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Broken Spoke

Old 08-20-17, 02:45 PM
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Broken Spoke

During a ride today, one of the spokes in my rear tire broke. It broke near the nipple and I will take it to the LBS tomorrow. My question is how did it break? I didn't hit a pothole, it doesn't appear to be rusted, the wheel is a few years old but I've had bikes with older wheels and this has never happened before.

Also, what should I expect from the LBS in regards to cost and possible up sell? Can they just replace the broken spoke or will every spoke have to be replaced? I assume I will need to get the wheel trued as well.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 08-20-17, 03:02 PM
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If it flexes enough times, it will break. Possibly the tension was different on that one spoke relative to nearby ones, and it flexed more just while riding around.

If several spokes break in a short time frame, it's time to rebuild the wheel or get a new one. Just one spoke, it's too early to worry about.

No idea what to expect from the shop, but if you want the wheel re-tensioned I'd think it would be best to discuss it with them before they do any work. Otherwise, they might just replace one spoke, tighten it enough that the rim is true and no other diagnostics.
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Old 08-21-17, 06:31 AM
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Thanks wphamiltom. It was fortunate that I was close to home when the spoke broke and my wife was able to pick me up. What if I couldn't get a ride home, could I have just tied the broken spoke to the one next to it (assuming it wasn't broken) and ridden home? Would that cause more damage to the wheel?
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Old 08-21-17, 08:01 AM
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Originally Posted by ehdeeboi
Thanks wphamiltom. It was fortunate that I was close to home when the spoke broke and my wife was able to pick me up. What if I couldn't get a ride home, could I have just tied the broken spoke to the one next to it (assuming it wasn't broken) and ridden home? Would that cause more damage to the wheel?
With 32 or more spokes, tying the broken spoke to its crossing spoke will get you home. You may have to open your brakes a bit as the wheel may no longer be true but should suffice for gentle riding back to base. It is possible that, if you have other spokes at risk, you might break additional spokes, which means you will need a ride home. The upside is that any spoke that breaks in this manner was probably on borrowed time anyway.
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Old 08-21-17, 08:18 AM
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Originally Posted by ehdeeboi
Thanks wphamiltom. It was fortunate that I was close to home when the spoke broke and my wife was able to pick me up. What if I couldn't get a ride home, could I have just tied the broken spoke to the one next to it (assuming it wasn't broken) and ridden home? Would that cause more damage to the wheel?
Yes, that works.

There is also this https://www.amazon.com/FiberFix-Emer.../dp/B001GSMQZC, which I'd like to have handy but never gotten around to buying. I did the same thing once with a brake cable tied to the broken spoke, and rode it that way for a couple of weeks so I've no doubt that it works.
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Old 08-21-17, 08:57 AM
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Originally Posted by ehdeeboi
Thanks wphamiltom. It was fortunate that I was close to home when the spoke broke and my wife was able to pick me up. What if I couldn't get a ride home, could I have just tied the broken spoke to the one next to it (assuming it wasn't broken) and ridden home? Would that cause more damage to the wheel?
On a 24,28,32,36, spoke wheel that's possible (more spokes the better), but depending how heavy the rider is, probably not a 16,20 spoke wheel,as the rim would have less support and strength and be more susceptible to taco'ing and bending out of shape beyond repair. That's how you ruin a rim.
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Old 08-21-17, 09:10 AM
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On my long bike tour I brought spare spokes.. used one in 10 years, 3 long tours..

if the nipple broke your spoke may not have been long enough..
if you never check your wheels and give them some service time at the bike shop , so they can tension and true them occasionally..

that is why it broke , it got looser but you ignored it.




....
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