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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 09-17-09, 11:25 AM   #1
jcvbva
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Another broken spoke story

I've got a Townie I've been riding on and off for a couple of years. I've been using it a lot more lately and recently I heard the snap of a spoke on the rear wheel when going over a bump. I got off and looked and actually saw five broken spokes. I don't know how long the others had been broken.

The LBS where took it to be fixed said the selling LBS (out of business) should have contacted me about a recall on the spokes. Well I did a little research but couldn't find anything about that. I had them replace the five spokes for $50.

I took the bike on a couple of short rides and it felt fine. Then on a dirt/gravel trail and snapped two more spokes right away. I carefully completed the ride but took the bike back for another fix for another $20. They advised me that I had probably put more miles on the bike than it was designed for and I had pretty much worn out the wheels.

Is this possible? Do the spokes fatigue and wear out? I'm keeping the bike off of the trails and only on paved paths now but I don't like feeling like I have to be super careful every time I ride it.
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Old 09-17-09, 11:31 AM   #2
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My Giant Cypress came with crap wheels. After repeatedly paying to have them fixed, I bought a set of hand-built double-walled wheels from a local wheel builder. They cost more than the bike originally did, but should last forever.

You could probably save some money by just having the rear wheel replaced.
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Old 09-17-09, 12:03 PM   #3
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Unfortunately, spokes do wear out and when one goes, the rest are usually not far behind. I have a 2007 Specialized Crossroads (hybrid) that I use for a daily 15 mile commute. After 3000 miles on the bike, a rear spoke broke, then after a week another broke, and then two more the following week. The LBS said that it was basically just metal fatigue and the only way around it was either replacing all the spokes or getting a new rear wheel. I opted for a double wall rear rim with stainless steel spokes that set me back about $100. After a month, Ive had no more flats or broken spokes. You could go with a set of hand built wheels, but on a bike like a Townie, it may be a bit of overkill.

Speaking to your last comment, you shouldn't have to feel super careful every time you ride the bike. I would just bite the bullet, buy the new wheel, then just go out and rip it up . . .
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Old 09-17-09, 12:39 PM   #4
CACycling
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I'd go with a new wheel as well but I'd also email Electra and explain your situation. Never know what a company might do to satisfy a customer.
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Old 09-17-09, 12:49 PM   #5
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Which LBS sold you the bike? If it was Conte's in Red Mill Commons, they aren't out of business -- just moved to Chesapeake on the corner of Volvo Pkwy and Battlefield Blvd.
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Old 09-17-09, 01:12 PM   #6
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Replacing 5 spokes is a mistake. If that many are bad you should do the whole wheel. Make sure whoever builds your wheel knows what they are doing or you'll be back replacing them again.
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Old 09-17-09, 01:38 PM   #7
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Replacing 5 spokes is a mistake. If that many are bad you should do the whole wheel. Make sure whoever builds your wheel knows what they are doing or you'll be back replacing them again.
I agree. Once you blow out more than a couple of spokes, the wheel usually needs to be rebuilt. I'd either replace all of the spokes, or go with a brand-new wheel-hub combo that is tougher (Mavic Open Pro, just about any tire with a deeper "v" profile).

In any event, don't let them just replace 5. It is a waste of time and money.

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Old 09-22-09, 07:15 PM   #8
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Which LBS sold you the bike? If it was Conte's in Red Mill Commons, they aren't out of business -- just moved to Chesapeake on the corner of Volvo Pkwy and Battlefield Blvd.
Yes, it was Conte's at Red Mill. I'm surprised they didn't send a notification to their customer list. I just drove by one day and saw it closed up. Their new store would be at least half an hour from me so they took the L out of LBS for me.
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Old 09-22-09, 07:25 PM   #9
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I really appreciate everyone's input. I don't know if it would be worth it for this bike to buy new wheels. I might just pass it down to one of my kids or take it easy on it til I lose some more poundage. All of the broken spokes are fixed and holding up so I'll defer making a decision on that.

I bought a new bike that can hopefully take a little more abuse. It has Weinmann double wall rims with 36 spokes and I have a little more confidence. I've only ridden it a couple of hundred miles but it feels pretty sturdy.
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Old 09-23-09, 05:02 PM   #10
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I really appreciate everyone's input. I don't know if it would be worth it for this bike to buy new wheels. I might just pass it down to one of my kids or take it easy on it til I lose some more poundage. All of the broken spokes are fixed and holding up so I'll defer making a decision on that.

I bought a new bike that can hopefully take a little more abuse. It has Weinmann double wall rims with 36 spokes and I have a little more confidence. I've only ridden it a couple of hundred miles but it feels pretty sturdy.

Congrats on the new ride! After a "break-in" of a few hundred miles on the new bike, get the spokes retensioned. That will go a long way in preventing problems. I'm 250ish and ride 20/24 spoke wheels - almost 5K miles with no problems.

If you are in the Red Mill area and looking for another LBS, "Fat Frogs" in Redmill Commons (near Wendy's)has a decent reputation.

Again, congrats on the new bike!
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Old 01-09-10, 05:17 AM   #11
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there was a worldwide problem with faulty SS spokes in 2005-2006

I couldn't find an official recall, though I think there SHOULD have been one.

It was bogus material, possibly a batch of at least several hundred tonnes of it.

See the story here
http://www.bikeperth.com.au/communit...gmentation.php

I'm not the writer, though I have seen several samples of these brittle-fracturing spokes.
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