Spokes

Questions about purchasing bicycles and parts

Spokes

Postby tuco » Thu Nov 30, 2006 9:15 am

I haven't broken a spoke since I was a teenager and now on my new bike I've broken two in two weeks. One on each wheel.

The bike is still under warranty so they've been fixed at no charge.

One broke in the middle which the lbs guy said was unusual and if I break another one they'll respoke both wheels.
A lady I ride with has the same bike but its six months older and all her spokes rusted as they had put in the el cheapo chinese spokes. They were all replaced at no charge.

I trying to get an idea if this is normal.
What is your average time between spoke breakages?
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by BNA » Thu Nov 30, 2006 9:50 am

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Postby mikesbytes » Thu Nov 30, 2006 9:50 am

Theres no real average, but in the last 18 months I have broken one spoke and one rim.

Which wheels do you have ?
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Re: Spokes

Postby europa » Thu Nov 30, 2006 9:55 am

tuco wrote:What is your average time between spoke breakages?


Doesn't this depend on the wheel, your weight and the roads? Though rusting out quickly is just not on - I'd get grumpy about that.

To save us digging around looking for the piccy, can you link us to the piccy of your bike again mate? If the wheels are the modern 'the fewer spokes the better' types, this just confirms my misconceptions about them.

The roads up there - they are flat, but are they smooth or rough?

How heavy are you? If you're a big boy like me, the wheel might just be overly worked.

Then there's riding style. This may or may not be a problem, I just don't know, but it comes from the discovery that track bike wheels cop a lot of stress from the sprinting and so carry a lot of spokes, sometimes wired together.

The thought is that if you're a big bloke, on a bike with reduced spokes, with a really attacking riding style on rough roads, you might just need to look at stronger wheels.

Then again, a rebuild of the current wheels might be all that's needed :roll:

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Postby tuco » Thu Nov 30, 2006 10:01 am

mikesbytes wrote:Theres no real average, but in the last 18 months I have broken one spoke and one rim.

Which wheels do you have ?


I'd love to say round ones with black on the outside but that won't help my cause. :D
Just so happens I have it here at work. I had it repaired today and wasn't going to leave it in the car. They're CLASS AKX R1.0 if that means anything.

I took it in to the lbs today and what a difference it makes with who serves you. First spoke went in Saturday and wasn't ready until Monday afternoon. Today I got a different salesman, the guy who sold me the bike, and he said, "Give me two minutes."
I didn't even have time to have a look at the goodies on the wall :cry:
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Re: Spokes

Postby tuco » Thu Nov 30, 2006 10:10 am

europa wrote:
tuco wrote:What is your average time between spoke breakages?


Doesn't this depend on the wheel, your weight and the roads? Though rusting out quickly is just not on - I'd get grumpy about that.

To save us digging around looking for the piccy, can you link us to the piccy of your bike again mate? If the wheels are the modern 'the fewer spokes the better' types, this just confirms my misconceptions about them.

The roads up there - they are flat, but are they smooth or rough?

How heavy are you? If you're a big boy like me, the wheel might just be overly worked.

Then there's riding style. This may or may not be a problem, I just don't know, but it comes from the discovery that track bike wheels cop a lot of stress from the sprinting and so carry a lot of spokes, sometimes wired together.

The thought is that if you're a big bloke, on a bike with reduced spokes, with a really attacking riding style on rough roads, you might just need to look at stronger wheels.

Then again, a rebuild of the current wheels might be all that's needed :roll:

Richard


Yes it does depend on a lot of criteria.
I don't have the modern less is better style wheels. Picture below and it's red.
The roads are mainly flat and fairly good condition. Both breaks occurred when on good flat roads.
I'm 88kg (and getting lighter too :D )

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Postby europa » Thu Nov 30, 2006 10:14 am

Hmm **takes theory and shreds it**

Mate, you must have crook spokes. I'd be pretty grumpy about having any spoke problems under those conditions. Maybe they've been overtensioned.

So, what happened to the pink bike? **looks innocent** :D

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Postby tuco » Thu Nov 30, 2006 10:24 am

europa wrote:Hmm **takes theory and shreds it**

Mate, you must have crook spokes. I'd be pretty grumpy about having any spoke problems under those conditions. Maybe they've been overtensioned.

So, what happened to the pink bike? **looks innocent** :D

Richard


I was thinking along the lines of over tensioned or after hearing the story of the rusty spokes, they could be inferior spokes. Hopefully another will break and they can replace the lot and I won't have to be concerned with them.

