Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  

Go Back   > >

Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

User Tag List

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 03-08-05, 10:33 PM   #1
Senior Member
Thread Starter
pharnabazos's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: NYC
Bikes: Zeus Professional, Juncker Calypso, Lotus Eclair, Dahon Speed, Raleigh Twenty
Posts: 346
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Helpful (maybe) advice on replacing drive-side spokes

I'm not sure if this will be useful information to experienced people around here, but I found a useful trick related on the Massbike forums a while back for when you break an annoying spoke on the cassette-side of your rear wheel. It was posted by Tom Revay, and I'll just paste the instruction. I did it and it's worked well thus far. Then again, maybe you all know this already.

>>In April 2000, I attended a Leadership Training Seminar put on by the
Adventure Cycling Association. At this seminar, the instructor showed us a
trick that made the whole thing worth the price. And just to show you what
a terrific guy I am, I'm going to tell you this secret without making
anybody except Schimek pay me $400. (Paul, I'll see you tonight for your

Here's how it works --

Ordinarily, spokes are like an L, with a little cap at the short segment of
the L. The spoke threads through the hole in the wheel hub, and the cap
keeps the spoke from passing all the way through the hole and falling out.
This lets a wheelbuilder run the spokes through the hub, and then lace them
in a pattern (cross three usually, though cross four or cross two or radial
patterns are also used) without the spokes falling out before s/he starts to

Thing is, when the spoke is tensioned, the only part of the cap that's
needed is the part that's on the rim-side. Once the wheel is built, the
spoke need only be a J -- it just needs a hook at the hub-end, not a cap.

So what you can do when you need to replace a spoke is this --

* Take a spoke of the proper length, and with a metal file, file the cap
off the L. Don't file the whole cap -- just file the 3/4 part of it that
protrudes from the side and bottom of the L.

* Keep trying to pass the end you're filing into the hub-hole. When you
can do this, you've filed enough. This leaves the top of the cap on the
spoke, and the spoke stops being an L. It's now a hook -- a J.

* Put a bit o' grease on the spoke's threads, and thread it just a couple
turns into the nipple. Then wiggle the spoke through its soon-to-be mates
so that it follows the wheel's lacing pattern.

* Finally, bring the J-hook near the empty hub-hole, and work it through.
Tighten the spoke nipple while holding the hook thru the hole with your
thumb until the hook starts to grab the hub. After that, just tighten and
true as you normally would.

Using this method, I saw someone install a filed spoke on the cassette side
of the rear wheel -without removing the cassette-. He just worked the spoke
back and forth until its J-hook popped into the hole.

Once the spoke is tensioned, it will hold so long as you've left a nice J at
the end. You can just leave it there and ride on it.

pharnabazos is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-05, 03:44 AM   #2
Really like your peaches
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Singapore
Posts: 86
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I had 2 spokes break on the drive side and I came up with a similar method.

I removed the head on the spoke, leaving the elbow in place. Then I turned that end into a Z bend, which
is easily inserted into the spoke hole. I've only tried this for head-out spokes, I don't know if it'll work with
head-in spokes. It helps if the spoke is 1/8 inch longer than the original.

It's been a few months, they have held up. Eventually I'll get a FW removal tool...
tharold is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-05, 05:55 AM   #3
Senior Member
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: England
Posts: 12,953
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 14 Post(s)
A dog-leg bend can also be used to insert drive side spokes with the cogs in place. You need a long spoke, remove the end and make
two 90 degree|
bends like this ---
MichaelW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-05, 06:39 AM   #4
Senior Member
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 293
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
This is great for on-the-road repairs, but if you're home, why not just pop the cassette and do it right?
Sloth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-05, 07:29 AM   #5
Si Senior
dbg's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Naperville, Illinois
Bikes: Too Numerous (not)
Posts: 2,666
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 22 Post(s)
Pretty cool trick. I like it a lot. I'm just thinking ...if I have access to extra spokes and a file ...then it is probably a supported ride with the rest of the tools necessary to pop off the cassette and do it normally.
dbg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-05, 08:50 AM   #6
Retrogrouch in Training
bostontrevor's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Knee-deep in the day-to-day
Posts: 5,484
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
You could just prefile a spoke or two and carry a couple of drive side and a couple of non-drive side spokes.

That would be a cool trick for touring, I would think.
bostontrevor is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:18 AM.

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.
  • Ask a Question
    get answers from real people!
Click to start entering your question.