Cell Brunswick broken spokes

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Cycleops70
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Cell Brunswick broken spokes

Postby Cycleops70 » Tue Feb 14, 2017 7:29 pm

Hi all,

I'm looking for some advice.

I bought a Cell Brunswick just over a year ago as a winter/commuter bike.
I put mudguards & rear rack on, & occasionally use it to pick up shopping (beer).

I have been plagued with spokes giving way, I think I'm on to my 4th or 5th. I'm not light at 94kg (6'2") but this was advertised as an alrounder (commuting, cyclocross, touring).

I contacted Cell last year when the first one gave way (broke at the nipple), as I'd hardly put any Ks on it.
After some initial resistance, they couriered the wheel back & re-laced it. They since acknowledged there was an issue with spoke length.

Since then I'm on to my 4th (I had my LBS replace the last 2, to avoid sending the wheel back again). But these have been spokes snapping at the thread.

I contacted Cell again, as I felt this was not normal.

Their response is below.
I feel their claim of spokes being "consumables" like brake pads is quite a stretch. And their acknowledgement of a spoke length issue leads me to wonder if I have a similar issue to come with the front wheel.

I'm not completely comfortable with their claim that the wheels were not meant to be used for my purpose, when the bike was advertised as a cyclocross bike promoted with video of riders doing jumps, drop offs & bunnyhops. And also capable of taking racks, commuting & touring.

Am I being unreasonable? Thoughts?

Cell;
"Sorry to hear you're having continued issues with your Brunswick rear wheel. Please be assured that our initial warranty repair was a complete rebuild. The reason for this was a manufacturing issue affecting some of the AClass CXD5 wheels where some spokes were too short, hence the head of the spoke nipple was not engaged with the spoke thread, resulting in the head of the nipple snapping off. So we rebuilt the wheel with new (correct length) spokes and new nipples. This was a manufacturing defect, hence was covered under warranty.

The issue of breaking spokes that you are now experiencing is not covered under warranty. Just as brake pads, tyres and drivetrain components wear out with use and are considered consumable parts, so are spokes. When wheels rotate the spokes are loaded under tension and then released, each rotation. This cyclic loading results in fatigue to the spokes. The fatigue life of spokes varies with the forces put through the wheel (rider weight, cargo, terrain), quality of spoke, number of spokes and of course number of cycles (distance ridden). Signs that spokes have reached their fatigue life are:
1) failure at a stress concentration e.g. thread, head, or j-bend (failure in the centre of the spoke would suggest a material defect or direct impact)
2) Multiple spokes breaking (not just a one off break, typical of a one off hard impact)

As a 94kg rider who occasionally carries panniers on a rear rack, the forces put through the rear wheel are relatively high. The number of spokes in the CXD5 wheelset is also relatively low. The spoke quality is high and I'm not aware of the distances you've ridden (but by no means would we suggest anyone reduces this!!).

So, the critical factors that have lead to a short fatigue life are:
1) high forces
2) low spoke count (24 spokes)

So the conclusion we can make is that these wheels are not the most suitable for how you are using this bike. We would recommend a wheel with more spokes (but of similar high quality). The CXD5 wheels are a CX race-worthy wheelset around 1600g with 24 spokes / wheel. So they've proved a great spec for riders choosing to race cyclocross, or ride gravel roads etc. However when subjected to repeated high forces it is reasonable to expect occasional broken spokes, or a reduced fatigue life.

For your usage, we would recommend considering a 32 spoke wheelset (or rear wheel at least). 36 spokes is also possible, however at sub 100kg I don't think this is necessary. Many of our customers choose to custom build a 32/36 spoke wheel, because there aren't many factory build high quality 32/36 spoke wheels available in the market (because the more popular trend for higher quality wheels is reduced weight or improved aero dynamics). Our workshop can recommend hubs/rims/spokes and build you a quality 32 spoke wheel.

There is one 32 spoke factory built wheelset that I can highly recommend, that also happens to be relatively light weight too, the Pro-Lite Revo A21. These wheels are also tubeless ready and come standard with axle conversion kits for standard QR (suitable for your Brunswick), 142x12 thru rear, 15x100 & 12x100 thru front, so the wheels can easily be transferred onto a different bike (most current XC MTBs or newer style road/CX disc bikes with thru axles).
http://www.cellbikes.com.au/Pro-Lite-Re ... c-Wheelset

Nonetheless, we'd like you to get back to riding your Brunswick ASAP, so we will send you some replacement spokes and nipples free of charge so you can get your LBS to quickly install the correct spoke if you have additional failures while you consider your options.

