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Best place online to buy spokes?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
The spokes on my rear wheel have been breaking and I have replaced some of them and need to replace more. I will eventually replace all the spokes, at least on the drive side where they have been breaking.

There are a lot of places online to buy spokes, but many places only sell them in quantities of about 72, and other places will charge unreasonable shipping and handling charges. Is there any place online where I can buy about 12 spokes and the shipping charge will be $5 or less? So far I haven't found such a place. I need 292 mm and 14 gauge (2.0 mm) spokes.
post #2 of 14

Re: Best place online to buy spokes?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ABG View Post
The spokes on my rear wheel have been breaking and I have replaced some of them and need to replace more. I will eventually replace all the spokes, at least on the drive side where they have been breaking.

There are a lot of places online to buy spokes, but many places only sell them in quantities of about 72, and other places will charge unreasonable shipping and handling charges. Is there any place online where I can buy about 12 spokes and the shipping charge will be $5 or less? So far I haven't found such a place. I need 292 mm and 14 gauge (2.0 mm) spokes.
Your best bet is to email or call a wheel builder.
post #3 of 14

Re: Best place online to buy spokes?

The LBS here sell spokes individually. I bought a 294mm last week, DT 14/15, for $1.40 with the nipple. This was for my old beater bike with 36 spoke wheel: it was still rideable with the broken spoke but decided it was time to true things up. Even greased the bearings and freehub for the first time

But if spokes are starting to break in your rear wheel, replacing spokes one at a time doesn't make sense to me. Wouldn't it be a lot more efficient just to take the wheel to a builder (most LBS do it) and have everything done at once for a minimal labor charge? Starting with an evenly-tensioned rebuild will give you better results in the long run, and it's not expensive.
post #4 of 14

Re: Best place online to buy spokes?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dhk2 View Post
The LBS here sell spokes individually. I bought a 294mm last week, DT 14/15, for $1.40 with the nipple. This was for my old beater bike with 36 spoke wheel: it was still rideable with the broken spoke but decided it was time to true things up. Even greased the bearings and freehub for the first time

But if spokes are starting to break in your rear wheel, replacing spokes one at a time doesn't make sense to me. Wouldn't it be a lot more efficient just to take the wheel to a builder (most LBS do it) and have everything done at once for a minimal labor charge? Starting with an evenly-tensioned rebuild will give you better results in the long run, and it's not expensive.
For this poster and the original poster.

First-$1.40 for ONE SPOKE!! Yowser, making the days $ one spoke at a time. Just for comparison, we sell 14/15 silver with brass nipp for $.80.

For the OP. It's not the spokes, generally, but the rim that is deformed causing erratic tension around the wheel, breaking spokes. Think of bending a wire coat hanger back-forth, back-forth-break. The other thing may be your spoke tension is really low, causing the same erratic tension. If so, the rim may be really deformed as well(read-bent). You can try to replace spokes and true and tension but I'll bet the tension is really uneven even if the tension is in the ball; park. Solution? New rim, probably new spokes and built well.
post #5 of 14

Re: Best place online to buy spokes?

I hope other members would love to share their great photos and experiences in this topic.
post #6 of 14

Re: Best place online to buy spokes?

Yes, I went to the most expensive LBS in town since he's the closest. A Cannondale and Mavic dealer, they do good work but I've never seen a discount on anything there. Could explain why C'dale bikes aren't too popular here. You price sounds much better, but you're in a town with an LBS on almost every corner

Speaking of spokes, do you have capability to cut and thread them? I'm asking because my Velomax/Easton wheels use the twin-threaded spokes, and I was told many LBS could make them by cutting down and threading a regular spoke. True?
post #7 of 14

Re: Best place online to buy spokes?

Just a thought, but the spokes on the cassette side of your wheel could be too tight,
is there a buckle in the wheel requiring extra tension to pull it true?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ABG View Post
The spokes on my rear wheel have been breaking and I have replaced some of them and need to replace more. I will eventually replace all the spokes, at least on the drive side where they have been breaking.

