Broken Spokes

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by bkatelis, Dec 21, 2003.

  1. bkatelis

    bkatelis New Member

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    Hi,
    I'm a beginner who just bought a standard Trek 1400 and have only done about 600km on it ...

    In the last two weeks I have:
    - broken a spoke in the rear wheel
    - repaired it at the LBS (free of charge)
    - noticed front wheel is not true after a ride
    - taken the bike in for a service at the LBS
    - yesterday - went for a ride and broke 2 spokes in the rear wheel

    Now, Could people please let me know if this is normal - should I take it back to the LBS and request . Before you answer I should let you know that I am 6ft5" and 107 kg.

    Or should I just invest in better wheels. The wheels are standard Matrix (I think).

    thanks for you replies
     
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  2. bkatelis

    bkatelis New Member

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    Me again - noticed the original was incomplete so I have fixed it above.
     
  3. dhk

    dhk New Member

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    These wheels obviously aren't working for you. I'd talk to the LBS about upgrading the wheels; seems to me that they should offer some kind of trade-in or discount on something that will hold up....at least to get you through a one-year warranty.

    Lot's of choices to upgrade. The LBS may offer a Trek upgrade to Bontrager Selects. Or, for something that will last, you could have a good LBS built up a set of Mavic rims (eg, MA-3) on 105 hubs with 36 straight 14 gauge spokes, or order them on line. Just don't let them sell you on a $500+ set of lightweight race wheels.

    Dan
     
  4. daveornee

    daveornee New Member

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    The wheels were not properly built to begin with. Some spoke fatigue failure has already happened. Even if you get the wheels in best possible shape now you will likely continue breaking spokes.
    You could start with new spokes and nipples of high quality like DT or Sapim. If your shop can do a quality job and your rims and hubs are in good shape, this could be the least expensive option. Since you haven't already experienced failures in the front wheel, you could start the process with jsut the rear wheel.
    When the wheel is finished, the spokes should be aligned so that they follow the same path that a thread stretched tight passes from hub to rim hole. The spokes should have high and even tension on a per side basis. All residual wind-up should be removed and the spokes should be stress relieved.
    A good book to read on the subject: "The Bicycle Wheel" by Jobst Brandt.
    You can get a good understanding of the process at Sheldon Brown's web site URL:
    http://sheldonbrown.com/wheelbuild.html
     
  5. Steve Shapiro

    Steve Shapiro New Member

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    The front wheel should not go out of true just from riding. Ever. Nor should the back wheel if they are well built. At worst, well-built wheels should require only minor adjustment after long hard use. And breaking spokes just should not happen. Unless you mis-adjusted the rear derailer and shifted the chain into the spokes, it’s the shops responsibility. They sold you a bike with the implied guaranty that it would work for you. Did they say that you are too heavy for the wheels? I doubt it. Also, I doubt that the wheel’s components or design are the problem. Most likely, you got poorly built wheels. The shop / Trek should replace or rebuild them for you with the spokes properly tensioned and stress relieved. Your shop seems willing to work with you but may lack the competence to resolve your problem. Then, I would suggest you talk to Trek.

    When it comes time for you to get other wheels, note that wheels with straight gauge spokes are cheaper, but not more durable then wheels with butted spokes. Butted spokes can elongate further without yielding. Their resistance to fatigue is better. But, still the wheel has to be well built no matter what spokes or rims are used. You can build good wheels yourself or fix factory built wheels. It is not difficult. Read Jobst Brandt’s book “The Bicycle Wheel” or Sheldon Brown’s article at http://www.sheldonbrown.com/wheelbuild.html

    Brandt’s book is exhaustive and thorough and tells why things work as well as what to do. You don’t get all the charts and graphs with Brown’s article, but it is engagingly written with plenty of information and instruction. Both are great if you are interested in bicycle wheels.

    Good luck

    Steve Shapiro
     
  6. el Ingles

    el Ingles New Member

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    wheels will go off round , spokes will break but that´s stupid .
    ... Go back to the shop waving the garentee ( sorry not in my dictionary , dyslexia right ) because something is really wrong and I doubt fiddling about will help .
     
  7. bkatelis

    bkatelis New Member

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    Thanks folks for all your advice.

    The LBS actually rebuilt the rear wheel with DT spokes - free of charge - so hopefully this will fix the problem.


    bill
     
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