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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 08-30-07, 07:00 AM   #1
BeckyW
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Spokes Rant

Last week my LBS put a wonderful new Rhino Lyte rim on my bike. Felt good. First ride, no problems. 30 miles later, something feels "wrong," and I look, and while the wheel is still almost true, I have TWO broken spokes. Conversation with them went something like this:

ME: I have two broken spokes on my new wheel.
LBS: WHAT?!?!?!
ME: Why do you think that happened? What needs to be done to prevent it happening again?
LBS: Looks like the tension is too low.
ME: I thought you tensioned the spokes when you installed the wheel.
LBS: No. But we'll repair those two spokes and tension all of them.
ME: Is it likely that the other spokes are damaged as well, and will keep breaking?
LBS: It's a possibility, but not likely. If you break another one we'll rebuild it with all new ones.

Two days later I get my bike back with nice, stiff spokes. 10 miles later, I broke another spoke. Now my bike is in the shop again!!! Yes, getting all new spokes, which will be tensioned... but....

I want to ride!!!!!

[/rant]

Edit: I should note that the wheel was already built when they installed it. They didn't build it up from scratch just for me the first time.
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Old 08-30-07, 07:06 AM   #2
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Becky,

They should have known better! While many shops will sell you a pre-built rim, They often times for get to check the DISH (side to side difference) TRUE and the Tension of these wheel sets. What bothers me is that your LBS KNOWS the problem and they still sent you out with a wheel they never checked. That is an LBS issue and it should be addressed by them.

Sorry this is happening to you. We all know that you are trying.

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Old 08-30-07, 07:19 AM   #3
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I have to say that's really unfortunately. It shouldn't have happened; period.

One of the best things I ever did was invest alittle money in good wheels. I had them built with Chris King hubs, Mavic CP33 rims and a 32/36 spoke pattern and the wheels are rock solid. I should never have to worry. And just in case I have the old wheels to switch out. Well worth the investment.

Have you thought of asking the shop if they have some loaner wheels you can borrow so you can keep riding? Many shops have a pair sitting around.
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Old 08-30-07, 07:51 AM   #4
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I'm not surprised
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Old 08-30-07, 07:56 AM   #5
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Bummer. Hopefully this will be the last of your wheel woes
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Old 08-30-07, 08:14 AM   #6
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I second everything, and know PRECISELY how you feel. I've got about 200 miles on my last rebuild, and still find myself constantly checking the rear. I'm finally to the point where I'm going to order a 36h Deep-V, a hub, and have it built up properly.

Now, for your situation, that sounds like precisely what happened to my stock rear. Machine-built 32h Bontrager, and it constantly popped spokes. I probably went through a dozen (literally!) in the 150-ish miles I had it. The new build held for over 500 miles before it popped one, then it was like rapidfire - they all kept popping.

One thing to check - count the number of spokes. If it's a 32h, get rid of it. You want a 36h. I've just been stalling due to monetary issues on building a new one, but I think it's high time I finally just did it. Once you have a decent build with heavy-guage spokes you'll be set. If it pops again, ask them to use some of the "downhill" spokes. You'll be hard pressed to break those!
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Old 08-30-07, 08:33 AM   #7
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I had a similar issue with a machine built Mavic XC717 on an XT hub. Sounds like a pretty rough and tumble combo, but when improperly tensioned, it goes out of true and gets a handful of loose spokes in 15 miles. I brought it to my LBS, and the guy who is now my wheel dude said "you should bring it back to the shop where you bought it and make them fix it for free." I told him "If they didn't check it the first time, what makes you think they'll get it right if I bring it back?"
His response was simply, "Good point. Give me 10 minutes."
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Old 08-30-07, 10:04 AM   #8
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Ugh - I know how you feel. I ordered a hand built wheel, tension wasn't right, and wound up destroying it on a 40 mile ride (had to muscle through it rubbing against the frame for 15 miles - not fun. Luckily I had jyoessan with me to give me some good hardy ribbing about it ), broken spokes, wheel so out of true it wouldn't turn.

