Obc...need spokes

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by CAMPYBOB, May 2, 2016.

  1. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    I popped a front spoke on the TREK Emonda...Bontrasher chicom wheels don't even have 3,000 miles on them yet and those have been pretty easy miles to boot.

    SAPIM CX aero spokes match the OEM spoke dimensions, but all I can find online are the smaller (but stronger) CX-Ray aero spokes.

    I measured the broken spoke with my Park Tool spoke length ruler and inserted it into the rear wheel to try to get measurements of the in-place rear spokes. I think I need 250 front, 284 and 286 rear length J-head, black finish 1.4 MM x 2.8 MM aero spokes. My local TREK dealer will try and score me some OEM spokes, but I'm not hopeful. Replacement parts are not their long suit.

    I ordered some of the CX-Ray's (0.9 MM x 2.2 MM) from http://www.bikehubstore.com/ just to get the wheel back on the road.

    Any idea on where to order either OEM or Sapim CX (preferred) replacement spokes?
     
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  2. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    I should have added:

    I'm looking for individual spokes, two or three of each length, not the 20-spoke boxes.
     
  3. oldbobcat

    oldbobcat Well-Known Member

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    Trek says they use DT Swiss, and on the dealer site I found 284, 287, and 288 mm bladed J-head New Aero spokes in black, straight 14 gauge. For the front, the closest in black I found was 253 mm. The dealer can buy them in boxes of 10; MSRP is 1.99 each for the shorter ones, 2.99 for the longer ones. QBP also has DT Swiss Aerolite bladed spokes, 232-300 mm, 2mm increments, in boxes of 20 or sold individually.

    I hope this helps.
     
  4. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Thanks!

    Dunno why I typed 250. I meant 280. I ordered 280, 284 and 286 lengths of SAPIM CX-RAY spokes from Bike HubStore.com.

    The fronts measure 278 minimum, measuring with a missing J-head. I'm guessing a 280 would work.

    The closest 'in place' measurement I could get on the rear spokes was 285 for both sides. I'll grabs some 287's and 288's for spares too. With the deep section double wall rims a little longer won't hurt.

    My TREK dealer called me back yesterday to verify lengths and said he could get DT. His mechanic measured a display model Emonda and came up with pretty much what I got. I told him to go for it. You can never have too many spare parts and the best way to guarantee a part never fails is...to have lots of spares on hand and ready to go obsolete.

    THE OEM spokes have a marked head, but I have not been able to read it with a magnifying glass and a flashlight! I'll try again this afternoon.

    I use the spoke head identification site http://www.mrrabbit.net/docs/spokeheads/main.html to cross reference brands.
     
  5. maydog

    maydog Well-Known Member

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    I am late to the party, but I would like to add that there is at least one wheelbuilder on Ebay that custom cuts spokes with rolled threads for a reasonable price. I've repaired and built a few wheels with them.
     
  6. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, Maydog. I'll take a look. I usually stick with DT or Sapim spokes as the quality is usually very good. Even the old Asahi spokes were good. Berg-Union were good spokes. The only real garbage I ever used was Robergel Trois Etoiles or however it's spelled. Chrome-plated brittle junk!

    I'm just trying to match the thickness and width of these OEM aero spokes up. Even if I stick the CX-Rays in, will anyone ever notice the .020" difference in width or the .020" difference in thickness? I doubt it. The weird thing is...the smaller profile (and therefore lighter and more aero) CX-Ray's are actually stronger than the larger CX's. Strange...

    I would also think that TREK dealers would just be able to walk to their factory linked computers and key in a few details like bike year & model and be able to pull up a part number and description for every piece on the bike. I mean it's not like Bontrasher and TREK aren't joined at the hip or no one knows what length and width/thickness spoke goes into those wheels.

    Or that buyers don't always need replacement spokes.

    There's two other threads running right now on this backwater forum asking about spokes (U's bent Mavic spoke thread and the Clydesdale guy that's popping spokes on his C-dale Synapse).

