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Broke a spoke this morning - wheel ok to get me home?

chris_basschris_bass Posts: 4,913
edited November 2013 in Workshop
On my way to work this morning i snapped a spoke on my front wheel (shimano RS10) and as i was in the middle of nowhere only really had the option of carrying on, then a bit further down the road another one came out, it hink this may have been due to the first one going and either loosening the second one or over tightening it.

but i carried on as the wheel although it has a slight wobble (not half as bad as i'd expect since it has lost two spokes) felt pretty strong still, no bend when i push down on the handle bars and riding it felt ok. and for the rest of the journey it felt fine really.

will it be ok to get me home if i take it steady? its quite a long commute (over 30 miles). I have a spare wheel at home i can swap it with but thats not too much good to me right now!
www.conjunctivitis.com - a site for sore eyes
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  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,123
    I wouldn't ride it myself, certainly not for 30 miles. RS10 front wheels don't have many spokes to start with; losing 2 means the wheel strength is massively compromised.
  • 50/50... your call
  • majormantramajormantra Posts: 2,094
    You run the risk of a chain reaction of spokes loosening off, ending with the wheel totally de-tensioned. Are prepared for that eventuality if it happens in the middle of nowhere? As above, you don't have a lot of leeway with an RS10.
  • chris_basschris_bass Posts: 4,913
    hmmm, I may give it a go, although very nervously!

    i'm never too far civilisation along the route, have a phone and money so can always get a taxi if the worst happens, i'm leaving a bit earlier today so should be able to get pretty much all the way back before dark so that's something at least!
    www.conjunctivitis.com - a site for sore eyes
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,498
    10 miles and I'd chance it ...

    30 miles is a bit of an ask - if the lost spokes are adjacent then I'd not risk it - not enough support in the rim.
    I'd say you'd want to be taking it really easy if you do ride (at least it is on the front) - so your 30 mile commute could take 3 hours ...
    I'd be tempted to risk it if there was a bailout option - train/bus/lift on route ... otherwise I'd not risk it - it's only a commute!
  • Chris Bass wrote:
    hmmm, I may give it a go, although very nervously!

    i'm never too far civilisation along the route, have a phone and money so can always get a taxi if the worst happens, i'm leaving a bit earlier today so should be able to get pretty much all the way back before dark so that's something at least!

    One fewer fan on the RS 10 then, I suppose... :wink:
  • chris_basschris_bass Posts: 4,913
    Chris Bass wrote:
    hmmm, I may give it a go, although very nervously!

    i'm never too far civilisation along the route, have a phone and money so can always get a taxi if the worst happens, i'm leaving a bit earlier today so should be able to get pretty much all the way back before dark so that's something at least!

    One fewer fan on the RS 10 then, I suppose... :wink:

    kind of! i only use them because they are pretty cheap and up to now i've covered a lot of miles on them not had an issue! what would you recommend for about £100 a pair that are good for commutes in all weather and don't really require much maintaining (i do all my own maintenance but wheels are one thing i cant get the hang of!)? I usually just stick the RS10s on the commuter bike and run them into the ground and swap them over due to the low cost, probably not the best idea but when on offer they can be as low as £80 a pair which does make them pretty disposable!
    www.conjunctivitis.com - a site for sore eyes
  • chris_basschris_bass Posts: 4,913
    Slowbike wrote:
    10 miles and I'd chance it ...

    30 miles is a bit of an ask - if the lost spokes are adjacent then I'd not risk it - not enough support in the rim.
    I'd say you'd want to be taking it really easy if you do ride (at least it is on the front) - so your 30 mile commute could take 3 hours ...
    I'd be tempted to risk it if there was a bailout option - train/bus/lift on route ... otherwise I'd not risk it - it's only a commute!

    the spokes are on the same side and at about 120 degress from each other, ive triedd moving the wheel side to side by hand and it feels pretty strong still and pushing down on the handle bars while slowly rolling forwards doesnt seem to make the wheel flex to any great extent.
    www.conjunctivitis.com - a site for sore eyes
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,498
    120° sounds ok ish ... better than adjacent ones anyway!
    I'd take it easy, keep the speed down on any hills (descending!) and keep your weight back .. it'll not be pleasant - but you might make it ...

    I had my cassette fall off after the freehub fractured - I was aware that something was wrong at the top of a climb, then rode carefully for another 3 miles to the next village where I stopped to investigate further - taking the wheel off was a big mistake - the cassette fell off (as they do) and I couldn't get it all back together again to carry on ...
    I was just resigning myself to getting the bus - hoping they'd take me and a (broken) bike when a van from the business opposite where I work came past - flagged down and he happily gave me a lift (mountain biker) the final 4 miles to the end of my road ... :)
  • chris_basschris_bass Posts: 4,913
    Slowbike wrote:
    120° sounds ok ish ... better than adjacent ones anyway!
    I'd take it easy, keep the speed down on any hills (descending!) and keep your weight back .. it'll not be pleasant - but you might make it ...

