Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 39
  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Washington
    My Bikes
    MTB Agressor for now.
    Posts
    864
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    8 broken spokes, do I weigh too much?

    I have been riding one bike (2007 trek soho 1.0) for around 3 years and about 3500 miles a year since december of 2007. On this bike I have broken 4 spokes and repaired them all to perfect true. I also am riding a $350 workhorse I just got last christmas. I have broken 4 spokes on this bike in the last 3 months. This bike had 2 spokes break and then I had it trued to perfect and I broke a spoke not even 10 miles after retruing this wheel. I am super frustrated as I've never had this kind of luck with bikes ever.

    I weigh 188 lbs at 8% BF so losing weight isn't much of an option. Is this the main factor, or is there something else at play? I don't ride hard and on bumps I make sure I let as much pressure off of the bike as possible. When commuting I carry in-between 10 and 40 lbs. Any suggestions? I am extremely frustrated with my problem as it is my main form of transportation (I don't own a car).
    Life is short, focus on the things that do matter in life and don't forget the rest.

  2. #2
    Bike addict, dreamer AdamDZ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Queens, New York
    My Bikes
    Surly Disc trucker (DIY), Fuji Reveal 1.0 (DIY MTB), Specialized Roubaix
    Posts
    5,161
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Consider getting better, hand built wheels. I'm 195lbs, I never broke spokes on a bike that has hand-built wheels by a pro, and I don't baby my bikes, they get their butts kicked. I used to be over 200lbs and didn't have that problem. Or take the wheels to a bike shop, if you have decent rims you may just need them rebuilt with better spokes.

    The only exception are the wheels that I built myself I'm having them rebuilt.

    I did break spokes on stock wheels on brand name bikes, but I've been riding custom built bikes or heavily modified bikes for a few years now, so much better.

  3. #3
    Drunken Master amit_shah25's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Teaneck NJ
    My Bikes
    Jamis Ranger 1.0 (Mutilated !!), Trek Portland
    Posts
    338
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Was the rim bent too bad before it was trued ? If thats the case, it could be putting too much stress on the spokes .. Wheel could be true, but if the spokes had to be tightened too much, that pretty much means you should get new wheels .. ?? You are not a heavy person...
    Nothing to say !

  4. #4
    Senior Member Thomas Brock's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Jacksonville, NC
    My Bikes
    2007 Trek 7.3FX
    Posts
    187
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    It's the wheels, at least on the Soho, I'd bet.

    I have a 2007 Trek 7.3fx and had 5 spokes break on my rear wheel. The LBS submitted for a warranty replacement. No problems since...
    Read my blog.
    Twitter: @ThomasBrock

    2007 Trek 7.3 FX

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Newport News, Va
    My Bikes
    1999 Klein Quantum Race
    Posts
    144
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I would say its the wheels as well. I weigh the same as you and I was breaking spokes like crazy on my road bike (about 1 or 2 every 100-200 miles). I had my LBS replace the wheel (still under warranty) and the problem has stopped.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Potashville
    My Bikes
    Reynolds 531P road bike, Rocky Mountain Metropolis, Rocky Mountain Sherpa 10, Look 566
    Posts
    1,080
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    It's the wheels. My husband weighs 220, and he doesn't break spokes on any of his bikes. He might need to true them a few times a year, but no breakage.

  7. #7
    Senior Member coldfeet's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    2,118
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I weigh 210, and I don't commute light, last time I broke a spoke was after I screwed up a wheel service and managed to push the RD into them. Doesn't have to be super wheels, but there's something wrong with the ones you have.

  8. #8
    The Fat Guy In The Back Tundra_Man's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Sioux Falls, SD
    My Bikes
    '02 Giant Boulder, '08 Felt S32
    Posts
    934
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I've found once you break a spoke, the sudden stress put on the rest of the spokes often cause them to fail soon as well. My rule of thumb is if I break a spoke, I'll replace it. If it holds, great. If I break a second spoke on the same wheel, then the wheel gets re-laced/replaced. Otherwise I'm just going to keep breaking spokes on that wheel.

    Generally the stock wheels on bikes are machine built and while they may look true the spoke tension isn't optimum all the way around the wheel. As someone else mentioned, getting a hand built wheel from someone who knows what they're doing will usually put an end to spokes breaking. At 188 lbs you're not expecting a wheel to hold too much weight.
    '81 Panasonic Sport, '02 Giant Boulder SE, '08 Felt S32, '10 Diamondback Insight RS, '10 Windsor Clockwork

    Visit me at the Tundra Man Workshop

  9. #9
    Seņior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Michigan
    My Bikes
    Windsor Fens, Giant Seek 0 (2014, Alfine 8 + discs)
    Posts
    11,739
    Mentioned
    6 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    It's a crappy wheel. The wheel my $300 bike came with broke spokes like they were made of spaghetti. 12 in less than a year. It was always out of true.

