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What caused my rear spoke to pop??

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What caused my rear spoke to pop??

Old 04-19-12, 09:40 PM
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Sincitycycler
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What caused my rear spoke to pop??

I was riding a 30 mile out and back and I turned the corner, got up out of the saddle to power up a freeway overpass and BOING one of my rear spokes explodes on my WCS Ritchey Protoc0l aluminum tubular wheels (external nipples)

What what cause this? I am not a strong rider - I average about 200 watts and can only "ramp it up" to a max of 350w up short inclines.

6"2" 195 lbs. Any ideas?
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Old 04-19-12, 10:00 PM
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I am of the mind that weight is more significant than power for wheel longevity. At almost 200 lbs, you are close to the upper limit of what bike manufacturers have in mind for performance parts.

Unless the wheels are quite new, then I would expect the failure to be covered under warranty.
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Old 04-20-12, 06:31 AM
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How long have you been riding those wheels?
What are the spoke tensions?
What spoke broke? Front? (DS or nonDS?) Rear? (DS or nonDS?)
Where on the spoke did the break occur? At nipple, At spoke head?

In other words need more information.
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Old 04-20-12, 07:35 AM
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Originally Posted by wmodavis View Post
How long have you been riding those wheels?
What are the spoke tensions?
What spoke broke? Front? (DS or nonDS?) Rear? (DS or nonDS?)
Where on the spoke did the break occur? At nipple, At spoke head?

In other words need more information.
n++;

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Old 04-20-12, 09:12 AM
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Old 04-20-12, 10:06 AM
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Many factory wheels wont last as long as custom built where you can go 20 or 30 years with a wheel and never pop up a single spoke ever. Doesn't surprise me at all the problem you got.
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Old 04-20-12, 10:34 AM
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200lb+24 spoke rear=broken spoke. It will happen eventually if you don't check tension and truing regularly.
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Old 04-20-12, 03:08 PM
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As stated earlier, need more information.

Me + bike about 210 pounds. Last summer, I chose a wheelset replacement advertised as having a 250 pound max load (24 spoke rear - 20 spoke front, btw, so you can't go by spoke count). After 2,000 miles, no problems at all.

Me thinks you are exceeding the physical capabilities of your wheelset ...

Last edited by JohnnyCyclist; 04-20-12 at 03:09 PM. Reason: grammatical error (ha!)
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Old 04-20-12, 06:27 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnnyCyclist View Post
After 2,000 miles, no problems at all.
Don't be smug. I am 250 lbs (give or take a stone or two). It was 3000 mi. before my 16-count rear wheels started going boing / thud. Up till then I was blissful and ignorant...
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Old 04-20-12, 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by redlude97 View Post
200lb+24 spoke rear=broken spoke. It will happen eventually if you don't check tension and truing regularly.
This is why I prefer 36 and won't go less than 32.
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Old 04-22-12, 07:13 PM
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Standard guess:

Non-drive side, probably spoke fatigue from stress cycling. Cause is insufficient tension. May or may not be possible to correct on low-count spokes for standard American (as opposed to pro cyclist).

Drive side, possibly nick on spoke from over-shifting.

Really need more information, but it's fun to see how close speculation can come...
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Old 04-22-12, 07:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Doohickie View Post
This is why I prefer 36 and won't go less than 32.
+1
I've been building my own wheels for years now, and have never had a spoke break.
All rear wheels are 36 (preferred) or 32.
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Old 04-22-12, 07:38 PM
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Those wheels are strong when new and are recommended for cyclocross. So your weight shouldn't be the problem. The question is how old are they? I think they have been around for along time. I remember people saying Ritchey support people told them the wheels weren't built to last a long time and were supposed to be competitive with Krysiums but cheaper in price. So the broken spoke may just be a sign they are wearing out.
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