5 spokes on my back wheel are loose...

DonDaddyD
DonDaddyD Posts: 12,689
edited December 2008 in Commuting chat
5 spokes on my back wheel are now loose (I suspect it was one and the situation has gotten progressively worse). I now realise what that sound was in Acre Lane as I was riding, t'was my spoke breaking.

For it means that the back wheel is slightly out-of-true. Though where it's buckled its not rubbing the brakes. However, it does make the bike wobble as I'm riding it (almost like a pulse). Also I loose a lot of power (about 2-4mph) as I'm riding.

I've got about 4 more days at work until the X-mas break, should I continue to ride (will my bike survive)?

Or

Is this just stupid and incredibly dangerous, should I get it fixed immediately because my wheel could warp completely at any given moment?

:cry:
Food Chain number = 4

A true scalp is not only overtaking someone but leaving them stopped at a set of lights. As you, who have clearly beaten the lights, pummels nothing but the open air ahead. ~ 'DondaddyD'. Player of the Unspoken Game
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Comments

  • il_principe
    il_principe Posts: 9,155
    DonDaddyD wrote:
    5 spokes on my back wheel are now loose (I suspect it was one and the situation has gotten progressively worse). I now realise what that sound was in Acre Lane as I was riding, t'was my spoke breaking.

    For it means that the back wheel is slightly out-of-true. Though where it's buckled its not rubbing the brakes. However, it does make the bike wobble as I'm riding it (almost like a pulse). Also I loose a lot of power (about 2-4mph) as I'm riding.

    I've got about 4 more days at work until the X-mas break, should I continue to ride (will my bike survive)?

    Or

    Is this just stupid and incredibly dangerous, should I get it fixed immediately because my wheel could warp completely at any given moment?

    :cry:

    Not dangerous per say but a bit daft. Fix it now or it'll cost you more in the long run.
  • DonDaddyD wrote:
    5 spokes on my back wheel are now loose (I suspect it was one and the situation has gotten progressively worse). I now realise what that sound was in Acre Lane as I was riding, t'was my spoke breaking.

    For it means that the back wheel is slightly out-of-true. Though where it's buckled its not rubbing the brakes. However, it does make the bike wobble as I'm riding it (almost like a pulse). Also I loose a lot of power (about 2-4mph) as I'm riding.

    I've got about 4 more days at work until the X-mas break, should I continue to ride (will my bike survive)?

    Or

    Is this just stupid and incredibly dangerous, should I get it fixed immediately because my wheel could warp completely at any given moment?

    :cry:

    Get

    It

    Fixed.

    Probably not dangerous to keep on it for a few more days, but the key word there is "probably", not "not ".

    What (I suspect) might happen is a sudden loss of a lot of spokes, resulting in the rear wheel collapsing under you. Not nice.
    Swim. Bike. Run. Yeah. That's what I used to do.

    Bike 1
    Bike 2-A
  • ChrisLS
    ChrisLS Posts: 2,749
    ...best to get it fixed as soon as possible...not dangerous but the wobble will get worse...
    ...all the way...'til the wheels fall off and burn...
  • A stitch in time saves nine.

    If you've got some broken ones the others are under more tension, and more likely to go.

    Fix it fix it fix it.
  • hisoka
    hisoka Posts: 541
    Fix it, trust me having had a similar issue before. A spoke breaking and the metal whipping the back of you calf (don't ask me how as I still don't know) stings like a fecker and the wheel goes really nasty too.
    "This area left purposefully blank"
    Sign hung on my head everyday till noon.

    FCN: 11 (apparently)
  • DonDaddyD
    DonDaddyD Posts: 12,689
    Do you guys think it will take long or be expensive to fix?

    My trouble is that I've got 4 days of commuting left and hopefully new wheels coming to me as a X-mas present. Its not really worth spending the money to get the current wheels fixed as I was just gonna bin them to be honest. If I take it to a bike shop I probably won't be seeing my bike for at least 2 of those 4 days, if I ride it I could have the wheel collapse under me. (I'm 14-15stone).

    I'm really not happy about this, I've had the bike for less than 6 months and in that time I've had the bottom bracket tightend, the seat post and seat replaced and now the wheels... Also the brake pads are gonna need replacing (but that is to be expected).
    Food Chain number = 4

    A true scalp is not only overtaking someone but leaving them stopped at a set of lights. As you, who have clearly beaten the lights, pummels nothing but the open air ahead. ~ 'DondaddyD'. Player of the Unspoken Game
  • alfablue
    alfablue Posts: 8,497
    I would be very nervous riding it, tbh! What about a halfway house - go buy some spokes and a spoke key, it isn't too hard to get an acceptably true wheel if you use a little common sense.
  • DonDaddyD
    DonDaddyD Posts: 12,689
    DonDaddyD wrote:
    if I ride it I could have the wheel collapse under me. (I'm 14-15stone).

