re broken spokes



vlad

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Aug 17, 2003
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Bought my new 2004 Trek 8000 in Sep 2003. I chose Sun Mammoth 32 hole rims and LX hubs, because they are said to be tough.

Last week I had four broken spokes. The nice man at the bike shop fixed that. He explained about keeping the spokes properly taut.

Today I have another broken spoke. I replaced it and trued the wheel.

How often should one check spokes for tautness? weekly? daily?

I am 71, 6-3 260 lbs; and no longer leap tall buildings at a single bound, nor do I navigate mountain trails at heady speeds. Most days I plod ten miles or so on pavement.

Do heavy riders break spokes more often that light riders?

Should I mike these spokes, and install the thickest spokes that will fit the rims?

If all else fails I can buy a 40 spoke 3x laced wheel designed for tandem bikes.
 

boudreaux

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Oct 16, 2003
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Originally posted by vlad
Bought my new 2004 Trek 8000 in Sep 2003. I chose Sun Mammoth 32 hole rims and LX hubs, because they are said to be tough.

Last week I had four broken spokes. The nice man at the bike shop fixed that. He explained about keeping the spokes properly taut.

Today I have another broken spoke. I replaced it and trued the wheel.

How often should one check spokes for tautness? weekly? daily?

I am 71, 6-3 260 lbs; and no longer leap tall buildings at a single bound, nor do I navigate mountain trails at heady speeds. Most days I plod ten miles or so on pavement.

Do heavy riders break spokes more often that light riders?

Should I mike these spokes, and install the thickest spokes that will fit the rims?

If all else fails I can buy a 40 spoke 3x laced wheel designed for tandem bikes.
Often, broken spokes is the result of a bad initial wheel build, and the only fix is having it rebuilt right. The nice bike shop man just installed a band-aid on a big festering wound.
 

pudster

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Aug 20, 2003
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Also can be the quality of the spokes. If you do have the wheel rebuilt make sure it is built with DT, Sapum, or Wheelsmith spokes I like DT the best.
 

meehs

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Nov 7, 2003
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A larger rider will definitely expose a weakness in a poorly built wheel faster than a lighter rider. I agree with boudreaux though. That wheel probably had problems to begin with. If you're riding on paved roads there's no way you should be breaking spokes like that. If you build that wheel using your existing rim and hub with 3x laced, 14 gauge (straight gauge) spokes and brass nipples it should be plenty strong if it's built properly. Take it to a reputable wheel guy and have it fixed for real.
 

sea

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Nov 2, 2003
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I went through the same saga with a nearly new bike. Had the wheel trued three times and keep breaking spokes. I gave up on the production wheels and got some Rolf Victors. I haven’t had to do anything since. That may be overkill but IMHO there are very few production wheels that are worth much. Bike makers save money by advertising the obvious and using the cheapest parts for everything else. Now the wheel is one of the most important parts but many bike buyers don't know that and so wheels are often the cheapest the dealer can get away with. The recommendations to rebuild from scratch are probably correct but I would add the proviso that it's only worth doing that if you start with good quality rims & hubs and have the rebuild done by an experienced builder. Otherwise you're better off getting an entirely new wheelset.
 

daveornee

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Sep 18, 2003
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Originally posted by vlad
Bought my new 2004 Trek 8000 in Sep 2003. I chose Sun Mammoth 32 hole rims and LX hubs, because they are said to be tough.

Last week I had four broken spokes. The nice man at the bike shop fixed that. He explained about keeping the spokes properly taut.

Today I have another broken spoke. I replaced it and trued the wheel.

How often should one check spokes for tautness? weekly? daily?

I am 71, 6-3 260 lbs; and no longer leap tall buildings at a single bound, nor do I navigate mountain trails at heady speeds. Most days I plod ten miles or so on pavement.

Do heavy riders break spokes more often that light riders?

Should I mike these spokes, and install the thickest spokes that will fit the rims?