Pink bike . . . as my wife would say you're like a dog at a bone. :lol:

I'm checking out a bike for my daughter tonight. It's a year old and is owned my the daughter of a bike mechanic from the lbs so should be in ideal condition. His daughter is the same age but has switched to track riding. He's asking $450 which from what he described sounds like a good deal. It has SORA components and is locked out for age racing but that can be changed as she gets older.
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Postby LuckyPierre » Thu Nov 30, 2006 1:13 pm

It pretty much has to be dodgy spokes. I've never had a broken one (touch wood!) - on road bikes, mtb's, traditional wheels or ones with 'not enough' spokes (and radial spoking).
I know, I probably shouldn't have said it - I will not accept any bets on how soon I break my first one!
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Postby mikesbytes » Thu Nov 30, 2006 4:59 pm

Depends on the quality of the build, the wheels I have on the beast, the spokes keep coming loose. The reason is that they should of had locktight or some similar product applied.
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Postby europa » Thu Nov 30, 2006 5:14 pm

I wouldn't have thought that loctite was needed or wise on spokes. Any ideas on why Mike? Doesn't the tension keep them from unwinding?(always ready to learn something new :wink: )

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Postby mikesbytes » Thu Nov 30, 2006 8:39 pm

That was what I was told by the resident club bits and pieces expert.

Good rims + good spokes + good hub + good builder = good wheels.

Dodgy spokes + locktight = slightly less dodgy spokes.

Bear in mind that there are different types of locktight
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Postby sogood » Thu Nov 30, 2006 8:48 pm

Further, according to wheel experts on the Usenet, you are supposed to drip a drop of light oil into the nipple (?linseed oil). Seemed to be exactly the opposite of loctite. :roll:
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Postby europa » Thu Nov 30, 2006 8:54 pm

Ah ha Mike, we're talking 'beastly' spokes on the beast. Fair enough.

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Postby tuco » Thu Nov 30, 2006 9:10 pm

Well I bought a second hand road bike for my daughter tonight. It's a Cytek ladies bike with narrow handle bars, shorter top bar, easier to reach levers, SORA components, 7005 frame with carbon fibre forks. She won't be racing until next year so I'm busy unlocking the gears. She's 13 and it was set up for U13 racing so half the gears are locked out.

Anyway, I digress - The seller is a bike mechanic so I took the opportunity to ask about the spokes.
Lucky the bike I bought had the same wheels as mine which made life easier. He said that they are flexible rims and they where designed for someone 8 kilos lighter than me but he said salesmen don't tell you those things. The continual flexing stresses the spokes and if they are sub standard then they'll eventually break.

He reckons that if another one breaks then get them to replace them all and if it continues after that then get stiffer rims or lose weight :shock:
I'm aiming to be 8 kilos less in the future so now I have an added reason to lose weight - to save money on buying new rims.
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Postby Kx125 » Thu Nov 30, 2006 10:24 pm

tuco wrote:Well I bought a second hand road bike for my daughter tonight. It's a Cytek ladies bike with narrow handle bars, shorter top bar, easier to reach levers, SORA components, 7005 frame with carbon fibre forks. She won't be racing until next year so I'm busy unlocking the gears. She's 13 and it was set up for U13 racing so half the gears are locked out.

Anyway, I digress - The seller is a bike mechanic so I took the opportunity to ask about the spokes.
Lucky the bike I bought had the same wheels as mine which made life easier. He said that they are flexible rims and they where designed for someone 8 kilos lighter than me but he said salesmen don't tell you those things. The continual flexing stresses the spokes and if they are sub standard then they'll eventually break.

He reckons that if another one breaks then get them to replace them all and if it continues after that then get stiffer rims or lose weight :shock:
I'm aiming to be 8 kilos less in the future so now I have an added reason to lose weight - to save money on buying new rims.


what they acually lock gears? so that they dont get up to high speeds or what?
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Postby mikesbytes » Thu Nov 30, 2006 10:26 pm

What wheels has your daughters bike got? Perhaps those wheels are suitable for you and vice versa?
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Postby tuco » Thu Nov 30, 2006 10:43 pm

Kx125 wrote:what they acually lock gears? so that they dont get up to high speeds or what?


They sure do.

There are different roll out distances for age groups of juniors.
The logic behind it is so that the kids don't injure growing bodies by pushing too hard a gear and also to provide a level playing field by evening out the fact that kids develop at different ages so early developers don't get an advantage by being able to push higher gears and so go faster.

This site explains it well www.carnegiecycling.com.au/JDP/Document ... ollout.pdf

Both our wheels are CLASS AKX R1.0 so we can't swap.
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Postby europa » Thu Nov 30, 2006 11:08 pm

I'm a bit wary of this wheel thing Tuco. At 88kg, you are NOT heavy. If the wheels can't handle that weight I'd be asking some serious questions. That's pathetic. Hell, I'm 106kg and I'd expect any bike I bought off the floor to be able to carry me without failure.

