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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 05-25-09, 11:13 PM   #1
Big Pete
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Broke My First Spoke Today!!!

The sad thing is I wasnt doing something cool or hopping a curb I just pulled into the driveway after towing the kids to Publix for some shopping and as I was getting off the bike POP there it went!!!
It was a front! Who brakes a front???

Now what do I do? The spokes are 10 years old but I have put 100 times the miles that the original owner had and I have only had it for 3 months. I guess the question is should I replace all of the spoke or can I cheep out and do just the one?

My bike is a 2000 GT Aggressor 2.0
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Old 05-26-09, 12:54 AM   #2
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Front? Really? Hmmmph, that's new. I would suggest you find yourself a good wheelsmith. Don't be afraid to ask questions like, "Do you own a tension meter?" There is a pretty good chance that with a spoke replacement and retension of both the front and back you'll be fine for a long time to come.
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Old 05-26-09, 02:48 AM   #3
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Most likely culprit is metal fatigue in the spokes due to low spoke tension. Think that is kind of what bigfred was leading to. If they have endured excessive fatigue they can pop at the least likely moment like yours did.
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Old 05-27-09, 04:42 PM   #4
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the sounded very tight when spun and run my fingers against them also if they were loose wouldn't the wheel be out of true?
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Old 05-27-09, 08:15 PM   #5
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For just one broken spoke I would replace the spoke. If you get to two or three, then you need to rebuild the entire wheel with new spokes
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Old 05-27-09, 08:39 PM   #6
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the sounded very tight when spun and run my fingers against them also if they were loose wouldn't the wheel be out of true?
"sounding tight when spun" somewhat confuses me. If you're simply spinning the wheel, you can't tell anything that way. The sort of tension we are talking about is measured, if by hand, with more of a plucking motion. You would be listening, not feeling. An extremely experienced and talented wheelsmith may or may not have the required talent for judging tension without a meter. For the rest of us, if you haven't got a gauge, you can't tell where there're at. A wheel can be in true without being properly tensioned. A lighter rider can ride a true wheel at lower tensions and still retain that wheels true. As clydes, we require that our spokes are tensioned toward the upper limits of what our spokes, rims and hubs(whichever is the lesser) can handle. This minimizes the degree to which the lower spokes are unloaded during wheel rotation and during any impacts, thereby lessening both the chances of the wheel going out of true and minimizing the total stress cycle that each spoke is subject to, resulting in a wheel that is more likely to maintain true and last longer without spoke breakage.
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Old 05-28-09, 12:02 PM   #7
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Do the cheap fix first, and if that doesn't work, do the expensive fix. This is especially important since this is the front wheel. Maybe your spoke was nicked and you never noticed. Add on the fatigue, and it could have broken that way.
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Old 05-28-09, 02:12 PM   #8
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Thank you Big Fred your last post is very helpfull. I was told if you spin the wheel and drag your nails across the spokes they will give a tone and if the tone sounds the same they should all be very close to the correct tension? Also I have been researching spoke breakage people say that they break at the hub or at the nipple. The one that broke on my bike left two or so inches of spoke to the rim side? Is this standard or is this sound like a damaged spoke that broke?
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Old 05-29-09, 07:20 PM   #9
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LBS replaced spoke he saidit must have been damaged because the wheel was in good shape and because of where it broke. New spoke and retensioned and trued all for under $20.

I asked if he was sure and he said it is a way to get my buisness from now on. I believe it worked!
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Old 05-30-09, 02:22 PM   #10
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I Was at my LBS the other day and he had called a compnay because there bikes were shipping with spokes that snaped like glass ! I won"t say the brand of bike because Iam NOT a 100 % sure and would not want to make a mistake on here !

I never in my life as a kid or clyde even at 371 lbs broke a spoke . But if I did I would check them all and if it was ok then I would just replace the one that broke ! If it became a BIG problem then I would buy a wheel just my 2 cents...
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Old 05-30-09, 02:43 PM   #11
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I am not a Clyde, but I have had front spokes go bang before.

Metal fatigue.

Rebuilt wheel with old spokes.

Cheap ass wheel.

Improperly built wheel.

Combinations of the above.

A good wheel with top shelf components can survive a nuke blast, especially a well built 36 spoker.
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Old 05-31-09, 03:14 PM   #12
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LBS said that it was more than likely corrosion that fatigued the spoke but all look fine. He replaced the one spoke and I went on a 15 mile ride to test it out. Two of the miles where a rough fire road. No issues yet! Thanks every one.

P.S. I am going to start saving for a total rebuild of the wheels I am going to go single speed. I haven't changed gears in three weeks to see if it is something I really want to do and I love it so far.
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Old 05-31-09, 10:25 PM   #13
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I'm glad it ended happily and also that my suspicion was correct.
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Old 06-01-09, 09:46 PM   #14
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I'm glad it ended happily and also that my suspicion was correct.
Yes it was and thenks again!
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