Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 11 of 11
  1. #1
    Senior Member BigBlueToe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Central Coast, CA
    My Bikes
    Surly LHT, Specialized Rockhopper, Nashbar Touring (old), Specialized Stumpjumper (older), Nishiki Tourer (model unknown)
    Posts
    3,388
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Breaking Spokes - Repair or Replace Wheel?

    My west coast tour was marred by broken spokes. I made it halfway before I broke the first. Towards the end I was breaking one about every other day. When they would break I'd put an emergency spoke on, true the wheel to the best of my ability, loosen the quick release on the brake, and ride to the next bike shop, where I'd have them replace the spoke. It was a huge pain, I wasted a lot of time waiting for repair people to have time to service my bike, and it got pretty expensive.

    Background Info: I was riding a mail-order bike - a touring model from Nashbar. The 36-spoke wheels came preassembled, and I never took them to a bike shop for a tuneup. I weighed about 210 pounds, and carried a lot of heavy stuff - too much. (Since then I've replaced my tent and sleeping pad with lighter versions, and I've learned to carry much less stuff. I also think I'm down to about 200 pounds. I still have the same bike though. )

    I'm looking for advice from mechanically knowledgeable people before my next long tour. Here are some options I've considered. Please consider commenting on them, or suggest your own.

    1) Buy a cassette-removing tool, learn to true a wheel (is it possible to do on the road without a stand?), carry extra spokes, and repair broken spokes myself on the road.

    2) When spokes start to break, go to a bike shop and replace the rear wheel entirely. (Can you get a good touring wheel at a local bike shop off the rack, or do you have to order something?) Although this seems expensive, my experience on that west coast tour tells me that spending a bunch of money all at once for a new rear wheel would probably be less expensive than all the money I spent getting spokes replaced over and over. Interestingly, there didn't seem to be a standard price for replacing a spoke and truing a wheel. The cost varied widely, and they could often be dickered into doing it for less than the price they originally quoted.)

    3) Prior to the tour, go to my local bike shop and ask them to build me a bullet-proof rear wheel. (Is there such a thing?)

    4) Get a Bob trailer.

  2. #2
    Senior Member BigBlueToe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Central Coast, CA
    My Bikes
    Surly LHT, Specialized Rockhopper, Nashbar Touring (old), Specialized Stumpjumper (older), Nishiki Tourer (model unknown)
    Posts
    3,388
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    One other option - Xtracycle?

    I forgot another option - install an Xtracycle. Of course that opens up a whole other can of worms and probably needs a new thread. I just did a search for comments on Extracycles. All they talked about was it's ability to carry loads. I didn't see any comments on its effect on spoke-breaking. Comments welcomed.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    state college, PA
    My Bikes
    xo-1, riv atlantis, witcomb fixie, on-one inbred, bridgestone mb-1 w/ drops, bianchi reparto corse mtn bike, trek 650b'd touring bike
    Posts
    211
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    ok here, in my opinion is your problem: poorly made spokes, with crappy tolerances, and a crappy build from a machine, not a person. the solution is handmade wheel, good light spokes, ie at least double butted, that means they are thinner in th middle, and can flex there, rather than breaking. best spokes: wheelsmith xl 14, butted very thin in the middle, and developed for tandem riding, so you know they are strong. either rebuild your current wheel with those or get a sun cr 18 if your cheap or a mavic rim if money is no issue, and a shimano hub and have your shop build it up. 36 hole...

  4. #4
    The Wheel is Turning The Figment's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Virgil Kansas
    My Bikes
    '05 Novara (REI) Bonanza
    Posts
    540
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by BigBlueToe
    My west coast tour was marred by broken spokes. I made it halfway before I broke the first. Towards the end I was breaking one about every other day. When they would break I'd put an emergency spoke on, true the wheel to the best of my ability, loosen the quick release on the brake, and ride to the next bike shop, where I'd have them replace the spoke. It was a huge pain, I wasted a lot of time waiting for repair people to have time to service my bike, and it got pretty expensive.

    Background Info: I was riding a mail-order bike - a touring model from Nashbar. The 36-spoke wheels came preassembled, and I never took them to a bike shop for a tuneup. I weighed about 210 pounds, and carried a lot of heavy stuff - too much. (Since then I've replaced my tent and sleeping pad with lighter versions, and I've learned to carry much less stuff. I also think I'm down to about 200 pounds. I still have the same bike though. )

    I'm looking for advice from mechanically knowledgeable people before my next long tour. Here are some options I've considered. Please consider commenting on them, or suggest your own.

    1) Buy a cassette-removing tool, learn to true a wheel (is it possible to do on the road without a stand?), carry extra spokes, and repair broken spokes myself on the road.