    I bought a new rim (double walled) and some spokes, made a stand out of 2x4s, sat down in front of the TV with Sheldon's wheel building page, and built myself a wheel. Never had another broken spoke and it stayed dead true for 16000 miles, until finally the axle broke (it was a cheep freewheel hub). I replaced it with a Wheelsmith built wheel, which has been going for 6,000 miles now and also no problems.
    Work: the 8 hours that separates bike rides.

  10. #10
    bored of "Senior Member"
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    MD / metro DC
    My Bikes
    Cross-Check/Nexus commuter. Several others for various forms of play.
    Posts
    1,033
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Spokes don't break because the wheels are out of true, and truing them up doesn't stop more of them from breaking.

    You have problems with spokes breaking when tension is inconsistent and one winds up getting overloaded. If tension is uniform and (paradoxically?) high, then they all work together better.

    +1 to a well built wheel. Either hand built, or machine built then gone over by a good mechanic in setting up the bike (or remediating the lack thereof). Very important to get the wheel TENSIONED, not just trued. A good wrench will explain the difference and will, when replacing a spoke, check the overall tension.

    I'm 6'5" and 230, have broken a few spokes, but problems went away (other than the occasional really stupid hit) once I started tensioning my wheels.

    At 188, you're OK. At 8% BF, I feel compelled to sit on you to punish you.

  11. #11
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Montreal
    My Bikes
    Peugeot Hybrid, Minelli Hybrid
    Posts
    6,521
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Tundra_Man View Post
    Generally the stock wheels on bikes are machine built and while they may look true the spoke tension isn't optimum all the way around the wheel. As someone else mentioned, getting a hand built wheel from someone who knows what they're doing will usually put an end to spokes breaking. At 188 lbs you're not expecting a wheel to hold too much weight.
    Low spoke tension accelerates fatigue failure as the tension drops to zero at the bottom of the wheel when riding. If the tension is up to spec there is still positive tension on the bottom spokes, You dont need to buy expensive hand built wheels. I weigh 235 lb and have ordinary machine built wheels. I also have a spoke tensiometer ($60) and make sure the tension is over 100 kg and even all around when I first install the wheel.

  12. #12
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Kissimmee, Florida
    My Bikes
    Wal-Mart Denali road bike
    Posts
    27
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    no way weigh

    No way do you weigh too much. I've got a Wal-Mart road bike that broke spokes all the time until I had the local bike guy put on stainless steel spokes. Not one break since then - about 8 months.

  13. #13
    The Fat Guy In The Back Tundra_Man's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Sioux Falls, SD
    My Bikes
    '02 Giant Boulder, '08 Felt S32
    Posts
    934
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewP View Post
    Low spoke tension accelerates fatigue failure as the tension drops to zero at the bottom of the wheel when riding. If the tension is up to spec there is still positive tension on the bottom spokes, You dont need to buy expensive hand built wheels. I weigh 235 lb and have ordinary machine built wheels. I also have a spoke tensiometer ($60) and make sure the tension is over 100 kg and even all around when I first install the wheel.
    But the end effect is the same: you're evening out the spoke tension by hand. Basically you're saving cash by doing the work yourself versus paying somebody to do it.

    For someone who doesn't have the tools/know-how/motivation to do it themselves, purchasing a machine-built wheel and then paying to have it gone through to even out the tensions is about the same money in the end as buying a hand-built wheel up front.

    Hand built doesn't necessarily mean fancy or expensive. My hand built commuter wheels were priced quite fairly ($185 for the set shipped), and while I wouldn't want to race them they are more than bulletproof for my daily needs.

    I've still got my old hubs/rims. If I ever get motivated enough I may use them to learn to lace up a rim from scratch. But right now there are other things I'd rather do.
    '81 Panasonic Sport, '02 Giant Boulder SE, '08 Felt S32, '10 Diamondback Insight RS, '10 Windsor Clockwork

    Visit me at the Tundra Man Workshop

  14. #14
    Older than dirt CCrew's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Winchester, VA
    My Bikes
    Too darn many.. latest count is 11
    Posts
    5,345
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by AdamDZ View Post
    Consider getting better, hand built wheels.
    I'm with Adam DZ on this. Im 175 and I'm *not* easy on wheels as I tend to ride somewhat aggressively. I run decent quality wheels and while I've had to retrue a few I've never broken a spoke.

  15. #15
    Goathead Magnet aley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Albuquerque, NM
    My Bikes
    Surly LHT, Cannondale Caffeine F3
    Posts
    670
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by slcbob View Post
    You have problems with spokes breaking when tension is inconsistent and one winds up getting overloaded. If tension is uniform and (paradoxically?) high, then they all work together better.

