I've owned a Breezer Uptown 8 for about 10 months now. It has an internal, 8-speed rear hub which is very heavy. Both wheels are 36 spokes, and I weigh about 340 lbs + the weight of whatever I'm carrying (groceries, etc). I descend some long, steep drops on twice on a daily basis (~120 ft. drop in altitude), as I need to cross a river valley to get to/from work.
Since upgrading to the Breezer from my old Trek hybrid, things have been much more solid. I was breaking a spoke every other week on my hybrid. I break a spoke about every other month on my Breezer. My spokes always break at the rim, which I've been told suggests they broke due to torsional stress from braking. This bike has rim brakes.
The standard hub is only available in a 36-hole variety, so I can't easily add more spokes. I've inquired about getting a thicker gauge spoke, and my LBS told me that only butted spokes were available. They even checked a BMX spoke provider, but said all the spokes they had would be too short. They strongly recommended I switch to a bike in the ~$1,200 price range that would have disc brakes. They said this would remove the torsional stress issues at the rim.
Does this sound right? Has anyone else had similar issues with spoke breakage due to rim braking?
I just spent $800 on my Breezer in January and I'd hate to throw another $1,200 into cycling... especially since I'm doing this to try and be frugal (LOL I wish!)