On the other hand, congratulations on the bike for your daughter. It's great riding with your kids as I'm discovering with my son. :D

The locking of gears and restrictions on track bike gearing is fascinating but it's comforting in that it shows that the powers that be are thinking of the kids. Here in south oz, the cycling federation actually encourages juniors to get into track cycling because it improves their bike control and leg speed. I'm sure the various federations have their issues (they're only hooman after all) but they are at least thinking about the kids. Here, once a week, juniors can get track training and a loan bike on our Superdrome (where the AIS trains) which would be great for my lad if it wasn't at the other end of the city and on the only night we can't get there :?

Mate, riding with my son is one of the better things I've discovered, even if he makes me look even more unfit than I am. But then again, sharing anything with your kids is special.

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Postby Bernard » Fri Dec 01, 2006 10:30 am

I've been riding my racing bike for 2 years and only broke 2 spokes although I think it was mainly because of the 1 inch height gap between the road and the overpass bridge (apparently the road settled because of the Lane Cove Tunnel works but the bridge stayed where it was) which they eventually fixed.

Also when I got the bearings / collar etc replaced in the head stem they eventually used the loctite after the 3rd time I brought the bike back to the shop because it kept working itself loose.
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Postby mikesbytes » Fri Dec 01, 2006 3:22 pm

Bernard wrote:Also when I got the bearings / collar etc replaced in the head stem they eventually used the loctite after the 3rd time I brought the bike back to the shop because it kept working itself loose.


Do you know which type of locktight they used ?
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Postby Bernard » Fri Dec 01, 2006 8:05 pm

mikesbytes wrote:
Bernard wrote:Also when I got the bearings / collar etc replaced in the head stem they eventually used the loctite after the 3rd time I brought the bike back to the shop because it kept working itself loose.


Do you know which type of locktight they used ?


Unfortunately not, It was usually on my way home that I got it fixed (at King St Cyclery) and I just wanted it fixed so I could get home.
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Postby europa » Sat Dec 02, 2006 1:44 am

Here you go Tuco. Not only do they not answer your problem but they get really technical about it in the process (and I for one learned some really interesting stuff :roll: )

http://bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=219430

Distilled, your problem probably started when the machine that built your wheels didn't tension the spokes correctly :?

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Postby tuco » Sat Dec 02, 2006 8:09 am

europa wrote:Here you go Tuco. Not only do they not answer your problem but they get really technical about it in the process (and I for one learned some really interesting stuff :roll: )

http://bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=219430

Distilled, your problem probably started when the machine that built your wheels didn't tension the spokes correctly :?

Richard


Okay, after reading all that, if I break another one and the lbs are competent wheel builders I should be right after that. Hopefully, maybe.

Took my daughter on her first group ride today. 28km, slow paced learners ride, and she can't wait for the next ride and padded knicks!

She also had her first fall yesterday. We were riding around the park and she looked back at her gears and, not being used to the lighter bike she wobbled and hit the gutter (there's a roadway through the park, it's a botanical gardens). Luckily she fell to the left and the grassed side and only got a bit of grazing on her hip and a sore elbow. I had been riding with her but had gone home to take my other daughter somewhere. Don't panic, I didn't leave her alone, her mother was still with her.
The bike had the handle bar tape torn and a bit of a scrap on the shifter otherwise it checked out okay.
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Postby tuco » Sat Dec 16, 2006 8:59 am

Broke another one today. That's three in about 6 weeks.

Of course they looked at me stupidly when I took it in today to be repaired and told them it's a warranty job then had to go through the entire saga again.

Last broken spoke I was told if one more broke they'd respoke both wheels, I hope they don't renege on that offer. I mentioned I'd been told that to them twice today but they ignored the comment which doesn't worry me at the moment. I just want it ready for tomorrow's big ride. Respoking can be done when I'm away next week.
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Postby tuco » Mon Dec 18, 2006 9:17 am

How tight should spokes be?

I had my rear wheel respoked Saturday and I was riding about 15km/h yesterday (just a roll around the park with my wife - that doesn't sound good does it) and it felt like I had a flat tyre. While riding I was looking for a flat tyre and I could see the wheel rim flexing.

I checked the tension when I got home and squeezing two adjucent spokes visibly bent the rim. My daughter has the same wheels and doing the same to hers, I could hardly bend the spokes let alone the rim. Mine had much more tension before the respoke.

I took it back to the bike shop today and the guy reckons it's normal. It didn't feel normal while riding! He said wheels flex when going up hill but I was on the flat. He's getting the mechanic to check and tighten them.
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