There are a lot of places online to buy spokes, but many places only sell them in quantities of about 72, and other places will charge unreasonable shipping and handling charges. Is there any place online where I can buy about 12 spokes and the shipping charge will be $5 or less? So far I haven't found such a place. I need 292 mm and 14 gauge (2.0 mm) spokes.
post #8 of 14

Re: Best place online to buy spokes?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dhk2 View Post
Yes, I went to the most expensive LBS in town since he's the closest. A Cannondale and Mavic dealer, they do good work but I've never seen a discount on anything there. Could explain why C'dale bikes aren't too popular here. You price sounds much better, but you're in a town with an LBS on almost every corner
Why a certain bike is popular somewhere is prolly a function of the manufacturer's rep(resentative) for that area, what other brands a dealer (or dealers) sell (I think some companies, maybe Specialized, Trek......I reserve the right to be wrong.....limit what other brands can be sold...or at least try), and what the cycling population is like in that area. If there are a lot of racers, you'll see a lot of Cannondales (older CAAD frames can be had for a couple hundred bucks). I think brands like Specialized and Trek are better setup to service more remote areas.
post #9 of 14

Re: Best place online to buy spokes?

Believe it's mostly the shop owners attitude. When you have the reputation of "most expensive shop in town", it drives away a lot of the veteran riders who are looking for deals. Although both partners are current racers, most of the customers seem to be fitness/recreational riders, or parents buying bikes for their kids.

When in the shop, I checked out the new Cannondales. The CAAD9 frame uses their "pro-race" geometry setup, and does appear to be a bargain now (at least vs the Six and Super Six CF bikes). Believe the CAAD9 w/Sram Rival was priced at $1699. Plus, they still proudly say "handmade in the USA".....not many mass-market bikes can claim that anymore.
post #10 of 14

Re: Best place online to buy spokes?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dhk2 View Post
Yes, I went to the most expensive LBS in town since he's the closest. A Cannondale and Mavic dealer, they do good work but I've never seen a discount on anything there. Could explain why C'dale bikes aren't too popular here. You price sounds much better, but you're in a town with an LBS on almost every corner

Yup can say that twice. 16 in Boulder, 6 w/i 20 blocks of Vecchio's. BUT $.80 is a normal margin on spokes, using the cost from even the most expensive suppliers.

Speaking of spokes, do you have capability to cut and thread them? I'm asking because my Velomax/Easton wheels use the twin-threaded spokes, and I was told many LBS could make them by cutting down and threading a regular spoke. True?
Yes we do, we have a Phil spoke cutter.
post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 

Re: Best place online to buy spokes?

For now I'll just buy spokes individually from the LBS. They are $1 each, which isn't the worst thing in the world. They do sell them online for about 50 cents each, but with unreasonable shipping charges. What can I say, I'm a cheapskate. No one here seems to have mentioned any bike component sites that charge reasonable shipping charges for something as light and small as a dozen spokes, so I'll just stick with the LBS for now.

I have no plans to buy a new wheel since the one I use isn't that old at all and I have absolutely no desire to spend $200+ on a decent new wheel. Yes, I've broken so many spokes at this point - I've replaced 7 of them on the rear wheel so far, all on the derailleur side. It's a good idea at this point to get the wheel straightened at the LBS, perhaps after replacing all the spokes on the derailleur side of the rear wheel. I have checked the spoke tension myself by plucking them like a harp, and they don't sound under-tensioned. I used this method to also even out the tension of the spokes. I had replaced 5 spokes on the rear wheel, and for about 7 weeks I had no broken spokes and used my bike frequently, sometimes with heavy loads. That changed this week when I broke 2 more.

I'm pretty sure the rim isn't bent. I do things like carry 40 pounds of groceries on my bike and ride on metro Boston city streets. But more importantly, I dislike leaving my bike for repairs and having it in the shop for 4 or more days. I don't own a car and my bike really is something I depend on every day, so I prefer to do all repair myself. Right now I don't have a second back-up bike. Although it's gotten to the point that I'll have to leave it for repair anyway and swallow my pride and take the bus.

