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Broken Spokes In A Wheel.....

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Broken Spokes In A Wheel.....

Old 04-19-17, 05:44 PM
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Broken Spokes In A Wheel.....

I broke 2 spokes about 9 months ago and had the local bike shop replace and true the wheel. Now I broke 1 spoke on my ride home. When is it a time to get a new wheel? I'm getting obese and 210lbs which could contribute to it? I'm low on funds so thinking of having the shop true the wheel one last time and safe for a stronger rear wheel?

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Old 04-19-17, 06:27 PM
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I'm in the vicinity of 210#, never broken a spoke in my life, and I ride on some old stuff. I don't think it is the weight that is an issue. Maybe try a different shop this time, if you are set on giving it one last go?
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Old 04-19-17, 09:28 PM
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Spoke breakage will vary. I think "Generic" spokes aren't quite as durable as name brand spokes.

You can learn too build and true a wheel yourself. Some people here have homebuilt truing stands, or you can do it on the bike using the brakes and the frame as reference points.

Anyway, after 3 spokes, it is time to start thinking about replacing all of the spokes. Should only be about $20-$40 for new spokes depending on what you chose.

Front or rear?
How many spokes?

Oh, also, if tension gets to be uneven, that may contribute to breaking spokes.
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Old 04-20-17, 06:42 AM
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It's possible that your current wheel can be made reliable, but I doubt it.

All of the spokes on that wheel, save 2, have had the same amount of usage. Three of them have broken. Can the rest be far behind? We haven't even mentioned the rim. Since you've already broken 3 spokes there's a better than average chance that the rim may be wonky too. If you ride a lot in the rain brake track wear can be a factor too.

Wheelwork done by a shop is labor intensive. A couple of bouts might come quite close, or even exceed, the cost of a new replacement wheel.
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Old 04-20-17, 07:11 AM
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If you have to pay someone to replace the spokes, it's time to give up on the wheel. Post what you need, you'll get suggestions.
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Old 04-20-17, 07:16 AM
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If you're broke, I'd take the broken spoke in and buy a couple of that length. Maybe take the wheel in and get both lengths (I'm assuming different lengths on drive vs non-drive side). Get two or so of each. Then replace at home. A cheapo tool kit should have a spoke tool, and you can get it close enough to ride. Just eyeball it off the brake pads with the bike in a stand. I've done that once already, and about to do so again.

Tools to do this might run a few bucks (stand, spoke tool) but once bought, they can be used for years to come. Sometimes they can be bought used. Or you can improvise. Point being, you can save a few bucks DIY and then spend that savings on a better wheelset.
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Old 04-20-17, 07:29 AM
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My rule of thumb is, when the third spoke goes, it's time to have the wheel re-spoked. That said, a properly-built wheel should last a decade or more if it's not abused. I haven't broken a spoke now in about 7 years and I'm 220 as well as riding a recumbent that doesn't allow me to unweight the bike when I hit something.
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Old 04-20-17, 09:53 AM
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As others have suggested. Try your hand at wheel work.
If you need time to save for an upgrade/replacement wheel. Why not fill some of that time watch a few YouTube videos on spoke work, and trueing. A few spokes, the cost of a hamburger. Anything learned is an asset.
Hope this helps.

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Old 04-20-17, 09:58 AM
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Just to clarify, if the hub and rim are ok, you should be able to rebuild, or pay to have the wheel rebuilt, with new spokes, which will likely cost a lot less than a whole new wheel. If the rim and hub are junk, however, no point in throwing good money after bad.
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Old 04-20-17, 10:01 AM
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Spokes fail in fatigue due to cyclic loading. If the cycle is partly in compression, the fatigue life shortens dramatically. That is why proper tensioning is important. You want the spoke to be in tension at all times.

As mentioned above, if you have already broken two spokes, assuming that all spokes were tensioned around a (low) average tension, you got more breakage coming. The prudent thing would be to re-spoke the wheel.

I had three broken spokes on my Trek when it was new. The LBS warrantied a new wheel (Wheelmaster) with double butted spokes. I had to fight with them to tension the rear wheel at 60/100 kgf. No problem since.

When I got my Novara Randonee, I took it in the back and had the technician re-tension the spokes. He was marveling at my insistence, but did it anyway. 4000 km later, I checked the trueness and tension and I was within a fraction of a mm and 60 or above in the NDS.

I weigh between 250 and 270...
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