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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 07-25-11, 12:10 PM   #1
nazran
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Breaking Spokes...

I am breaking spokes about once a month... I assume it is a size thing 320lbs.

I am riding a comfort bike 08 Specialized Expedition .

It lists the spokes as... 1.8mm (15g) stainless

I am a complete newb when it comes to components... Is there anything I can do to this bike in current config to stop breaking spokes? Can I get stronger/thicker spokes?
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Old 07-25-11, 01:27 PM   #2
Mr. Beanz
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Not to dis your bike but it's an inexpensive model. Most inexpensive models don't have high quality durable components. You could have the wheel rebuilt using a better quality rim and better spokes but it may cost nearly half or more of what you paid for the bike bike.

You could try using the same rim and hub with all new spokes but it's a gamble (DT Swiss spokes). The main factor is finding someone to build it with a little TLC. At your weight, having ti re tensioned at after 200 miles or so is critical. Wheel break in, lose tension which allows spokes to wiggle around much like a hanger wire. They break after time if the movement is allowed. Proper tension holds the spokes in place eliminating the offending movement.
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Old 07-25-11, 04:38 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nazran View Post
I am breaking spokes about once a month... I assume it is a size thing 320lbs.

I am riding a comfort bike 08 Specialized Expedition .

It lists the spokes as... 1.8mm (15g) stainless

I am a complete newb when it comes to components... Is there anything I can do to this bike in current config to stop breaking spokes? Can I get stronger/thicker spokes?
Yes, you can but will they fit your wheel? The average spoke size is 14 ga or 12ga. !5 ga is really thin spokes. ( the higher the number the thinner the spoke. )

Your wheels are also 32 spoke per wheel which is not terrible but , at your weight, 36 spokes per wheel in a thinner spoke would be lots better.
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Old 07-25-11, 04:54 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Nightshade View Post
Yes, you can but will they fit your wheel? The average spoke size is 14 ga or 12ga. !5 ga is really thin spokes. ( the higher the number the thinner the spoke. )

Your wheels are also 32 spoke per wheel which is not terrible but , at your weight, 36 spokes per wheel in a thinner spoke would be lots better.
Normal spoke size is 14 gauge. The most common butted spokes are 14 gauge (2.0mm) on the ends and 15 gauge (1.8mm) in the middle. 17 gauge (1.5mm) in the middle are really thin but plenty strong. 32 spokes should be plenty too for a tandem team or single rider with similar weight.

The big problem here is that the bike company made more money by not paying for hand labor or an expensive Holland Mechanics robot to stress relieve the wheels. Especially if those are straight 15 gauge spokes with less material in the elbows.

Replacing all the spokes and bringing the wheel to uniform high tension would probably work; but hedging your bets and using a deeper + stiffer rim, 14/15 gauge DT Competition spokes, and perhaps 36 hole hub would be more prudent.

Last edited by Drew Eckhardt; 07-25-11 at 05:01 PM.
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