If all else fails I can buy a 40 spoke 3x laced wheel designed for tandem bikes.
Your original wheel build and maybe spoke quality are the issues.
Yes, more weight makes deeper load/unload cycling on the spokes.
Your rims and hubs are good quality.
Take time to read the book " the Bicycle Wheel" by Jobst Brandt.
If you don't want to buy it, check your library 629.248 BRANDT
After you read the book, take your wheel to a trusted wheel builder and have it rebuilt with new quality spokes. DT, Sapim, and Wheelsmith all make quality spokes. I also suggest that your builder use double butted spokes.
Once the job is done correctly you shouldn't need to adjust tension again. The spokes will have high even tension and be properly stress relieved. You will understand all this stuff after reading "the book". Your current spokes are in the condition of a paper-clip that has been bent back-and-forth repeatably.
More spokes may help, but I don't think you need to go there.
Thicker spokes won't help.
 

bestrin04

New Member
Oct 23, 2003
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Originally posted by vlad
Bought my new 2004 Trek 8000 in Sep 2003. I chose Sun Mammoth 32 hole rims and LX hubs, because they are said to be tough.

Last week I had four broken spokes. The nice man at the bike shop fixed that. He explained about keeping the spokes properly taut.

Today I have another broken spoke. I replaced it and trued the wheel.

How often should one check spokes for tautness? weekly? daily?

I am 71, 6-3 260 lbs; and no longer leap tall buildings at a single bound, nor do I navigate mountain trails at heady speeds. Most days I plod ten miles or so on pavement.

Do heavy riders break spokes more often that light riders?

Should I mike these spokes, and install the thickest spokes that will fit the rims?

If all else fails I can buy a 40 spoke 3x laced wheel designed for tandem bikes.


Rebuild your wheels before your rims are bad too. The rim will only last so long replacing spokes. Use DT SPOKES only. They are the only spoke that is forged. Have them built by someone great. They will cost about 40 to 50 dollars labor per wheel. It is worth it. I would also recommend using double butted spokes since they give a little more that a straight gauge spoke. Over the years and years of building all kinds of wheels I found that heavier riders benefit from using double butted spokes. DT spokes and brass nipples. I've used Marwi spokes with great success as well, but only used straight gauge and titanium from them.
 

vlad

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Aug 17, 2003
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I bought a new wheel -- Sun Mammoth rim, DT spokes, Shimano LX hub.

I rode 11 miles yesterday. Did not have even one broken spoke.
 

shokhead1

New Member
Mar 16, 2003
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260 pounds has more to do with it then anything else most likly.Now i'm 192 and have never broken a spoke.
 

daveornee

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Sep 18, 2003
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Originally posted by vlad
I bought a new wheel -- Sun Mammoth rim, DT spokes, Shimano LX hub.

I rode 11 miles yesterday. Did not have even one broken spoke.

Make sure the spokes have high even tension and are stress relieved. If they are not properly tensioned and stress relieved you will be prone to break spokes again.
 

vlad

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Aug 17, 2003
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thanks to all for your advice.

I googled spoke tensioning and stress relief. I think I understnd now.
 

Ricitius

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Jul 26, 2005
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I am having the same problem on my rear wheel. I've been in and out to my LBS here in Austin, TX for the past three weeks. It seems that every week a spoke breaks on my rear wheel, the owner tells me that it is due to the extent of use (since I bike at least ten miles a day commuting) along with my weight (I weight 225). But I don't know, it never happened with the stock wheels on my KHS hardtail. I got new Weinman double wall U2O rims with a Shimano Deore hubs. Do you think it will be worth the rebuild with double butted DT spokes? Or should I save up for a better rear wheel? I think I'm going to a new LBS. At least for wheels.
 

Deanster04

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Jan 11, 2006
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vlad said:
Bought my new 2004 Trek 8000 in Sep 2003. I chose Sun Mammoth 32 hole rims and LX hubs, because they are said to be tough.

I am 71, 6-3 260 lbs; and no longer leap tall buildings at a single bound, nor do I navigate mountain trails at heady speeds. Most days I plod ten miles or so on pavement.

Do heavy riders break spokes more often that light riders?

I am 63 and 225# I don't know the last time I broke a spoke on either my road or mtb bikes. Agree with the person who suggested the initial build. I build all my own wheels. I buy wheels off eBay often and always replace the spokes and rebuild the wheels. A 14/15 gauge spoke should be good enough for you. That is what I ride on my road bike and I am not gentle. I ride the wash board roads often. I have a wheel with over 10K miles and other than my once a year wheel truing I have had no problems. Find a good wheel builder and have that person setup your wheel.