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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 08-24-08, 06:21 PM   #1
audiofx
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Breakin' spokes!

I bought my Trek 7100 hybrid back in May and so far I have done around 850 miles this season. Unfortunately, 2 out of my last 3 rides have resulted in broken spokes on my rear rim.

My weight has stayed the same at 245 (need to work on that diet!). Am I just running into bad luck or is there a reason these spokes are breaking now?

I usually drive to the trails in my car but the last few trips I have taken the road to the trail with my bike. Our roads aren't the best here and I'm avoiding potholes and re-paved sections like crazy. The bike paths are pretty smooth. Could the bumpy road trip be the reason my spokes are breaking?

Today, the spoke broke on the bike path up one of the larger grades. I was not on the road when it happened.
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Old 08-24-08, 06:52 PM   #2
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I Broke My First Stoke Last Week On My Specialized Hybrid After About 600 Miles. When I Started Riding Back In February I Weighed In At 380 Lbs. I'm Now Down To 268 Lbs. I Cant Say Why Yours Broke But I Think Mine Could Be Blamed On My Weight.
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Old 08-24-08, 07:03 PM   #3
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Breaking a rear spoke is sometimes caused by not running a high enough cadence. Putting too much torque on the rim with a rim that has not been trued and the spokes not being properly tensioned, will cause them to fail. Take it to a good LBS that will actually check out the entire rim, and not just replace the broken spoke.
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Old 08-24-08, 08:10 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by audiofx View Post
Could the bumpy road trip be the reason my spokes are breaking?

Today, the spoke broke on the bike path up one of the larger grades. I was not on the road when it happened.
Could be the bumpy road ... my first couple of broken spokes were at railroad crossings (actually, the same damn railroad crossing).

Once you've broken 2-3 spokes though, it could be a sign of a poor wheel, or at least a wheel that needs a good look by a competent mechanic. The ugly truth about many recreational bikes is that the wheels are not built very well. You should talk to the shop where you bought the bike about it.
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Old 08-24-08, 08:14 PM   #5
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I bought my Trek 7100 hybrid back in May and so far I have done around 850 miles this season. Unfortunately, 2 out of my last 3 rides have resulted in broken spokes on my rear rim.

My weight has stayed the same at 245 (need to work on that diet!). Am I just running into bad luck or is there a reason these spokes are breaking now?

I usually drive to the trails in my car but the last few trips I have taken the road to the trail with my bike. Our roads aren't the best here and I'm avoiding potholes and re-paved sections like crazy. The bike paths are pretty smooth. Could the bumpy road trip be the reason my spokes are breaking?

Today, the spoke broke on the bike path up one of the larger grades. I was not on the road when it happened.
Broken spokes are usually caused by one of three situations .

1) The wheel does not have adequate tension, this causes spokes to flex and when wire is flexed rapidly it breaks. As spoke count is reduced (from 36), or rider weight increases (above 150lbs or so), spoke tension becomes more critical.

2) The spokes have been damaged, for example by a kamikaze rear dérailleur. A kamikaze rear dérailleur is one that shifts into the spokes, committing a rather spectacular and sometimes very expensive suicide.

3) The rim is not designed for the rider weight -- or has been damaged, sometimes the rim will crack around spoke holes, weakening the rim.

Have a good look at the rim, around the spoke holes, if you don't see cracks, then given your distance it probably isn't the rim. If you have not had a kamikaze rear dérailleur, or a spoke killing crash. Then that leaves spoke tension, which is usually the problem. A wheel can over time lose some tension, if this loss of tension passes below the threshold you can start breaking spokes. When you start breaking more then 2 spokes, the wheel needs to be re-built with all new spokes and properly tensioned and trued.
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Old 08-24-08, 09:02 PM   #6
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When you start breaking more then 2 spokes, the wheel needs to be re-built with all new spokes and properly tensioned and trued.

+1 Take the wheel to a good LBS and have them rebuild the entire wheel with new spokes.
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Old 08-24-08, 09:22 PM   #7
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I would give tensioning & truing a try.
IF you weighed 100 lbs. more, I'd say have it rebuilt, but 245 isn't THAT heavy.
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Old 08-25-08, 07:48 PM   #8
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I dropped the bike at the LBS and told em to keep it and check it out. I took it in the last time a spoke broke and they fixed it within 10 minutes and gave the bike right back.

I had numerous spokes loose as well. Is there a tool to keep them tightened or would I just use a small pair of pliers?

My last ride, the spoke broke after coming to a stop going up a hill and talking to someone. When I started back up, I heard the pop.
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Old 08-25-08, 08:22 PM   #9
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I dropped the bike at the LBS and told em to keep it and check it out. I took it in the last time a spoke broke and they fixed it within 10 minutes and gave the bike right back.

I had numerous spokes loose as well. Is there a tool to keep them tightened or would I just use a small pair of pliers?

My last ride, the spoke broke after coming to a stop going up a hill and talking to someone. When I started back up, I heard the pop.
Yes there are special tools. If you don't know how, maybe your LBS will teach you how to do your bike wheels. I learned on my own, but I also trued my motorcycle wheels, so that is a completely different thing.
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