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Thread: Broke a spoke

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    Senior Member Aeolis's Avatar
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    Broke a spoke

    Popped a spoke on my rear wheel today, is this
    An easy fix or is a trip to the LBS in order? I
    First noticed my wheel wobbling horribly and eventually saw the spoke hanging off. How
    Often does this happen on average?
    Cannondale r1000 aero (caad4)
    2008 giant fcr

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    Walmart bike rider gpsblake's Avatar
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    more then likely the wheel will have to be trued so I would recommend an LBS repairing it unless you have a truing stand or a lot of patience. Call and ask for prices as LBS can be all over the place on such repairs. As far as it happening on average, depends on how you use your bike. Touring for example will tend to bust more spokes (more weight on the back) or riding off road where a twig can break a spoke versus let's say paved street riding.

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    My LBS just charged $14 for the job. Which is mostly the charge for truing the wheel.

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    Senior Member gforeman's Avatar
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    A few yeas ago, I broke one my my new Trek with less than 100 miles on it. I thought, oh crap, is this what I'm in for? Kept the bike for 3 years, put over 2500 miles on it, and never broke another. So, it happens, don't let it get you down. It's an easy fix if they have the right spoke in stock.
    Gary F.


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    Senior Member Aeolis's Avatar
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    Good to hear that iit's not a big deal and usually doesn't happen often. It's just a bummer that my bike will be out of commission for a few days till the LBs gets it back to me. I bought the bike used and the wheel was out of true when I got it, just dealt with it for a month. Could riding on a wobbly wheel make the spokes more prone to breaking?
    Cannondale r1000 aero (caad4)
    2008 giant fcr

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    Senior Member gforeman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aeolis View Post
    Could riding on a wobbly wheel make the spokes more prone to breaking?
    That could put undo stress on the spokes for sure.
    Gary F.


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    Senior Member zandoval's Avatar
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    Some times you get a wheel where all the spoke necks become eroded - If this is the case then more broken spokes are on the way...

    I am a heavy guy so when I break a spoke I stop immediately to prevent the wheel from loosing its true - If I stayed on the bike it would be Taco time for sure...

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    Senior Member Aeolis's Avatar
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    IIf my wheel iis bent I'm going to kill myself.
    Cannondale r1000 aero (caad4)
    2008 giant fcr

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    The wheel was wobbly because the spokes aren't tensioned properly, then they loosen up as you ride. That causes the spokes to flex until they fatigue enough to break. The fix is to replace the spoke and have all the spokes properly tensioned and stress-relieved. Just a quick truing is a band-aid. If you invest in the whole process your wheel should not repeat the problem, unless the spokes are already too far gone.

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    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Often does this happen on average?
    Keying on the Math of average .. depends .. Size of sample .. of all bikes world wide,
    or just wheels identical to yours , same spokes , same MFG Batch,
    undergoing same maintenance truing and tensoning and riding conditons?

    dont sweat taking the market-wide survey, just replace your broken spoke and go on ..

    if you break 3 in a short period of time, consider rebuild if premium hub and rim.
    or a new wheel from LBS, tensioned by them before turning it over to you.

    IIf my wheel iis bent I'm going to kill myself.
    act Out wild in, like, New Haven and the Police will take care of that for you.
    Last edited by fietsbob; 09-09-12 at 03:08 PM.

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    I don't think anybody's mentioned this, but a broken spoke is something you can easily learn to fix yourself. When I did more miles and rode in remote areas, I carried a couple of spares and the necessary tools, and it saved me several times. There used to be a tool called the Cassette *******, I think no longer made, that fit in a seat bag and could remove the cassette so you could get to the drive side spokes. Don't know if there's a modern equivalent.
    You can also sometimes tighten spokes near the broken one to true the wheel enough to ride home, but it works less well with a low spoke-count wheel. All mine are 36-spoke, so it's easier.
    +1 on the break-3 rule. If that happens, you need to see what's wrong.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aeolis View Post
    Popped a spoke on my rear wheel today, is this
    An easy fix or is a trip to the LBS in order? I
    First noticed my wheel wobbling horribly and eventually saw the spoke hanging off. How
    Often does this happen on average?
    The bigger question you should be concerned with is how it happened. In other words, did something get caught in it or did it just break? If it's the latter, then your wheel wasn't tensioned properly. Spokes really shouldn't just break unless you run over something that richochets into the wheel and causes a break.

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