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Broken Spokes

y33stuy33stu Posts: 376
edited September 2011 in Workshop
Hi All,

I'm after some ideas if possible. about 4 weeks ago I broke a spoke on my road bike. I replaced it and trued the wheel at the bike shop. Now since then I seem to braking a spoke at least once a week. Its getting very annoying as you can imagine. I ride a Carrera Virtuoso - a beginner bike from Halfords. I'm also the wrong side of 100kg, so I'm guessing the beginner bike and my weight are the cause - but for 2 years the bike has been fine, not a thing went wrong. I've been riding it for 50+ mile rides through county lanes.

Can anyone suggest what's going wrong?
Cycling prints
Band of Climbers

Posts

  • When the first spoke went it would have put an immence strain on the other spokes either side which weakens them making them more likely to fail sooner. What you're probably finding is that as each spoke goes its effecting the ones around it and that is a continual process.

    Best thing is either get the wheel rebuilt / trued and correctly tensioned or maybe invest in some more robust wheels that are more suited to your riding.
    A person who aims at nothing is sure to hit it

    Canyon Aeroad 7.0 summer missile
    Trek 2.1 winter hack
  • rafletcherrafletcher Posts: 1,235
    Spoke failure is almost always the result of (metal) fatigue - the repeated loading and unloading that happens during normal riding means a repeated stressing and unstressing of the spoke around the flages on the hub. When the first one goes (you didn't say where but often the drive side of the rear wheel is favourite - minimal dishing and maximum static tension) it's a signal that all the spokes will be nearing the end of their lives.

    A relatively inexpensive bike will have machine built wheels with perhaps lower strength spokes when compared to a mroe expensive bike/wheelset.

    So as suggested above get the wheel rebuilt with new spokes. Or buy a better quality replacement wheel.

    Your weight is not a significant element in this process.
  • wombarwombar Posts: 119
    +1 to what the others have said. Ideally you want to stop riding as soon as you break a spoke, but that's not always possible if you're 20 miles from home.

    Maybe look at getting a fiberfix spoke for future use as that will re-inforce the wheel enough to get you home without (hopefully) doing too much further damage.

    Get the whole wheel rebuilt (i.e. replace all spokes) or alternatively look at buying some off the shelf ones. You can get a reasonable set of wheels for ~£90.
  • y33stuy33stu Posts: 376
    Thanks all for your help.

    I've just gone and ordered a new rear wheel. Hopefully that will solve all my problems and stop me panicing when i'm an hour from home!

    Thanks again
    Cycling prints
    Band of Climbers
  • rafletcherrafletcher Posts: 1,235
    And now you can mull over trying to rebuild the old wheel yourself with some new spokes! Or even a new rim as well :D
  • mz__jomz__jo Posts: 398
    rafletcher wrote:
    And now you can mull over trying to rebuild the old wheel yourself with some new spokes! Or even a new rim as well :D

    +1.
    But before you do check the rear hub. If it is a cheap one the flanges may be not as thick as a better class item which allows a bit more movement under load of the spokes and leads to a more rapid onset of fatigue problems. Try to compare your rear wheel with a more expensive one (with a similar form of spoke, don't compare straight spokes with elbowed ones!) and you might see a difference. It pays to have a hub that supports the elbow of the spoke properly (elbow or bend, I have forgotten the correct word in english)..
  • andysolandysol Posts: 125
    I had the same problem and it was completely resolved when i replaced all the spokes with new good quality ones. Same hub / rim was used

    For me this problem was the rear wheel. I guess it takes the most strain


    Andy :)
    Evidently i mostly have a FCN of 1. I'm now a lady!
  • fate must have been listening to this conversation as I broke another spoke this morning.... :(
    A person who aims at nothing is sure to hit it

    Canyon Aeroad 7.0 summer missile
    Trek 2.1 winter hack
  • I had the same problem,

    DT Swiss RR1900 rear wheel, broke a spoke, got it replaced, next time out broke another one got it replaced, the next ride the same...
    I bought a Mavic Aksium for now so I can keep going and will have the DT Swiss rear wheel respoked. That should sort it out...