Can you advise what address you'd like the spokes to be forwarded to?"

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Re: Cell Brunswick broken spokes

Postby jules21 » Tue Feb 14, 2017 8:20 pm

I would suggest the more common reason for spoke failures is uneven tensioning. this means some spokes take more load than others, which can have a much greater effect on how they are stressed than an extra 10kg of mass.

almost all modern wheels are built by robots at the factory. the robots don't always do a good job. I had similar issues with some Reynolds Solitudes. it's hopeless sending them back and waiting, so I just bought replacement spokes and did it myself. took me a few goes before I got it under control.

so you may be justified in holding Cell responsible, but the prize for being right isn't that great. you're probably better off replacing the wheel. if they're offering to send you replacement spokes, you could have another go - but there's no guarantee your LBS is doing a good job of installing them and this could be the problem.

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Re: Cell Brunswick broken spokes

Postby Duck! » Tue Feb 14, 2017 9:17 pm

Yup, poor build.
I had a thought, but it got run over as it crossed my mind.

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Re: Cell Brunswick broken spokes

Postby Zippy7 » Wed Feb 15, 2017 10:33 pm

Sorry to hear of your woes.

I know how you feel and share your frustration.
I've had a fair few bikes and for 2 of those bikes, I had badly built rear wheels.

Both times, I had the shop push back and say stuff like "bad luck", "it happens all the time", "you need wheels with more spokes", "maybe a custom wheelset 32/36 spokes", etc.

Sure, I'm a big boy (a few kgs north of your weight), but in both cases, the shops knew that when I bought the bike and didn't say anything when I explained intended use, etc.

They only roll these claims out after a) they have your money, and b) you have the problem.
They seem very happy to sell you something that is "not fit for purpose".

I came very close to buying a custom wheelset from Craftwork or TWE. In the end, I just paid to get it fixed sold the bikes.

I would point out that on some other bikes, I've done heaps of mileage across the sydney harbour bridge (lots of expansion cracks) and poor roads. And I have had zero spoke issues on these other bikes.

I will no longer buy from those shops (2 different Aussie chain shops on the east coast) that sold me the dud bikes - primarily due to their post purchase attitude.

Looks like you want to email the Cell bikes customer service dude (Mark?) on this forum to clarify their response.
I'd be interested in understanding why their CX wheels are so fragile or claim to need rebuilding so often.
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Re: Cell Brunswick broken spokes

Postby Cycleops70 » Thu Feb 16, 2017 6:44 pm

Zippy7 wrote:Looks like you want to email the Cell bikes customer service dude (Mark?) on this forum to clarify their response.
I'd be interested in understanding why their CX wheels are so fragile or claim to need rebuilding so often.


How do I find Mark?
I'm currently talking to Daniel Dusanic (via email) from customer service.

It seems they are claiming the wheels are more fragile, & not built for my type of riding (commuting, touring). But that's how it was advertised.

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Re: Cell Brunswick broken spokes

Postby biker jk » Thu Feb 16, 2017 6:56 pm

Cycleops70 wrote:
Zippy7 wrote:Looks like you want to email the Cell bikes customer service dude (Mark?) on this forum to clarify their response.
I'd be interested in understanding why their CX wheels are so fragile or claim to need rebuilding so often.


How do I find Mark?
I'm currently talking to Daniel Dusanic (via email) from customer service.

It seems they are claiming the wheels are more fragile, & not built for my type of riding (commuting, touring). But that's how it was advertised.


24 spokes is low for a CX wheelset. 28 spokes would be a minimum and 32 preferable.

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Re: Cell Brunswick broken spokes

Postby Zippy7 » Thu Feb 16, 2017 8:47 pm

The email for Mark is mark@cellbikes.com.au - I got it from this thread viewtopic.php?p=1385538#p1385538

Please let us know how you go.
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Re: Cell Brunswick broken spokes

Postby Cycleops70 » Sat Feb 18, 2017 3:29 pm

Zippy7 wrote:The email for Mark is mark@cellbikes.com.au - I got it from this thread viewtopic.php?p=1385538#p1385538

Please let us know how you go.


