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  1. #1
    Wookie Fred chewybrian's Avatar
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    Broke spoke blues

    After thousands of trouble-free miles, my daily commuter has begun popping spokes on the rear wheel every few weeks. I am willing to have the wheel re-laced, or replaced. I am 210 (was 330), riding a Fisher mtn. hybrid with heavy, double-wall Bontrager rims. I ride 30 miles every day, on decent roads, but I do tend to ride aggressively. I am a mountain biker at heart, after all. I brake hard, stand to accelerate, weave involuntarily, etc. This will continue. So...

    My inclination is to have the wheel re-laced with triple butted, DT Alpine III spokes, because Sheldon B. said they are top notch. Where can I get 'downhill' spokes, or tandem spokes? Are they stronger? Willing/anxious to listen to any suggestions, stories, etc. Permanent, or at least severe solutions preferred. thanks

  2. #2
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    I'd suggest that you have that rim checked before you relace it again. After a while, they get more flexible and soft....just get kind of tired, so to speak.
    on light duty due to illness; please contact my assistants for forum issues. They are Siu Blue Wind, or CbadRider or the other 3 star folk. I am currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes. I am making good progress, happily.


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  3. #3
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    I got Mavic Open Pro rims on LX hubs. 36 spoke front and rear, triple cross lacing. Never broke a spoke again. Also, I almost never have to true the wheels.

  4. #4
    Chubby super biker bdinger's Avatar
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    If it's a 26in MTB get a Salsa Gordo laced up to your hub with Alpine III's. You'll break before it does .

    Also Tom is spot-on about metal fatigue with regard to rims. They eventually just kind of get soft, so if you do a ton of miles you'll have to replace them more often.

  5. #5
    Wookie Fred chewybrian's Avatar
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    No, 700C size. I have put on a ton of miles in a fairly short time(@10,000 in 1+1/2 yr.). From what you and Tom say, I might do better to replace than re-lace. There's not much difference in cost, anyway. So, I need to find the strongest 700C disc ready rear wheelset, or rim. Checking on the Mavics and Salsa, others?...

  6. #6
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    Depending on how much you want to spend:

    Mavic SpeedCity Wheelset.

    Have your lbs order you some 700cc/29" disc compatible wheels [ Sun Rhyno Lite's, Salsa Delgado Cross's or DT Swiss rims ].

  7. #7
    Chubby super biker bdinger's Avatar
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    I ride with a bunch of 29er guys who swear by the Delgado, and most of the wheelbuilders around here do as well. They're a pretty dang tough rim.

    Also check out anything touring. They're also pretty darn tough.

  8. #8
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    Rims don't get soft with age, that is not how aluminum fatigues, it cracks.
    On a rim brake wheel it is likely that the sidewall will wear and crack when it gets very thin but on a disc wheel it is more likely that this will happen at the spoke holes.
    Rims that have been well used that start to break spokes frequently are likely to have cracks in the spoke bed or deformation/wear around the spoke holes that is allowing the spokes to move, this changes the tension in the spokes and causes them to start breaking. I have had both the sidewall and spoke holes crack on rims over time, as soon as there is any sort of a crack it is time for a new rim.
    It is also possible that the hub itself is the source of the problems, the flange could be developing cracks or the holes in the flange could be wearing into an oblong shape.
    As for strong 700c rims, the brand is not nearly as important as the build. I have had good luck with Rhynolites but found them hard to get tires on, I flat spotted my rear one on my commuter and replaced it with new spokes and a some no name Alex rim that I picked up dirt cheap as a temporary fix. I expected it would only last a few months, which was enough as this is my fair weather commuter, but that was 2 years and about 10,000km ago and it has never given me a problem.

  9. #9
    Mega Clyde bigwies's Avatar
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    Just a thought. If you have Bontrager wheels, check out the warranty. Trek warranties their Bontrager components for five years and it sounds like you are well under that threshold. You may be able to get a "free" replacement. If so, you can then get that on re-lace to the spec of your choice. You may even be able to play "Let's Make a Deal" with you LBS about how much it would cost to hand-build your new rear wheel.

    Here is the link to the warranty info for Fisher Bikes.
    http://www.fisherbikes.com/warranty/
    I checked and it IS 5 years for Bontrager components.

    When I had my rear wheel warranty replaced, my LBS hand built it for me at no charge. I was popping spokes like crazy before the replacement.

    Good luck.
    Big Wies

    Surly Long Haul Trucker
    Trek 7100

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