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Spoke broke and left me stranded.

Kaiser SoseKaiser Sose Posts: 90
edited May 2021 in Road general
Hi everyone,

Got some good mileage on my 2017 Ksyrium Pro SL's summer wheels. In very good condition still. 20 spokes on these.

Last night, despite my best efforts I ran over a stone and immediately lost control of the bike when a rear, drive-side spoke broke such that instantaneously the wheel could no longer turn in the rear frame and jammed. I was doing about 18mph at the time so not too serious but could have been had I been doing 50mph down hill 😱

My question is, should a 20 spoke wheel survive the outage of one spoke? I was quite surprised it didn't. I do check my bike thoroughly once per week so none of them were loose or on the way out before that I could tell. Mine clearly didn't survive a single spoke loss and it left me stranded since the wheel was way out of shape and would no longer turn in the forks. I was 25 miles from home and, fortunately, my fiancee was available to rescue me.

I am a big, powerfully built rugby playing sprinter type at 16.5 stone and 6ft2 so the bike and wheels get some serious abuse at my weight - could that be something to do with it????? Were I lighter could the loss of the one spoke held up a bit more maybe?

Stay safe.
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Posts

  • pblakeneypblakeney Posts: 19,110
    Low spoke count wheels have their downsides, as you've discovered. This should be a consideration when buying, especially if heavy. Door and bolted though. 😉
    The above may be fact, or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting.
    I am not sure. You have no chance.
    Veronese68 wrote:
    PB is the most sensible person on here.
  • Kaiser SoseKaiser Sose Posts: 90
    I never thought of it that way @pblakeney.

    Maybe I need to get some more robust wheels then until I can get my weight down more which is what I am trying to do now I have stopped playing rugby.
  • MattFalleMattFalle Posts: 9,197
    1 broken spoke in 4 years leading to an out of true wheel caused by failing to avoid a stone in the road.

    Doesn't sound too bad tbh.

    You could have snapped that soke and had nothing major happen at all.

    Its just what it is, I wouldn't over think it.

    New spoke, get the wheel trued, crack on fella.
  • In answer to your question then as pb has said.

    I have experience of this also but on a set of Ksyrium ES wheels and the issue I found was that the nipple/spoke interface on the integrated nipples had corroded and seized. So the biggest issue was that once one spoke had snapped and was replaced it was almost impossible to completely true the wheel again due to the other spoke nipples not turning. This led to me carrying a few spare spokes (stuffed in bubble wrap inside the seat tube) and the special spoke key around for a while for fear of having to be rescued. In the end (and after more than one rescue) I rebuilt with a new rim and new spokes all round.

    It could be that you have a similar issue as it's fairly common with the Ksyriums especially if they have winter use and the salts from the road start to get into the rim. In my experience the wheels generally stay really true and you only realise you have an issue once a spoke snaps and you try and re-true after replacing it.

    I have a set of SLR and even though they never see a winter road I have got into the habit of giving the nipples a quarter turn and back again every now and then to make sure they don't seize and I can re-true easily if required.

    I'm a bigger guy too and have generally gone for building wheels up now with 28 rear spoke count. Lots of threads on here for recommendations for wheel builders as well if you were looking to buy some.

  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 26,759

    I never thought of it that way @pblakeney.

    Maybe I need to get some more robust wheels then until I can get my weight down more which is what I am trying to do now I have stopped playing rugby.

    Yes, you are too big for Ksyrium to last... they've done well to be honest. I'm 10.5 stones and wouldn't use anything with fewer than 24 spokes at the back
  • MattFalleMattFalle Posts: 9,197
    13.3 stone of rugged handsomeness here and never had any problem with any wheels.

    so long as you aren't mahoosif or buying some mad ultralightweight bespoke carbon wheel I wouldn't really overthink it tbh.

    OP is fine on the Kyseriums.
  • For most sets of Ksyriums Mavic recommend max combined weight of rider and all equipment to be 100kg.
  • Kaiser SoseKaiser Sose Posts: 90
    I may get both wheels looked at to check for any corrosion at the nipples in case any other spokes are ready to go. I have never used these wheels in winter and only rarely in the wet (and that only when I get caught out in the rain).

    I am hoping to get down to below 100Kg for sure - 90Kg if I can - all the way down from my current 110Kg. I acknowledge I am a larger cyclist and it stresses the bike and wheels more.
  • Kaiser SoseKaiser Sose Posts: 90
    Maybe these could help me?
    https://www.stradawheels.co.uk/product/big-fella-deluxe/

    Anyone know anything about those guys please?
  • singletonsingleton Posts: 2,177
    If you're 110Kg without the bike then you're probably over the limit - but marginally. According to this the wheels have a total weight limit of 120Kg:
    https://www.sigmasports.com/item/Mavic/Ksyrium-Pro-SL-25-Wheelset-2017/9O1A

    If you do get new wheels in future then it's something to consider.
  • pblakeneypblakeney Posts: 19,110

    Maybe these could help me?
    https://www.stradawheels.co.uk/product/big-fella-deluxe/

    Anyone know anything about those guys please?