Thanks Zippy,

Email sent today;

Hi Mark,

I’ve been talking to Daniel (email below) about an issue I’ve had since I bought a Brunswick early last year, but after discussing the problem on Bicycles Network Australia I was advised to get in touch with yourself.

I’ve been plagued with failing spokes since April last year (with less than 800km on the bike). The wheel was rebuilt by Cell, but the problem has continued.

I’ve had spokes replaced by my LBS hoping it was just misfortune, but I’m on to my 4th failure in 2400km.

I’m not sure I can agree with Daniel’s claim that spokes are consumables “like brake pads or tyres”. I’m sure most people would questioning the quality of their brakes or tyres if they need replacing every 600km

I was also not aware that there was an initial fault with the spoke length. I am now concerned that I could face similar issues with my front wheel.

I may not be the lightest rider at 94kg, but a significant factor in purchasing this bike was the ability to fit a rack & use it for transport. The bike was promoted as an all-rounder “capable of being accessorised into the ultimate all-weather commuter or touring bike”. Perfect for what I wanted. Along with a video of riders bunny hopping up wood pallets (not quite my thing). I am now hearing that this is not the case, and the bike is far more fragile than this, and not suitable for my weight or type of riding

Are you able to help?

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Re: Cell Brunswick broken spokes

Postby trailgumby » Sat Feb 18, 2017 7:28 pm

Well written letter and fair comment. :thumbsup:

To some degree it is difficult for shops as they have no idea how bikes are being treated or the conditions in which they are being used.

I found the biggest single factor in spoke breakages was tyre pressure. As soon as I go to 100psi or further north (75kg rider weight on 23c tyres) spoke breakage is just a matter of time for me, even on handbuilt wheels.

However, 90psi rear and 80psi front on the same tyres and I've only had 1 spoke breakage in the last 15,000km on my Pro-Lite Bracciano A27s and none in the last 10,000. The wheels have only needed touching with a spoke key a couple of times.The ride is noticeably less harsh much more comfortable, and the bike actually rolls slightly faster on chipseal roads, and brakes an corners better, although rolling resistance on nice smooth fine grade tar is very slightly increased. That smooth tar is the exception in my area. Chipseal and rough tar damaged by Sydney buses and trucks is the rule.

Unless you have gone the custom handbuilt route with someone like Greg from TWE, spoke breakages are almost never accepted as a warranty item unless there is a fault such as the spoke length error you experienced and Cell fixed.

However, you are on the right path with them.

Did you explain your use scenario and advise your riding weight before purchase?

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Re: Cell Brunswick broken spokes

Postby Cycleops70 » Sat Feb 18, 2017 8:28 pm

Well that was a quick response;

"Hi,

Apologies for your experience.

What would make you happy. What do you think about cost price on an upgraded wheelset.

Let me know your thoughts."

Not sure what a cost price would be, But I'm interested.

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Re: Cell Brunswick broken spokes

Postby trailgumby » Sat Feb 18, 2017 10:10 pm

Sounds like a good response. You could sell off the old wheelset (with full disclosure of course) and recoup some of the difference.

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Re: Cell Brunswick broken spokes

Postby Cycleops70 » Sat Feb 18, 2017 10:17 pm

The wheels they are suggesting Pro-Lite-Revo-A21W-700c are $550
I was hoping they'd meet me half way, but I think I could be pushing my luck.

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Re: Cell Brunswick broken spokes

Postby am50em » Sun Feb 19, 2017 4:20 am

I have a Giant Revolt and I weigh 100kg. Because I planned to ride on-road, I purchased a set of Shimano WH-RX05 from the LBS. After riding on them for a month the bike was serviced and wheels trued. Since then I have done 15000 km on them. Bike shop reported rear wheel just slightly out of true and front wheel had remained perfect at last service. They are centre lock discs. Bought a spare set when they were on sale at Pushys for $150. They remain in the box for now. Looks like they are superseded by RX010 at around $200 a set from Pushys.

Note Cell still have them at $230
http://www.cellbikes.com.au/Shimano-Road-Disc-Wheelset-WH-RX05

Curently use Schwalbe Marathon Supremes 32c. These actually measure 30mm on wheel. When time comes to replace will go to 35c version.

