Breaking spokes - relacing the wheel?



I weight about 115kg. I ride a Felt F80. The felt has A-Class 2.0
wheels on it (http://www.aclass-wheels.com/road_akx20.html)

I have done about 1500km on the bike, and olnly really stareted
breaking spokes in the last 300km. I have broken two front spokes (one
at a time), and then on my last ride I broke a rear spoke.

The rear spoke was my second ride after truing the rear with some minor
adjustments with a spoke key, as I had found quite a wobble in it.

It broke when I got out of the saddle on a small rise - but I wasn't
really climbing hard or swinging the bike a lot.

I don't know how spokes work, but they look like they have the 90 turn
to go through the hole in the hub, and then have something like a rivet
head or they have been beaten out wider than the entrance to hold them
through.

The spokes have all broken at the hub, and it looks like the little
head has popped off or something - the right angle turn is still there.

I had a chat to the guys from City Bike Depot (in Sydney) and they said
that if I continued to bust spokes, then I should probably have the
entire wheel re-laced with new spokes.

I called KOTM in Neutral Bay today, and the guy I was talking to
recommended getting "Alpine" spokes. With the (~$2.50 each) costs for
spokes and labour (~$60/wheel) it looks like it will come in around
$200.

So should I get the wheels re-laced, or is it better value just to buy
a new wheelset (I don't have any idea of what that will cost)? Is the
advice on the "Alpine" spokes good?

I am only riding for fitness, so weight/aero doesn't matter, more
weight and less aero would probably be a good thing!

Clayton
 
B

Bleve

Guest
[email protected] wrote:

> I weight about 115kg. I ride a Felt F80. The felt has A-Class 2.0
> wheels on it (http://www.aclass-wheels.com/road_akx20.html)
>
> I have done about 1500km on the bike, and olnly really stareted
> breaking spokes in the last 300km. I have broken two front spokes (one
> at a time), and then on my last ride I broke a rear spoke.
>
> The rear spoke was my second ride after truing the rear with some minor
> adjustments with a spoke key, as I had found quite a wobble in it.
>
> It broke when I got out of the saddle on a small rise - but I wasn't
> really climbing hard or swinging the bike a lot.
>
> I don't know how spokes work, but they look like they have the 90 turn
> to go through the hole in the hub, and then have something like a rivet
> head or they have been beaten out wider than the entrance to hold them
> through.
>
> The spokes have all broken at the hub, and it looks like the little
> head has popped off or something - the right angle turn is still there.
>
> I had a chat to the guys from City Bike Depot (in Sydney) and they said
> that if I continued to bust spokes, then I should probably have the
> entire wheel re-laced with new spokes.
>
> I called KOTM in Neutral Bay today, and the guy I was talking to
> recommended getting "Alpine" spokes. With the (~$2.50 each) costs for
> spokes and labour (~$60/wheel) it looks like it will come in around
> $200.


I'd suggest rebuilding it with DT Champion spokes (should be around $1
each or so). It may be worth getting the existing wheel retensioned,
as spoke breakage is generally due to insufficient spoke tension, but
if it's pinging them lots, then the spokes are probably elcheapos and
you're best off getting a good wheelbuilder to respoke them.

A wheelset at an affordable level (Shimano R550s etc) will most likely
not be much better than you have now.

>
> So should I get the wheels re-laced, or is it better value just to buy
> a new wheelset (I don't have any idea of what that will cost)? Is the
> advice on the "Alpine" spokes good?
>
> I am only riding for fitness, so weight/aero doesn't matter, more
> weight and less aero would probably be a good thing!
>
> Clayton
 
B

BT Humble

Guest
[email protected] wrote:
> The spokes have all broken at the hub, and it looks like the little
> head has popped off or something - the right angle turn is still there.


That's been where every broken spoke that I've ever seen has broken
(ok, with the exception of those that snapped at the nipple when I was
trying to dismantle old, rusty wheels). It's the weakest point of the
spoke[1], so it's to be expected.

> I had a chat to the guys from City Bike Depot (in Sydney) and they said
> that if I continued to bust spokes, then I should probably have the
> entire wheel re-laced with new spokes.


That seems like good advice, it's possible that your wheels might have
been assembled late on a Friday afternoon or something. ;-)

I was getting broken spokes on my cheapish (~$250) Protech MTB until I
relaced the wheels. I was putting a hub dynamo in the front one, and I
re-used the spokes from an old 27" steel rim in a cross 4 pattern. The
rear was dismantled and relaced with its existing spokes, but I spent a
fair amount of time tensioning it properly. I haven't had a broken
spoke since then (about 3500km of commuting).

> I called KOTM in Neutral Bay today, and the guy I was talking to
> recommended getting "Alpine" spokes. With the (~$2.50 each) costs for
> spokes and labour (~$60/wheel) it looks like it will come in around
> $200.
>
> So should I get the wheels re-laced, or is it better value just to buy
> a new wheelset (I don't have any idea of what that will cost)? Is the
> advice on the "Alpine" spokes good?


I'd be inclined to buy a few spare spokes in the lengths you need, and
put aside a weekend to dismantle and rebuild them myself. It's a skill
worth having, and it's really not that difficult[2]. Make sure you get
a decent spoke key though, and grease the threads & nipples as Sheldon
suggests:

http://sheldonbrown.com/wheelbuild.html

> I am only riding for fitness, so weight/aero doesn't matter, more
> weight and less aero would probably be a good thing!


You're probably breaking more spokes than a lighter rider would, but
realistically 115kg is around what your average cycle tourist would be
carrying.


BTH
[1] Steel spokes are cold-formed, and putting that 90-degree bend in
weakens the steel at that point.
[2] Also, I'm a tight *******.
 
D

Dave Hughes

Guest
On Sun, 10 Dec 2006 02:04:52 -0800, BT Humble wrote:

> That's been where every broken spoke that I've ever seen has broken
> (ok, with the exception of those that snapped at the nipple when I was
> trying to dismantle old, rusty wheels). It's the weakest point of the
> spoke[1], so it's to be expected.


I'm fairly sure there's a section on Sheldon's site about stress
relieving, which will alleviate this problem. On spokes that have already
been ridden for some time it may not work too well. Get either so-so
spokes (straight gauge DT swiss or Sapim) or nice (butted in same brands)
and either pay someone to relace the wheel or DIY. Sheldon's site is good,
and where I first learned to build wheels (5 years + of abuse and still
straight on the first, and several more).

Disclaimer: I'm a part timer at CBD, but would offer this advice no matter
where you got the spokes.

--
Dave Hughes | [email protected]
Against boredom, the Gods themselves struggle in vain.
- Nietzche
 
P

Parbs

Guest
Bleve wrote:
>
> A wheelset at an affordable level (Shimano R550s etc) will most likely
> not be much better than you have now.


Sure, they're not particularly sexy or light but they're strong & very
cheep. I've been trying to destroy a set of these wheels for a month
now - have done a similar distance to the OP. Although I suspect the OP
hasn't been using his for XC racing and a little light urban.

Parbs - the skate park said no *mountain* bikes so my 'cross bike was OK
- wasn't it?