    I'm really not happy about this, I've had the bike for less than 6 months and now the wheels...

    I've just realised what I've admitted to!

    I'm a fat b*stard!!!!

    :cry::cry::cry:
    Food Chain number = 4

    A true scalp is not only overtaking someone but leaving them stopped at a set of lights. As you, who have clearly beaten the lights, pummels nothing but the open air ahead. ~ 'DondaddyD'. Player of the Unspoken Game
  • jonginge
    jonginge Posts: 5,945
    Shouldn't take too long or be too expensive but you probably won't get it back for those commuting days. Getting it fixed will be cheaper than, for example, replacing the frame when a spoke breaks, gets stuck in the chain, rips off the rear mech and wrecks the hanger. :shock:
    Keep the wheel as a spare (for this type of exigency). Can't have too many wheels :)
    FCN 2-4 "Shut up legs", Jens Voigt
    Planet-x Scott
    Rides
  • DonDaddyD wrote:
    I'm really not happy about this, I've had the bike for less than 6 months and in that time I've had the bottom bracket tightend, the seat post and seat replaced and now the wheels... Also the brake pads are gonna need replacing (but that is to be expected).

    Well take it back to where you bought it from - may well still be under warranty...

    And the seat-post and saddle weren't really to do with the workmanship on the bike now were they? Hmmmmmmmmmm?
  • If a spoke breaks it releases tension on the other side of the rim, which means the two spokes opposite the broken spoke start to become loose, then it proceeds around the rim away from the initial breakage. If you continue to ride a wheel with a broken spoke the wheel will lose tension, meaning it will cost more to repair, as more time will need to be spent on it. When I worked I got my hands dirty as a mechanic we charged £7 for truing a wheel and between 30p and £2 for a spoke depending on the quality of the wheel/existing spokes, so it’s a cheap problem to fix initially. But if left this can double and you may also find other spokes break because the wheel has been ridden without the correct tension.
  • biondino
    biondino Posts: 5,990
    So there's definitely a broken spoke? Or are they just loose? If it's the latter, then have a go at truing, it's not at all hard. If it's the former I'd put the bike away until you get the new wheels.
  • DonDaddyD
    DonDaddyD Posts: 12,689
    JonGinge, this is true! Makes sense to keep the wheels. Probably put them in a shed.

    LiT, you're right the seat post was more annoyance than anything else. You're also right about bringing the bike to the shop. But DeVer can be a little tricky about things like that.

    I'll probably take it over to Cyclopolis in Balham, they seem friendly and always remember me (the woman in there actually asked if I was on Bikeradar... :shock: My reputation precedes me!).

    Anywho thanks everyone for your advice
    Food Chain number = 4

    A true scalp is not only overtaking someone but leaving them stopped at a set of lights. As you, who have clearly beaten the lights, pummels nothing but the open air ahead. ~ 'DondaddyD'. Player of the Unspoken Game
  • DonDaddyD
    DonDaddyD Posts: 12,689
    biondino wrote:
    So there's definitely a broken spoke? Or are they just loose? If it's the latter, then have a go at truing, it's not at all hard. If it's the former I'd put the bike away until you get the new wheels.

    I think one spoke is completely broken (visibly looks that way) and at least three/four others have become loose. A quick run over them with my fingers told me that three or four on the left are loose and the bike wobbles to the right.... At lunch I'm going to look at it properly and make a decision as to how immediate this immediate repair is as in do I take it to the bike shop near where I work or do I risk riding Brixton and Clapham to Balham and get it fixed there or do I take it home (Wimbledon) and make my decision from there.
    Food Chain number = 4

    A true scalp is not only overtaking someone but leaving them stopped at a set of lights. As you, who have clearly beaten the lights, pummels nothing but the open air ahead. ~ 'DondaddyD'. Player of the Unspoken Game
  • cjcp
    cjcp Posts: 13,345
    DonDaddyD wrote:

    I'm really not happy about this, I've had the bike for less than 6 months and in that time I've had the bottom bracket tightend, the seat post and seat replaced and now the wheels... Also the brake pads are gonna need replacing (but that is to be expected).

    DDD - I don't think it's unusual for the spokes on factory-built wheels to need re-tightening at some point.
    FCN 2-4.

    "What happens when the hammer goes down, kids?"
    "It stays down, Daddy."
    "Exactly."
  • DonDaddyD
    DonDaddyD Posts: 12,689
    Fair enough, I was just moaning...

