarding how I ride, occasionally I whip around corners, but not leaning overly far when I am. I guess I could back off on corners..

As far as climbing, I'm seated and don't do the whole side to side thing. In fact it's very rare that I ever get out of the saddle while riding, generally I only do it to give my bottom a break. I do, however, put out loads of torque, this I know. I power up hills with generally reckless abandon - ever seen a 360 pound guy fly up a 4% grade at 20 mph before? - and like to "light it up" on straightaways.

I think overall I just need to accept this as a fact of my cycling hobby, and deal with it accordingly. It kind of sucks that this spoke broke at the nipple, as I JUST put new rim tape on the bike .
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Old 07-27-07, 10:33 AM   #25
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See, this brings up another frustrating point of this whole deal, I kept telling the LBS that I wanted a 36h wheel - but nope - they were downright insistent that this combo would be the way to go. I even threw out the "price is no object" at that point to test waters, but again, nope, this combo. So if I seethe a little about the situation, please don't mind me .

Regarding the other options, they sound great, but right now budget is a limitation. I could certainly afford a rebuild, or to pick up a(nother) new rear wheel.. but it's going to pull money out of other places. Other places with a voice that will say "I thought this wheel was supposed to be "the one"?" .

It's a very frustrating thing, overall, but over lunch I'm going to grab my Hardrock to take on a tour of local shops this afternoon. I'll see what they all have to say, and make it very clear how unhappy wheel problems make me .
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