Broken Spoke?



JoanMcWench

Active Member
Feb 17, 2015
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So, one of my spokes broke in an accident recently & I was wondering if I need to replace my wheel or should I fix the spoke? I ask because i've heard that if I replace the spoke the stability of the wheel might still be compromised. Is there a dramatic difference between a new wheel & a repaired one/
 

maydog

Well-Known Member
Feb 5, 2010
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No difference between a repaired wheel vs. a new one. I suppose there may be some exceptions with exotic wheelsets.

The issue with replacing a spoke is that it can become an iterative process. Other spokes may break later on. This may not be as big of an issue with accident induced breakage, but fatigue breakage almost guarantees that other spokes will break.

I had a few cheap, but nice enough to save, Mavic Aksium, rear wheels that were breaking spokes on the non drive side. I ended up respoking the whole side on both wheels. It took 1/2 hour per wheel and the spokes were inexpensive, the wheels are holding up well. Fixing a rear drive side takes more effort due to the higher tension.
 

westmixxin

New Member
Feb 17, 2015
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Once that happens it becomes increasingly difficult to ride because it usually starts to knock up against the rest of the bike which really makes me incredibly uncomfortable than I have to remove the entire thing and try to find a way to weld another one back on.
 

steve

Administrator
Staff member
Aug 12, 2001
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westmixxin said:
Once that happens it becomes increasingly difficult to ride because it usually starts to knock up against the rest of the bike which really makes me incredibly uncomfortable than I have to remove the entire thing and try to find a way to weld another one back on.
Weld another one back on? :D
 

CAMPYBOB

Well-Known Member
Sep 12, 2005
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3385180332_350w.jpg


Custom weld spinnerz, yo!
 

alfeng

Well-Known Member
Jul 23, 2005
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JoanMcWench said:
So, one of my spokes broke in an accident recently & I was wondering if I need to replace my wheel or should I fix the spoke? I ask because i've heard that if I replace the spoke the stability of the wheel might still be compromised. Is there a dramatic difference between a new wheel & a repaired one/
FWIW. I think that your broken spoke is a perfect opportunity for YOU to learn part of the ins-and-outs of wheel building ...

Because, unless you are confident of the shop that is going to replace the spoke, you will probably be inviting future problems ...

THAT IS, you will probably have better results in the long run if you treat this as a DIY endeavor ...

... because ONE key to a successful spoke replacement involves DE-TENSIONING all of the spokes ...

... and then, re-tensioning & re-truing the wheel as if it was a new build.

You do not need to make the spokes completely slack ...

Keep track of how many turns you loosen each spoke (that is, be consistent!!!) and it will be easier to re-tension & re-true the wheel ...

Depending on the wheel's original lacing, it is good to work around the wheel's circumference in thirds ...

So, let's say it is a 36h wheel & the spoke that is broken is immediately adjacent to the valve ...

Count 13 spokes (that is, one third + one ... ) over and loosen the spoke two-or-three turns of the spoke wrench (720º+) ...

OR (presuming all the nipples are the same -- DT nipples are different from other brands), until the edge of the thread shows on the hub side of the nipple ...

Count 13 more spokes over and loosen the spoke ...

Continue until you reach the broken spoke ...

Replace the spoke ...

Presuming you bought a replacement spoke which is the exact SAME length as the other spokes, then tighten the nipple until the same amount of spoke is viewable in the nipple when viewed from the rim side (that means the rim tape need to be removed, of course).

Now, with all the spokes equally un-tensioned, SLOWLY-and-METHODICALLY re-tension ALL of the spokes by repeating the process of partially tensioning the spokes an equal amount ...

Just turn the spoke wrench 360º, first ...

Then, 180º ...

Depending on how much you loosened the "good" spokes, initially, now begin making ~1/4 turn adjustments with the spoke wrench.

If you were methodical, then the wheel should be round/concentric ...

Now, you simply need to tweak the rim until it is laterally true.

A tensiometer is beneficial, but not necessary.

You can do it!
 

JoanMcWench

Active Member
Feb 17, 2015
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I think you're right. I'd much rather do it myself & know the proper work went into fixing it as opposed to riding around uncertain about it. Thanks.
 

artemidorus

New Member
Mar 10, 2004
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I would obtain the correct replacement spoke, lace it up, tension it up and then true the wheel aiming to do so by adjusting the tension of the new spoke only. If this wasn't approximately the same tension as other spokes on the same side, I'd be a little concerned about damage to the rim.

If I wasn't feeling lazy, I might then check the tension of all the other spokes, aiming to fix any gross departures from the average and then retrue the wheel. But I probably wouldn't bother.

I'd then see how I go. Most of the time no further trouble is had. Many of my wheels have one or two replaced spokes.

(I've just noticed that the site is calling me a "Newbie" with 1 post - I've been a forum member since 2004 and have several thousand posts. Not sure what's going on there)
 

JoanMcWench

Active Member
Feb 17, 2015
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artemidorus said:
(I've just noticed that the site is calling me a "Newbie" with 1 post - I've been a forum member since 2004 and have several thousand posts. Not sure what's going on there)
It was an update. Should be back to normal soon. I still value your suggestion as if you had several thousand posts though. :D
 

CAMS15

New Member
Feb 21, 2015
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There is actually no difference. Spokes come in different lengths, and the simplest method of obtaining a replacement is to take the wheel to your local bike shop, where the existing spokes can be measured, or a replacement ‘offered’ against it.