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Re: Cell Brunswick broken spokes

Postby Zippy7 » Sun Feb 19, 2017 9:40 pm

My 2 cents worth.

The cost price offer for upgraded wheels might sound generous, but from the buyer perspective, you have been sold something that isn't fit for purpose, and doesn't match their advertising claim. So the expectation that you need to spend more seems outrageous. Why not sell you a bike that was fit for purpose from the get go and not advertise it as capable of being a commuter?

Looking for something more capable than a road bike? Not scared of a little dirt and mud? Or, commute rain, hail or shine? The Cell Brunswick is the bike for you! Escape the tarmac with the adaptability of a cyclocross race bike that is equally capable of being accessorised into the ultimate all-weather commuter or touring bike.


Maybe they need to say "NOT SUITABLE FOR ANYONE OVER 60kgs" ???

Perhaps they can offer to swap your current set of wheels for a replacement set of wheels. Surely they have a set they can exchange for you, even at a minor cost.

I don't see how you should be paying to "upgrade" the wheelset. And if you do spend more money, what kind of warranty will they provide on the wheels? What happens if these wheels pop spokes as well?

If you're even considering paying up, then at least ring Greg at TWE and talk to him about a set of wheels. At least he will give you warranty on spoke breakage.

Good Luck.
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Re: Cell Brunswick broken spokes

Postby Nate » Mon Feb 20, 2017 12:55 pm

i've broken a few spokes on wheels (92kg - big commutes) from factory bikes - but havent broken a single spoke from any of my own builds.

I always go for 32spoke with quality spokes.
I also just built a set from BDop cycling out of Taiwan - MASSIVELY happy $320 US. lasted many k's, hub has lasted longer than my Hope!

Highly suggest you try building a set, it takes time, but REALLY worth the investment

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Re: Cell Brunswick broken spokes

Postby Cycleops70 » Tue Feb 21, 2017 1:00 pm

Well I'm bitterly disappointed, but they are not budging from offering cost price on the pro-lite wheels.

If I'd known the bike wasn't suitable from the start, I'd have bought a Trek.

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Re: Cell Brunswick broken spokes

Postby am50em » Tue Feb 21, 2017 10:35 pm

Dissapointing response from Cell.
But other than the spokes breaking, does the rest of the bike work well? If yes, then getting a new wheelset probably makes the best of the situation. But maybe not from Cell. :|

Was curious if others had problem with cxd-5 but only found one review.
http://www.roadbikereview.com/cat/wheel ... 90crx.aspx

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Re: Cell Brunswick broken spokes

Postby Cycleops70 » Tue Feb 21, 2017 10:54 pm

am50em wrote:Dissapointing response from Cell.
But other than the spokes breaking, does the rest of the bike work well? If yes, then getting a new wheelset probably makes the best of the situation. But maybe not from Cell. :|

Was curious if others had problem with cxd-5 but only found one review.
http://www.roadbikereview.com/cat/wheel ... 90crx.aspx


The issue described in the review of incorrect spoke length, is the very problem I initially encountered.

Cell rebuilt the wheel (I didn't know the reason why until I contacted them this time). But since then Cell claim it it a different issue (not built for my weight & use).

This could well be true, but annoying that it was portrayed as something more sturdy.

The rest of the bike is fine, & I agree changing the wheels is all I need to do.
I'd prefer to walk away from Cell, & get the wheels elsewhere, but it's going to cost me a lot more. Cutting off my nose to spite my face, as they say.

In hindsight, I would have bought a different bike.

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Re: Cell Brunswick broken spokes

Postby Zippy7 » Wed Feb 22, 2017 9:39 pm

Sorry to hear.

So can I clarify that Cell are stating that the Brunswick is NOT suitable to be used as a commuter?
Surely a CX course has more challenges/puts more strain on the wheels compared to road/asphalt for a commute.

You didn't buy a dainty road bike. You didn't buy a fragile weight weenie bike. You bought a Cyclocross bike.

This is laughable - maybe you should lodge a claim with the department of fair trading in your state. They have sold you a product that is not fit for purpose. Alternatively, you could try a chargeback on your credit card - again, reason is that you were sold a product that is not fit for purpose.
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Re: Cell Brunswick broken spokes

Postby Cycleops70 » Thu Feb 23, 2017 12:08 am

Zippy7 wrote:Sorry to hear.

