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Old 10-04-08, 08:43 PM   #1
veggie_lover
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How to fix broken spoke?

Attached is a picture of the spoke. Seem like the cap came off. Where can I buy spokes for the 20" Dahon D7 wheels? Or will my LBS be the best place? I found videos on youtube on how to replace them. Seems I have to remove the wheel, tube, rim tape to pull this one out.

Is the bike unrideable , or can I make some temporary fix to keep using it? It rubs against the brakes now though.
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Old 10-04-08, 10:49 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by veggie_lover View Post
Attached is a picture of the spoke. Seem like the cap came off. Where can I buy spokes for the 20" Dahon D7 wheels? Or will my LBS be the best place? I found videos on youtube on how to replace them. Seems I have to remove the wheel, tube, rim tape to pull this one out.

Is the bike unrideable , or can I make some temporary fix to keep using it? It rubs against the brakes now though.
Bike shop should have the apropriate spoke. I wouldn't ride it untill you get the spoke replaced.
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Old 10-05-08, 12:17 AM   #3
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That spoke is a pain to replace. You have to remove the cassette (rear gear cluster) to thread the new spoke in. So you need a chain whip, a cassette removal tool and the know-how how to true a wheel.

The fact that the spoke broke is an indication of a poorly tensioned wheel. The spokes likely weren't tensioned enough and then they tend to fatigue at the spoke head, eventually breaking off. Odds are other spokes are now fatigued as well.

Unless you intend to learn how to build/true wheels, this is a job for an expert. That said, this is exactly how I started off building my own wheels.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.
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Old 10-05-08, 05:56 AM   #4
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About How To True a Wheel (and more videos):

http://bicycletutor.com/wheel-truing/
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Old 10-05-08, 10:30 AM   #5
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I think Ill go the DIY route, since I figure I can get most of the tools online for the same price as the LBS will charge to rebuild the wheel. Are these the ones I need:

http://www.universalcycles.com/shopp...ls.php?id=1138

http://www.universalcycles.com/shopp...ls.php?id=1140

http://www.universalcycles.com/shopp...ls.php?id=8822

For spokes are these the right size?

Wheelsmith Straight Gauge Spokes 2.0 x 176 mm (Silver)
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Old 10-05-08, 11:20 AM   #6
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veggie_lover... where are you located? If you're near a bike co-op or collective, you could do the work in their workshop for the price of a membership. You could also get some help with questions about how to do it if you get stuck in the process.

http://www.bikecollectives.org/wiki/..._Organizations

Good luck.
--sam
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Old 10-05-08, 12:20 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by veggie_lover View Post
I think Ill go the DIY route, since I figure I can get most of the tools online for the same price as the LBS will charge to rebuild the wheel....
You will also need a truing stand, which will run you another $20 - $50 and spokes (usually $1 a pop), plus a way to cut them properly.

While it is a good idea to learn how to fix a spoke on your own, I don't think you're going to save money on this job.

By the way, truing and building wheels is kind of a tricky business; you should expect to get it wrong the first one or two times. It's also possible that the entire wheel will already need to be rebuilt. If you didn't notice the broken spoke for awhile, and/or rode on it a lot, chances are pretty good the other spokes have been damaged and will start to go.

If the bike is still under warranty, I'd have the LBS replace the spoke. If a second one goes, see if you can get a warranty replacement.
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Old 10-05-08, 12:47 PM   #8
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You will also need a truing stand, which will run you another $20 - $50 and spokes (usually $1 a pop), plus a way to cut them properly.

While it is a good idea to learn how to fix a spoke on your own, I don't think you're going to save money on this job.

By the way, truing and building wheels is kind of a tricky business; you should expect to get it wrong the first one or two times. It's also possible that the entire wheel will already need to be rebuilt. If you didn't notice the broken spoke for awhile, and/or rode on it a lot, chances are pretty good the other spokes have been damaged and will start to go.

If the bike is still under warranty, I'd have the LBS replace the spoke. If a second one goes, see if you can get a warranty replacement.
Good advice! I think Ill have my LBS rebuild it. Seems like if it is done right, it should last a looong time.
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Old 10-05-08, 01:29 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by veggie_lover View Post
I think Ill go the DIY route, since I figure I can get most of the tools online for the same price as the LBS will charge to rebuild the wheel. Are these the ones I need:

http://www.universalcycles.com/shopp...ls.php?id=1138

http://www.universalcycles.com/shopp...ls.php?id=1140

http://www.universalcycles.com/shopp...ls.php?id=8822

For spokes are these the right size?

Wheelsmith Straight Gauge Spokes 2.0 x 176 mm (Silver)
These tools are good for the job, but my assumption is that the bike has a cassette and not a screw-on freewheel cluster which requires a different tool. If it is 7-speed, it could be a screw-on. Cassette clusters came into use from 7 speed onwards IIRC.

I don't agree that you should expect the 1st few attempts to be wrong. That didn't happen to me and I started out from zero knowledge. I followed the late Sheldon Brown's excellent write-up on the subject and none of my wheels have required re-truing. What you can expect is to work many hours the first time.

You can buy spokes of the right length from J Gaerlan. I even got short butted ones from him.

I did my first attempt without a truing stand, mounting the wheel on the bike and using various devices for checking truing errors. I borrowed a truing stand after that but when it became clear I would be building a fair few wheels with time, I bought a cheapie and while not as easy to use as the one I borrowed, it does work. I have now built at least 7 wheels and trued others that came on bikes we bought.

So determine the right spoke length by using spoke length calculators (google it), buy say 3-4 spokes from Gaerlan, get those tools and replace the spoke. Check all others and expect others to break in not too long a time. The spare spokes will then come in handy. Replacing a spoke is much quicker than rebuilding the wheel and a great way to start learning. After the 3rd spoke breaks, you can think about rebuilding the wheel.
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Old 10-05-08, 01:49 PM   #10
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From what I am reading online, a well built wheel should last tens of thousands of miles. If that is true then I only need to have a LBS build a wheel a few times per lifetime. If I buy all the tools for DIY, then I end up saving just a little money, but also risk not doing properly each time and spending a lot more time. What do you think?
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Old 10-05-08, 02:17 PM   #11
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If you don't intend to do other wheels then LBS it is, but it is worth asking around for a good wheelbuilding LBS - usually ones that sell spokes ie have spokes of various lengths in stock.
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Old 10-05-08, 05:58 PM   #12
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veggie_lover, that's why I suggested the bike collective route. Bike collective are community based bike shops where you do the work yourself. Most have all the tools you would need... you just need to become a member.

That said, it's definitely easier to have your LBS build it up for you. Probably faster too.

--sam
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