    I had my cassette fall off after the freehub fractured - I was aware that something was wrong at the top of a climb, then rode carefully for another 3 miles to the next village where I stopped to investigate further - taking the wheel off was a big mistake - the cassette fell off (as they do) and I couldn't get it all back together again to carry on ...
    I was just resigning myself to getting the bus - hoping they'd take me and a (broken) bike when a van from the business opposite where I work came past - flagged down and he happily gave me a lift (mountain biker) the final 4 miles to the end of my road ... :)

    thanks, sounds like i'm a little better off than you were!

    the first 15 miles or so have plenty of places to bail out if needs be, buses and trains etc, so think i'll give it a go and se how I get on.

    I just checked the tension of the other spokes by hand and they seem ok, and the wheel does seem pretty sturdy still so i'll keep my fingers crossed, my weight towards the back and my speed low on decents and hope (no wheel pun intended!) for the best.
    www.conjunctivitis.com - a site for sore eyes
  • I really don't believe in the "cheap for winter use" policy... that's the time of the year when you want something reliable, rather than the cheapest junk you can buy. I can face a small walk in May, not so in December. It's difficult to get something decent for 100 pounds. The lowest end Shimano 500 are censored but at least they use normal J bend spokes that any shop stocks (so you would be sorted straightaway). The RS series is a bit fancier, using proprietary parts, but it's still a pile of censored .
    If you are not fussy with colours, weight and nonsense like that, you can have a pretty solid and reliable set of wheels built for 150 or so, but if you start getting difficult with the "I want the black stealth look" then that's not an option
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,123
    For my winter bike I went for the even cheaper option of R501's for just over £60 from Ribble. Plain gauge spokes and more of them.

    RS10's, now 6 years old, on the summer bike. Touch wood, still running smooth and true. Hopefully I won't regret saying that...
  • chris_basschris_bass Posts: 4,913
    I really don't believe in the "cheap for winter use" policy... that's the time of the year when you want something reliable, rather than the cheapest junk you can buy. I can face a small walk in May, not so in December. It's difficult to get something decent for 100 pounds. The lowest end Shimano 500 are censored but at least they use normal J bend spokes that any shop stocks (so you would be sorted straightaway). The RS series is a bit fancier, using proprietary parts, but it's still a pile of censored .
    If you are not fussy with colours, weight and nonsense like that, you can have a pretty solid and reliable set of wheels built for 150 or so, but if you start getting difficult with the "I want the black stealth look" then that's not an option

    It wasn't so much a cheaper for winter argument, more just thats kind of all i can afford at the moment, but i've got a spare front wheel i can use so might have to save up and get some more expensive but longer lasting commuter wheels after christmas.
    keef66 wrote:
    For my winter bike I went for the even cheaper option of R501's for just over £60 from Ribble. Plain gauge spokes and more of them.

    RS10's, now 6 years old, on the summer bike. Touch wood, still running smooth and true. Hopefully I won't regret saying that...

    don't worry, i think i've had enough bad luck recently for the two of us! hit by a car last monday and two broken spokes today!
    www.conjunctivitis.com - a site for sore eyes
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,498
    I really don't believe in the "cheap for winter use" policy... that's the time of the year when you want something reliable, rather than the cheapest junk you can buy. I can face a small walk in May, not so in December. It's difficult to get something decent for 100 pounds. The lowest end Shimano 500 are censored but at least they use normal J bend spokes that any shop stocks (so you would be sorted straightaway). The RS series is a bit fancier, using proprietary parts, but it's still a pile of censored .
    If you are not fussy with colours, weight and nonsense like that, you can have a pretty solid and reliable set of wheels built for 150 or so, but if you start getting difficult with the "I want the black stealth look" then that's not an option

    I think the thought process is more that cheaper factory wheels tend to be made from heavier material and therefore more tolerant to winter (ab)use - cheap also means that those rims which wear down won't be so expensive to replace.

    I've got - and used my stock wheels on the TriCross when I came up to Richmond - they're fine, but not fast and I wouldn't expect to pay much to replace them - hence I don't mind "trashing" them ...

    But yes - you need reliability in the winter ... and that's not generally your "go faster" wheelsets ... ;)
  • Slowbike wrote:

    I think the thought process is more that cheaper factory wheels tend to be made from heavier material and therefore more tolerant to winter (ab)use - cheap also means that those rims which wear down won't be so expensive to replace.