So can I clarify that Cell are stating that the Brunswick is NOT suitable to be used as a commuter?
Surely a CX course has more challenges/puts more strain on the wheels compared to road/asphalt for a commute.


Correct.
Although it was promoted as being able to be converted to a commuter/tourer. It quite clearly isn't.

Zippy7 wrote:You didn't buy a dainty road bike. You didn't buy a fragile weight weenie bike. You bought a Cyclocross bike.


So I thought. The frame is very sturdy & no light weight.
And if it was, the conversation I had with Cell about which frame size was suitable for someone of my size, should have highlighted that.
In fact, why have XL & L frames, if it couldn't take that size of rider (unless they were super skinny).


It is very tempting to go down the route of being sold something "not suitable for the purpose it was intended".
But I've invested a bit in this bike, & the quickest easiest option is to get the new wheels (at cost price).

They are still selling the Brunswick with the same blurb "Looking for something more capable than a road bike? Not scared of a little dirt and mud? Or, commute rain, hail or shine? The Cell Brunswick is the bike for you! Escape the tarmac with the adaptability of a cyclocross race bike that is equally capable of being accessorised into the ultimate all-weather commuter or touring bike."

But with slightly different wheels.

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Re: Cell Brunswick broken spokes

Postby Bendo » Thu Feb 23, 2017 7:28 am

Image

It looks like even Cell promote the bike with a different wheelset! b

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Re: Cell Brunswick broken spokes

Postby Cycleops70 » Thu Feb 23, 2017 10:34 am

Bendo wrote:Image

It looks like even Cell promote the bike with a different wheelset! b


Ha ha! I hadn't noticed that. Perhaps it should have been a give away!

Either that was a pre-production model, or they were already aware that the wheels were not up to the job.

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Re: Cell Brunswick broken spokes

Postby Zippy7 » Thu Feb 23, 2017 7:16 pm

You probably already know this, but presuming its just the rear wheel giving you grief, you can either
a) Buy a new rear wheel
b) Buy a complete new wheelset
c) Replace all the spokes with new quality spokes

For a) you can buy factory built rear wheels online
or even semi-custom rear wheels (select hub/spokes/rim)
eg. http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/au/e ... prod121184
or go to your LBS and get them to build one up for you

For b) you can still buy online as per above, or ask your LBS to build them for you.
I wonder what warranty your LBS gives for spokes? If none, then consider Craftworx or TWE.
But you end up with a spare front wheel that sits in the shed.

If you For c) your LBS can do this (I'd get them to supply the spokes - get good ones - DT Swiss or Sapim seem to be most recommended). Last time I asked, one LBS quoted $50 for labour to build a wheel (but then they supply the parts)

Get some nice wheels that you're happy with and move on. You know where you aren't buying your next bike...
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Re: Cell Brunswick broken spokes

Postby trailgumby » Thu Feb 23, 2017 8:07 pm

OK, I've had a look further into this and ... I think the OP has unrealistic expectations.

I believe the wheels were promoted as follows:

"AClass CXD5 cyclocross race wheels feature 24 spoke disc specific double wall rims laced to smooth rolling sealed bearing disc brake hubs, providing a high strength wheelset with low rotational weight for fast acceleration...

Note the highlighted phrases "24 spoke" "race wheels" "Low rotational weight" "fast acceleration".

Seems to me they were pretty upfront about the features/benefits of the wheels.

Yes they said "high strength", which apparently they are for relatively low cost 24 spoke race wheels. But they didn't say, "ultimate wheelset for heavy riders commuting/touring with loaded panniers".

That's a market in which this bike with this spec is not designed to be used. At 95kg AND panniers I would suggest a stronger wheelset is definitely needed. I've used panniers for commuting on a mountain bike fitted out with 700c road wheels, and it was pretty harsh on the wheels, and back then I was a mere slip of a lad at 80kgs.

Seems like the deal being offered of a Pro-Lite wheelset at cost is pretty good and I'd recommend you take it.

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Re: Cell Brunswick broken spokes

Postby Cycleops70 » Thu Feb 23, 2017 10:17 pm

trailgumby wrote:OK, I've had a look further into this and ... I think the OP has unrealistic expectations.


I think it is completely reasonable to expect a bike promoted as being able to commute and tour, to be able to "commute" and "tour".

Or why Cell would expect a rider that needed a L or XL frame would be a light weight.

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