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  1. #1
    Love to ride! starship's Avatar
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    Blew a spoke climbing a hill.

    This morning on my ride, while climbing a hill, I heard some strange noises. Ker POP, click, click, click. I broke a spoke on my rear wheel. The stock wheel set is a Gipiemme Grecal Parade, 16 spoke on the rear! Light weight, but not best for 200 pounder like myself.

    Sheldon Brown (Harris Cycles) has a machine build wheel set for $99 made with low end Shimano hub. They also have Shimano 105 hubs in black, and Mavic MA3 rims in black. But I expect close to $400 for the set (custom had build).

    What to do, what to do? SO I post my dilemma here and ask for insight from you guys. This is my first high end bike, 3 years old.

    Suggestions please! What and where would you do?
    2010 Jamis Allegra 2X
    God loves you, and God loves me, Even if I do cause his over time!

  2. #2
    Elite Fred mollusk's Avatar
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    Um, why don't you take the wheel to a bike shop and have the spoke replaced?

    Did you ride much with the broken spoke? Sometimes doing that will cause its pair that has just become unloaded to fatigue and break soon as well.
    I'm the world's forgotten boy. The one who's searchin', searchin' to destroy.

  3. #3
    Love to ride! starship's Avatar
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    I will do that also, and keep them as a backup. But me at 205 pounds, and 16 spokes, does does not seem very good!
    2010 Jamis Allegra 2X
    God loves you, and God loves me, Even if I do cause his over time!

  4. #4
    Elite Fred mollusk's Avatar
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    Well, they lasted 3 years without breaking a spoke so they can't be that fragile!

    If you are looking for "bomb proof" wheels the standard answer is Mavic Open Pros laced to Shimano Ultegra hubs. There is a good sale on the 36-hole version at Nashbar right now.
    I'm the world's forgotten boy. The one who's searchin', searchin' to destroy.

  5. #5
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mollusk
    Well, they lasted 3 years without breaking a spoke so they can't be that fragile!

    If you are looking for "bomb proof" wheels the standard answer is Mavic Open Pros laced to Shimano Ultegra hubs. There is a good sale on the 36-hole version at Nashbar right now.
    Wheels are one of the things on a bike that I take care on. I ride a mountain bike and I only weigh 147 lbs but every couple of rides, I check them for true. Easy enough by spinning the wheel in the frame and seeing if there is any wobble up against a fixed object like the Brake blocks or a pencil. I then take out the slight wobbles myself but if I get out of true 3 times close together the wheel goes into the LBS for spoke retensioning and trueing. My wheels don't last long on the Mud with V brakes so I buy new wheels every 18 to 24months. When I do buy- I look around for a special offer or go for a good quality hub with a good rim and 32/36 spokes.

    Now 3 years without problems was a long time. A perfectly true and tensioned wheel will lose quality over just a few months, even if it is not used. If the spokes lose tension unevenly, your first sign is an out of true wheel. Next thing is a spoke breaking under tension- taking the strain from the adjacent spokes that are not under tension and one broken spoke- which then leads to more spokes under tension and breaking.

    Now onto spokes. I do not use black spokes. Always stainless steel which are stronger and you can see they are stainless steel. I do not know the quality of that black spoke that comes on certain wheels. I have just bought a Giant Bike and 5 years ago A friend had a giant with formula hubs- Alexa rims and black spokes. He weighed 220lbs and was always breaking spokes. In the end I took a broken spoke and analysed it. It was not very good metal and snapped when I bent it instead of bending. My New giant has formula hubs- Alexa rims and Stainless steel spokes. Hopefully I will be luckier.

    Edit- addition. If I had the choice of a machine built wheel or a hand built- It would always be the handbuilt. Try to find a "Wheel Smith" and see what they can come up with. If I get machine built wheels- Like I have on the New Bike, Then I will send them back to my LBS to retrue and tension after a couple of hundred miles. Saying that- I have now done 850 on my new bike and the wheels are still good. Must get those wheels back to them before long though.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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  6. #6
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Spokes break.

    I am doing fine on Bontrager's with reduced spokes at 220 lbs.

    Get it fixed.

    (How long since you had your wheel trued and tension checked?)
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

  7. #7
    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
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    You could just avoid hills, you know.
    Visit my blog! The Leadership Almanac
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  8. #8
    Senior Member dauphin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Digital Gee
    You could just avoid hills, you know.
    Blasphemy!

  9. #9
    Love to ride! starship's Avatar
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    My "local" shops won't work on this rim. parts not available.

    Avoid hills? Say what, I must have miss read that.
    2010 Jamis Allegra 2X
    God loves you, and God loves me, Even if I do cause his over time!

  10. #10
    Love to ride! starship's Avatar
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    These wheels have always been true (at least every time I've checked) right up until today. And I have done more miles this year that the last two combined.
    2010 Jamis Allegra 2X
    God loves you, and God loves me, Even if I do cause his over time!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by stapfam
    I only weigh 147 lbs
    Stapfam - are you a short guy? 147? I wish I only weighed 147 - well, I'd be overjoyed if I could get back to 170. I have to starve myself to get down to 185. Can't imagine what a crackerjack I'd be if I could get down to 170.

    [Edited to remove comments about meditation while riding - somethin' must be wrong with my mind right now - don't know how I got onto that subject - Caruso]
    Last edited by Carusoswi; 08-08-06 at 06:27 PM.