Sent it back, been waiting for it since May. They gave me a cheap loner wheel, and now they're dropping their wheel building guy and the manager is personally doing it at home, should have it next week sometime. I love the shop otherwise but the whole experience has been frustrating. I'm afraid to go on longer rides where I can't just jump on a subway in case it happens again (which I was happily working up towards), haven't gotten the mileage that I wanted to do, gained weight on a reduced calorie diet (now heavier than I was before I started riding - at least my legs look good), and been pissed off about it most of the time. All around not a good summer for me and riding.
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Old 08-30-07, 10:11 AM   #9
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I had a similar issue with a machine built Mavic XC717 on an XT hub. Sounds like a pretty rough and tumble combo, but when improperly tensioned, it goes out of true and gets a handful of loose spokes in 15 miles. I brought it to my LBS, and the guy who is now my wheel dude said "you should bring it back to the shop where you bought it and make them fix it for free." I told him "If they didn't check it the first time, what makes you think they'll get it right if I bring it back?"
His response was simply, "Good point. Give me 10 minutes."
I agree 100%. After 950 miles on my bike I started breaking spokes total of three. My wheel has been back in the shop since August 3rd waiting on a warranteed replacement which I'm now told is on a 3 week back order. Funny thing is they are going to put the same type of wheel back on the bike. The only thing that I know for sure is that I've ordered new wheels ( 36 spoke deep V ) from a reputable dealer and I'm not going back to my LBS once I get my wheel back. I wanted to work up to a 50 - 75 mile run this summer but now I've lost a month as LBS was more interested in selling me something instead making sure I have the right equipment.
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Old 08-30-07, 10:29 AM   #10
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The Rhyno Lite rim is not a bad choice as it is quite wide and stiff but the spoke tension must have been too low. I have ridden lots of wheels built with Rhyno Lite rims and have had good success with them, the only thing I donít like about them is that some tires are really hard to get on due to how shallow the interior of the rim is. I currently have Rhyno Lites on my BMX race bike and they are holding together well. I am 235 so our weights are not comparable but I routinely slam this bike into the ground, enough to have bent cranks and broken pedals, so the stress on the wheels is probably similar.
The spoke tension issue is pretty common in both hand built and machine built wheels, they are built to have enough tension for most riders but not all. Lots of posters in these forums refer to machine built wheels in a manner that would suggest that there is no such thing as a good machine built wheel. This is not necessarily the case, the machines can be set up to build a true and properly tensioned wheel, but it reduces the productivity so this would rarely be done. I have two sets of machine built wheels for my sonís BMX race bike that are very well built, I had my favourite wheel builder check them out for me after a few races and he gave them the thumbs up, these were expensive wheels so maybe they take more time with them or someone checks them by hand. I have also experienced the poorly built machine build on my Kona Dew Deluxe, the rear wheel packed it in at about the 1000 mile mark. After a few broken spokes I got the spoke tension cranked up but the rims cracked shortly afterward.
The obvious solution seems to be to raise the tension to as high as the wheel will tolerate, too high and the rim will start to crack around the eyelets so this is a bit of a balancing act. The rear wheel is more of a problem than the front as the spokes on the drive side are shorter and under lower tension than the non-drive side in order to keep the hub centered while allowing room for the cassette.
If the rebuilt wheel fails it may be time to move to something else. The current favourite rim in these forums seems to be the Velocity Deep V, I have never tried one but it makes sense that a deep section rim will deform less and reduce the spoke stress cycle.
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Old 08-30-07, 11:40 AM   #11
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Most lbs have rental bikes. Make them give you one until they get it right. I have found that they do not mind it, because it makes you want to upgrade.
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Old 08-30-07, 03:47 PM   #12
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I'd look for another shop.
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Old 08-31-07, 01:08 AM   #13
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That's a real bummer when they KNOW the problem you've been having. You'd think they would be a bit proactive and make sure the wheel was tensioned.
Maybe giving them the "baked goods" made them think YOU were in THEIR servitude? It appears they are willing to do the minimal amount to what they think will get you off their back.
Hard to get those "training miles" when the bike is in the shop!
Hopefully they'll expend some EFFORT this time.
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Old 09-08-07, 01:30 PM   #14
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Becky I feel for you. Currently I am not riding either, (I have been flat on my with a severely sprained ankle due to falling down some steps about 3 weeks ago). However I at least can stare longingly at my bike and dream of riding, you cannot even do that!

Just a thought and I should preface this by saying I am only wildly guessing here: Does anyone else think that the problem may not lay with the wheel but the frame? Specifically can a crack in the chain-stays, seat-stays, or dropouts put an unusual strain on the wheel possibly be the cause of all this grief?
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Old 09-08-07, 03:50 PM   #15
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I think I am having some issues with my spokes being too loose. I do everythign excelt truing wheels and these wheels are fairly new from Pricepoint. I suppose its time to get to the LBS after I am done visiting my dad.

Luckily for me I was just given a beater 10 speed Roadmaster that was $80 in 1998 new. Does that give you an Idea of what I am sporting?
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Old 09-08-07, 11:45 PM   #16
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Update: they've promised me that either it will be fixed by Monday, or they'll have a loaner. Apparently their spoke cutter is malfunctioning, and the spokes aren't tensioning correctly. Here's hoping they're true to their word.
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Old 09-09-07, 02:04 AM   #17
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I think the whole LBS thing is getting silly here myself.

