spoke quality

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by saturnsc2, Oct 19, 2005.

  1. saturnsc2

    saturnsc2 New Member

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    i have had many problems with snapping spokes on the rear wheel of my road bike. a spoke will snap for no apparent reason. i will got it fixed & then shortly another one will go. it's only on that rear wheel. the wheel's aways repaired by a bike shop who uses a tension meter. my mountain bike never snaps spokes nor does the front wheel on this bike snap spokes. i was just looking at the spokes closely & discovered that the rear wheel spokes are just chrome plated no name spokes. my mountain bike has dt spokes, on the front wheel that was rebuilt around a hub dynamo. the rear spokes are wheelsmith's. on the road bike, the front wheel spokes are dt's also & it was rebuilt around a hub dynamo. i just was compairing the no name spokes against a dt spoke & discovered that the bends on the dt are smaller & the ball at the ends are thicker. i tried a dt spoke in an old hub & compaired the fit against a no name spoke. the dt fits tight, while the no name has play & fits sloppy. is this causing flex at the hub with the no name spokes? this is where they are always snapping. would it make sense to rebuild this wheel with dt spokes? it's a sun double wall rim that's only a year old & the hub is new also. most bike shops use quality spokes, but this wheel was built with generic spokes by some company, not a bike shop. is the dt spokes that much better? they are stainless, & the generic spokes are chrome plated steel...
     
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  2. eric_the_red

    eric_the_red New Member

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    If you're breaking spokes that often I would replace them all. I only use DT or Wheelsmith spokes to build wheels and have never had a problem.
     
  3. SteveWoll

    SteveWoll New Member

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    My old bike broke spokes regularly on the rear wheel (every 8 weeks). The bike shop rebuilt the wheel (with better quality spokes) and they still kept breaking. Finally broke my patience and I sold it. We (the LBS and I) agreed that there must have been something wrong with the hub that was causing the problem. Don't know what though....
     
  4. artmichalek

    artmichalek New Member

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    In addition to using inferior materials, the generic spokes are made with a bigger bend because they're intended to be used in machine built wheels. Even DT uses a slightly bigger bend radius than they need to for this reason. The result is a smaller contact area between the spoke and the hub, which leads to a big stress increase at the spoke bend. Re-building the wheel with good spokes should cost around $50-$60 including labor. Depending on how much you're paying each time you break a spoke, it's probably worth it.
     
  5. daveornee

    daveornee New Member

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    Generic spokes and quality of the build are likely the problem. If the hub quality and rim quality ar good then it makes sense to have a quality build with quality spokes. I include Sapim as one of the best spoke quality manufacturers. I rate them as good or better than DT and certainly better than Wheelsmith.
     
  6. SilentShifter

    SilentShifter New Member

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    What happens when a spoke breaks? I (thankfully) have not had this happen, yet but want to know what to do when it does happen.
     
  7. saturnsc2

    saturnsc2 New Member

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    well, the generic spokes's bend is quite larger than the dt's. i have an old hub laying around in my basement. i test fitted a dt spoke to it & also a generic spoke. i was horrified by the fit of the generic spoke. very lose & sloppy. the dt fits tight like a glove. also the dt's head fits perfectly in the hole while the generic's tends to fit sloppy. i can see why the generic spokes are breaking.
     
  8. el Ingles

    el Ingles New Member

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    ditto

    try using 2 mm not 2-1,8-2 mm as the stress on the drive side of a rear wheel is very high ( look at the dish angle ) and always use quality spokes ie DT or similar quality . ( check out their hubs , marketed as HUGI , they are beautiful - though very expensive )
     
  9. strummer_fan

    strummer_fan New Member

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    A few weeks ago, I had a rear spoke break on a 100K charity ride. Mavic CXP rims, 32hole, laced to Campagnolo Mirage hubs.

    The spoke was on the drive side. The resulting loss of spoke tension on the rim caused it to run more out of round, than out of true, and so there was a high-spot on the wheel. This caused the tire to rub severely against the inside of the brake caliper, forcing me into the SAG vehicle and out of the ride.

    If guess if I had been far from home, I would have had to remove the rear brake caliper and limp home.

    cheers!
     
