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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 04-14-11, 09:01 AM   #1
jpaschall 
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Spoke troubles

I have snapped 3 spokes in the last 2 weeks, and I am absolutely fed up. I'm riding on the stock rims that came with my Clockwork, and I'd venture to say that half of the spokes on the rear wheel have been replaced in the 1.5 years that I've had it. My LBS is reliable, and I can trust that they are truing up my wheels properly. I'm 6'2 240, and I'm beginning to think that I'm just too much dude for these stock rims. Is this likely the case? If so, does anyone have any recommendations for new rims that can carry me without snapping a spoke every week (that aren't deep v's)?
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Old 04-14-11, 09:36 AM   #2
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I would focus more on who is building the wheel. Find a local respected wheel builder and ask what they would recommend. Although the cold fusions at IRO are a screaming deal right now at $15 each but they are only 32 hole.
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Old 04-14-11, 10:01 AM   #3
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Dual Aerospokes ftw.
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Old 04-14-11, 10:06 AM   #4
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You need a hand built, properly tensioned, slightly beefier than normal, wheel.
There's lots of good advice in the Clydesdales forum on this very subject.
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Old 04-14-11, 10:18 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by jpaschall View Post
I have snapped 3 spokes in the last 2 weeks, and I am absolutely fed up. I'm riding on the stock rims that came with my Clockwork, and I'd venture to say that half of the spokes on the rear wheel have been replaced in the 1.5 years that I've had it. My LBS is reliable, and I can trust that they are truing up my wheels properly. I'm 6'2 240, and I'm beginning to think that I'm just too much dude for these stock rims. Is this likely the case? If so, does anyone have any recommendations for new rims that can carry me without snapping a spoke every week (that aren't deep v's)?
The stock wheels were NOT tensioned for your weight or anybody else's. That's the thing about a BD bike, everything needs to be overhauled before you ride it. Your wheel is boned, you'll just keep breaking spokes and you either need to rebuild it or buy a new wheel and make sure it is properly tensioned. This isnt about a special rim ,I now a guy 300lbs that rode Open Pros without issues, but having the wheel built right. I'm 200lbs (often with extra weight) riding OPs on my road bike

Last edited by hairnet; 04-14-11 at 10:23 AM.
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Old 04-14-11, 10:20 AM   #6
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You are trusting your LBS but why?
A decent wheel guy would have rebuilt that wheel with new spokes after a few spoke failures and then correctly tensioned it.
If the guy was really good, he would have checked the spoke tensions at the first failure.
What you're experiencing is the result of just fixing a broken spoke and not addressing the cause of the spoke failures, which was a poorly built wheel. Perhaps you were telling him to do it as cheaply as possible? Penny wise, pound foolish.
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Old 04-14-11, 10:32 AM   #7
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For me if a customer has broken more than 3 spokes in a wheel it's time for a rebuild.
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Old 04-14-11, 04:08 PM   #8
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You guys kind of don't know what you're talking about. Proper spoke tension will not do squat for a 240lb guy if the rim itself is becoming D shaped under his weight. If you are bending the rim, spoke tension will decrease then increase over and over, which will unscrew the spokes or break them. Stop blaming the LBS for a ****ty rim.

Last edited by clink83; 04-14-11 at 04:27 PM.
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Old 04-14-11, 04:12 PM   #9
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There was a customer at the shop who - despite being a serious tourer and putting crazy cross-country mileage on his bike - weighed in close to 300 lbs (he's also 6'3") and no matter what wheels we put on his bike, he'd come back with broken spokes. I finally built him a set of 40h Velocity Dyads and he hasn't broken a spoke since.
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Old 04-15-11, 09:51 AM   #10
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I have a question related to this thread so instead of starting a new one I'll just ask here. Sorry to hijack OP.
I'm thinking of getting a new wheelset , the Sun M13 rims with Formula hubs from Velomine, but they are laced with 32 spokes instead of 36 spokes laced to Deep V's which I have now. Am I going to notice a huge difference in strength? I know Deep V's would be stronger in general but I'm not too sure about the spoke count. The roads here are ok and I'm not a big guy (160lbs give or take) I just want to know from other fixed riders if I'll need to be a little more careful with them. I googled spoke/strength count already but most of what I read was from people who ride geared bikes.
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Old 04-15-11, 09:53 AM   #11
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I'm 200lbs and riding 32h Sun M13s from Velomine. I've had them for well over a year and have never had to touch them with a spoke wrench despite the roads being horrendous where I live.
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Old 04-15-11, 11:58 AM   #12
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^ awesome. That sounds good to me. Thanks for the input.
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Old 04-17-11, 10:49 AM   #13
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If you're only 160lbs there is no need for super heavy rims.A well built light wheel set will serve you fine.
I don't know why the SS/FG scene thinks it needs tank wheels to survive the city streets, but you really don't..unless you treat your fixed gear like a BMX.
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Old 04-17-11, 11:40 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by clink83 View Post
You guys kind of don't know what you're talking about. Proper spoke tension will not do squat for a 240lb guy if the rim itself is becoming D shaped under his weight. If you are bending the rim, spoke tension will decrease then increase over and over, which will unscrew the spokes or break them. Stop blaming the LBS for a ****ty rim.
The whole point with proper tension is to prevent the rim from deforming.What you're describing is a unevenly tensioned wheel.The only spokes i've broken were on 30 year old fatigued wheels.I'm trying to keep my wheels as properly tensioned as possible and all my sets have been fine ,including cheap single wall 27" ones.I'm 260 btw.
I'm not saying that the LBS sucks, but if OP has gone to the same shop to fix half the spokes they could have suggested a rebuild at some point.
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Old 04-18-11, 07:46 PM   #15
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The whole point with proper tension is to prevent the rim from deforming.What you're describing is a unevenly tensioned wheel..
No, a cheap, weak rim will bend under a 200+lb rider no matter what the spoke tension is. The crappy alexrim wheels on my SE lager repeatedly came out of true, despite being retensioned several times under my 200lbs of body weight, but my 140lb exgf has had them for 3 years now and has not had to have them tensioned or broken a spoke the whole time.
The load on metal spokes is tension, not compression, so if the rim itself is bending under the weight of the rider even tension won't keep the spokes from breaking or coming unscrewed anyways.

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