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  1. #1
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    a benefit of rim brakes

    On our first ride back after having a broken rear spoke replaced, I was struggling to get a look at the rear wheel as we rode to make sure that the wheel was remaining true. On a rim brake equipped bike, the rider gets a decent warning as an untrue wheel promptly rubs the brake pads. With a disc brake only, a wheel can get into pretty bad shape before it would become noticeable. If the rear wheel was more visible to me, the captain, it wouldn't be a big deal. Short of asking the stoker to keep an occassional eye on the rear wheel, how do people monitor this sort of thing?

    Thanks,
    Stuart

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    Why don't you just get off the bike and spin the wheel?

    Mike

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    Yeah, that's what I ended up doing. I was hoping to keep a closer (more frequent) eye on it though.

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    If the wheel is built or repaired correctly why would you have to monitor it that closely?

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    Quote Originally Posted by vrooom3440 View Post
    If the wheel is built or repaired correctly why would you have to monitor it that closely?
    +1

    if you have decent quality wheels that level of constant scrutiny is unnecessary. Give each wheel a spin before your ride and after you hit a bad bump or hole and check the tension from time to time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CharlyAlfaRomeo View Post
    +1

    if you have decent quality wheels that level of constant scrutiny is unnecessary. Give each wheel a spin before your ride and after you hit a bad bump or hole and check the tension from time to time.
    It was the first ride after having a spoke replaced by a shop I'd never had do wheel work for me. Plus, there was a little bit of wondering if other spokes might be near the end of their life. In my eyes, a part is suspect until proven otherwise.

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    Fair enough, though you didn't mention in the OP that you had no wheel repair experience with the shop. Nonetheless it's pretty simple to make sure the new spoke is at a similar tension to the old ones and if it is you shouldn't have much to worry about.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Dave Cutter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SaddleSoar View Post
    ......... there was a little bit of wondering if other spokes might be near the end of their life. In my eyes, a part is suspect until proven otherwise.
    I had a spoke break once. And even though I quickly noticed it (as I am sure you did also) and had the spoke replaced. I also wondered about the integrity of the wheel a bit... for a while afterwards. No one wants to get stranded miles and miles from home. I eventually learned to trust my wheels [again]. But I did consider putting a spoke or two in the seat tube.... in case I needed to make a repair while "in the wild".

  9. #9
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    Many tandem wheels have 36 or 40 (or maybe even more) spokes. Wheel failure is not going to be my worry if a spoke breaks with that level of redundancy.

    What I *am* going to worry about is that broken and now loose spoke flailing about and what that loose nipple is doing inside to my tube?

    Back in the day we used to tie the spokes at the crossing points on our dirt bikes to control the flailing factor.

    If the wheel goes very out of true from one spoke... you have more issues than one spoke and likely many spokes are loose. Which was probably why the spoke broke in the first place.

    Most times this will be the back wheel too since it takes more weight and more torque forces.

    This whole deal is a good reason to learn to work on your own wheels and either make your own repairs or cross check the work of the shop. If the spokes all sing the same song and the song is in the same key as the front wheel, then ride it. If they don't sing the same... find another shop.

  10. #10
    PMK
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    As mentioned, if the spoke was replaced and the wheel was trued and tensioned, it should not even be a concern.

    We run discs on both our road and off road tandem. We have broken spokes on both from something getting caught and popping a spoke.

    With a rim brake it is worse, the wheel, now not true and with a slight wobble has the ability to miss the brake track and blow the tire. It has happened to me on single MTB rides a long time back. The disc does not care and still stops.

    When I have replaced spokes, trued and realigned the wheel, typically we get a few "sounds" from the spokes in the first 50 feet. A quick stop, spin the wheel, double check nothing stupid happened and then ride it with no worries.

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    Quote Originally Posted by vrooom3440 View Post
    Many tandem wheels have 36 or 40 (or maybe even more) spokes. Wheel failure is not going to be my worry if a spoke breaks with that level of redundancy.
    ...
    If the wheel goes very out of true from one spoke... you have more issues than one spoke and likely many spokes are loose. Which was probably why the spoke broke in the first place.
    ...
    Yeah, the wheel is a 40 spoke DaVinci V-23, only about a year old, so it should be plenty robust. Even when I noticed the broken spoke (on the bike stand) (head had broken off, spoke still in place), the wheel was still true. Unfortunately, I don't know if it broke while out riding or due to mishandling in the garage with a cable lock attached. The wheel was used for 4 days of loaded touring (most of the load in a BOB) on some rough roads, so it had a pretty good reasonto break a spoke. After a couple of rides now, the wheel is still looking and sounding properly tensioned, so I'm not going to sweat it too much.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by vrooom3440 View Post
    What I *am* going to worry about is that broken and now loose spoke flailing about and what that loose nipple is doing inside to my tube?
    Bend the broken spoke around the others so that it can do no damage. Even if you unscrew the broken part completely from the nipple, the nipple won't go anywhere as long as your tire is inflated and the rim tape is in place.

  13. #13
    Nigel nfmisso's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Monoborracho View Post
    ....... the nipple won't go anywhere as long as your tire is inflated and the rim tape is in place.
    Huh?? on a many double wall rims, the separate nipple can certainly end up between the walls and make entertaining noises.
    Nigel
    Mechanical Design Engineer

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    Quote Originally Posted by nfmisso View Post
    Huh?? on a many double wall rims, the separate nipple can certainly end up between the walls and make entertaining noises.
    Yes, but he said nothing about a double wall rim....he was worried about the nipple damaging his tube.

    That ain't gonna happen with a rimstrip and inflated tube...... :-)

  15. #15
    Senior Member 1speeder's Avatar
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    Bingo, and Agreed!

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