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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 07-23-11, 11:42 AM   #1
steve85
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Broken spoke, need advice...

So I was going to go for a ride this morning and found out I had a broken spoke on my rear wheel. I was clueless as to how it broke and then I thought back to my ride two days ago and it must have happened near the end of my ride(less than 100 yard from my where I started). I heard a ping(or pong) like something hit my spokes in the back, I thought it was a small stick or twig that got kicked up into my wheel. It was weird because I didn't see a stick on the ground but I though nothing of it and just rode to my car. I now realize that noise was my spoke popping.

My bike is 7 years old, it's a Trek 7200 Multitrack. When I got it off CL everything on it was original so the wheels and tires are 7 years old. I had to replace the rear tire and get the rear wheel trued 2 months ago. I got a front flat on Monday and replaced the tire too since it was so old.

I wondering if I should get just the broken spoke replaced or get the rear wheel completely rebuilt with new spokes and reuse the hub on it?
It has 700c 36H front and rear wheels on it btw. Don't remember the names of them but they are stock.
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Old 07-23-11, 11:51 AM   #2
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One broken spoke wouldn't cause me to replace a wheel. The age of the wheel isn't a factor in itself - if you've only just replaced the original tyres it can't have been doing that many miles.

I doubt it's a coincidence that you recently had the wheel trued, though - whoever did the job probably didn't quite get the spokes evenly tensioned. Personally I'd replace the spoke, trying to do a proper job on the tensioning. Only if spokes continue to break after that would I think about replacing the wheel.
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Old 07-23-11, 12:11 PM   #3
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Agree with chasm54 that I wouldn't do a complete rebuild over one spoke breaking. I had a spoke break on a 99 Jamis exile once. Had it replaced and the wheels trued and haven't had a problem since.
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Old 07-23-11, 03:26 PM   #4
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My smart-ass answer to the title was, "My advice is to fix it." Nice to see that answered the question in the rest of the post, too!

Like previous posters, I suspect something happened during the truing process. Take it back to whomever trued the wheel, explain what happened, see if they'll fix it for the price of a spoke (maybe $1 or so). Pay them anyhow. But if another one breaks. find another wheel guy to replace that spoke!
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Old 07-23-11, 08:01 PM   #5
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When many shops "true" a wheel, that's literally all they do: adjust the lateral trueness. What you want the shop to do is true the wheel and check the spokes for even tension. I'd suggest that the OP have the spoke replaced and have the spoke tension checked. If the spoke tension varies greatly, I'd be worried that the uneven spoke tension will have weakened other spokes and that they might be likely to break in the near future. I wouldn't have the wheel rebuilt immediately... but I would start saving money for it.
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Old 07-23-11, 08:36 PM   #6
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I'll be taking the wheel to the shop I got it trued at next week and see what they say. I just wasn't sure if it could have had something to due with the age of the spokes and such. thank for the replies.
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Old 07-23-11, 09:21 PM   #7
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My usual rule is to fix the first 2 or 3 spokes, but have the wheel rebuilt after the 3 or 4th spoke
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Old 07-24-11, 12:38 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by hammond9705 View Post
My usual rule is to fix the first 2 or 3 spokes, but have the wheel rebuilt after the 3 or 4th spoke
A VERY good common sense guide line to follow!!

Once you get past 3 broken spokes there is a major problem with that wheel that needs found and fixed.
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Old 07-25-11, 11:18 AM   #9
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Should there be a time caveat to that 2-3 spoke rule? I don't think I would be concerned at a third spoke breaking if I hadn't had a break in a year, or even several months. Of course I have never had a spoke break, and I do my own truing regularly.

~Al
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Old 07-25-11, 11:53 AM   #10
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Should there be a time caveat to that 2-3 spoke rule? I don't think I would be concerned at a third spoke breaking if I hadn't had a break in a year, or even several months. Of course I have never had a spoke break, and I do my own truing regularly.

~Al
It's not so much about time as it it's about repeatability.

When something ,or at times someone, repeats a failure there is an unfound cause that feeds that repeatability failure.
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Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?
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