    That's not how it works. They are cheap because they use low quality parts: the lowest quality bearings are used, with the lowest roundness and poor cones machining. Low quality spokes are used (not even stainless steel), often galvanised in dark to mask their poor quality. The rims are hardly round, meaning they need uneven tensions to stay true, which leads to increased fatigue. The assembly is poor, typically machine laced or hand laced in sweatshops. The result is a wheelset that has a lifespam about 10 times lower than something made with quality parts at a similar finished weight.
    If you take 2 Kg as a benchmark, which is what these wheels weigh, it is possible to build some fairly basic wheels (say 105 hubs, stainless spokes and Ryde Chrina rims) that last tens of thousands of miles regardless of the user. They cost a bit more, not a lot more. Pounds per mile they are a hell of a lot cheaper
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,123
    "cheap also means that those rims which wear down won't be so expensive to replace"

    That's where the theory breaks down for many factory wheels; replacement rims are either stupidly expensive, or simply not available. Even if you can obtain a suitable rim, if you then have to pay somebody to rebuild the wheel it makes no sense economically. So I treat them effectively as consumables.

    Might be different if I could build wheels I suppose.

    But then I suspect I'd want to build some nice ones instead...

    Edited to say I'd found RS10 rims for €36 online. Plus delivery. From somewhere in Poland. Website looks a bit iffy. Maybe not then.

    Or RS20 rims are £50 from Madison. No Rs10 rims listed though
  • sungodsungod Posts: 13,533
    what's your route like?

    rs10s seem to have a reputation for spokes failing

    your front wheel has lost 2 out of 16 spokes, the ones adjacent to the failures are now under much higher load

    no idea how likely mass spoke failure under hard braking would be - which you may need to do on a downhill section, but most of the braking force will be going through the remaining spokes

    not sure i'd ride it
    my bike - faster than god's and twice as shiny
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,498
    sungod wrote:
    no idea how likely mass spoke failure under hard braking would be - which you may need to do on a downhill section, but most of the braking force will be going through the remaining spokes
    Unless you used your back brake only and hung your censored off the back ... ;)
  • kajjalkajjal Posts: 3,380
    I wouldn't risk riding it 30 miles, if it fails in traffic and you are very unlucky you could end up under a car.

    Open pro wheels are cheap enough with higher spoke counts to give reliability in winter.
  • sungodsungod Posts: 13,533
    Slowbike wrote:
    sungod wrote:
    no idea how likely mass spoke failure under hard braking would be - which you may need to do on a downhill section, but most of the braking force will be going through the remaining spokes
    Unless you used your back brake only and hung your ars* off the back ... ;)

    yeah, but i'm talking about hard braking, do that on the rear on a road tyre, you're in a world of skid
    my bike - faster than god's and twice as shiny
  • gozzygozzy Posts: 640
    The question now is, did you get home ok?
  • chris_basschris_bass Posts: 4,913
    Sorry for the delay, i made it home and more importantly so did the wheel, it was easily the most cautiously i have ridden but wheel is the same now as when i set off! phew!
    www.conjunctivitis.com - a site for sore eyes
  • crankycrankcrankycrank Posts: 1,830
    Chris Bass wrote:
    Sorry for the delay, i made it home and more importantly so did the wheel, it was easily the most cautiously i have ridden but wheel is the same now as when i set off! phew!
    Glad to hear it held up. It's nice to hear actual experiences to add to my list in case I'm out with someone having the same problem.
  • Let Shimano know... so the next model can easily be built with 14 spokes!
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,498
    Let Shimano know... so the next model can easily be built with 14 spokes!

    They'll probably do it with just 12 ...
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,123
    Nice to hear you made it.

    If you do replace the spokes, as a fellow RS10 owner I'd be interested to hear how the wheel fares longer term.
  • keef66 wrote:
    Nice to hear you made it.

    If you do replace the spokes, as a fellow RS10 owner I'd be interested to hear how the wheel fares longer term.

    Badly... spokes don't snap by bad luck, but by fatigue. If two have gone in a small space of time, the others will probably follow suit, unless those two were faulty, which knowing the quality of these it is entirely possible.
    Breaking spokes on the front wheel is really unusual and denotes terrible quality
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,123
    But replacing all the spokes, even though there's only 16 of them, is an expensive proposition if you do the work yourself. Add in labour for a wheel builder and it's bonkers, especially if the rim is partially worn.
  • keef66 wrote:
    But replacing all the spokes, even though there's only 16 of them, is an expensive proposition if you do the work yourself. Add in labour for a wheel builder and it's bonkers, especially if the rim is partially worn.

    Agree, that would be madness. On the other hand, I am replacing 8 of them mowed by the derailleur on a guy's hand built wheel tomorrow and the bill comes at £ 15
  • chris_basschris_bass Posts: 4,913
    Let Shimano know... so the next model can easily be built with 14 spokes!

    haha!! i'm just a weight weenie really and thought i could shed a few grams with the odd spoke or two!!
    www.conjunctivitis.com - a site for sore eyes
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