For the folks who've read my blog, this is part old new and some new news....
On Wednesday night we finally popped a spoke end on our Topolino's. We were just cruising along at about 35 mph on a nice 4% long downhill section of road and then I heard a "doink". It took me a second to realize one of the threaded ends of the composite spokes had finally given in to fatigue and snapped where it enters the nipple inside the rim.
Because the spokes are semi-rigid the loose spoke didn't flop around much and the out-of-true condition wasn't even bad enough to cause brake rub. So, we nursed our tandem home over the last 9 miles and then swapped out the Topolino's for our conventional White Ind / Velocity Deep-V wheelset.
Fixing a broken spoke on a Topolino is a bit unusual in that 1/2 of the wheel's spoke network has to be replaced vs. just a single spoke. They lace in the same as conventional spokes, but it's essentially a total wheel reconstruction project. Rather than taking a whack at it I decided I'd just get a cost quote from Topolino to fix it. I put in a call on Thursday and Rafe and I have been playing phone tag: we'll likely talk on Monday.
In the mean time, I decided to give the rear wheel a closer inspection in daylight to see if there were any potential issues looming with it that might need to be factored into the "do I repair them or chuck 'em" decision. Son-of-a-gun, hairline cracks at about 1/2 of the rear spoke holes in the rim, including two where the cracks have merged. ugg.
When we originally bought the wheels a replacement rim was $90 and each spoke hemisphere was $65. Factor in shipping at $36 each way and then add labor; uh.... yeah. It will be interesting to see what total est. to repair might be. Damn, and they look so good!
I wonder what color of PBO spokes would look best on our Calfee? Hmmm.