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1792 Views 2 Replies Latest reply: Aug 23, 2005 1:06 PM by Az Barber
WaterDog66 Amateur 39 posts since
Jul 9, 2007
Currently Being Moderated

Aug 22, 2005 9:21 AM

Breaking Spokes

I am an avid cyclist (I ride 100 to 150 Miles per week) and am currently training for an olympic distance Triathlon.


In the last few years I have experienced broken spokes with steady frequency. They break on the drive side and almost always at the hub. (1 to 2 per month)


This happens to me on brand new professionally built wheels as well as custom hand built ones so it may be my riding style rather than the gear.


I do a lot of hill climbing as part of my training and this may or may not make it worse. (It happens most often with me in the saddle mashing on the flats)


I have been sticking with 32 and 34 spoke patterns with 16 gauge spokes and fear some of the more exotic rim and spoke combinations for fear that I will crush them. (I need durability and am willing to trade a little weight for the added safety)


Any ideas?

  • Gee Whiz Man! Amateur 14 posts since
    Jul 9, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. Aug 23, 2005 1:55 AM (in response to WaterDog66)
    Re: Breaking Spokes

    I don't know that much about wheels, but I do know that if spokes are breaking on a regular basis that something is wrong.  I had a rear wheel on my older bike that spokes were breaking all the time on.  I took it to my LBS and had them re-build the wheel.  The spokes still broke.  Then the owner of the LBS took off the wheel from his personal bike and loaned it to me and they tried to find the cause of spokes breaking for 3 weeks.  They never found the cause.  So I ended up buying a new rim and had them build up another wheel and have not broken any spokes since.  That happened almost 1 year ago.

  • Az Barber Amateur 14 posts since
    Jul 9, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    2. Aug 23, 2005 1:06 PM (in response to WaterDog66)
    Re: Breaking Spokes

    Many wheels are rated for a certain weight. If you are anywhere near 200lbs and ride on race wheels, they may not be rated for a rider as heavy as you.


    If the wheel is rated high enough for you and is still breaking spokes, it isn't built correctly. The spokes have to be correctly tensioned before truing and many shops skip this step or tension them "by feel". The only problem with that is that every wheel can have different specified tensions.


    The bottom line is that if the tension is too high, generally the wheel will crack around the nipple. Sometimes spokes will also break. If the tension is too low, spokes will break.


    The first step is contacting the wheel manufacturer.



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