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  1. #1
    Senior Member pharnabazos's Avatar
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    Helpful (maybe) advice on replacing drive-side spokes

    I'm not sure if this will be useful information to experienced people around here, but I found a useful trick related on the Massbike forums a while back for when you break an annoying spoke on the cassette-side of your rear wheel. It was posted by Tom Revay, and I'll just paste the instruction. I did it and it's worked well thus far. Then again, maybe you all know this already.


    >>In April 2000, I attended a Leadership Training Seminar put on by the
    Adventure Cycling Association. At this seminar, the instructor showed us a
    trick that made the whole thing worth the price. And just to show you what
    a terrific guy I am, I'm going to tell you this secret without making
    anybody except Schimek pay me $400. (Paul, I'll see you tonight for your
    check.)

    Here's how it works --

    Ordinarily, spokes are like an L, with a little cap at the short segment of
    the L. The spoke threads through the hole in the wheel hub, and the cap
    keeps the spoke from passing all the way through the hole and falling out.
    This lets a wheelbuilder run the spokes through the hub, and then lace them
    in a pattern (cross three usually, though cross four or cross two or radial
    patterns are also used) without the spokes falling out before s/he starts to
    work.

    Thing is, when the spoke is tensioned, the only part of the cap that's
    needed is the part that's on the rim-side. Once the wheel is built, the
    spoke need only be a J -- it just needs a hook at the hub-end, not a cap.

    So what you can do when you need to replace a spoke is this --

    * Take a spoke of the proper length, and with a metal file, file the cap
    off the L. Don't file the whole cap -- just file the 3/4 part of it that
    protrudes from the side and bottom of the L.

    * Keep trying to pass the end you're filing into the hub-hole. When you
    can do this, you've filed enough. This leaves the top of the cap on the
    spoke, and the spoke stops being an L. It's now a hook -- a J.

    * Put a bit o' grease on the spoke's threads, and thread it just a couple
    turns into the nipple. Then wiggle the spoke through its soon-to-be mates
    so that it follows the wheel's lacing pattern.

    * Finally, bring the J-hook near the empty hub-hole, and work it through.
    Tighten the spoke nipple while holding the hook thru the hole with your
    thumb until the hook starts to grab the hub. After that, just tighten and
    true as you normally would.

    Using this method, I saw someone install a filed spoke on the cassette side
    of the rear wheel -without removing the cassette-. He just worked the spoke
    back and forth until its J-hook popped into the hole.

    Once the spoke is tensioned, it will hold so long as you've left a nice J at
    the end. You can just leave it there and ride on it.

    ..........................................Tom

  2. #2
    Really like your peaches
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    I had 2 spokes break on the drive side and I came up with a similar method.

    I removed the head on the spoke, leaving the elbow in place. Then I turned that end into a Z bend, which
    is easily inserted into the spoke hole. I've only tried this for head-out spokes, I don't know if it'll work with
    head-in spokes. It helps if the spoke is 1/8 inch longer than the original.

    It's been a few months, they have held up. Eventually I'll get a FW removal tool...

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    A dog-leg bend can also be used to insert drive side spokes with the cogs in place. You need a long spoke, remove the end and make
    ___________
    two 90 degree|
    bends like this ---

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    This is great for on-the-road repairs, but if you're home, why not just pop the cassette and do it right?

  5. #5
    Si Senior dbg's Avatar
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    Pretty cool trick. I like it a lot. I'm just thinking ...if I have access to extra spokes and a file ...then it is probably a supported ride with the rest of the tools necessary to pop off the cassette and do it normally.

  6. #6
    Retrogrouch in Training bostontrevor's Avatar
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    You could just prefile a spoke or two and carry a couple of drive side and a couple of non-drive side spokes.

    That would be a cool trick for touring, I would think.

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