    2) When spokes start to break, go to a bike shop and replace the rear wheel entirely. (Can you get a good touring wheel at a local bike shop off the rack, or do you have to order something?) Although this seems expensive, my experience on that west coast tour tells me that spending a bunch of money all at once for a new rear wheel would probably be less expensive than all the money I spent getting spokes replaced over and over. Interestingly, there didn't seem to be a standard price for replacing a spoke and truing a wheel. The cost varied widely, and they could often be dickered into doing it for less than the price they originally quoted.)

    3) Prior to the tour, go to my local bike shop and ask them to build me a bullet-proof rear wheel. (Is there such a thing?)

    4) Get a Bob trailer.



    I had 36 spoke wheels and a BOB...Still broke 4 spokes,it happens,build a Bombproof wheel and carry extra spokes,cassete tool,spoke wrench. once you break a spoke or two you lose the tenison on the wheel,so spokes tend to break easier.
    I tour on a MT bike,pull a BOB and ues 48 spoke Bombshell Crusher Wheels,I still carry extra spokes

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    state college, PA
    My Bikes
    xo-1, riv atlantis, witcomb fixie, on-one inbred, bridgestone mb-1 w/ drops, bianchi reparto corse mtn bike, trek 650b'd touring bike
    Posts
    211
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    spokes rarely break if they are on a good wheel ie hand built, and are butted and lubed.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    159
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Get a better wheel and learn how to replace spokes. My wheels rarely go out of true when a spoke breaks and with a Hypercracker or Stein tool you don't have to carry a chain whip and cassette tool. Carry spare spokes taped to your seat tube.

    My shop charges $20 to replace 1 spoke so at that rate you would have already justified getting a new wheel.

  7. #7
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    On the road-USA
    My Bikes
    Giant Excursion, Raleigh Sports, Raleigh R.S.W. Compact, Motobecane? and about 20 more! OMG
    Posts
    16,194
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    My orginal long haul touring bike had 40 spoke wheels after over 15k miles I never had a broken spoke, front or rear. The rims were Wolber the hubs IIRC were Suntour. Peter White is one source for 40 spoke bomb proof wheels, they ain't cheap but neither is stopping at every cycle shop along the route for spoke replacement

    Aaron
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

    ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

    "Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
    RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
    _Nicodemus

    "Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
    Aluminum: barely a hundred
    Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
    _krazygluon

  8. #8
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    13
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I am a big, big guy (275#) having made two unsupported solo crossings of Minnesota (with about 50# of stuff) and thousands of miles of riding for the fun of it. 48 spokes, 14 gauge, on sun rhyno rims (...if you can find 'em, anymore), custom built by Terry O'Sell here in the "Twin Cities", with 35mm tires. I haven't had one of THESE wheels even go out of TRUE, much less pop a spoke. I ride 36 spoke mountain bikes with generic wheels and am breaking spokes all the time. Not the ones Terry built for me (and he has laced up 4 rear and 3 front wheels for me...) You CAN buy an end to wheel trouble, but it's about $200-250 for a rear one and a bit heavy. Still, the "old fat man" hates wheel trouble in the middle of nowhere. "You get what you pay for..."

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Southern Oregon
    Posts
    208
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Wheel problems

    I am about 200# and carry 35 to 40 pounds of gear. I didn't want any trouble so I had a rear wheel built by Peter White and my problems were over. I still take spare spokes and the tools to repair but I have not needed them. So my suggestion is to have a good wheel builder build a wheel for you and take the time to learn how to replace a spoke even though you might never need to do so.

  10. #10
    cyclopath vik's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Victoria, BC
    My Bikes
    Surly LHT, Surly Big Dummy, Surly 1x1, Surly Pugsley, Bike Friday Tikit x 3, Bike Friday NWT, Bow Cycle 24, Santa Cruz Nomad
    Posts
    5,198
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    If you start breaking spokes then other spokes on that wheel are going to go soon. Replace the wheel either with a decent hand built wheel or buy a prebuilt wheel and get it tensioned properly by your LBS.

    If you just replace a spoke at a time you'll just be replacing spokes one after another your whole tour. You need a properly tensioned wheel from the start and you'll have no problems.

    The cost of a good hand built wheel will be be less than the repairs and aggravation due to a poorly tensioned machine built wheel.
    safe riding - Vik
    VikApproved

  11. #11
    I'm made of earth! becnal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Frankfurt, Germany
    My Bikes
    Raleigh Aspen touring/off-road hybrid, and a Bob Yak trailer. Yak very useful for us car-free types that like to buy lots of beer.
    Posts
    2,011
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I'm no mechanic, but I just built myself a new rear wheel from scratch using great components: 36 Swiss DT double-butted spokes, XT hub, Mavic A319 rim. Just did a fully loaded through France and Germany, off-road. Bounced and tortured that new wheel.

    It didn't even blink. Nothing wrong, nothing broke, still true.

    All I used was Sheldon Brown's wheel building web page. It's easy as cake! Try it.

    Then, if you do ever break a spoke, you'll never need someone else to fix it.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •