Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 06-21-06, 10:11 AM   #1
HiYoSilver
Rides again
Thread Starter
 
HiYoSilver's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: W. Sacramento Region, aka, Nut Tree
Bikes: Giant OCR T, Trek SC
Posts: 3,259
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Awk, how often do spokes need to be checked?

About a year and half of commuting, and on the ride in today a spoke broke. Huh, a spoke broke. I thought you didn't have to check spokes. So,

-- how often do spoke break?

-- do you check spoke tension regularly, or only when they break?

Thanks
HiYoSilver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-21-06, 10:38 AM   #2
grolby
Senior Member
 
grolby's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: BOSTON BABY
Bikes:
Posts: 9,268
Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 59 Post(s)
Well, you can't really check spoke tension visually, and a spoke on the verge of breaking due to fatigue would probably look totally normal under most circumstances. I would say, check spoke tension with an honest-to-goodness tensiometer when you true the wheel, and otherwise don't bother. Maybe hand check 'em every once in a while. I don't even use a tensiometer when I true my wheels - who wants to pay for one?

And no, you shouldn't have to check spokes except when truing the wheel. A wheel that is properly built and tensioned the first time (and the definition of "properly built" includes "built strongly enough for weight and riding style") won't break spokes, period, unless it is seriously overloaded through a crash or other mistreatment - like being allowed to go badly out of true and/or tension.
grolby is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-21-06, 10:49 AM   #3
AndrewP
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Montreal
Bikes: Peugeot Hybrid, Minelli Hybrid
Posts: 6,521
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Check spoke tension with tensiometer when you true the wheel, then after a couple of weeks riding to check that all is well. When you do the recheck, let the pressure down in the tires, so you can see how the tension compares with the previous tension.
AndrewP is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-21-06, 11:10 AM   #4
HiYoSilver
Rides again
Thread Starter
 
HiYoSilver's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: W. Sacramento Region, aka, Nut Tree
Bikes: Giant OCR T, Trek SC
Posts: 3,259
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Is the park tensionmeter the best, or do you have another recommendation?
HiYoSilver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-21-06, 11:13 AM   #5
CrosseyedCrickt
Banned.
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: I've had enough.
Bikes:
Posts: 898
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by grolby
A wheel that is properly built and tensioned the first time (and the definition of "properly built" includes "built strongly enough for weight and riding style") won't break spokes, period, unless it is seriously overloaded through a crash or other mistreatment - like being allowed to go badly out of true and/or tension.
Truer words have rarely been spoken
CrosseyedCrickt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-21-06, 01:25 PM   #6
Cosmoline
Biscuit Boy
 
Cosmoline's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Speeenard 'laska
Bikes:
Posts: 1,355
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I wish! I've been breaking heavy ga. spokes in a double wide Sun rim on a weekly basis. They're simply not tough enough.
Cosmoline is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-21-06, 01:34 PM   #7
jm01
Banned
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Toronto & Wasaga Beach, Ontario, Canada
Bikes: Ellsworth Id
Posts: 964
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by HiYoSilver
About a year and half of commuting, and on the ride in today a spoke broke. Huh, a spoke broke. I thought you didn't have to check spokes. So,

-- how often do spoke break?

-- do you check spoke tension regularly, or only when they break?

Thanks
yes you have to check spokes, i do everytime i check my tire pressure, usually just a squeeze, more if the wheel is coming out of true....they come loose, break when you hit bumps, rust out (i've had 6 break on 1 wheel when the salt got them in winter)

Because of the length of my commute and the weight i sometimes carry in my panniers, i switched to a 34 spoke wheel, have found it necessary to have it trued 3 times in 6 months, and tighten the odd spoke at least once/week

usually the rear wheel needs more attention
jm01 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-21-06, 01:38 PM   #8
jm01
Banned
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Toronto & Wasaga Beach, Ontario, Canada
Bikes: Ellsworth Id
Posts: 964
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cosmoline
I wish! I've been breaking heavy ga. spokes in a double wide Sun rim on a weekly basis. They're simply not tough enough.
this usually happens if you've had the wheel trued a few time too many...the internal stresses may be building up and focusing on a certain area of the rim...also make sure that you have the right tire pressure and that the spokes are the correct length for the hub/rim

may be time to have the wheel relaced or have the rim replaced
jm01 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-21-06, 01:58 PM   #9
vrkelley
Enjoy
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Seattle metro
Bikes: Trek 5200
Posts: 6,164
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by CrosseyedCrickt
Truer words have rarely been spoken
No pun intended of course
vrkelley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-22-06, 08:04 AM   #10
ken cummings
Senior Member
 
ken cummings's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: northern California
Bikes: Bruce Gordon BLT, Cannondale parts bike, Ecodyne recumbent trike, Counterpoint Opus 2, miyata 1000
Posts: 5,601
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Sometimes you can hear when the spokes are getting loose. A specially loose one will rub on the others making a clicking or very short sharp squeeking sound. I will stop and tighten it a bit immediately. With my 3 cross wheels with 36 14gage spokes I have the lbs work it over every year or two.
ken cummings is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-22-06, 08:33 AM   #11
HiYoSilver
Rides again
Thread Starter
 
HiYoSilver's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: W. Sacramento Region, aka, Nut Tree
Bikes: Giant OCR T, Trek SC
Posts: 3,259
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
[rant]

Modern bikes are a pain. I expected spoke replacement to be a snap. Nope, need 3 special tools to remove the cassette. 2 days no riding, ugh, ugh, ugh. [/rant]

Hello park tools.
HiYoSilver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-22-06, 08:34 AM   #12
mihlbach
Senior Member
 
mihlbach's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Long Island, NY
Bikes:
Posts: 6,400
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Since I just built up my first pair of wheels, I was interested in this.
I do use a tensiometer, and I regularly check the tension to see how my wheels are holding up.
When I first built the wheel, I went out and rode it for a couple of miles..then checked the tension. It was lower, so I retensioned the wheel. Then after maybe another hundred miles, I cheked again and found the tension to be lower again, but only slightly, so I readjusted the tension again. Now after about 400 miles the tension has stayed the same. I suppose my spokes are finished stretching by this point.

the lesson I learned...If not properly stretched the spokes will loose tension in the beginning, but after one or two adjustments you should be able to achieve a stable level of tension. So I would say, in the beginning, with a new pair of wheels, it would be a good idea to monitor the tension for a few hundred miles...thereafter if the tension remains the same, you shouldn't have any problems until the wheel begins to wear out due to corrosion, brake pad wear and what not.
mihlbach is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-22-06, 08:37 AM   #13
HiYoSilver
Rides again
Thread Starter
 
HiYoSilver's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: W. Sacramento Region, aka, Nut Tree
Bikes: Giant OCR T, Trek SC
Posts: 3,259
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Good advice, I need:

1. cassette plug
2. cassette chain
3. tension meter
HiYoSilver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-22-06, 08:58 AM   #14
cyccommute 
Mad bike riding scientist
 
cyccommute's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Denver, CO
Bikes: Some silver ones, a black one, a red one, an orange one and a couple of titanium ones
Posts: 17,973
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 172 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by grolby
...A wheel that is properly built and tensioned the first time (and the definition of "properly built" includes "built strongly enough for weight and riding style") won't break spokes, period, unless it is seriously overloaded through a crash or other mistreatment - like being allowed to go badly out of true and/or tension.
I'm not so sure I'd agree. A wheel is a very dynamic object. As each spoke rotates around the wheel it experiences different forces of tension and compression at the rim. Since these constantly changing forces are translated to the hub, the head of the spoke is put under a lot of strain for a thin piece of metal that is severly bent. The spoke head doesn't fill the hole at the hub (by about 0.3mm) either. The spoke head can move, slightly, back and forth until you overstrained the head and it fails. The strain on the head is worse in straight gauge spokes because the full change in force is translated directly to the spoke head while in a butted spoke the force is modulated by the flexibility of the thin section of the spoke. If you 'fill' the hub hole by using 2.3mm spokes, like the DT Alpine, combined with the thin section of the spoke, most of the force is translated to the hub and the wheel is stronger for it.

I've been running 2.3/1.8/2.0mm Alpines on my mountain bike for 5 years or so now and haven't had a spoke fail yet. And I ride them very hard
__________________
Stuart Black
New! Pokin' around the Poconos A cold ride around Lake Erie
New! Dinosaurs in Colorado A mountain bike guide to the Purgatory Canyon dinosaur trackway
Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
An Good Ol' Fashion Appalachian Butt Whoopin'.
cyccommute is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:16 PM.