    And yeah, I'm old school. While I do not expect a dealer...even a TREK superstore type dealer...to stock every size, color and length of spoke for every bike he's sold in the last 10 years, I DO expect them to be able to KNOW what the dimensions are, have a P/N and be able to order them without faking it.

    Basically, they did the same thing I did...walk over to a built up wheel on a display model and try to get a half-assed accurate measurement. I thought we made some progress in the last 45 years of cycling...

    I know Mavic DOES list spokes in all their tech manuals by P/N and dimensions. I also know getting Mavic spokes can be easy and it can be a royal pain.

    Maybe I just needed to buy that $15,000 Emonda 10!
     
    #6 CAMPYBOB, May 3, 2016
    Last edited: May 3, 2016
  7. oldbobcat

    oldbobcat Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, you would think. But, you know about that disclaimer that appears in all the catalogs--"Manufacturer reserves the right to change the specification without prior notification . . ."? I think we're looking at one of those cases.

    Mavic's proprietary components and control are the beauty of their products. Also the bane, when you need replacements in a hurry. Trek's spoke specification might be loosey-goosey, but if you break a spoke in the middle of a big ride, most shops in the real world should be able to thread something in there that will work well enough to send you on your way.

    Just trying to look on the bright side.
     
  8. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Oh yeah...good old J-heads and any port in time of storm. Round or aero, as long as you find something ±2 MM in length or so you would be back on the road out of most mom & pop bike shops in 10 minutes.

    Mavic replacement parts are weird. I've had friends get spokes in a couple days and friends that waited weeks for spokes. I pre-bought Mavic freehub bushings 'just in case' the internet bullshit was true. I've torn down two sets of wheels that each ran three years and the internals were spotless and the bushing was in perfect shape. Like I said...buying spare parts is the perfect insurance against failure!

    Getting back to the lack of information and Bontrasher's relationship with TREK and the propensity to source components from China, we have lived in the computer era for what?...over two decades now. God invented databases and pdf files for a reason. Mid-production revisions, change orders and substitutions be damned, I still find no excuse in a high zoot bike shop not being able to go to one of the many terminal screens in the shop and pull up a part number or even the most basic of information...the length.

    And to have to resort to measuring in-place spokes? Oy vey! I asked you for advice thinking TREK had some cool dealer-only log in to a website that magically made the sales guys and mechanics life easier. I guess I have been spoiled by the knowledge the internet has brought to us.

    Like you, I like to see the bright side. You can't hear me laughing through the internet at this situation, but I am.

    And BTW, the spoke broke last Sunday and the BikeHubStore's spokes are still in transit with the USPS. The local TREK dealer is also still waiting. Probably be a week or so from snap to replacement. I leaned a spare wheel up against the Emonda just in case I decide to take it out. Rain today. Rain Tomorrow. Rain Saturday.

    Hmmmm? I wonder if any of my old stash of 3X high flange DT's will fit this low flange radial application? Nah! Not worth digging them out of storage!

    Thanks, again, for the assist and advice!
     
  9. dhk2

    dhk2 Active Member

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    Good discussion. I'm also not a fan of Bontrager wheels, and believe that Trek should be doing better on their expensive bikes. Maybe it's bias, but a buddy has had several wheel issues on two different Madones now. At least the dealer is quick to replace them under warranty.

    Don't know much about Mavics, but my new Lynskey came with the Mavic Ksyrium Elite wheelset. I'd prefer to have a conventional 32 spoke wheelset built by my LBS, but with the price offer on the Ksyrium's I decided to try them. They do use steel spokes now, and the rims look solid, so thought they would be worth a shot.

    Two observations about them so far. First, they are way out of balance. Despite being welded rims, they have an internal plug which makes them heavy opposite the valve stem hole. Sorry, but to me a wheelset that retails for what $800 ought to be balanced at the factory; I shouldn't have to add weights at home to stop them bouncing.