  10. SilentShifter

    SilentShifter New Member

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    Great, thanks. I was a little concerned that it would make you lose control or something. I guess the major risk is the spoke getting caught in something or the wheel going completely out of true.
     
  11. artemidorus

    artemidorus New Member

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    I've had exactly the same thing happen with DT Revolution spokes, 32 spoke wheel. Assuming that you are not very heavy or very strong, the problem relates either to bad build or a bent rim, although cheap spokes would magnify the problem.
    Your rim needs to be unlaced, carefully, from the hub and checked for bends by laying it on a flat surface. If it's bent, it goes in the bin. If it's OK, then it can be rebuilt with new spokes by a good wheelbuilder.
     
  12. artemidorus

    artemidorus New Member

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    With 32 spokes and one breaking, the wheel usually just goes out of true to the extent that it rubs the pads but not the chainstays. Sometimes I don't notice, although retrospectively I realise that the climbs had got strangely tougher!
     
  13. saturnsc2

    saturnsc2 New Member

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    the wheel is a 36 spoke wheel. the rim itself is perfect. it's only a year old. so is the hub. it was rebuilt with all stainless dt spokes. i weigh 249# & am losing weight. the other spokes were just chrome plated junk. makes me wonder why in the hell they would have used junk spokes on a good wheel in the first place. why would they use spokes that they would use on a department store bike on a expensive wheel? strange. anyway, the wheel is back on the bike, but it's been rainy & cold here for almost 2 weeks & still didn't ride the bike yet, but i'm pretty sure it will be o.k. now...
     
  14. saturnsc2

    saturnsc2 New Member

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    although my wheel is a 36 spoke, it does the same thing. just rubs slightly on the brake pads. i still can ride, but i usually don't as i don't want to do further damage to the wheel.
     
  15. artemidorus

    artemidorus New Member

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    When you say that the rim is perfect, I assume that you checked it unlaced? The laced rim may look perfect because the wheel has been trued. A large wobble can be removed by adjusting spoke tension, although the tension will then be very uneven. You will not know for sure how badly bent your rim might be until it is off the wheel. Another way of checking is to true it and then check spoke tension, which is best done by plucking the spoke like a harp string, if you don't have a tension meter. All the spokes on one side should "play" about the same pitch; if they don't, and the wheel looks true, then the rim has a wobble in it that has been straightened, although not removed.
    You are a relatively heavy rider; I weigh a little less and have moved on to my third rear wheel in 18 months, having broken multiple spokes on the previous 2. My second wheel lasted 3 months. I am beginning to think that most road wheels are not engineered to handle riders over 85kg.
     
  16. saturnsc2

    saturnsc2 New Member

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    the bike shop checked it out & said it was a good rim. they also used a tension meter when the wheel was rebuilt. i want to get down to around 195-200# that should be fine. what i don't understand is i weighed almost 300# at one time & rode this same bike when it had the old steel wheels & they never failed, never!
     
  17. artemidorus

    artemidorus New Member

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    Have you broken spokes since it was rebuilt?
     
  18. saturnsc2

    saturnsc2 New Member

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    well, it's been rainy & cold & miserable here for a few weeks & the bike has not been ridden since. i'm sure it will be o.k. though. what blows me away is we have an old huffy downstairs & i always ride that one & hit curbs, & whatever. the wheels which are wobbly & un-true never break spokes! go figure!
     
  19. artemidorus

    artemidorus New Member

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    If you're not too worried about weight, you can make steel wheels very strong!
     
  20. saturnsc2

    saturnsc2 New Member

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    the bike originally had steel wheels which lasted a long time & never failed. eventually they got out of true & started to wobble. i had them trued up the best i can, but they just got too bad & were starting to rub on the brake pads. right now i got a front aluminum wheel built ariound a hub dynamo & the rear...well ya know the story there. too much money already invested in the current wheels to switch back to steel. anyway, where would i even find steel wheels now? they probably would be some cheap made in china wheels & i probably would be worse off than before! i still have one of the original steel wheels & the weight is just a llittle heavier than the aluminum wheels. not a big difference.
     
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