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Broken spoke.....

Old 08-31-10, 06:52 PM
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Broken spoke.....

I broke a spoke on my rear wheel while riding an event this past weekend. A real bummer. Anyway, these are Roval Fusee SL wheels, which are relatively low spoke count lightweight wheels, and they have about 8000 miles on them. They have been pretty good up to now, though I've been hearing strange creaking noises that are likely coming from the spokes. Is it prudent to go ahead and replace all the spokes or, is it only necessary to replace the broken one?
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Old 08-31-10, 07:08 PM
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If you're not familiar with wheelbuilding, it would be a good idea to take it to someone who does. Broken spoke is a good indicator that your tensions were out of whack. Your wheel can be very true and the spoke tensions can still be out of whack.
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Old 08-31-10, 07:20 PM
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I just had the wheels tuned up, of which truing was suppose to be part of it. I plan to give it to the shop, but just wondered if changing all spokes would be prudent. I'm sure the shop will have an opinion but its nice to get a couple.
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Old 08-31-10, 09:04 PM
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If you have had just one spoke break that IMO is no clear cut indication of what the problem is. Personally I'd just have the one spoke replaced AND ask the shop to not only true it but measure and provide you a list of the spoke tensions. If they are not up around 100 kgf they are too low and that would be an indicator of the magnitude of the problem. Low spoke tension leads to metal fatigue in the spokes. If your tensions were low you likely have more fatigued spokes which are ready to snap. Then replacing all of them would be prudent. Or just replace the one spoke and ride. Expect more breakages if you have spoke metal fatigue. If no further breakages occur your good to go. But be ready. Personally I'd rather know my spoke tensions.
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Old 09-01-10, 12:03 AM
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Think of breaking spokes like making popcorn.

The first kernel to pop may do long before the rest of them, later on a few more pop, then later yet the bulk tend to pop in rapid succession.

Likewise with spokes. A single failure is indicative of nothing. Have it replaced, true the wheel (and check overall tension which I consider part of the job) and go on your way. Make a note of when it happened. If a long time passes before the next failure still no sweat, replace and retrue. But if the next break happens fairly soon, you might be headed to the time when your popcorn is ready.
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Old 09-01-10, 02:04 AM
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As while in my childhood I also have the same problem. While for a better result I also think that I should replace all the spokes but as I take the help of the mechanic I found that there is no need to do this.

The best option is to change only that one which is broken as more pressure to the Tyre and tube is applied is a spoke is broken.
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Old 09-01-10, 01:14 PM
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Realize that just because a bike-shop offers a "wheel turn and service" doesn't mean they have wheel building knowledge or much experience. What they likely have is the ability to true a wheel on a stand with less emphasis put on balancing spoke tension. They may even have wheel building experience, but unless they take the time and follow the proper steps, you're not guaranteed a wheel that's even as strong as the original. Especially on lower spoke count wheels, the tension balance is even more important. I would trust a true wheelbuilder...someone who has a true interest in building that near perfect wheel for every customer. These may be hard to find, and require calls to multiple LBS's, but the reward is advice that you can trust (these guys will tell you straight up if you're wheels aren't strong enough for your weight/use) and both repairs and builds that will be trouble free for years.

For this reason I've researched and read up on wheel building so that I can do it myself. Not that I'm going to be any more 'skilled' than the mechanic at my LBS's, but the huge difference is that I can take as much time as necessary to do things right. The mech. is constantly in a race with the clock. The shop only gets $15-$25 for a wheel service charge and unless he's BOTH extremely quick AND has great attention to detail, he will be making sacrifices during the job.

There are guys on this board who know wheels and have near spotless results with wheel-build quality. They enjoy it enough to post the same answers to the same questions time and time again here in order to help new users and people with less experience. They're out there, but what you'll often find is that the true wheel builders do more than just build great wheels, they understand that even strong wheels have their weight/power/usage limits, and will take that into consideration when working with you.

If you've got 8k miles on this set without trouble, I'd say that having them rebuilt with new spokes would be worth it. But you may want to wait until one more failure before making that decision. Replace this spoke and have the tension balance checked and ride until another spoke breaks. If it doesn't, you're home free. And if it does, replace them all then. Also, DON'T automatically trust your LBS to have the kind of wheel builder that you want to do the work. Hunt around and find someone you can trust. You may just find that your properly rebuilt wheels will go 16k miles before breaking a spoke. =)

-Jeremy
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Old 09-01-10, 06:45 PM
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Thanks for the advice guys, it sounds....well it sounds like "sound" advice. My dealer is competent with wheel building and I trust him to do things right but....his business is expanding and he is not the mechanic that tuned it up this time. So I will have a talk with him or search out another wheel builder (dedicated builder) that can trust will provide the care and time to ensure things are proper. Then I'll have the one broken changed and hope everything is good thereafter. And in the meantime, I'm buying a new set of wheels anyway. So this repaired set will become a spare.
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Old 09-01-10, 06:48 PM
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I would be checking the rim for cracks near the spoke holes.
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