    Second, the spoke tension seems pretty uneven. I haven't tried to measure it, but just plucking and listening to the tone doesn't impress me. Question: would it be smart to borrow my Trek buddies spoke tension gauge and rework the wheels to even tension? I'd kindof like to do this, but am also concerned about creating problems where there aren't now. Maybe will wait until the warranty is up on the new wheels....opinions?
     
  10. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    I've had fantastic luck with Mavic Aksium bottom feeder wheels. I abuse the Hell out of them and they hold up like they were made from hardened tool steel. I weigh 160 pounds, but ride like I just stole the bike. $199 makes them a bargain in my book. As much as I love 32H, 3X handbuilts on Campy hubs and rims, Mavics work for me and weigh almost as little as mid-line carbon wonders that won't live through Ohio summers.

    Balance? I've never had a wheel of any type that I actually noticed being out of balance. Adding weight to a high zoot wheel does seem odd. Maybe use a heavy dweeb nut on the valve stem or one of those decorative valve caps?

    I checked the tension on my first pair of Aksiums and it's no wonder Mavic wheels are noted for being a little bit like wet spaghetti. The spokes were close to evenly tensioned and at the low end of Mavic's specs. I re-tensioned them and took the tension up just a bit to try and stiffen them up. That worked and the only problem I caused was some spoke nipple pinging. Most quieted right down, but I did have to flow a little synthetic oil around the nipples/rim seats to get the noises to completely go away. That might have been caused by Mavic's locking nipple seats...no clue though.

    I have not killed a Mavic spoke yet and my first pair have around 25K miles on them. The Bontrashers...all I did was rise up out of the saddle and...'PING'. J-heads...always have to grenade at the bend.
     
  11. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    I just checked the TREK Emonda's spoke heads for identification. They are marked with a stylized 'S' like this one from the mrrabbit.net spoke I.D. web page:

    [​IMG]

    Listed as: Unknown manufacturer and unknown country of origin.

    I'll take, "Lowest Chicom Bidder" for $1000, Alex!

    That stuff might work for dorks that cruise up and down the pan flat and smooth bike paths, but cheap spokes on craptastic roads with lots of out of the saddle power climbing...not so much.

    And from what I've learned from 45 years in the saddle is once a wheel starts popping spokes it doesn't stop. They all fatigue. I even got a bad batch of DT's once and spent a summer chasing one popped spoke after another on a front wheel I was racing and training on. I eventually got fed up and retired that wheel.
     
  12. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    zzzzzzz......

    Still waiting on the local TREK dealer...

    I received the Sapim C-X Ray spokes I ordered. They have been here for about a week. They will fit, but 'look' noticeably different from the OEM spokes...thinner in profile and the round sections at both ends are much shorter.
     
  13. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    Yes ...

    If you can borrow your friend's tensiometer, then do so ...​

    FWIW. I think that the PARK TOOL tensiometer is possibly the easiest to use ... but, I haven't tried any of the high-zoot gauges (e.g., DT Swiss). It's a tool worth buying, IMO, for people who ride a lot of miles ...

    Particularly if you ride on less than ideal surfaces more often than not.​
     
  14. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    I called TREK's customer 'support' yesterday.

    I got switched over to 'technical support'.

    Complete.
    Fucking.
    Clueless.
    Morons.

    I kept getting told their spokes were "generic" and available at "any bicycle store".

    No. They are NOT generic.
    No, they are NOT available at any store in my immediate area.
    After three repetitions of those two statements I wished the moron a fiery death and hung up the phone.

    When told that my local TREK dealers did not have the spokes in stock (i.e. NOT available) and that they were having difficulty finding spokes that fit customer 'support' told me to find another bicycle dealer.

    Complete.
    Fucking.
    Clueless.
    Morons.

    I guess I'll stick the Sapim CX-Ray's in and buy a set of Mavic's for the Emonda.

    Fucking morons.

    Spokes have NEVER been generic. Not now and not 45 years ago. Even then there was plain gauge in three diameters, double butted in two diameters at a minimum, triple butted, stainless, galvanized, chrome plated, cadmium plated and matching brand was important.