    +1 to a well built wheel. Either hand built, or machine built then gone over by a good mechanic in setting up the bike (or remediating the lack thereof). Very important to get the wheel TENSIONED, not just trued. A good wrench will explain the difference and will, when replacing a spoke, check the overall tension.
    The reason high tension is good for keeping spokes from breaking is that it not only keeps the tension from cycling between zero and full tension on every wheel revolution (which leads to fatigue failure), but also because it forces more spokes to carry the load. When you load the wheel, the force of the ground tries to push the wheel out of round, and the job of the spokes is to keep it round. If the spoke tension is too low, it goes (ever so slightly) out of round, and the few spokes at the top are carrying all the load. If the tension is correct, all of the spokes get involved in keeping the rim from deforming, and the ones at the top see less total load since they're sharing it with the others.

    Tensioning wheels is easy if they're not already in bad shape - just give each nipple an equal twist to tighten up the spoke. If your tension is already uneven or the spokes are already fatigued, though, doing this may just hasten the inevitable failure.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Seattle Forrest's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    11,069
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Which spokes did you break? Were they next to each other?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tundra_Man View Post
    I've found once you break a spoke, the sudden stress put on the rest of the spokes often cause them to fail soon as well. My rule of thumb is if I break a spoke, I'll replace it. If it holds, great. If I break a second spoke on the same wheel, then the wheel gets re-laced/replaced. Otherwise I'm just going to keep breaking spokes on that wheel.
    When one spoke brakes, all of the rest of them pick up the slack ( and go through a lot of stress doing it ), but especially the ones near the broken spoke. It's like dominoes.
    Don't believe everything you think.

  17. #17
    Dare to be weird!
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Austin TX
    My Bikes
    Hybridized 1970s Coppi road bike; Townie city cruiser
    Posts
    1,990
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I guess I'll just reiterate some good points that have already been mentioned here. If your spokes break when you're just riding along as you normally do, it's likely due to metal fatigue. Metal fatigue is cumulative. If you have existing spokes that are already metal fatigued, retruing and retensioning the wheel may make them last marginally longer but it won't fix the spoke damage that's already been done.

    There are two main ways to metal fatigue a lot of spokes on a wheel. The first way is to undertension all the spokes. Even a wheel that looks true on the stand can be badly undertensioned. The second main way to ruin a lot of spokes is inconsistent tension. That can occur especially if you ride a long distance on a wheel with one or more broken spokes.

    You can certainly replace broken spokes one by one, but that won't cure the other spokes that may already be badly metal fatigued and near failure. I did that myself last year when I wasn't willing to rebuild or replace my existing wheel. I wound up replacing seven or eight spokes which all broke within the space of a few months. No problems since then, but I clearly understand that the spokes that haven't already broken may be metal fatigued to an unknown extent. The ideal thing to do would be to replace all the old spokes with new ones or get a new wheel, but right now I'm okay with spending $2 and an hour to replace broken spokes one by one.

    Car free tip: keep extra spokes on hand

    I'd guess that at 188 pounds the OP's spoke problems aren't mainly due to rider weight. I'd suspect that at some point in time the wheels were ridden when they were badly undertensioned or way out of true. Re-tensioning and retruing the wheels won't fix the metal fatigue that's already occurred in the spokes.

  18. #18
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    The O.V.
    My Bikes
    LHT
    Posts
    121
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    try the shamano ultegra with the mavic open pro set. Good priced/quality combo. I'm 6'4 220 and have a few thousand miles on them after the stockers on my bike started poping spokes after only a few hundred miles. I think there's just a lot of crappy spokes out there on mid to low end bikes.

  19. #19
    Senior Member canyoneagle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Palisade, CO
    My Bikes
    Singular Gryphon fully rigid 29er multi-use. Nuvinci N360 IGH
    Posts
    4,236
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I agree with what appears to be the general consensus - it is the wheels, not you.

    I have had perhaps 1 broken spoke from 1977 until a few years ago, mostly on high-end hand built wheels or very good quality machine wheels (I verified/adjusted tension).
    After a small hiatus from cycling I started commuting on a Bianchi Milano with the mediocre factory wheelset (that I did not tension) and I broke 5 spokes in 8 months.
    After re-tensioning the wheel, all has been fine.

    That reminds me..... I need to check the tension on the front wheel of my new Norco.....
    Currently one bike: Singular Gryphon do-it all bike with Nuvinci N360
    Coming soon (winter project) Ciocc Designer '84 mod build
    Temporary (on loan from a buddy): 1985 Raleigh Prestige

  20. #20
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    YEG
    My Bikes
    See my sig...
    Posts
    26,203
    Mentioned
    19 Post(s)
    Tagged
    2 Thread(s)
    The only spoke failures I have experienced have been due to corrosion or impact... have always over built my own wheels and joke that a 300 pound guy could ride on most of them.