    Gonna go Cycopolis after work today, get it sorted there.
    Food Chain number = 4

    A true scalp is not only overtaking someone but leaving them stopped at a set of lights. As you, who have clearly beaten the lights, pummels nothing but the open air ahead. ~ 'DondaddyD'. Player of the Unspoken Game
  • cjcp
    cjcp Posts: 13,345
    Is one of the spokes definitely broken, or are you able to just tighten them all up for the journey home?
    FCN 2-4.

    "What happens when the hammer goes down, kids?"
    "It stays down, Daddy."
    "Exactly."
  • hisoka
    hisoka Posts: 541
    DonDaddyD wrote:
    DonDaddyD wrote:
    if I ride it I could have the wheel collapse under me. (I'm 14-15stone).

    I'm really not happy about this, I've had the bike for less than 6 months and now the wheels...

    I've just realised what I've admitted to!

    I'm a fat b*stard!!!!

    :cry::cry::cry:

    Trust me, you're not that bad compared to some. When I say some, I mean me. I know I am hefty but I accept it and work to reduce it, that is what the cycling is for (that and it is great fun :D )
    "This area left purposefully blank"
    Sign hung on my head everyday till noon.

    FCN: 11 (apparently)
  • DonDaddyD
    DonDaddyD Posts: 12,689
    I think one of them is definately broken. But upon looking, I'm no longer sure its still attached to the wheel... sorry I'm not any more helpful.
    Food Chain number = 4

    A true scalp is not only overtaking someone but leaving them stopped at a set of lights. As you, who have clearly beaten the lights, pummels nothing but the open air ahead. ~ 'DondaddyD'. Player of the Unspoken Game
  • If the wheel goes out of true enough to catch the rear mech cage in your lowest gear then you are looking at

    - new rear wheel
    - new chain
    - new rear gear hanger
    - new rear mech
    - bent mudguards

    I know it happened to me yesterday - all becuase I though Id get another winter out of an existing wheel with old corroded spokes. One gave way and disaster struck.

    If you down fixed it fixed then stay out of your lowest gear and stop at the slightest sign of noise.
  • DonDaddyD
    DonDaddyD Posts: 12,689
    I am actually really scared about cycling home now. Last thing I want is to have my wheel collapse under me on the main road...
    firvulag wrote:
    If the wheel goes out of true enough to catch the rear mech cage in your lowest gear then you are looking at

    - new rear wheel
    - new chain
    - new rear gear hanger
    - new rear mech
    - bent mudguards

    I know it happened to me yesterday - all becuase I though Id get another winter out of an existing wheel with old corroded spokes. One gave way and disaster struck.

    If you down fixed it fixed then stay out of your lowest gear and stop at the slightest sign of noise.

    Noise? What type of noise am I listening for. Its been making a weird ticking noise for a while... I just assumed it was because my bike cost less than £500...
    Food Chain number = 4

    A true scalp is not only overtaking someone but leaving them stopped at a set of lights. As you, who have clearly beaten the lights, pummels nothing but the open air ahead. ~ 'DondaddyD'. Player of the Unspoken Game
  • alfablue
    alfablue Posts: 8,497
    The weird ticking is very likely the loose spokes (it was the first sign I had of a loose spoke). Bikes shouldn't tick, always investigate. Probably you will get away with it, personally I am not a risk taker though.
  • itboffin
    itboffin Posts: 20,061
    D^3 are you mad, you've just been handed a perfect excuse to buy yourself a spare (upgraded) wheelset....

    Duh!

    1st rule of cycling; you can never have too many bikes. 2nd rule; always have more spares than you could ever need**. 3rd rule; if anything breaks upgrade immediately.

    **rule 2 is a very good one, I always carry enough spares that I could actually almost build a complete bike, then when the time comes that I want a new bike, I can justify it by saying "but I already have most of the parts" then immediately restock.

    Get online right this instant and order a nice pair of hand built wheels.

    PS. It is all getting a little out of control...
    Rule #5 // Harden The Feck Up.
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.
    Rule #12 // The correct number of bikes to own is n+1.
    Rule #42 // A bike race shall never be preceded with a swim and/or followed by a run.
  • DonDaddyD
    DonDaddyD Posts: 12,689
    itboffin wrote:
    D^3 are you mad, you've just been handed a perfect excuse to buy yourself a spare (upgraded) wheelset....

    Duh!

    1st rule of cycling; you can never have too many bikes. 2nd rule; always have more spares than you could ever need**. 3rd rule; if anything breaks upgrade immediately.

    **rule 2 is a very good one, I always carry enough spares that I could actually almost build a complete bike, then when the time comes that I want a new bike, I can justify it by saying "but I already have most of the parts" then immediately restock.

    Get online right this instant and order a nice pair of hand built wheels.

    PS. It is all getting a little out of control...

