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Old 12-24-05, 05:53 PM   #1
Let's do a Century
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Today was going to be my last Blackberry Cobbler Ride (and probably century) for 2005. I am going to a bowl game next Saturday so will not be able to ride with the regulars. At 40 miles things were going fantastic-great pace, the bones, toes and fingers had finally warmed up and the sun was shining in bright blue skies. And then......SPRONG-G-G-G-I-N-G!!!

I had a spoke pull out of the nipple on my rear wheel and the wheel commenced to get pretty wobbly. I fell of the back of the group and stopped and secured it with twist ties I carry in my saddle bag. Within just a few miles of the home of the Blackberry Cobbler I turned and headed back to the start/finish.

While I didn't have Dnvr's 40 mph winds it was a pretty stiff headwind to do solo plus the tire was hitting the chainstay and brake calipers enough to create a lot of drag. I still wound up riding about 75 miles which felt like at least 100. Darn aero wheels with high tension spokes!!!! Probably ruined a new tire from the sidewall getting almost rubbed off but at least I made it back.

I realize I have the smartest wheel ever made. It seems to know when I just about as far away from the house or car as I can be and then throws a spoke. Let's see, I think that is about the 3rd time that has happened!!

The good news is I think the Club has decided to add more Blackberry Cobbler 100 mile rides to start 2006.

It was a great day to just get out even if things didn't go exactly as planned.

I hope your luck was better than mine!
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Old 12-24-05, 06:07 PM   #2
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There are now spokes available with a 13-15-14 taper. Normal "double butted" spokes are 14-15-14. The added meat on the 13 ga. end means that your hubs have to be drilled out a bit to accommodate the larger spoke head. The benefit is that spokes pretty much don't break at the hub any more.

These won't help you if you're pulling spokes at the nipples, though. For that end, just use brass nipples and tension less. If you're using deep-V rims, they'll remain true even with a broken spoke, and you don't need as high a spoke tension with them because of the inherently stronger rim cross section.

When I broke a spoke on my deep-V Campy Vento wheels the rims didn't even go out of true! This despite the fact that there were only 27 total spokes AND that I weigh 260#! Had I known about the 13-15-14 spokes then, I'd probably have just had the Ventos rebuilt with the thicker spokes... Live and learn!
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Old 12-27-05, 03:46 AM   #3
ken cummings
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I have found that the wheel often starts to go out of true before the spoke breaks. Try watching for that. Check for necking on spokes in the out-of-true area and replace bad spokes. Now I use 36 spoke wheels and 14 gauge spokes on my touring/commuting bike and lose maybe one spoke every year or two.

For non metallurgists/engineers necking is when the short/tiny area at the future break exceeds the elastic limit of the metal and stretches a little, getting narrower than the rest of the spoke in the process.
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Old 12-27-05, 03:57 AM   #4
Time for a change.
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Wheels and spokes are the most abused items on my bike. I rarely check them, rarely have to adjust them, and they never get the lova and attention they deserve. What they do get is after about a years use they go back to my wheelbuilder to be retrued and tensioned. They difference he makes to a wheel is hardly notivcable, but Then I don't have wheel problems either. One thing I do though is to "Twang" the spokes every month or so. I just twang them and listen to the tone. All spokes should be around the same tone, but when I get that appreciably lower note- I know I have a problem. The spoke has become loose- either by a knock that has pushed it out of shape, or it is beginning to stretch or the thing called necking has occured.

On the rides- I always carry a spoke key. Then if I get a bad knock and the wheel goes out of true I can correct it to get home. Doesn't happen very often but the key does get used quite a lot on my mates bikes. Just to keep them running.
How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.

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Old 12-27-05, 07:01 AM   #5
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Does a pie run count if you don't get the pie?
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