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Thread: Broken spoke

  1. #1
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    Broken spoke

    I saw this in Tips & Tricks. Has anyone tried this? Did it work?


    Ever break a spoke on the drive side of your rear wheel? Buy a handfull of spokes a bit to long for your wheel and put a "Z" bend at the end to hook into the hub flange. You can use the spoke nipple from the broken spoke and you wont need a free wheel tool or need to even take your wheel off the bike! This spoke will out last a reg spoke and it works great.

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    Senior Member saddlesores's Avatar
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    one of the other for'ners working here at our uni did this on his folder w/20" wheels.
    he was out riding through small towns and broke a spoke. no bike shops. the little
    bike-fix-it guy with a stall on the corner did this trick. either no 20" spokes or no
    cassette tool. due to other spokes breaking and brake track wear, he wound up buying
    a new wheel after about 6 months. the z-spoke held that long at least.

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    Yes, the spoke cut and custom bent works fine, but you need to carefully prepare it in advance to match the length of spokes in your wheel. Another alternative is to carry one of the flexible Kevlar fiber spokes that can be adjusted to the needed length. As with the 'z-end' spokes, these can also be installed without removing the wheel from the bike. More expensive, but only one of them needs to be carried for a group of riders and the fiber spoke can be reused when you get a regular spoke of the right length.

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    Senior Member bktourer1's Avatar
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    The kevlar spoke is called Fibre Fix. Used it once and it got me home with nor problems.
    Small contaiber takes up no space in any bag and reuseable. about $10

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    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    My touring bike's rear wheel had 47 spokes in the back wheel unbroken
    to share the load when 1 broke.. It worked fine..

    I am Rebuilding a Maxcar hub, its inovation was a Keyhole slot
    to bed 3 cross spokes, at the edges, with a round hole in the center
    big enough to pass the spoke's head into...

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    ghost on a machine Bike Hermit's Avatar
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    One of our customers offered this review of the FiberFix spoke:
    2) FiberFix emergency spoke: I didn't expect to have to use this, and on my trip, I didn't. But, knowing the kit was there (I bought two) gave me peace of mind. I had never broken a spoke on my touring bike, in nearly ten years of use in Southern Africa & North America, so I didn't really expect to need the spoke-repair kit.


    However: When I unpacked my bike in my workshop early this past week, and mounted and spun the front wheel--very true when I last saw it in Prague--I found that in transit (Prague to Amsterdam by train, via Bruges; then Amsterdam to Ottawa by air, via Toronto) a spoke had broken just at the elbow near the front hub. Dang!! :-( Though I guess, if you're going to have one, your home workshop is the place to find it...


    So, turned out that I could test the FiberFix kit with no unseemly environmental conditions--not threading it in semi-darkness in a driving rain, or in noonday heat beneath a merciless sun, whatever.



    • Ease of use and effectiveness: I read the instructions carefully, to make sure I understood how the thread the FiberFix spoke correctly. The two views of the threading were helpful, and the text description was clear as well. I left the old spoke in place so that I could line up the FiberFix replacement properly. When I was clear about that, I removed the broken spoke, threaded the FiberFix cam-lock into the spoke nipple, then threaded the replacement kevlar spoke through the spokehole in the hub and then through the FiberFix cam-lock. This all went smoothly enough, though I found the final pass of the kevlar thread through the cam-lock (i.e., through the U-shaped rigid wire following the second of the two ribbed pieces) to be a bit fiddly. I couldn't tighten the kevlar thread quite as described ("a few sharp tugs") as my bike was up on its stand -- a few sharp tugs would probably work if the front wheel were on the floor. Instead, I hand-tightened the kevel thread to take up the initial slack, then used the kit's included spoke key to tighten the kevlar spoke via the nipple, now holding the cam-lock.




    Mounting the emergency spoke went quite easily, and I was able to rebalance the wheel quickly, as if I had a normal spoke in place. See photo below, with the finished item in place, complete with four half-hitches, two one way and two the other.



    • Dismantling the kevlar spoke was simple: I just released the tension at the nipple, then unthreaded the kevlar spoke from the cam-lock. Then, I removed the cam-lock mechanism from the nipple, and replaced the FiberFix with a regular spoke. Balancing the front wheel took very little time, as I had done an initial re-balancing when the FiberFix was in place.





    • Summary opinion: Easy to use, don't leave home without one. (Maybe try using it at home before having to do so at the roadside?) A bargain for a few dollars -- very good value.


    As an alternative, the Unior cassette tool is ingenious cheap and small and it actually works great to crack the cassette lock ring in order to change a spoke on the drive side.
    Last edited by Bike Hermit; 10-30-12 at 10:45 AM. Reason: clarification
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    Quote Originally Posted by prathmann View Post
    Yes, the spoke cut and custom bent works fine, but you need to carefully prepare it in advance to match the length of spokes in your wheel. Another alternative is to carry one of the flexible Kevlar fiber spokes that can be adjusted to the needed length. As with the 'z-end'
    Sure, you could prepare this in advance, but why would this _need_ to be necessary? Let another spoke loose of same size and bend it in action. The whole wheel will need re-truing, and you're already dirty and have the tools out. Or just have written the other spoke length and measure on/if demand.

  8. #8
    Fred-ish rogerstg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimBeans83 View Post
    Sure, you could prepare this in advance, but why would this _need_ to be necessary? Let another spoke loose of same size and bend it in action. The whole wheel will need re-truing, and you're already dirty and have the tools out. Or just have written the other spoke length and measure on/if demand.
    In practice, it's not as simple and quick as you think. You should have at least one pair of needle nose pliers to get the two tight bends needed if used on the drive side. Also, your suggestion to remove another spoke to get the right length requires removing the cassette as well if it's a drive side spoke. You don't need to get dirty using a fiberfix spoke and all the tools are in a tiny container.

    A helpful tip when using the fiberfix spoke: loosen a couple spokes opposite from the broken spoke. This allows much easier preliminary tightening of the fiberfix spoke. If one keeps track of the spokes loosened and how much, it's quite simple to retrue the wheel in the field.

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    Dogleg spokes can be inserted without removing the cassette. They were invented way before kevlar spokes. There is a small hand-tool that can make the bend but it may be a museum peice by now.
    Its a useful thing to know if you can't get replacements of the correct length.

  10. #10
    Fred-ish rogerstg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelW View Post
    Dogleg spokes can be inserted without removing the cassette.
    Uh, that was covered in the OP.

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