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Replacement Spokes

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Replacement Spokes

Old 04-19-21, 07:00 PM
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croebuck
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Replacement Spokes

Iíve experienced quite the misfortune with spokes lately. My LBS re-laced a pair of DT Swiss R460 wheels with the 350 hubs and Iíve snapped 2 spokes on the rear in less than 500 miles. Since this appears to be an issue for me, Iíd like to order a pack of spokes and nipples so that I can replace them myself. Iím trying to determine what type and length I need. Iím pretty sure mine are the steel round 2mm. The spokes on the cassette side of the hub cross while the other side is direct pull. Not sure if that matters for length.
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Old 04-19-21, 07:10 PM
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Why can't you just measure what you have? That's what I've done and never had a problem.
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Old 04-19-21, 07:22 PM
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So if you are continuously breaking spokes that is a sign that wheel is failing and has issues that will be chased until you decide to give up. If you are regularly breaking spokes that could be a sign of a poorly built wheel or a wheel that just can't handle your weight or power or both and you might want to have someone competent build something stronger or relace this one as a 2x wheel at least if it has enough spokes. Radial lacing on a rear wheel even on the NDS is not ideal. It can be done for a really lightweight rider who is gentle on equipment but it doesn't sound like that is working well for you.

You can certainly just measure your spokes and order more and go around the wheel replacing spokes all the time but I wouldn't let a customer do that it is just silly unless it were some super rare rim and hub that you cannot find anywhere and you are dead set on keeping it for some reason I would just have it rebuilt with at least 2x using brass Secure Lock or Pro Lock nipples (or whatever locking nipples your favorite spoke maker has or drop some spoke freeze in while building) and double or triple butted spokes. I would go to Sugar Wheelworks or Peter White or Bill Mould or some well respected wheel builder who really knows their stuff and have them build it and maybe also make suggestions giving them all the info you have given here.
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Old 04-19-21, 07:25 PM
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If you've had problems that early in a wheel build, possibly your wheels aren't tensioned properly. Either they weren't stress relieved or something moved if they were built with proper tension. Have a pro retrue and tension when the new spokes are installed.
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Old 04-19-21, 08:50 PM
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Originally Posted by UCantTouchThis View Post
I'd go to the prowheelbuilder site. They have a calculator full of various hub models, rims etc, Plug in the models and most times, it will give you the correct spoke lengths.

I have had local bike shops jack me by giving me incorrect spoke lengths. When you're a newb, you don't realize it till the spokes keep breaking, I've found spokes that shop has put in where half the threads are showing. Other times, they have substituted the DT Swiss I ordered with a few no name spokes I couldn't even identify after breaking. MIGHT even be the reason the spokes are breaking immediately after the shop re laced the wheels with new spokes. Happen to me and like the OP, I gave it a try and never looked back. 20,000+ miles vs 500? No brainer. I have actually had one wheel built at the shop that didn't last the first 20 miles of a 40 mile ride.
Correct me if I'm wrong-"You're assuming that the shop put in the wrong length spokes and that's why simply measuring what he currently has in his wheels won't work"? With that assumption, yes, by all means use the link you provided and get the correct length. I've only done a few wheels and have always been able to measure the existing spokes with no problems. I use a home-made wheel truing stand and try not to over tighten and keep the tension as even as possible without a tensiometer. It's a long drawn out process, but so satisfying when the wheel is true and you can ride the sh.. out of it with no problems.
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Old 04-20-21, 06:00 PM
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I've been riding some 40+ years since I've broken a spoke. Even back in the old days 45+ years ago, it was usually either crash damage or more often it was the spoke that my odometer 'clicker' pin was attached to...