I'm on my third rear wheel now, I've replaced at least four tubes since December 2006 and the frame broke at the seat and crank tubes!

1. I put a spare wheel on to replace the original with F&S Komet hub, had LBS do that and they should've put the sealant in it. Was quoted a price and did not think about it. That was 12 Thursday, on 13 Friday I went out on the Yturri Beltway between S. Oregon and the SW 4th Ave/Hwy 201 "Airport Corner". By Verde Drive the rear was going down and 2 miles later at home that tube was also toast. 14 Saturday I went back and got it discussed with the owner, that was free.

2. That wheel and it's Shimano hub (the brake was nicely adjusted by the previous owner to stop by telepathy ) broke 4 spokes and was out of true. LBS owner told me I needed a new wheel as the oldies weren't liking me. $60 and I installed the wheel with a little difficulty as I thought clearance between the slots and the new axle nuts was a little tight compared to the old ones. The wheel slipped once but not as much as the old ones and the chain jumped. I took it to LBSO and he got it back okay.

3. He said something about the seat and I thought the seat was broken at the mount. Did not think about it, thought his statement and my diagnosis were alike.

4. Two daze later someone who didn't even know me pointed out that the seat tube was free from the crank tube!?!

Looks fixable but HEY! I've spent over 600 bucks easily on 3 bikes in 1.5 yrs, I know what to do about my weight vs. the bike and I had the start of the fairing ready to go. My friend Gary, who did the bending and welding for the saddlebag mount in the farm shop he works at, can likely repair it. Winter is coming and I have so many things to do. Then there's the fact I've taken a GLITASONE (Actos) for Type II Diabetes for over 10 years. There's a chance the pill has hindered losing fluids and weight and may cause congestive heart failure (my best interpetation and my best friend's dad died a horrible death from it). I really want to have a comfortable home and not be lacking, or at least a decent carpet. My parents are 61 and 64 and slippery on finances from too many years living like they were 30, Mom can't find work and Dad's wrists gave and he lost a career as a mechanic of 35 years, they lost one house then collapsed to a smaller one and Mom babysits my sister's kids so those two can work. I'll be damned to let them slip into a retirement center or a home and it really hits my mortality upside the head. I have the youngest parents in my high school class ('84), most of their parents are gone and my best friend's mother died of Alzheimer's Disease (two years in which I never saw her again and that was miserable). The storm winds pulled the board out of the AC window for the third time and I should've left the plastic up that I pulled down in June.

Maybe the LBS isn't such a deal, but I'm not such a walker.

Anyhoo, stay well, Becky and I will crank a Pioneer for you (porch light's got to be replaced, blue dial lights look better).

Steven
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Old 09-09-07, 08:44 AM   #18
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Man, Rollfast! I got stressed just reading* that!

I don't know where you live, but I always get that weird pre-winter stress myself. And I like* winter. But the to-do list is endless. All the things you put off repairing or cleaning are not facing you, and if you don't do it in the next month, you'll be in close quarters with it for 8 months! (Shoot. I have to paint my doors... add that to the list). Everyone is out in the nice weather, tuning snowblowers, washing windows.

And this time of year does make us pause and think about the health of ourselves and others. Winter is tough, especially on older people. Winter is tough on us*. It is important to stay healthy and fit, however you can do it.

All these wheel problems people are having are getting me down. When I learn wheel-building, I'm going to make Clyde wheels. There's obviously room for improvement there.
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Old 09-09-07, 08:46 AM   #19
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Steven, looks like life is handing you some lemons, and you know what they say about Lemons

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4. Two daze later someone who didn't even know me pointed out that the seat tube was free from the crank tube!?!

Looks fixable but HEY! I've spent over 600 bucks easily on 3 bikes in 1.5 yrs, I know what to do about my weight vs. the bike and I had the start of the fairing ready to go. My friend Gary, who did the bending and welding for the saddlebag mount in the farm shop he works at, can likely repair it.
Now you see why sometimes older bikes are not such a good idea. Refurbishing older bikes for service is find if your like Solveg and have a nice home shop and have taken the proper training on how to use it. For those who depend on the LBS for a lot of the labour, it's better to buy a new bike, and then keep that running until it gets too expensive to fix, then sell it, and get another new one again. Chances are, if you have put less then 2000 miles on that bike, that the seat tube weld to the crank tube (bottom bracket is the proper term) was already starting to crack before you got it.