    No. I would recommend https://thecycleclinic.co.uk though.
    The above may be fact, or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting.
    I am not sure. You have no chance.
    Veronese68 wrote:
    PB is the most sensible person on here.
  • MattFalleMattFalle Posts: 9,197
    well his pair lasted him 4 years with only one broken spoke so i'd say he was alright.

    i'd also say that was a limit on the very very safe side as its only 14 stone, so me, my bike and a bag with lunch and spare clothes.
  • andyrrandyrr Posts: 1,665
    The OP's question was whether the wheel should have gone so dramatically out of shape from a single spoke going pop.
    Is it not the case that the spokes in Ksyriums are very highly tensioned resulting in stiff wheels for a low spoke count but the effect of 1 breaking is catastrophic?
  • MattFalleMattFalle Posts: 9,197
    nah.

    it just happened. I had spokes break in Kyseriums and Aksiums and they were fine.

    refer to mountain/molehill thread
  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 26,759
    I'll leave it here for you guys to read, so we put a lid to the spread of nonsense. There is no right or wrong or black or white, what is clear is that the OP is at the upper end of what the wheel has been designed for, which means that he will be at the lower end of the reliability curve. Strada have been around for ages, they charge a premium but you get a good product.

    https://whosatthewheel.com/2017/11/12/the-bicycle-wheel-basic-dynamics/
  • andyrr said:

    The OP's question was whether the wheel should have gone so dramatically out of shape from a single spoke going pop.
    Is it not the case that the spokes in Ksyriums are very highly tensioned resulting in stiff wheels for a low spoke count but the effect of 1 breaking is catastrophic?

    I'd agree - they are generally very well built stiff wheels and stay true. My first hand experience is that they won't fail catastrophically but if you have a frame with fairly tight lateral clearance on the chainstays then you could end up being stranded. The bigger issue is as per my answer above.
  • Munsford0Munsford0 Posts: 103
    I'm only 63kg and snapped a rear drive-side spoke on a basic Shimano wheel with 20 spokes. It immediately went so far out of true it jammed against the chainstay. No amount of work with the spoke key could make it rideable so I had to phone home for a lift.

    Low spoke count wheels may look good but they have the potential to pringle when one of them breaks
  • Kaiser SoseKaiser Sose Posts: 90
    Munsford0 said:

    I'm only 63kg and snapped a rear drive-side spoke on a basic Shimano wheel with 20 spokes. It immediately went so far out of true it jammed against the chainstay. No amount of work with the spoke key could make it rideable so I had to phone home for a lift.

    Low spoke count wheels may look good but they have the potential to pringle when one of them breaks

    That is exactly what happened to me last night. Rear wheel so far out it would not turn and I could not even limp home.
  • shirley_bassoshirley_basso Posts: 5,265
    In answer to your original question:

    Low spoke wheels go severely out of true if / when a spoke breaks
    The heavier you are, the more likely it is that wheels will fatigue more quickly
    Higher spoke wheels retain their shape better if a spoke breaks and you can tighten / loosen adjacent spokes to make up for it.

    I broke a spoke on my 36h pub bike last week. I still haven't been bothered to fix it as it doesn't make that much difference.
  • Kaiser SoseKaiser Sose Posts: 90
    I spoke to Malcolm at Borg. Very interesting chat and he said that, at my size, forget all the bling and expensive wheels and go for these which are simple and robust until I got down to a lighter weight.
    https://thecycleclinic.co.uk/collections/road-rim-brake-wheelsets/products/borg26-all-weather-tubeless-ready-clincher-700c-wheelset

    I asked him about the more expensive ones and he said why? There is simply no point at 16 stone wanting flash wheels. I will have a think about it. Unfortunately a five week wait time and I need some wheels now. I will put the Ksyriums to one side until I've got my weight down.

    BTW I am not that fat at all and 34" waist and can bench press 120kg. Just the muscular sort and tall with it. I will never be a climber but can sprint with the best of them and can put a lot of torque through the back wheel. Maybe that weakened it over time possibly.
  • shirley_bassoshirley_basso Posts: 5,265
    edited May 2021
    Malcolm is a very sensible advisor in this case.

