First things first, this is my introductory post on the bike forums. I've read a bunch of posts over the past month, and I liked the camaraderie that I was seeing so much, I've decided to join.
A brief intro before the meat of the post: I suppose I could be called a Clydesdale (which is one reason I'm gonna post this here)... I'm 6' 2", 250 ish... I've lost about 25 pounds so far this year, and I'm looking to participate in bike races someday. I commute to work on my bike, use it for errands, and for fun.
Anyway... spokes! The one part of bikes I loathe the most...
I first started popping spokes on my back wheel a few months after I first got my POS Raleigh c200. I think the first time might've been from moving (read: not my fault!), so I got the spoke replaced. Not long after... PING. Replaced that one. Not long after... PING. I was so frustrated at that point, that I just quit biking for the rest of that year, being too poor to afford a new wheel. About a year went by and another summer came... so I started biking again. I had fewer broken spokes this time, but it was still happening. By the end of that summer, I had had it again. For the next year, my bike stood unused and scorned in my living room (however, I did get an exercise bike... so not a total loss). This year came about, and I said "To hell with it, I'm getting a new friggin' wheel!"
And everything was wonderful again. For the past month and a half or so, everything was like it was supposed to be (minus a few flats)... until today.
Going down a hill, I heard the all-too familiar PING of doom. I got off and walked the bike back to the store. Now, all along... while I was getting the spokes replaced... I was being told, "Yeah, we could replace the spoke, but if one breaks, chances are they're all just going to break eventually." Today, I get told, "Well, I can replace the spoke, no problem." This makes me suspicious.
"It won't just break again? It will be okay? I don't have to replace the wheel," I asked.
"No, it'll be fine," bike repair guy said.
Being the fool I am, I told him to go ahead with it. About ten minutes later (or so), I have my bike again and am back on my way. I get on the bike and start rolling. Immediately I hear a BUNCH of creaky-type pings. I stop and look down. Everything's fine. I convince myself that it's just somewhat over-tightened spokes adjusting to being used. I move a few more feet and everything's fine. All right, then. I get back up to cruising speed... then traffic speed... still no problems. I climb a hill. No problems. I get to where I broke the spoke earlier... nothing. Okay... maybe he did perform bike voodoo... maybe it IS okay.
I nearly reach my destination and... on plain, flat, smooth road... PING.
So my questions... after all of this seemingly unnecessary exposition... is it possible to fix a spoke for good? Is it just a myth? Am I going to have to buy a new friggin' wheel every time I pop one spoke or am I doomed to piss away my meager means on labor fees and new spokes?
Any wisdom will be appreciated!