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Broken Spoke

Old 10-19-19, 08:09 AM
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kingston 
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Broken Spoke

I bought a used Velocity A23 Pro wheelset a few years ago and have ridden them I would guess 5-6k miles. The front wheel is 20 spoke radial lace and one broke at the nipple this morning. Should I replace just that one spoke or get a new set of spokes and start over? Also, I noticed that Amain bought Dan's Comp. Wonder if that means the days of 60 double-butted spokes are coming to an end.
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Old 10-19-19, 09:01 AM
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Dan's comp still lists 14/15 gauge butted Sapim Stainless spokes for 60 cents (with nipple, apparently!).

First, I'd inspect the existing spokes to see if the nipple comes out of the rim in line with the main part of the spoke. That is, are the nipples canted, with the spoke bending a little? If so, I'd buy new spokes.

If not, I'd buy a few spokes and fix the one. May be an abberation or an off spoke. If you start popping more in 100km or so, replace all.
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Old 10-19-19, 11:17 AM
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I'd buy 2-3. 1's a fluke.
If you use them all in relatively short order, wish you's bought 17 more.
Actually $12 for the whole wheels worth really might be worth the peace of mind.
Fix it once?
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Old 10-19-19, 02:29 PM
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Originally Posted by kingston View Post
I bought a used Velocity A23 Pro wheelset a few years ago and have ridden them I would guess 5-6k miles. The front wheel is 20 spoke radial lace and one broke at the nipple this morning. Should I replace just that one spoke or get a new set of spokes and start over? Also, I noticed that Amain bought Dan's Comp. Wonder if that means the days of 60 double-butted spokes are coming to an end.
Did it break through the spoke threading? If the spokes aren't at least coming up to the screwdriver flats in the nipples, I might get the replacements a bit longer.
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Old 10-19-19, 02:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Bill Kapaun View Post
I'd buy 2-3. 1's a fluke.
If you use them all in relatively short order, wish you's bought 17 more.
Actually $12 for the whole wheels worth really might be worth the peace of mind.
Fix it once?
This seems like good advice to me. I always imagine that if and when thing go wrong, I'll be 30 miles from home and there are lightening flashes on the horizon.
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Old 10-19-19, 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
Did it break through the spoke threading? If the spokes aren't at least coming up to the screwdriver flats in the nipples, I might get the replacements a bit longer.
Good point!
You can examine the current spoke length in situ in relation to the bottom of the screwdriver slot.
Ideally, you want the spoke end flush. (With a double wall rim, I'll round up a bit more generously.)
You can "adjust" to the correct length if needed.

IF you respoke the whole wheel, buy a spare or 2 to keep the evil spirits away.
I dropped a wheel I'd built into an old fashioned sewer grate about 20 miles into it's life. about 3 years later I had the "button" pop off the J bend.
You could see a "flaw", but I don't know if it was a bad spoke or damage from the incident. LBS's here don't carry butted spokes......
Someday, when I buy spokes, I'll replace the straight gauge oddity that I had to use.
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Old 10-19-19, 06:13 PM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
Did it break through the spoke threading? If the spokes aren't at least coming up to the screwdriver flats in the nipples, I might get the replacements a bit longer.
The spoke broke off a mm or so into the nipple so probably the last thread. The ends of the spokes are flush with the bottom of the slot, so I don't think I'll go longer, but I do agree with others that I might as well just rebuild the wheel with new spokes. It's not that expensive and winter is coming so I'll have the time. I used these wheels on several brevets this season, so I'm glad the spoke broke 15 miles from home. Could have been worse.
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Old 10-19-19, 06:22 PM
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On the plus side, radial wheels are easy to build/rebuild, and you needn't take it completely apart. You can just replace one spoke at a time.
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Old 10-19-19, 07:00 PM
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Are you in a salt air/humid environment?
Maybe a victim-
SSINA: Stainless Steel: Corrosion
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Old 10-19-19, 07:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Bill Kapaun View Post
Are you in a salt air/humid environment?
I'm in the suburbs of Chicago and bought the wheels from a guy in the city, so no salt air.
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Old 10-20-19, 12:57 PM
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Replace the broken one and order a couple of spares and tape one to a seat stay and carry a spoke wrench. If more spokes break then it is time to replace the rest.
I am not a fan of boutique wheels with low spoke count, but to each his own.
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Old 10-20-19, 01:12 PM
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Originally Posted by kingston View Post
I'm in the suburbs of Chicago and bought the wheels from a guy in the city, so no salt air.
Well, Chicago is on a major body of water and has cold winters during which the city undoubtedly uses salt to keep the roads clear. If those wheels were used in late fall, early winter, winter or early spring they were exposed to copious amounts of salt
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Old 10-20-19, 03:03 PM
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Originally Posted by alcjphil View Post
Well, Chicago is on a major body of water and has cold winters during which the city undoubtedly uses salt to keep the roads clear. If those wheels were used in late fall, early winter, winter or early spring they were exposed to copious amounts of salt
Good point. As long as I'm ordering spokes, maybe I'll just get them for both wheels.

Originally Posted by davidad View Post
Replace the broken one and order a couple of spares and tape one to a seat stay and carry a spoke wrench. If more spokes break then it is time to replace the rest.
If the failure mode is the same, I would need to pull the rim strip to replace the nipple. Something I'd prefer not to have to do on the side of the road when I'm trying to get a ride in, so I've decided to replace all the spokes.


Originally Posted by davidad View Post
I am not a fan of boutique wheels with low spoke count, but to each his own.
I agree. They seem to be more trouble than they're worth. I already have a lot of high spoke count wheels and thought I would take a chance on these. They were holding up pretty well for a while, then the NDS spokes on the rear started going loose, so I had to fix that, now the broken spoke on the front.
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Old 10-20-19, 09:24 PM
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https://www.wheelfanatyk.com/blog/sp...-getting-real/ is a thoughtful article on spoke breakage.

I'm inclined to chalk a single spoke breakage as a fluke and do a quick spoke replacement. If more than 2 go then I'd replace the wheel, generally speaking. If rebuilding your wheels sounds like a pleasant way to spend part of a winter afternoon, more power to you.
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Old 10-21-19, 07:54 AM
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If you're up to to spending the time, by all means rebuild the wheel. I would give a lot of thought to lacing with a 2-cross pattern, though.

If this were my wheel, however; I'd just replace the single spoke and let the future decide whether that was the right strategy. You can always rebuild later, right?
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Old 11-02-19, 07:30 AM
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I finally got around to measuring my spokes today and see that Dan's Comp no longer sells spokes and has the same crappy website as Amain/Performance/Nashbar. Thanks Amain.
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Old 11-02-19, 09:36 AM
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suburbs of Chicago and bought the wheels from a guy in the city, so no salt air.
they do salt the roads in Chicago and it takes some time to wash it down after the spring rains.

Suggest you go see Marcus at Yojimbo's Garage, he's a wheel and spoke guy, he'll sort you out. Take the wheel with you.

1310 N. Clyburn Ave, Chicago. https://www.yojimbosgarage.com/ Recommended !

Mark Petry
Bainbridge Island, WA USA
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Old 11-02-19, 10:39 AM
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Thanks for the suggestion. It's not that convientent for me to get to the near-north side, and I can get replacement spokes from rose for under twenty bucks so I'll probably just do that.
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