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I wonder what made my spoke break.

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I wonder what made my spoke break.

Old 05-16-16, 10:42 PM
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Retro Grouch 
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I wonder what made my spoke break.

While checking over our Kettweisel delta trike I discovered a broken spoke. Here's what I think is odd: The break is in the middle of the spoke, about 3 inches from the end of the threads. It's a radial spoke so there's no possibility of notching at the cross. There is no evidence of any damage to the adjacent spokes or rim. I can't imagine what might cause one spoke to snap in two like that.

Naturally, it's an odd spoke so there's no chance of finding one locally: 14 ga, straight pull, 175 mm. It cost me 35 cents for the spoke and $6.00 for shipping. FWIW, I don't begrudge Dan's Comp the $6.00 shipping charge. After having a human being take my order and another to cut and thread one spoke, I don't see how they could make any money on this sale.
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Old 05-17-16, 05:29 AM
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Manufacturing defect, like a void or inclusion?
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Old 05-17-16, 08:43 AM
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So? how many miles of stainless steel wire is consumed to make spokes for bicycles? odds are not every inch of that wire is perfect..

You May continue wondering..

buying a box of 50 each spoke will be much less , of course .


LBS Here has a Hozan spoke threading tool used to make a spoke in a Length not stocked ,

for a touring cyclist passing through town that broke a spoke.

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Old 05-17-16, 09:04 AM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
LBS Here has a Hozan spoke threading tool used to make a spoke in a Length not stocked .
DO they have straight pull blanks to cut down? Even if they do, Dan's is in Indiana. That's closer than Oregon.
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Old 05-17-16, 09:10 AM
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The local bike co-op has a Morizumi spoke machine. It uses flat dies, and is very fast.

All you would need to find is a round spoke that is longer than you need.
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Old 05-17-16, 09:13 AM
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I guess you don't recall any stick or anything striking the wheel?

I once discovered a loose spoke with a dent in the middle of it that clearly showed it had suffered an impact, but I didn't remember hearing what could have hit it. Fortunately in my case I was able to just tighten it back up.
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Old 05-17-16, 09:17 AM
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Head not J bent , straight pull ? My Schmidt Brompton NewXS wheel uses 28 of that type that are also Butted ..


If so I'd get more than One .. (USPS ships to all states at the same rate AFAIK) [but UPS picks it up]



if you tour on the Oregon coast, drop by.. even if stuff aint broke.

maybe you can access a scanning electron microscope and have the Materials Science PhD
do the forensics on why your spoke broke.

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Old 05-17-16, 09:49 AM
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Spokes break quite frequently in the middle from voids like fietsbob said, or localized corrosion (yes, stainless spokes will, in fact, rust) which eventually fractures.

IMO, one is not a problem, but if several break, or continue to break, you have a bad batch of spokes (or a wheel that was sitting in salt water...).
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Old 05-17-16, 02:17 PM
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Take a look at Spoke Breakage - Getting Real - Wheel Fanatyk
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Old 05-17-16, 03:16 PM
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Update. Just got a knock on the door. UPS dropped off my replacement spoke and I popped it back onto the wheel without having to remove the wheel from the trike or the tire from the wheel. Literally a 2 minute fix.

Now a word about Dan's Comp. Must have been all of 25 or 26 hours from the time that I called until I got the wheel repaired. Service just doesn't get any better than that. Makes me wish that I did more BMX stuff - almost.
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Old 05-17-16, 03:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Slash5 View Post
What a cool reference! Thanks.
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Old 05-17-16, 03:54 PM
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one mechanic at my LBS said too much air pressure can cause spokes to break. apparently from tire warpage. he was spanish and it was a bit difficult to talk to him. I asked about the warpage and he agreed but might not have known the word.
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Old 05-17-16, 09:47 PM
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We've had 4 or 5 Raleighs in the shop with this, usually bikes sold in the 400-700 range. They come in with several spokes broken in the middle. First example we saw I called vandalism, until one of our guys was able to break of inch long pieces of all of them. Never seen spokes of any material that brittle. Must have been a very large bad batch a few years ago. We didn't sell those bikes new, and being cheap wheels in general, we usually advised replacing the wheel, instead of paying us to relace with all new spokes.
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Old 05-18-16, 10:28 AM
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I did a drive by on your spoke with a metal file to test it before I baked it in a cake. Seems like criminal behavior, I know.
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Old 05-18-16, 10:46 AM
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Originally Posted by kennj123 View Post
one mechanic at my LBS said too much air pressure can cause spokes to break. apparently from tire warpage. he was spanish and it was a bit difficult to talk to him. I asked about the warpage and he agreed but might not have known the word.
Nope. Either the language barrier caused a miscommunication, or he was pulling your leg.
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Old 05-18-16, 01:12 PM
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Originally Posted by milkbaby View Post
I did a drive by on your spoke with a metal file to test it before I baked it in a cake. Seems like criminal behavior, I know.
Makes more sense than too much air pressure.
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Old 05-18-16, 01:42 PM
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Most spoke breakage is due to inadequate tension and the jerking and banging that results.

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Old 05-18-16, 02:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Joe Minton View Post
Most spoke breakage is due to inadequate tension and the jerking and banging that results.

Joe
If the break was at the elbow (which this spoke doesn't have) or at the nipple threads I might agree with you. This spoke broke right in the middle. That's what made it unusual.
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Old 05-18-16, 03:19 PM
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Sometimes "it" happens.
Last Fall, I had 1/2 the head of a J bend spoke break, and it pulled through the hole.
Just a manf. flaw.

$.35/spoke +$6 shipping? I think I would have bought a couple spares.
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