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Thread: Broken spokes

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    Broken spokes

    This sounds like the most common touring repair issue especially for clydesdales. Is it inevitable, or can it be avoided ? Talk to me about bomb-proof wheel sets.

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    Senior Member halfspeed's Avatar
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    Have a good wheel builder build them.
    *Choose appropriate hubs, spokes and rims.
    *Butted spokes make more durable wheels than straight guage.
    *ATB hubs are better than road hubs because they are built for abuse and their greater width reduces dish.
    *An "aero" profile rim is not necessarily stronger than a box profile rim, despite what some will tell you.
    *Eyelets are good, double eyelets are better.
    *More spokes, with more crosses are better.
    *It's better to save money on hubs than rims. (There's more to be gained from $70 rims than from $400 PW hubs.)
    *Spokes from DT, Wheelsmith or Sapim are all good. Get what your wheelbuilder prefers. If you are doing your own build, get what you can find at an affordable price.

  3. #3
    nm+
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    My bombproof rear-wheel.
    Bontrager Clyde, 48 Wheelsmith spokes, high-flange XT level tandem hub with a short axle.
    Made it from Pelican rapids, MN to Palmyra, NY, where I Cracked my frame. Before that, I kill a 36-hol bontrager mavrick and a 36 hole A719. (280-250 lbs with 50lbs of stuff)
    After my wheel issues, i can't think fo a reason not to get a rim with lots of spokes given tht it doesn't add much cost.
    Breaking bike parts for more than 20 years
    Titus Racer-X AL/Trek 520 (Cracked)/Trek 930

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    All good stuff.

    I weigh a ton, I have never broken a spoke on any bike. I feel like I am not trying hard enough or something. I think that even with 36 spokes and 300 plus pounds (all up) if you take reasonable care with how you ride, then you don't have to break them, assuming the wheel was built properly and you checked it at the first sign of any wobble. My last sevaral bikes the spokes haven't even needed re-tuning.

    The extreme mentality assumes you can do anything to the bike you want, and by all means do if you want to, but I believe that just hoping or swerving for the worst holes and rocks, may be the answer. The average road wheel at 36 spokes, LX hubs and a 20 dollar rim is not battleship tough. That said, all roads I ride have a lot of rough pavement on them, so it isn't possible to baby the wheels, I just don't punish them.

    I'm not sure I have ever had butted spokes. The argument in favour of them is that they flex and thereby absorb shock (and then they break from fatigue). My argument is that most of the best wheels out there being built by the best wheel geniuses, are running butted spokes, and there is very little double blind testing going on to test the hypothesis that butted spokes are better. or better with hard rims vs flexible. I know that Sakkits are speced with straight taper spokes.

    Maybe tire pressures around = <90 helps.

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    Quote Originally Posted by halfspeed
    Have a good wheel builder build them.
    *Choose appropriate hubs, spokes and rims.
    *Butted spokes make more durable wheels than straight guage.
    *ATB hubs are better than road hubs because they are built for abuse and their greater width reduces dish.
    *An "aero" profile rim is not necessarily stronger than a box profile rim, despite what some will tell you.
    *Eyelets are good, double eyelets are better.
    *More spokes, with more crosses are better.
    *It's better to save money on hubs than rims. (There's more to be gained from $70 rims than from $400 PW hubs.)
    *Spokes from DT, Wheelsmith or Sapim are all good. Get what your wheelbuilder prefers. If you are doing your own build, get what you can find at an affordable price.
    one eylet makes a poor wheel two or no eyelets.
    some aero rims are great some are not like anything else.

  6. #6
    I'm made of earth! becnal's Avatar
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    BUild your own bomb-proof wheel, using SHeldon Brown's website.

    Carry a flex-spoke for emergencies.

    Carry 6 spare spokes for emergencies if on a long tour.

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    Senior Member jcbryan's Avatar
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    rims

    Quote Originally Posted by becnal
    BUild your own bomb-proof wheel, using SHeldon Brown's website.

    Carry a flex-spoke for emergencies.

    Carry 6 spare spokes for emergencies if on a long tour.
    I'm with becnal, build your own! It'll give you great insight on repairing one should it break. I built my own after breaking some spokes on a tour. The wheel was built built by a local "expert".
    I have a 36h XT rear hub with DT straight spokes, Sun Alex rim. About 5000 miles of Clydesdale'n (about 275lb loaded Trek 520) it, no failure as yet. I've been very pleased with the Sun rim, good quality at a reasonable price at Lickbike.com.
    I also picked up a set of Velocity Dyads used, 40 rears and 36 spoke front, for $120 on the usenet group. Haven't tried them yet, but look good after upping the spoke tension a bit.
    Peter White build great wheels, seen his work on a bike in North Dakota. There are good builder out there just google the and then ask the forum. (Would we steer you wrong?)

    Hope this helps.... John

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    Skinny lite people break spokes too--check crazyguyonabike. Building your own is not hard IF you take your time, ask questions here and follow a good wheel building book. Research pays!
    A good hand built wheel following the guideline of halfspeed will bring you peace of mind and many happy miles.
    Peter White seems very highly regarded and guarentees the wheels that he builds.
    '94 Schwinn Moab 3
    '03 Giant OCR Touring
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    '01 Giant Yukon
    I choose the way to go, but the road won't set me free

  9. #9
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    Whether you break spokes depends more on the wheel build than on your weight. I weigh 165 or so, and have never had problems with broken spokes, except with one wheel that I had a LBS rebuild (last time I let them touch my bike or my money). I broke a spoke every couple hundred miles until I finally replaced it. I do ride some bumpy roads, but nothing that should be breaking spokes on me. Since I got a new wheel, haven't had a single problem.

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