    I build a lot of custom wheels for tourers, commuters, mtbr's, and for tandem bicycles and for a person who was 188 would not have to build anything except a good quality wheel unless they were going to get subjected to some really extreme use.

    Off the peg wheels can be bought for less than the sum of their parts so it makes good sense to buy these and have a professional tune them up before you ride them.

  21. #21
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    415
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by kmac27 View Post
    I have been riding one bike (2007 trek soho 1.0) for around 3 years and about 3500 miles a year since december of 2007. On this bike I have broken 4 spokes and repaired them all to perfect true. I also am riding a $350 workhorse I just got last christmas. I have broken 4 spokes on this bike in the last 3 months. This bike had 2 spokes break and then I had it trued to perfect and I broke a spoke not even 10 miles after retruing this wheel. I am super frustrated as I've never had this kind of luck with bikes ever.

    I weigh 188 lbs at 8% BF so losing weight isn't much of an option. Is this the main factor, or is there something else at play? I don't ride hard and on bumps I make sure I let as much pressure off of the bike as possible. When commuting I carry in-between 10 and 40 lbs. Any suggestions? I am extremely frustrated with my problem as it is my main form of transportation (I don't own a car).
    I ride hard, on potholes, bumps, manhole covers, broken pavement. And I ride fast, usually up to 30 mph on straights, you could say I throw my bike around hard. And I am 260 lbs myself, with bike and everything included it goes up to around 330.

    Your problem is probably in your wheels being machine built. So as an consequence of spoke tension not being in good balance, one spoke got overstressed and broke - then as a result of that, others got overstressed and the next weakest spoke broke. See where this is going? Now that most of the spokes are somewhat damaged, they will probably keep popping right one after another. No matter that you exchange them, in fact, that's only going to make it worse, because new spokes are in better shape then other old spokes, so old ones are going to have an even harder time to stand up to it.

    What is going to solve your problem is to rebuild that wheel using all new spokes, and have it rebuilt by a competent wheel builder, which is going to balance it up and true it manually with feel. Such built wheel should stand up to a few years of harder abuse, if the hub and rim are up to it. Bare minimum for having your wheel rebuilt like that is having a double wall rim (preferably with spoke hole reinforcements), and a good quality brand name hub such as at least a Shimano Alivio/Acera/Deore hub. If you have weaker components, ditch the whole wheel and have a new one built something like this; DT spokes, Deore hub, and Mavic double walled reinforced rim. That will save you the trouble of dealing with that again for at least a few years. And DO NOT buy machine pre-built wheels; they are mostly crap. Insist on buying parts and having them built into a wheel.

    Also have in mind that new wheels will need at least one re tensioning after they roll for about the first 100 miles or so; you will know when it is needed, as you will notice the new wheel slightly going out of true - when that happens (side to side wobble at the rim greater then 1 mm) - take them back to the builder to get them re tensioned. Every part of new wheel needs to seat in and stretch a bit, and that is why that happens, and it is perfectly normal. Good builders usually do that tune up for free if you had the wheel built by them.
    After that, it is happy rolling, with mostly no maintenance. With such approach to the problem I never had the problem of breaking spokes again.

  22. #22
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    YEG
    My Bikes
    See my sig...
    Posts
    26,203
    Mentioned
    19 Post(s)
    Tagged
    2 Thread(s)
    The companies that supply machine built wheels will tell you that they are as good as a hand built wheel but many don't have level of equipment that can match what a human being can do with their hands.

    Some of the best off the peg wheels come from suppliers that have human beings doing post build checks on all their wheels... these will cost more and come with better components.

    Serviced a brand new set of wheels that were bought at an LBS yesterday... the front wheel was so under tensioned that it would not have made it around the block without deforming under load.

  23. #23
    Senior Member EKW in DC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Alexandria, VA
    My Bikes
    Trek 830 Mountain Track Drop bar conversion
    Posts
    2,053
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Certainly not your weight. I'm near 300 lbs, and since I got a quality handbuilt wheel in December, I've put nearly 3,000 miles on my my Velocity Dyad rear wheel. No broken spokes. One truing and retensioning at the LBS. Couldn't be happier.

  24. #24
    Got My Vans On Mattrek's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    West Plains, MO
    My Bikes
    1970(s) Schwinn Supersport (under construction)
    Posts
    156
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I must be the luckiest guy in the world. I have weighed over 300 for two years and have ridden the same bike on the same rims and never broken a spoke...

  25. #25
    Senior Member EKW in DC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Alexandria, VA
    My Bikes
    Trek 830 Mountain Track Drop bar conversion
    Posts
    2,053
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Mattrek View Post
    I must be the luckiest guy in the world. I have weighed over 300 for two years and have ridden the same bike on the same rims and never broken a spoke...
    Lucky to have hit upon a good set of wheels from the get-go. Or even luckier if you got crappy wheels and still haven't broken a spoke!

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •