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carrying spokes

Old 04-16-08, 11:01 AM
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carrying spokes

I've carried spokes on 1400km and 1700km tours, but never needed to use them. Along with spokes, I carried a lockring tool, chainwhip and adjustable wrench. Kind of a waste to take such heavy things seeing as I didn't need them. This year I'm hoping to forgo the whip and lockring tool, but am curious of the need to take replacements.
I did a search, but wasn't satisfied. There was talk of flexible spare spokes and extra long spokes with homemade curves to get around the cassette side.

Do you take spare spokes on longer tours? If so, what are they?
And do you take anything to remove the cassette?
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Old 04-16-08, 11:10 AM
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Carry a few fibre-fix spokes. Clearly your wheels are suitably spec'd and tensioned for the use you are putting them to based on your lack of problems so far.

You don't need a spoke wrench or a cassette removal tool to use these emergency spokes. I would still carry a spoke wrench so you can adjust your other spokes, but many multi-tools have a spoke wrench built in.
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Old 04-16-08, 11:25 AM
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kevlar spokes

i've seen kevlar (flexible) spokes for sale in america. i plan on carrying a couple of these for my cross country tour this summer. i've never used them but i've heard they are enough to help limp you a few hundred miles. i'd rather do this than carry spokes, cassette tool and a big wrench for said cassette tool.spoke.jpg
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Old 04-16-08, 11:57 AM
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Maybe carry:
https://harriscyclery.net/itemdetails.cfm?ID=2456

That or carry only the lock ring tool and rely on using a vice and wrench at a local gas station or whatever. The lock ring tool is the part that is hard or impossible to improvise.
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Old 04-16-08, 12:07 PM
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I've used the Stein Hyper cracker to remove a lock ring. It works, but you need to use some care not to damage your dérailleur hanger or the tool.
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Old 04-16-08, 12:40 PM
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If anything for cycling should be made out of titanium or carbon fiber, it should be the handles of the tools we carry. Quick way to shave off grams by the hundreds of grams. An adjustable wrench could be all titanium.
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Old 04-16-08, 12:50 PM
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I carry regular spokes, a fiber fix spoke, and a hyper cracker. The regular spokes are taped to the seat tube. The most spokes I've had to replace on tour has been 2 but that was with a crappy wheel I've since upgraded. When I did replace those spokes (both rear drive side) it was in Nowhere, Colorado, and with the hyper cracker took about 30 minutes.
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Old 04-16-08, 12:50 PM
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Originally Posted by kamoke
I've carried spokes on 1400km and 1700km tours, but never needed to use them. Along with spokes, I carried a lockring tool, chainwhip and adjustable wrench. Kind of a waste to take such heavy things seeing as I didn't need them. This year I'm hoping to forgo the whip and lockring tool, but am curious of the need to take replacements.
I did a search, but wasn't satisfied. There was talk of flexible spare spokes and extra long spokes with homemade curves to get around the cassette side.

Do you take spare spokes on longer tours? If so, what are they?
And do you take anything to remove the cassette?
kamoke,

It certainly sounds as if you have some well-built wheels that are more than adequate for the job. I stopped carrying extra spokes a number of years ago. On at least one of my earliest tours in New England (slightly less than a hundred years ago), I remember breaking some spokes (always on the drive side). Since then I've been a firm believer of having beefy wheels. Every several years or so, as the rims get worn, I've had new wheels built up using 40 butted spokes for the rear and 36 front, laced up to my Phil hubs. I don't think about the wheels anymore. Like I said earlier, I stopped carrying extra spokes after I saw how these wheels carried the load year after year. I just hope I don't jinx my good fortune, because I started carrying a couple of FibreFix spokes a few years ago--because it seemed like the responsible thing to do! Anyway, you can get rid of those heavy tools. Just bring a spoke wrench and a couple of the FibreFix thingies. But, chances are, you won't need them anyway.

Safe journeys,
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Old 04-16-08, 01:16 PM
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Originally Posted by jkmartin
I carry regular spokes, a fiber fix spoke, and a hyper cracker. The regular spokes are taped to the seat tube. The most spokes I've had to replace on tour has been 2 but that was with a crappy wheel I've since upgraded. When I did replace those spokes (both rear drive side) it was in Nowhere, Colorado, and with the hyper cracker took about 30 minutes.
I've used the hypercracker and would caution that you might want to try it at home before you leave...even if you've used it before. If you turn the wheel the wrong way, you just end up tightening the cassette lock ring Even tighter than you can get it on at home

I carry spokes ziptied to the underside of my rear rack. And I just got a fiberspoke. Which it might be a good idea to test before you leave too
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Old 04-16-08, 03:38 PM
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kevlar spokes

i've seen kevlar (flexible) spokes for sale in america. i plan on carrying a couple of these for my cross country tour this summer. i've never used them but i've heard they are enough to help limp you a few hundred miles. i'd rather do this than carry spokes, cassette tool and a big wrench for said cassette tool.Attachment 69624
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Old 04-16-08, 07:33 PM
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For a domestic or European tour the fiberfix (or similar) is fine. For my "way out there" tour I took a couple fiberfix spokes, and 4 front + 4 rear real spokes and some spare nipples. I used the stein hypercracker to change cassettes as they wore out. Like folks mentioned that tool is easy to get wrong!
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Old 04-16-08, 08:18 PM
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I carried spokes and used them. But once I bought good wheels, it was no longer a problem, so I used the spokes to roast sausages over campfire. I carried them with a cork stuck inside the seat post.

Still carry one or two out of habit.
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Old 04-17-08, 07:20 AM
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Thanks for replying.
I think this year I'll leave the tools at home then, and store a few spokes in the seat tube and forget about them. If I end up finding myself kicking my butt on the side of the road for not bringing a kevlar spoke or a hypercracker, then I'll try to remember for the next tour.

For those who might have been wondering, I rode the trek 520's stock rims on the tours, and plan the same for this year.

again, thanks
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Old 04-17-08, 10:27 AM
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Originally Posted by vik


I've used the Stein Hyper cracker to remove a lock ring. It works, but you need to use some care not to damage your dérailleur hanger or the tool.
I have one, and it did work, but I did indeed warp the tool. I'm not totally sure it would work again.
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Old 04-18-08, 10:10 AM
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I don't carry spare spokes nor a tool to remove the cassette. I just carry a multi tool and a small pair of pliers to get stuff (wire, thorns, glass, screws, etc.) out of my tires.
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Old 04-18-08, 11:12 AM
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I have never carried spare spokes, nor have I ever broken a spoke in more than 20 years of touring. I suspect that replacing spokes is beyond my mechanical ability. If a task is more difficult than fixing a flat, I am already looking for a bicycle shop. I know my limits.

Much depends on where one is going. On a tour across Mongolia, spare spokes, the tools for replacing them, and the skills to do so would be important. I do not tour in remote regions. I doubt that I have ever been more than an hour or two hitchhike or bus ride away from a bike shop.
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