I have noticed that my old spokes were some off-brand (they have an "R" logo on the nub-end of the spoke) and my new spokes are both Wheelsmith and DT Swiss brand. I don't know if this will really make a difference. In the future, can I mix butted spokes with the straight spokes I have on now? The butted spokes supposedly resist breaking better than the straight ones, from what I've read.
post #12 of 14

Re: Best place online to buy spokes?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ABG View Post
For now I'll just buy spokes individually from the LBS. They are $1 each, which isn't the worst thing in the world. They do sell them online for about 50 cents each, but with unreasonable shipping charges. What can I say, I'm a cheapskate. No one here seems to have mentioned any bike component sites that charge reasonable shipping charges for something as light and small as a dozen spokes, so I'll just stick with the LBS for now.

I have no plans to buy a new wheel since the one I use isn't that old at all and I have absolutely no desire to spend $200+ on a decent new wheel. Yes, I've broken so many spokes at this point - I've replaced 7 of them on the rear wheel so far, all on the derailleur side. It's a good idea at this point to get the wheel straightened at the LBS, perhaps after replacing all the spokes on the derailleur side of the rear wheel. I have checked the spoke tension myself by plucking them like a harp, and they don't sound under-tensioned. I used this method to also even out the tension of the spokes. I had replaced 5 spokes on the rear wheel, and for about 7 weeks I had no broken spokes and used my bike frequently, sometimes with heavy loads. That changed this week when I broke 2 more.

I'm pretty sure the rim isn't bent. I do things like carry 40 pounds of groceries on my bike and ride on metro Boston city streets. But more importantly, I dislike leaving my bike for repairs and having it in the shop for 4 or more days. I don't own a car and my bike really is something I depend on every day, so I prefer to do all repair myself. Right now I don't have a second back-up bike. Although it's gotten to the point that I'll have to leave it for repair anyway and swallow my pride and take the bus.

I have noticed that my old spokes were some off-brand (they have an "R" logo on the nub-end of the spoke) and my new spokes are both Wheelsmith and DT Swiss brand. I don't know if this will really make a difference. In the future, can I mix butted spokes with the straight spokes I have on now? The butted spokes supposedly resist breaking better than the straight ones, from what I've read.
Sure you can mix straight gauge and butted spokes but replacing all the drive side spokes, IMHO, won't keep you from breaking spokes. I still think you need a new rim, good build. It doesn't have to be visibly dented, just deformed to the point that the tension is uneven.

Can't make an appointment at a bike shop for same day service?
post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 

Re: Best place online to buy spokes?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter@vecchios View Post
Sure you can mix straight gauge and butted spokes but replacing all the drive side spokes, IMHO, won't keep you from breaking spokes. I still think you need a new rim, good build. It doesn't have to be visibly dented, just deformed to the point that the tension is uneven.

Can't make an appointment at a bike shop for same day service?
I have used a lot of different LBS's because I have moved a lot in the past few years. I just moved to my new home this past September. I don't know what the turnaround time is at Ace Wheelworks in Somerville, MA or at JRA in Medford, but at all places I've used, it's never the same day. I'll give it a try next week.

It's kind of lousy that my bike is doing this. The last bike I had I must have put over 5,000 miles on it over a year and a half, and I never broke a spoke on it and never even needed either wheel to be trued! Then that bike gets stolen and I buy this barely-used bike from someone and I immediately start breaking spokes left and right. WTF? I guess it's just chance if you end up with a bad wheel or not when you get a new bike. I'm also trying to learn how to do nearly everything myself so that I don't have to ever take my bike in for repair, but without training and having to learn everything myself from books and online, I am playing a game of catch-up with all the miles I put on my bike even as I learn more. I also don't own things like a truing stand or spoke tension tool.
post #14 of 14

Re: Best place online to buy spokes?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ABG View Post
I have noticed that my old spokes were some off-brand (they have an "R" logo on the nub-end of the spoke) and my new spokes are both Wheelsmith and DT Swiss brand.
The "R" stands for Robergel, a French brand that, according to Sheldon Brown, made the world's finest spokes until DT came along. Robergel has been gone for years, but I imagine people still build wheels using their spokes. See Vintage Bicycle Parts at BicycleClassics.com
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