    Complete.
    Fucking.
    Clueless.
    Morons.

    Now that there is a wider variety of spoke construction on the market it is even more important to know you can get replacement spokes for your bicycle. The humble wheel spoke is just as or more important than any other component on the damned bike.

    You can get your sorry assed TREK up the road with an uncomfortable or ill-fitting seat. You can make it home with a derailleur stuck in one gear. But, you aren't going far these days when a low spoke count wheel pops a spoke in East Bum Fuck.

    So...'when' did the spoke cease being a P/N in the bill of materials of a bicycle?
     
    #14 CAMPYBOB, May 13, 2016
    Last edited: May 13, 2016
  15. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    I stopped by my friendly local TREK dealer this afternoon. They called me yesterday and said they had some spokes in for me...

    First...they really ARE nice folks at the bike shop. Honestly, you would be hard pressed to find more decent people on the planet.

    But...

    They had called TREK tech support for parts assistance. Just like I had done.

    And they were equally treated like shit and equally stymied by TREK's idiotic 'system' of not even knowing what length spokes they were selling to dealers/customers.

    And the shop owner's 20-something son, without prompting, voiced in a disgusted tone that there was no part number or catalog reference for any spoke at all! TREK told their dealer to pull an adjacent 'good' spoke out of the wheel, measure it and order spokes from their independent parts distributor! How retarded is THAT?!?!

    I might as well be buying custom Eyetalian crap from half-drunk Luigi! For Pete's sake! You would think we were still living in the 1970's!

    Well, he ordered in some Swiss DT spokes that were 'close' in profile. He got the front length pretty close to correct, but the rear spokes I had him order for me were too long. Why he got longer ones...no clue.

    Gazing into my crystal ball...I see myself either cutting out 20 craptastic Chinese spokes of unknown manufacture and rebuilding the Bontrasher hub and rim with Sapim or DT spokes or...just buying a pair of shimaNO Ultegra wheels with straight pull / nail head spokes when they are on sale and calling it a day.

    When I returned home I put a spoke in the Emonda and pulled the bottom bracket out, cleaned everything up and used Loctite 641 Semi-Permanent Retaining Adhesive on the BB86.5 press fit cups in hopes of eliminating a creaking noise the bike made when I was climbing. Using glue to hold your bike together and keep it from making annoying noises. Perfect! Maybe the 1970's weren't so bad after all.
     
  16. oldbobcat

    oldbobcat Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, I hate any kind of press fit bottom bracket too. Bearings with oversize ODs, made by Enduro and available through Trek or Wheels Manufacturing, are available for those whose bottom brackets creak or flop out of the frame with finger pressure. And my advice for installing them is to insert them clean and fairly dry--wipe the outside of the bearing and the frame interface with a greasy rag--no globs of grease. And use a good bearing press to make sure they go in straight.

    Thankfully, Pinarello is leading the way back to threaded bottom brackets and finding ways to make the frame "laterally stiff and vertically compliant" without that added centimeter of down tube and chain stay width at the bottom bracket.
     
  17. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the information on the oversize bearings. That is definitely something worth putting in the memory banks.

    The Emonda had 2 separate aluminum sleeves in the carbon fiber BB shell. Molded in place? Bonded in after the frame was molded? No clue. The sleeves did appear to have lathe turned I.D.'s and hopefully they were align bored or at least fixtured to be concentric. Knowing Chicom quarity standards...

    The actual BB was a shitmaNO P/N BB71-42B Bottom Bracket...( http://bike.shimano.com/content/sac-bike/en/home/road/drivetrain/bottom-brackets/sm-bb72-41b.html ) an 86.5 model that shitmaNO sells for use with 105, Ultegra and Dura Ass when installed on bikes with the 86.5 standard. One of ten thousand press fit standards these days.

    The bearings were located inside PLASTIC outer cups. This is what I bonded to the frame's aluminum inserts. It took a couple of decent whacks with a 16 oz. steel ball pein hammer on the Park Tool removal tool to get the bearings out of the frame. They were tighter than 'just snug' and what my 35 years in the aerospace machine trades would call it a very nice press fit.