With your parents, I am going to PM you some stuff later.
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Old 09-09-07, 10:04 AM   #20
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Steven, looks like life is handing you some lemons, and you know what they say about Lemons



Now you see why sometimes older bikes are not such a good idea. Refurbishing older bikes for service is find if your like Solveg and have a nice home shop and have taken the proper training on how to use it. For those who depend on the LBS for a lot of the labour, it's better to buy a new bike, and then keep that running until it gets too expensive to fix, then sell it, and get another new one again. Chances are, if you have put less then 2000 miles on that bike, that the seat tube weld to the crank tube (bottom bracket is the proper term) was already starting to crack before you got it.
What would I ride? Another Chinese thing like the woeful Next? Sit there stupidlike braking cables through no attempt of mine and regardless of cable quality, or shred derailleurs? I hate geared bikes for myself. I can admire them sincerely for others but I personally ain't liking having them locked to my antenna pole. Even Specialized and Raliegh are being made in China. I saw a noob to building bikes that by no. 2 was really great if the rear geometry wasn't looking as long as one should think (it was sorta like a BMX but his curves are so NEAT I hope it works and he should build for a job)...I know an expert farm shop welder and he made the cradle for the saddlebags which will also support a rack he's fabricating so I can strap things over the saddlebags. It will be repaired if we sleeve a new crank housing to it. It was never meant to be STOCK.
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Old 09-09-07, 10:10 AM   #21
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FWIW, I have 4000 miles on a Rhyno Lite with 36 14-15-14 Wheelsmith spokes and NO problems, not even a tweak of the spoke wrench. I weighed 270 when I got it, 230 now, and it goes everywhere, from smooth pavement to gravel fire roads. I do use big tires (35 or 37 Panaracer Paselas), which helps a lot. But I think you have quality-of-assembly problems.
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Old 09-09-07, 11:52 AM   #22
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Sounds like spoke tension to me. Sun rims aren't the roundest to begin with, so they're hard to build with even tension. I'm 220, and am riding 28 spoke and 32 spoke wheels, never had any issues. Too low of spoke tension will let the spokes go slack on the bottom and then retension when they come up, think of it as taking a piece of metal and continuously bending it. My powertap wheel has a couple thousand miles on it without issue. The 32 rear that it replaced (open pro rim/DA hub) also has thousands of miles on it.
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Old 09-09-07, 11:37 PM   #23
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Becky,
I would be looking for another LBS that builds their own wheels they ride. I had a custom set of wheels built from some local downhill guys that are clydes themselves. These guys ride all ride wheels built by their shop. They stand behind their work. Some of them are 260+ and jump their bikes 15-20 feet (vertical). They also ride skate park environments. Everything they build is nearly indestructible. And to top it off I spent considerably less than I would have anywhere else. I brought in my Phil Wood Hubs and Syncros Rims. They built both wheels (32h) using WheelSmith 14G Spokes and brass nipples for $86.00. Spokes run $0.90 ea and nipples are $0.15 ea, labor was $20 for each wheel. I should be able to leave these wheels to my kids in my will.

I would push for a complete hand built wheel at their cost. They knew the criteria when you bought the wheel in the first place and have failed to deliver your requirements, costing you time. money and frustration.

There are other options to j-bend spokes, but are very expensive. Many have recommended the Industry Nine products made in NC: http://www.industrynine.net/official/allmountain.html


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Old 09-10-07, 04:39 PM   #24
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I'm going to hijack this a bit because I don't feel like starting another thread. Just dropped off the wheel that was handbuilt and started popping spokes on the Century ride yesterday. A few days to true it. Great.

On top of that this new guy who does build wheels is telling me that it may still happen again and that he'd recommend a different rim/spoke/hub combination. I'll wait till the manager comes in tomorrow and see if it makes sense to pursue that and just apply the cost of this wheel to something beefier. I just know nothing of strong 27" wheels - 700c's plenty of discussions. Grrrr......

For the record - when I was apprehensive on getting a road bike this was exactly what I was afraid of. I hope that in the end it'll get to the point where I will be able to ride this and not worry about it going boom. Bunch of folks do these rides up to the mountains on weekends (60 - 140 miles depending on the route) and I want to do that but can't trust I won't get stuck.
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Old 09-10-07, 04:42 PM   #25
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If you have another 4 mm of adjustment left available on your calipers, you could build a 126 mm spaced 700c wheelset on the Deep V rim.......
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Originally Posted by Air View Post
I'm going to hijack this a bit because I don't feel like starting another thread. Just dropped off the wheel that was handbuilt and started popping spokes on the Century ride yesterday. A few days to true it. Great.

On top this new guy who does build wheels is telling me that it may still happen again and that he'd recommend a different rim/spoke/hub combination. I'll wait till the manager comes in and see if it makes sense to pursue that and just apply the cost of this wheel to something beefier. I just know nothing of strong 27" wheels - 700c's plenty of discussions. Grrrr......

For the record - when I was apprehensive on getting a road bike this was exactly what I was afraid of. I hope that in the end it'll get to the point where I will be able to ride this and not worry about it going boom.
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