Big Bloke Popping Spokes

Stuww Posts: 203
edited July 2008 in Commuting chat
I popped a spoke on my Specialized Tricross a few weeks ago whilst riding the 100 mile Exmouth Exodus.

My LBS fixed it, but coming home from work today I popped the one next to it.

Chatting to the mechanic at me LBS he reckons it could be that the one next to the one that popped first was weakened, or the fact I'm nearly 19 stone and ride around 100 miles a week on my Tricross with a loaded pannier!! :D

He's putting in a new spoke tomorrow but advised that a wheel rebuild with triple butted spokes for £35 might be the way to go if it carries on happening.

Any of you stouter riders out their have any experiences of a similar nature or could offer some advice.




  • gs3
    gs3 Posts: 249
    I had a smilar problem with the wheels on my Rockhopper (was used for the occasional commute!!). The rear wheel popped two spokes which were replaced. Then another two popped!! Replaced. When a fifth one popped I settled for a complete respoke and since then, no problems.
    I think it's just one of those things you either put up with or bite the bullet and sort it once and for all.
    At the end of the day I think I spent less with the full re-spoking than I would have done replacing the individual spokes as they gave up the ghost.

    To be honest - £35 isn't bad at all for a wheel build inc. spokes - go for it!
  • downfader
    downfader Posts: 3,686
    I'm nearly 14 stone and broke two spokes on my old wheels (Alex DC19 I think they were called). TBH they were crap wheels and I did get pinned into a pothole by traffic. :lol:
  • meanwhile
    meanwhile Posts: 392
    Specialized notoriously underbuild their wheels. It's a marketing thing to get the weight down. Beside making bikes weaker it can also limit performance for strong riders - take a look at the Radar review of the Roubaix. It really is an amazing bike, but which it loses power to wheel flex if a strong rider gives it the hammer just to save a little weight.

    There's a pretty good thread about the Tricross and this issue here: ... p?t=116951

    - the bad news is that some Tricrosses have weak rims, in which case new spokes aren't much of an answer.

    I'd negotiate hard with your LBS for at least a big discount if you decide on a wheel rebuild - or new wheels* - and threaten to return the bike complaining to Trading Standards, Spec'd, and your credit card company if they won't take it. They saw your weight when you bought it, and had a responsibility to make sure the bike was ok for you. You might want to contact Specialized and check that you're in the bikes safe weight range actually; I crowd some bikes and I'm "only" 15 stone.

    Other thing to consider is wider and better tyres with more air in, to take strain off the wheels. Spec's tyres aren't honestly sized (a weight thing again). Find out what the biggest Conti or Schwalbe you could run is.

    * Get them from someone who isn't a muppet and who knows how to build extra strong wheels; check the components used carefully!
  • Stuww
    Stuww Posts: 203
    Thanks to you all for your comments.

    I may well contact Specialized and get their thoughts on it.

    As for tyres, I had the biggest cross section Schwalbe's fitted on day 1.

  • Underscore
    Underscore Posts: 730
    Stuww wrote:
    I may well contact Specialized and get their thoughts on it.


    I've got a Spesh Sirrus, which I bought 6 years ago. I popped three or four spokes in the first 500 miles (like you I ride with panniers) after which time the LBS rebuilt the wheels on the same hubs but with stronger rims - a repair authorised by Specialized - which has been fine ever since. All this was done through the LBS, so try going back to your LBS in the first instance and insisting that Spesh should cover the cost of any remedial action...