    At this point I am uncertain as to whether moving cups were the origin of the creaking noise, but it was definitely pedal force and pedal stroke timing related. I did grease up the protective sleeve that fits between the cups and I noticed a distinct creaking or clicking noise as I carefully pushed the cups home with my press (home made press and a Nashbar press. Both used with Park pressing cups).

    I'm kind of wondering if the steel bearing cup(s) were moving around inside their plastic holders and generating the noise? Overall, I trust shimaNO's in-house quality standards more...even if the premise of a PF BB is something just plain weird to me.

    I checked everything else out for tightness. I had installed the 39-53 rings from day one...bolts were perfect. I tightened the left side crank arm's end play pre-load screw and tried to induce end play...none could be felt. I had installed the Ultegra pedals from day one. They were plenty tight and I greased them up good prior to the installation. I went over every fastener on the bike with a torque wrench and then with my ISO calibrated and certified fingers. Every one was spot on from doing that same routine before my first ride on the Emonda.

    I'll test ride tomorrow after the weekend Ice Age is over. Temps will be right around freezing again tonight. Global Warming, my ass!
     
  18. oldbobcat

    oldbobcat Well-Known Member

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    And I just remembered . . . the rear QR skewer can creak, too. Tighten this a little more than you would think necessary to just hold the wheel in the dropout, and it will quiet right down.
     
  19. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Wasn't the BB. It's in the damned bars. The noise only happens when I'm out of the saddle. It's in time with the pedal stroke...but, so is pushing / pulling on the bars!

    As this despite all fasteners (5.2 Nm max. Might as well use my teeth to tighten those tiny screws...) being plenty tight, they are clicking and ticking.

    Popped the bar clamp, cleaned and used carbon assembly paste. I suspect this is the source of the noise. It was the source of a ticking noise on my Douglas bike with the FSA Energy aluminum bars and OS 150 aluminum stem. I silenced it with a thin film of clear Silicon.

    The Emonda has Bontrasher aluminum bars and stem. A thin film of carbon paste for grip and separating the anodizing on the stem and whatever matte anodizing or paint coating on the bars should eliminate any joint noise generation there.

    I pulled the compressor cap and Lithium greased the top cap / bearing cover of the headset. I put a light film of carbon assembly grease inside the stem steerer clamp and on the stem, then slid the stem in place. Wiping the very top of the steerer tube clean, I greased the top aluminum 5 MM spacer and the under side of the aluminum compressor cap, the screw and the screw seat area of the cap.

    Torqued everything up after aligning using a 5 Nm pre-set (alternating cross torque pattern on the bar clamp cap) and then gave it (as the Brits used to say) a 'snit' more. I took a short test ride in silence.

    So...the only stone left unturned on the bars are the brake hood clamp straps. I rolled up the rubber hood covers and checked tightness. They were both good. If I hear any clicking / ticking on the next test ride I'll loosen them and flow a little light oil under the bands. I've been meaning to ditch the super spongy OEM cork wrap and put on two layers of the 2 MM Fizik stuff anyway.

    'Why' the Emonda suddenly decided to get noisy I have no idea. There was no sign of micro-movement anywhere under or on any mating surface. I can't stand a noisy bike and I'll do whatever it takes to return this one to running silent...even if it means buys a set of Cosmic Elite Pro Haute Route's! There will be a longer test ride with climbing this afternoon.

    As it is seldom removed, the rear QR is always very tight. The skewer shafts and springs are lightly oiled. As the front wheel comes off for loading in the cars or trucks every time the bike is ridden, it gets re-set every time. This is the only bike I own that I left the lawyer tabs on.
     
  20. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Quiet as a church mouse. I wish I had only done the bar clamp instead of going over the whole stem, but I would bet dollars to donuts the bar clamp was what was clicking / ticking under out-of-the-saddle efforts.

    There was only 1500' of climbing on yesterday's training ride, but not a hint of noise from anything, anywhere.
     
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