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Old 05-29-18, 08:41 AM
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Like clockwork I've broken a spoke on every road wheelset (3 so far) I've ridden far enough, between 6,000-8,000 miles. This is 700cx28, 650bx42 and 700cx23.

I'm also of the camp that sometimes spokes just break.

For impacts to damage spokes over time, you'd have to keep hitting bumps with the same section of the rim.
This happens more often on mountain bikes but it does happen on road bikes too, hit the same section of rough road or potholes often enough and one section of rim is always going to take harder/more impacts than the rest. I recently broke a spoke on a mountain bike at the elbow and looking at the remaining section of elbow the amount of fretting was impressive. Wheels were tensioned close to the rim maximum and had not loosened during riding. Once I started paying attention I realized it's possible to hear the impacts that will cause the spokes to loose significant/all their tension.

I think "spokes should never break on a well-built wheelset" is mostly a party line spread about both by this forum and general word of mouth marketing by independent wheelbuilders trying to build cachet.
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