    If you need something in the meantime just buy the cheapest high spoke wheel any online shop has. Think 32-36 spokes. It only needs to last 5 weeks.
  • pblakeneypblakeney Posts: 19,110
    You then have spare wheel set for future emergencies to boot.
    The above may be fact, or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting.
    I am not sure. You have no chance.
    Veronese68 wrote:
    PB is the most sensible person on here.
  • orraloonorraloon Posts: 9,932
    Another one saying 👍 to Malcolm cycleclinic's wheels. I'm also >100kg, have 32 spoke Borgs on the road bike, all good.
  • Kaiser SoseKaiser Sose Posts: 90
    orraloon said:

    Another one saying 👍 to Malcolm cycleclinic's wheels. I'm also >100kg, have 32 spoke Borgs on the road bike, all good.

    I am buying some whilst I get my weight down, they are only about £330 delivered and I can always sell them if I get my weight down enough, that is going to take the best part of this year so they will get plenty of use. I will get the Ksyriums checked out and refurbished.
    I consider myself fortunate that I did not hit that stone bombing down a hill, that could have been nasty the wheel jamming up like that.
  • joe_totale-2joe_totale-2 Posts: 1,333
    edited May 2021
    I'd add that just because a wheel is heavier than other options due to being more robust, it doesn't automatically mean that it'll perform worse than the lighter one.

    Sometimes a well built wheel with more spokes will be stiffer and more responsive than a lighter one.
  • Kaiser SoseKaiser Sose Posts: 90

    I'd add that just because a wheel is heavier than other options due to being more robust, it doesn't automatically mean that it'll perform worse than the lighter one.

    Sometimes a well built wheel with more spokes will be stiffer and more responsive than a lighter one.

    Indeed Joe. Performance is a low concern for me at the moment, being robust is of far greater importance.
    I've made sure I have my Uber account active now in case wheelset has a repeat performance - until I get the robust ones from Borg delivered - and I need a ride back home.
  • amrushtonamrushton Posts: 1,078

    I spoke to Malcolm at Borg. Very interesting chat and he said that, at my size, forget all the bling and expensive wheels and go for these which are simple and robust until I got down to a lighter weight.
    https://thecycleclinic.co.uk/collections/road-rim-brake-wheelsets/products/borg26-all-weather-tubeless-ready-clincher-700c-wheelset

    I asked him about the more expensive ones and he said why? There is simply no point at 16 stone wanting flash wheels. I will have a think about it. Unfortunately a five week wait time and I need some wheels now. I will put the Ksyriums to one side until I've got my weight down.

    BTW I am not that fat at all and 34" waist and can bench press 120kg. Just the muscular sort and tall with it. I will never be a climber but can sprint with the best of them and can put a lot of torque through the back wheel. Maybe that weakened it over time possibly.

    doesnt matter what you can press or who you can sprint with it's about those wheels and the rider and as Ugo said There is no right or wrong or black or white, what is clear is that the OP is at the upper end of what the wheel has been designed for, which means that he will be at the lower end of the reliability curve.
  • shortfallshortfall Posts: 3,287

    I spoke to Malcolm at Borg. Very interesting chat and he said that, at my size, forget all the bling and expensive wheels and go for these which are simple and robust until I got down to a lighter weight.
    https://thecycleclinic.co.uk/collections/road-rim-brake-wheelsets/products/borg26-all-weather-tubeless-ready-clincher-700c-wheelset

    I asked him about the more expensive ones and he said why? There is simply no point at 16 stone wanting flash wheels. I will have a think about it. Unfortunately a five week wait time and I need some wheels now. I will put the Ksyriums to one side until I've got my weight down.

    BTW I am not that fat at all and 34" waist and can bench press 120kg. Just the muscular sort and tall with it. I will never be a climber but can sprint with the best of them and can put a lot of torque through the back wheel. Maybe that weakened it over time possibly.

    Buy them. I'm a similar weight to you and own a pair and they're brilliant. I'd still give you the same advice if you weighed 60kg if I'm honest, they're just a great wheel
  • Kaiser SoseKaiser Sose Posts: 90
    Yes mate, I have bought them :). 3.5 weeks now to ride on my existing wheel set.

    I spoke to a couple of biking buddies about 20 spoke wheels and many said same thing as on here, that one spoke goes and it's phone home for a ride time...
  • Hi all, quick update. I now have the Borg 26's on the bike and did a quick, flat 20 miler to test them (and new chain, chainrings, cassette and bottom bracket) out. Wow! Brilliant wheels with great hubs that Malcolm uses. I am very impressed. They run as quick as the Ksyrium's from what I can tell and are very much cheaper than them. I have a 23mm Gatorskin on the front and a 25mm GP5000 on the rear although I am going to change them both for something more robust as per the "what 25mm tyre" thread
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