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Surviving with a broken spoke

jc4labjc4lab Posts: 554
edited February 2009 in Workshop
A bugbear for me and my Brompton.especially when rear sprocket side.,I find its not long before the wheel starts to lose shape..I simply dont know how to change it.and it ends my trip..How can you survive extra days in the wilderness till you get back...Notice some wheel reflectors slot in your spokes..Maybe these can hold it in place and keep you going...


  • El GordoEl Gordo Posts: 394
    It's worth learning how to replace a spoke if you're heading out into the wilds. Carry spares in a selection of sizes to suit your wheels and then all you need is a spoke key. Put the new spoke in and wind it up until the wheel's straight again. For the rear driveside you'll need to take the cassette off though for which you'll need a little tool like a Stein Hypercracker (google it).

    The more spokes you start with the better the wheel will cope with loosing one.

    If you are regularly breaking spokes it would be worth getting the wheel rebuilt / retensioned. A well built wheel will almost never fail unless abused.

    Reflectors really aren't going to help you...
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    Yeah - there is something wrong with your wheel if you break spokes more than every couple of years. Get it rebuilt and you shouldnt have any problems.
  • You can temporarily loosen spokes on the opposite side to the broken one and tighten ones on the same side, but this is really only a 'get you home' help-out.

    Agreed about rebuild. Go for a better spoke - are DT still the best ones to have?

    If the broken spokes are the 'pulling spokes', i.e. they are the ones that pull the rim around from the hub on the drive side. possibly means over-tensioning.
  • John.TJohn.T Posts: 3,698
    The biggest cause of broken spokes is not too much tension, it is too little. This loads and unloads each spoke individualy much more so increasing the load and stress on it. I build all my wheels on the tight side and have not broken a spoke since I started riding again more than 10 years ago. This includes MTB wheels.
    Get them rebuilt with DT or Sapin spokes by a good builder and you should have no more trouble.
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