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Loose Spokes - Running repair needed to get me home

tarquin_foxglovetarquin_foxglove Posts: 554
edited February 2009 in The workshop
I lost the front wheel under braking on the way home last night and almost did again on my way into work this morning.

1st time could be put down to road conditions/positioning (possibly touched a white line) but 2nd time no obvious reasons but then I began to notice an odd noise coming from the front wheel.

Quick check of the wheel and I've discovered I've 6 (out of 32) loose spokes, and by loose I mean the spokes rattle in an alarming fashion when twanged. The wheel is remarkably true though.

Is there anything I can do as a running repair to get me home?


  • JameyJamey Posts: 2,152
    Have you got a spoke key? If not then you could buy one but that means going into a bike shop and if you're doing that you could get them to sort the wheel for you. Unless you're happy truing wheels yourself, but if that's the case you probably already own a spoke key.
  • I don't have a spoke key but I've got an adjustable spanner with me.

    If I can get it home tonight, then I can get it to my LBS tomorrow for a proper repair.
  • JameyJamey Posts: 2,152
    I don't think you'll be able to turn the spanner far enough before it hits something, so you'll end up with the nipple being at an angle where you can't get the spanner on again for the next turn. And even if you can it's going to be infuriatingly slow work.

    If there are any bike shops within walking distance of your office I'd nip out and buy a multi-sided spoke key before going home. If not then it's going to be your judgement call as to whether you can ride it to a bike shop, or even all the way home.

    If you do be very careful, stay slow, spinning in lower gears and only use the rear brake. Avoid any bumps in the road, don't turn sharply or at any kind of speed. Just keep the front wheel rolling lightly with no other stresses on it.
  • The (rubbish) bike shop close to my work doesn't have a spoke key in stock. So I will have to tighten them with the spanner as best I can.
  • JameyJamey Posts: 2,152
    Good luck, stay safe and don't take any risks.
  • Are you home Tarquin ????
    Bikes are drugs and Im pedalling
  • Aye I got home safe & sound. Thanks for asking.

    Amazing the difference in your confidence knowing that 20% of your front wheel is not working as it should.

    I took it into a proper LBS on Saturday to get it tightened up and he said 'You've not been riding with it like that have you?' 'er no of course not' :oops:
  • A bike shop that doesn't sell spoke keys!! does that still qualify s a bike shop!!
    Be happy, communicate happiness.
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