    If you have several spokes breaking in a short timespan the rigidity of the wheel is compromised, there is no point trying to fix it by replacing spokes...
  • Given the bargain price of some of the off-the-shelf wheelsets around these days, I think having a budget wheel rebuilt would be a false economy really. Something like Shimano R500's can be had for a little over £100 per pair
  • Given the bargain price of some of the off-the-shelf wheelsets around these days, I think having a budget wheel rebuilt would be a false economy really. Something like Shimano R500's can be had for a little over £100 per pair

    It depends... if you have a good wheelset and invest 50-100 quid in a rebuild, you'll end up with wheels which are worth well over the 100 quid you pay for budget wheels.
    There is a reason why some wheels are on sale at 100 pounds a pair... they are rubbish... they might work fine for a season, even two... but then they'll be good for the bin. In the meantime they might give you quite some grief...

    Of course I agree it is not worth rebuilding a set of budget wheels

    That said, many cyclists around change their bike/parts every season or so, in which case the Shimano/Planet X/PROLite & Co. disposable wheels are probably the best deal
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,123
    Merlin have the R501's for £70 a pair. That is a bargain.
  • MrChuckMrChuck Posts: 1,663
    DT Swiss RR1900 rear wheel, broke a spoke, got it replaced, next time out broke another one got it replaced, the next ride the same...

    Similar problem with my commuter a few weeks ago- broke a spoke in the front, and then 2 more over the next few days. After replacing the 3rd one it's been alright, touch wood...
  • geoff_ssgeoff_ss Posts: 1,234
    One way of preventing spoke breakages is to fit a small washer on the spoke so that it effectively makes the flange thicker. I've done that in the past for tandem rear wheels which have a harder job than on a solo - especially when touring with panniers. It was quite a common practice at one time.
    Old cyclists never die; they just fit smaller chainrings ... and pedal faster
  • rafletcherrafletcher Posts: 1,235
    Given the bargain price of some of the off-the-shelf wheelsets around these days, I think having a budget wheel rebuilt would be a false economy really. Something like Shimano R500's can be had for a little over £100 per pair

    Thats why I suggested rebuilding it himself. :)
  • When replacing the spoke they just tightened it up, but should have rechecked all the tensions and made sure it was fairly even.

    A guitar plectrum is your friend. Plucking all the spokes on one side of the wheel (then they other) to make sure they are tuned fairly similar is the first stage of wheel building. After then you make small adjustments to true up the wheel.
  • Given the bargain price of some of the off-the-shelf wheelsets around these days, I think having a budget wheel rebuilt would be a false economy really. Something like Shimano R500's can be had for a little over £100 per pair

    True. I would say stripping the wheel and selling the rim and hub separately would raise some money.
  • Wirral_Paul wrote:
    Given the bargain price of some of the off-the-shelf wheelsets around these days, I think having a budget wheel rebuilt would be a false economy really. Something like Shimano R500's can be had for a little over £100 per pair

    Raflether wrote:
    Thats why I suggested rebuilding it himself.


    This is very true. At worst its an opportunity to buy a few spokes, sort out a truing stand (or make one) and have a go at building and truing it up even if purchasing some other wheels. I found a download for a wheel building book online. Let me try and find it..[/url][/quote]
  • http://uspace.shef.ac.uk/servlet/JiveServlet/previewBody/8717-102-1-18381/wheelbuilding%20by%20Roger%20Musson.pdf

    In work so cant check the link - but it was find in June when i received it
    Not that i'd ever condone downloading a book of course!! :D
  • Geoff_SS wrote:
    One way of preventing spoke breakages is to fit a small washer on the spoke so that it effectively makes the flange thicker. I've done that in the past for tandem rear wheels which have a harder job than on a solo - especially when touring with panniers. It was quite a common practice at one time.

    You will be pleased to know that I still use brass washers for my builds... whenever possible... some flanges have holes drilled in a way that the spoke head sits in a groove, making it impossible to fit a washer
  • deswellerdesweller Posts: 5,175
    http://uspace.shef.ac.uk/servlet/JiveServlet/previewBody/8717-102-1-18381/wheelbuilding%20by%20Roger%20Musson.pdf

    In work so cant check the link - but it was find in June when i received it
    Not that i'd ever condone downloading a book of course!! :D

    Given the effort that Roger's put into constructing this book, may I suggest that the classy thing to do would be to head over to WheelPro and make a legitimate purchase?
    - - - - - - - - - -
    On Strava.{/url}
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