I'm 6'1", 225lbs, and my main form of transportation is my bike. I ride a Felt Verza City 3 and have both front and rear racks for carrying stuff. I bike commute daily, so I always have at least my two rear panniers loaded with general bike repair tools, 2 strong locks (~11 lbs together), and my work clothes. I put the torque down when the lights turn green, but am otherwise a very smooth rider.
My bike is pushing a year old and I don't know if the wear and tear on my rear wheel is starting to show or if my bike shop's new management is untrustworthy. I broke my first spoke on my rear wheel 3 months ago. I took it in and the guy who ran the shop (a good personal friend of mine) who threw a new one on there and trued the wheel.
Two weeks ago, I popped another spoke and took it in. My buddy is no longer in charge (decided to go on a 3 month tour of the states) and the shop is under new management. That guy took the wheel in happily, threw on a new spoke, trued the wheel and gave me an scary omen-- "Your spokes are a bit tight... if you pop another spoke, it's probably time to look into getting a new wheel. We can set you up with whatever wheel you'd want."
While I've only been heavily into bicycling for a bit over a year, I've kinda dove in head first... and I've read nothing about the end of the life of a whole wheel being determined by spoke tension.
Well, I noticed some lack of power return for the effort I was putting in on the way home yesterday, so I did a tune up today, myself. I threw my bike up on my stand, pulled the wheels off, and got down to scrubbing out some cassette, derailleur, and chainring gunk (it rained recently) when I noticed, out the corner of my eye, a blak line that seemed out of place. It was a third busted spoke-- the 2nd in as many weeks.
So what am I to think? Do I need to shell out silly amounts of money for an aftermarket wheel or is my current bike shop's manager playing me and setting me up for an easy sale?
I know I'm a big guy and I've always wanted a stronger rear wheel with thicker spokes for more reliability, so if you don't have an opinion on wheel health, could you suggest an affordable Clydesdale-worthy rear wheel?
Current Wheel Specs
Spokes (mostly stock): Stainless 14g w/Brass Nipples
Rear Hub (stock): forged aluminum w/allory QR 36H, shimano style cassette rear hub
Rims (stock): Doublewall aluminum for V-brake, 700c X 1.5, 36H w/ground sidewall rims
Tires (aftermarket): Vittoria Randonneur cross 700x38c