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Old 04-20-21, 06:11 PM
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Originally Posted by UCantTouchThis View Post
I buy my spokes here when I build my wheels. There is an online calculator and I believe the peeps will help you if you need parts and advice. I ended up buying spokes here a few times seeing the local bike shops don't have much in the way of stock and they want to "order" spokes for me for a fee.
Awesome. Iíll check that out. I trust that my LBS didnít knowingly build the wheel with the incorrect spokes but perhaps they used what they already had on hand rather than special order something that was more suited for the wheel/my weight. To that point, I did have to make a trip back to have them tighten them more because when I got on the bike, I could feel the spokes bending and pushing up beyond the rim. I weigh 235 so I am heavier than your average rider. My FTP is 213 and max out around 800 watts on a typical ride when I hammer it. All that being said, maybe I need a higher gauge spoke that can better support my weight and power? Iím new to this so let me know if thatís nonsensical.
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Old 04-21-21, 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by UCantTouchThis View Post
I just looked up the DT Swiss R460 . It is only 23 mm tall. At your weight, I destroyed low profile rims, never lasted more than 2,000 miles
Perhaps that is the root of the issue. However, I rode 23mm on my old bike over 6k miles without a problem.
On my short lunch ride today, I broke yet another; this time on the front wheel. I was coasting when it snapped. Something is fundamentally wrong with that.
I took the opportunity to measure the spoke and got 270mm. It appears to have snapped right at the first thread. So, should I assume that they are actually 274mm?
I was incorrect with my terminology in my OP. The rear wheel is 2x on the DS and radial on the NDS with 24 spokes total.
I've been considering the SuperTeam 50mm carbon wheels for a while. A friend of mine bought them less than a year ago and loves them and they seem like a solid buy.
In the meantime, is it worth buying a pricey set of the DT Swiss Champion 2.0 to replace on my current wheels?
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Old 04-23-21, 07:25 AM
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I agree with the comments above that something is wrong with those wheels or their build if you are breaking spokes that frequently.
A few years ago I got my first good (for me) road bike in many years. The bike was used and has H plus Son rims with Sapim CX Ray spokes. After riding less than 1000 miles I noticed a broken spoke on the front wheel - broken at the first thread. As I looked closer at the wheel I realized that a number of spokes must have been previously replaced since they were straight gage round or butted spokes (rather than CXRays). Further investigation revealed that the rims are drilled with the spoke holes at a slight angle so the spoke has a straight path to the hub flange. However, the wheel was laced with the hole ďpointingĒ to the opposite hub flange. This puts the spoke in bending as the spoke tension attempts to straighten out the misalignment and sets up a classic fatigue case for failure at the first thread (Kt) stress riser. Since all the spokes likely had fatigue damage, I replaces all the spokes and re-laced the wheel properly. Nearly 10,000 miles later the wheel has required no additional attention.
This may not be your problem but might be worth checking.

Last edited by Hank195; 04-23-21 at 07:31 AM.
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Old 04-25-21, 09:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Hank195 View Post
Further investigation revealed that the rims are drilled with the spoke holes at a slight angle so the spoke has a straight path to the hub flange. However, the wheel was laced with the hole ďpointingĒ to the opposite hub flange. This puts the spoke in bending as the spoke tension attempts to straighten out the misalignment and sets up a classic fatigue case for failure
I was originally experiencing this issue with the rear stock Oval wheel that came with my Fuji bike. My LBS offered the same argument specifically with that wheelset. They claimed that it was a poor design and that the spokes met the nipple at an angle from the hub. After about 4 replacements, they offered me a used DT Swiss R460 wheelset with 360 hubs that a guy had wrecked but claimed they were not damaged and were still in great condition. So they laced these for me from scratch but Iím still having the same issue. Iím not sure if itís me, the wheels (perhaps they did sustain some damage after all), or a result of incorrect lacing pattern/irregular tensions. As I measured the kg force with my spoke tension meter, I found that they were all within a margin of 105-117kg/f. That would translate to approx 1030-1147 Newtons. The max newtons for these wheels is 1200. The DS is laced 2x with one spoke coming from the inner hub and the other spoke coming from the outer hub which laces underneath the other creating a pressure point. The NDS is radial and thatís where this one broke. I just replaced the spoke myself so weíll see if this trend continues.

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Old 04-25-21, 10:22 PM
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Different wheels, same problem, one thing in common=the shop. I'm hoping the spoke you just replaced lasts a long time just to prove a point (and for your riding pleasure). Good luck,
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Old 04-26-21, 10:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Bigbus View Post
Different wheels, same problem, one thing in common=the shop. I'm hoping the spoke you just replaced lasts a long time just to prove a point (and for your riding pleasure). Good luck,
I hate to draw that conclusion because I trust my LBS and I enjoy supporting their business but hopefully I have better luck with these. I need to buy a truing stand and learn how to do it myself.
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Old 04-26-21, 08:00 PM
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Originally Posted by croebuck View Post
I hate to draw that conclusion because I trust my LBS and I enjoy supporting their business but hopefully I have better luck with these. I need to buy a truing stand and learn how to do it myself.
I made me a hoky truing stand out of a couple of 2x4's, some metal strapping to hold the wheel, and stiff wire for a flexible gauge to run along side the rim. I measure for offsetting and so far I've had really good luck. Of course, I've always been able to use an old spoke for measurements before ordering a set of spokes and the thought of building a wheel from scratch with a new hub and new spokes scares the bejeebies out of me. I just know that no matter how much research I do I'll get the wrong length spokes. Good luck,
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