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  1. #1
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    How many spare spokes?

    For two of us, each using different rim/hub combinations (inc. Rohloff), in a very remote location I was planning on taking 3 of each of the spokes (12 in total) Now however, I feel a need to lighten my load in any way I can, and am wondering if i could get away with 1 or 2 of each. How many d'you usually take?

  2. #2
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    I think part of it depends on how much weight you are carrying and how good your wheels are. We are carrying three spokes for each of our wheels but we have only broken one our whole trip - 30,000km so far! I attribute this to having very well built wheels and not being too heavy. That one broken spoke was damaged a couple days before it broke by a knock to the wheel so it probably wouldn't have broken under normal riding circumstances.

    Do other people really break a lot of spokes?
    We blog about bike touring, with reviews, tips and cycle touring podcasts at Travelling Two

  3. #3
    Senior Member lighthorse's Avatar
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    I do not carry spare spokes. I have never had a spoke failure, ever. Where do you plan on touring? Maybe if I were on a multi year multi country tour I would carry a spare spoke, maybe not.
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    We'll be touring for 35 days in the Himalayas. I'd also never broken a spoke in my life, until just a few days ago when one went BANG as I was riding along. It didn't break at the hub or nipple, but part-way along the length, and inspection suggests that there may have been some damage to the spoke, but it gave me a real surprise and eroded my confidence a wee bit. Both wheels have since been rebuilt with brand new rims/spokes.

  5. #5
    Senior Member jcbryan's Avatar
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    I always need one more than I have!! Three of each would be my safest bet. THough if the sizes are nearlyt the same you could get by enough with only 3 for your entire needs, say your drive side is 195mm and non-dirve is 198 and front 193, the 195 shoudl get you to next shop.
    I was wanting to lose some of the load on my Trek 52, when after the 500th time of scattering stuff in the floor, my wife thought me losing 20 lbs might be easier!!!!

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    I always take far too many spokes, but they are quite handy for fabricating other things. The most I've had to use in one go was four when a rack collapsed into the front wheel - very spectacular. Otherwise, I'm with #1, get really good wheels and only take 2-3 spokes of each size.

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    are you serious? you won't save more than a few ounces by carrying 4 spokes rather than 12.

  8. #8
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    Dude, I'm DEADLY serious! I was out for a training ride yesterday and decided I was pulling FAR too much weight, and am now desperately cutting as much unnecessary stuff from my list as I can. On my last tour I made the mistake of saying "what difference will that really make?" while putting extra stuff in my bags.

  9. #9
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    I carry 2 spare spokes.

  10. #10
    succumbs to errata jaypee's Avatar
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    I carry three of each size I need, for a total of six. That said, I've never (knock on wood) broken a spoke.

  11. #11
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Al Downie View Post
    For two of us, each using different rim/hub combinations (inc. Rohloff), in a very remote location I was planning on taking 3 of each of the spokes (12 in total) Now however, I feel a need to lighten my load in any way I can, and am wondering if i could get away with 1 or 2 of each. How many d'you usually take?
    You probably won't break spokes on front wheels. I've only ever broken one on a really bad bike years ago. You probably won't break them on the nondrive side either and the difference between drive and nondrive spokes is usually a couple of mm. Carry spokes long enough for the nondrive side and they should work on everything that may give you a problem. 2 or 3 should do it.

    Although I haven't used it yet, you could use a FiberFix spoke until you get to a shop. Carry one for each bike.
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  12. #12
    Senior Member BigBlueToe's Avatar
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    You'll need a tool to remove the cassette if you break a spoke on that side (which is where you will.) I used a Hypercracker on my recent tour. It worked and it's very light. I got mine from Harris Cyclery.

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