    X-mas my friend will hopefully bring a deliciously sounding pair of Fulcrum Racing 7's.
    Food Chain number = 4

    A true scalp is not only overtaking someone but leaving them stopped at a set of lights. As you, who have clearly beaten the lights, pummels nothing but the open air ahead. ~ 'DondaddyD'. Player of the Unspoken Game
  • Totalnewbie
    Totalnewbie Posts: 932
    edited December 2008
    If you take it to Brixton cycles between 9am and 10am Mon-Sat they will sort it for you in their 'emergency' clinic there and then and they won't take the p*ss with the price.

    Mr TN rode around with a fecked up broken spoked wheel for a while before I forced him to do this.

    I can fix some bike stuff but have not yet mastered wheel truing, mainly because you can make things worse if you don't know what you are doing so I haven't attempted anything yet, not having needed to.
  • Don't mind me, double posting :roll:
  • biondino wrote:
    So there's definitely a broken spoke? Or are they just loose? If it's the latter, then have a go at truing, it's not at all hard. If it's the former I'd put the bike away until you get the new wheels.

    Like Biondino says, have a go at fixing it y'self.

    Even replacing a spoke isn't rocket science. It's pretty commonsensical. You just have to be patient - once the tightening begins to move the rim back to where it should be, tighten the nipple a quarter of a turn at a time, so as not to overdo it. :D
  • DonDaddyD - you'll be glad to hear that spoke breakage is usually down to a poorly built set of wheels: usually breakages occur because the spoke isn't tight enough, allowing too much flex as the wheel rotates, not because of your weight!

    As no one else has mentioned it, I might as well reach for the cloth cap, light my pipe and... suggest a pair of hand built wheets :wink:

    If it isn't too late, I'd consider changing your xmas request from the Fulcrum 7s to a set of handbuilt wheels (Paul Hewitt of Hewitt Cycles are fantastic and Harry Rowland has an equally good reputation). Ok, they don't look as bling, but if you commute on your bike all year, you'll go through the rear rim quite quickly (say after 6000 miles of stop - start London traffic) with all the road muck.

    When your old rim has worn out, you can simply have the rim replaced rather than the complete wheel, saving you money in the process.

    Handbuilt wheels are usually just as cheap as factory built, often lighter and can be built to your specific requrements.

    As for trying to fix it yourself - try this book: http://www.wheelpro.co.uk/wheelbuilding/book.php

    I'm just starting to build my own wheels with help from this book, It's all you need to know! :D

    I'll go back to my armchair now...
  • DonDaddyD
    DonDaddyD Posts: 12,689
    DonDaddyD - you'll be glad to hear that spoke breakage is usually down to a poorly built set of wheels: usually breakages occur because the spoke isn't tight enough, allowing too much flex as the wheel rotates, not because of your weight!

    As no one else has mentioned it, I might as well reach for the cloth cap, light my pipe and... suggest a pair of hand built wheets :wink:

    If it isn't too late, I'd consider changing your xmas request from the Fulcrum 7s to a set of handbuilt wheels (Paul Hewitt of Hewitt Cycles are fantastic and Harry Rowland has an equally good reputation). Ok, they don't look as bling, but if you commute on your bike all year, you'll go through the rear rim quite quickly (say after 6000 miles of stop - start London traffic) with all the road muck.

    When your old rim has worn out, you can simply have the rim replaced rather than the complete wheel, saving you money in the process.

    Handbuilt wheels are usually just as cheap as factory built, often lighter and can be built to your specific requrements.

    As for trying to fix it yourself - try this book: http://www.wheelpro.co.uk/wheelbuilding/book.php

    I'm just starting to build my own wheels with help from this book, It's all you need to know! :D

    I'll go back to my armchair now...

    Wow thanks!
    Food Chain number = 4

    A true scalp is not only overtaking someone but leaving them stopped at a set of lights. As you, who have clearly beaten the lights, pummels nothing but the open air ahead. ~ 'DondaddyD'. Player of the Unspoken Game
  • DonDaddyD
    DonDaddyD Posts: 12,689
    to report back.

    The spoke wasn't broken but was incredibly loose and one looked slightly bent.

    I took it to Cyclopolis in Balham and they said they can fix it and have it ready next day £15.

    I bought a spoke spanner and simply tightend the loose spokes - I wasn't trying to true the wheel and it seems to have (for the time being) eradicated the wobble I had yesterday.

    I'm going to bring the bike back to Cyclopolis on the weekend for a service and a truing of the wheels....
    Food Chain number = 4

    A true scalp is not only overtaking someone but leaving them stopped at a set of lights. As you, who have clearly beaten the lights, pummels nothing but the open air ahead. ~ 'DondaddyD'. Player of the Unspoken Game