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Broken Spoke Blues

Old 08-02-14, 11:21 AM
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tthorpe
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Broken Spoke Blues

I know a rider my size (260) puts strain on wheels, but I'm getting a lot of conflicting info on what is the best wheel for someone my size. I live in moderately hilly area and ride 50 to 100 miles a week in the spring, summer, and fall.

I ran a set of Ksyrium Aksiums for about 4 years until the rear rim cracked two years ago. On the advice of a local bike shop, I bought a Mavic Open Sport 32 spoke rear wheel, and ran it for about a year until spokes started popping. Had it rebuilt, problem continued. Then I bought a Newson Sportec Deep V rim (32 spokes) and Shimano hub and had it built. Worked great for about a year, now it has started popping spokes too. Local bike shop tells me that the wheels are "fatigued" and I need to look at a more durable wheel.

Has anyone else experienced this? If so, what would you recommend? This is getting OLD!
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Old 08-02-14, 11:39 AM
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No post sales truing maintenance on them? therein May be your problem..

kept tensioned and trued I have 30 year old wheels that are still fine

Then again, I keep my wheel builder under my cap.
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Old 08-02-14, 04:58 PM
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It's poor build quality unless you are running into curbs, large pot holes and other blatant abuse.
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Old 08-02-14, 05:02 PM
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Try 36 double butted spokes and Mavic Open sport rims.
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Old 08-02-14, 06:02 PM
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Originally Posted by davidad View Post
Try 36 double butted spokes and Mavic Open sport rims.
Agree with the 36H rims, especially on the rear. Metal fatigue resulting in spoke breakage is common in a wheel that was not properly tensioned and stress-relieved so you would be wise to look for a competent builder.
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Old 08-02-14, 06:33 PM
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Counter intuitively, lighter spokes may solve your problem. Have a good builder pick a decent medium depth rim, and build it using 14g DB spokes, Ideally, he'll use a spoke with a thinner thin section on the left rear, ie. 2.0/1.8/2.0 right, and 2.0/1.6/2.0 left rear.

Lighter spokes mean more elongation at the same tension, and so have more deflection available before going to zero tension.

Also, you didn't say, but a slightly wider rim, with a wider tire will reduce the energy of impacts with potholes and the like, meaning smaller tension cycles.
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Old 08-03-14, 08:17 PM
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FB is giving some really good advise.

A well built wheel should never break spokes outside of physical damage like a chain cutting into the spokes or a stick going through them at speed. A good build is key here though and it sounds like the shop you are dealing with does not have the best wheel builders, they may be good in other areas but I would look for a new wheel builder.

36 spokes is not a bad idea but with a good build 32 spokes should be more than enough to last for many years. If you are looking for specific component recommendations, the Velocity Dyad is a great option for general riding where durability is the goal, the A23 from Velocity is also nice if you want to go a bit lighter and is a little wider than most rims but still designed around working with a 23mm or wider tire. For spokes a good double butted spoke like the DT Competitions or Wheelsmith DB's are both consistently good from my experience.
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Old 08-03-14, 08:43 PM
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I don't know where in NC the OP lives, but if near the Research Triangle, he might look up TLC for bikes. I don't have 1st hand experience, but believe he builds decent wheels.
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Old 08-04-14, 10:32 AM
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Spokes in general break at the elbow,when he spokes are too loose.....If they break in the middle and the rims crack around the spoke hole they are too tight.

Double butted spokes will help both conditions....and a good wheel builder.

Mavic A719 rims are plenty strong ( It's stiff enough with NO SPOKES..)...and plenty heavy.....If you want bombproof......A good double wall rim,good butted spokes and somebody that can build a good wheel,you'll be set for awhile.

Last edited by Booger1; 08-04-14 at 10:42 AM.
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Old 08-05-14, 10:04 PM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
Counter intuitively, lighter spokes may solve your problem. Have a good builder pick a decent medium depth rim, and build it using 14g DB spokes, Ideally, he'll use a spoke with a thinner thin section on the left rear, ie. 2.0/1.8/2.0 right, and 2.0/1.6/2.0 left rear.

Lighter spokes mean more elongation at the same tension, and so have more deflection available before going to zero tension.

Also, you didn't say, but a slightly wider rim, with a wider tire will reduce the energy of impacts with potholes and the like, meaning smaller tension cycles.
FB...tried to PM you back but according to the site, I don't have enough posts. I have talked with a highly recommended wheelbuilder in the Charlotte area. If that does not work out, I'll be back in touch.

THANKS TO ALL for the tips and ideas. I'll report back and let you know how it goes.
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Old 08-06-14, 09:15 AM
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I am quite a bit heavier than you, and build my own wheels. My preferred rim is Velocity's Dyad (Aeroheat in 559). I also have wheels with Alex Adventurer, Alex R19 and Sun CR18 rims. I taught myself to build wheels after multiple spoke failures with off the rack wheels. I follow: Wheelbuilding I usually use Wheelsmith SS14 spokes, and occasionally Wheelsmith DH13 spokes.

As noted about, proper tensioning and stress relieving is CRITICAL.

I am conservative, so I tend to go with 40H hubs on the rear (front and rear on our Tandem); or 36H and DH13 spokes.

The only spoke failures I have had recently were directly attributable to a foreign object such as a stick getting into the spokes.
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