  12. #12
    Geezer Member Grampy™'s Avatar
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    Two brands to check out. Easton (Velomax) Circuits about $400 and bullet proof. Also check out Velocity. They have some fantastically tough wheels at very good prices. I've got a set of Velocity Sparticus wheels and can't break 'em, Lord knows I've tried......
    Carpe who?

  13. #13
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    16 spokes? Good grief!
    I can see why you would want to get a set of wheels with a little more margin for error. Even pro racers often train on 32 spoke traditional wheels. I'm a 200 pounder myself and I have had great luck with 36 stainless double butted spokes with brass nipples on eyleted rims. My current set uses Torelli Master silver rims and Phil Wood hubs (freewheel type). I would avoid dark anodized rims as they have a reputation for cracking sooner than lighter rims. If you can't find someone locally with a good reputation for wheel building, you can order from anywhere. Mine were made by Peter Chisolm at Vecchio's Bicicletteria in Boulder, CO. They are fantastic wheels.
    I'm thinking of going for a slightly lighter setup with 32 spoke hubs. I found a guy not too far from here who is a wheel building wizard. I'll either have him build me a set or buy a machine built set and let him retension and true them.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  14. #14
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carusoswi
    Stapfam - are you a short guy? 147? I wish I only weighed 147 - well, I'd be overjoyed if I could get back to 170. I have to starve myself to get down to 185. Can't imagine what a crackerjack I'd be if I could get down to 170.

    [Edited to remove comments about meditation while riding - somethin' must be wrong with my mind right now - don't know how I got onto that subject - Caruso]
    5'6" and weight hasn't changed for 5 years. It may have changed position a bit and after rides may go down a bit or if Carbo loading it will go up a bit.

    Now to make you all sweat- 1965 I used to box at 126 lbs. Came out of the forces and weighed 128lbs. at 34 weighed 128 lbs started biking in 1990 at 128 lbs. 1999 had a bypass and weight went up to 140lbs with 6 months inactivity and I have never lost that. If my weight goes up to 150 (Carbo loading) then I am sluggish but a little bit of riding (See the rogues gallery on my failure) and I lose it.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


    Spike Milligan

  15. #15
    Senior Member capejohn's Avatar
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    When you stand the bike usually sways from side to side while your climbing hills. This side to side motion puts lots of stress on the wheel. More so than going over bumps. I had to replace the rear wheels on both of my bikes because of weight related spoke problems. Now I have 36 spoke rear wheels.
    Bike riding New England gentleman.

  16. #16
    Love to ride! starship's Avatar
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    Ok, here we go: link to wheel set

    Shimano Ultegra hubs, mavic open pro rims, 32 hole, laced 3 cross with 14G wheelsmith spokes.

    Price is right, handmade by I hope someone good.
    2010 Jamis Allegra 2X
    God loves you, and God loves me, Even if I do cause his over time!

  17. #17
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by stapfam
    Now to make you all sweat
    okay, I'm sweating...one of my backpacking partners is 5'6" & 145 lbs & is nothing but muscle, bone & gristle and is quite capable & willing to put me in the dirt anytime I get a bit uppity...so I'll ask forgiveness for any indiscretions beforehand and somebody keep the bantam off my case, okay?
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  18. #18
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    Well, you went three years on a wheel that wouldn't carry me three miles, so that's not bad.
    Seriously, though, as a Clydesdale (240 pounds), I've completely given up on anything less than 36-hole, 14-ga. (or 14-15-14 butted)-spoke, stout wheels. I've used many different wheels over the years, including some built by an LBS owner who used to be a US Team mechanic, and I've ALWAYS had trouble with anything that even nods at being trick. I'm an experienced rider, don't jump curbs and learned my skills on a rigid mountain bike, so I know about riding "light" and taking shock with my knees and arms. I don't think anybody who weighs over about 120 can ride 16-spoke wheels except on smooooth asphalt.

  19. #19
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by starship
    Ok, here we go: link to wheel set

    Shimano Ultegra hubs, mavic open pro rims, 32 hole, laced 3 cross with 14G wheelsmith spokes.

    Price is right, handmade by I hope someone good.
    Hand finished is what it says. That means a machine built them and then a person completed the tensioning/trueing. No reason to think they wouldn't be good wheels, but there is a difference.

    Here is another option. These have double butted spokes, which experts say make a stronger wheel.
    http://www.pricepoint.com/detail/120...n-Pro-Rims.htm
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  20. #20
    Lincoln, CA Mojo Slim's Avatar
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    Just to add my experience with broken spokes.

    I was riding in my first century and was a relative noob. At six miles, there is a very steep, but short hill. I blasted down the downhill, hoping for some momentum (that really doesn't work), tried to drop from my big ring to the small (on a triple) AND down shift the cassette at the same time. POP SPLING BARG SPOOOONG. I broke 6 spokes, my wheel did kind of an S curver thing and I barely unclipped before falling.

    No SAG wagon in sight, but caught a ride with a couple in an RV back to the start. Packed up, drove home for one hour, my wife suggested a quick trip to a bike shop (an hour and a half away. I think she just wanted to go to a movie). Bought a whole new wheel (Mavic Open Pro in 2002). I had already bought the T-Shirt, so I crossed out "100 miles" and put in "6". Still got the shirt. Still got the bike (Bianchi Eros, but have upgraded to a Giant OCR2 comp).

    I have done that century 4 times since.
    Truth is stranger than reality.
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