PDA

View Full Version : Serial Broken Spokes



vern
06-03-2014, 08:15 AM
I broke a spoke on the non-drive side of my back wheel this morning. I broke a spoke on the same side of the same wheel about 3 weeks ago (at about the 7 o'clock position if the prior broken spoke is at 12 o'clock). The wheel is the stock wheel for this bike: http://www.bikepedia.com/quickbike/BikeSpecs.aspx?year=2010&brand=Fuji&model=SL1-COMP+Shimano

bought new, out of the box in January of this year. The wheel doesn't have more than 3000 miles on it. I checked it for true on Sunday and it was almost perfect.

I know spokes break on occasion. But because I've broken two on the same side of the same wheel so close in time, I'm wondering if there are things I should be looking at/for in terms of prevention. All of my riding is on paved trail and roads. TIA.

Steve O
06-03-2014, 08:18 AM
I know spokes break on occasion. But because I've broken two on the same side of the same wheel so close in time, I'm wondering if there are things I should be looking at/for in terms of prevention. All of my riding is on paved trail and roads. TIA.

My experience has been that once this starts happening you just have to replace the wheel. Either that or relace it entirely. You may want to carry a spare spoke with you in the meantime and hope it's on the good side.

Mikey
06-03-2014, 09:35 AM
I think Steve O is mostly correct. When the spoke breaks, the spokes on the other side get looser, and the adjacent spokes get tighter. When replacing the spoke and retruing the wheel, most of the spokes tend to get tightened again, sometimes overtightened. One thing you could do to lengthen the life of the wheel is to loosen every spoke after replacing the new one, then re-true. If the spokes seem too loose, then tighten each a quarter turn and true them again. If the spokes are too tight they will all start to go. If they are too loose, a couple will rub and break. Cary a couple to be safe just in case.

For me it's always the cassette side.

Harry Meatmotor
06-03-2014, 10:00 AM
It's been my experience that, generally, multiple broken spokes are a sign that the wheel is under tensioned. Were the spokes breaking at the head or at the nipple?

When a loaded wheel rotates, each spoke is stretched and compressed, alternatively, as they pass from the bottom of the wheel to the top of the wheel. When there's too little tension on the spokes, the spokes under compression will begin to fatigue, usually at the spoke head/j-bend.

From a materials perspective, what's happening during most spoke failures at the head, is that the j-bend is elastically deforming every time the wheel makes a revolution. it's not hard to imagine millions of cycles fatiguing all the spokes in a low-tension wheel, at about the same rate. therefore, when you see one or two spokes fail due to low tension, it's really only a matter of time before you're better off re-lacing the wheel.

also, depending on how long the wheel has been under tensioned, just adding more tension could fix the problem. However, if the spokes are breaking regularly and the wheel has more than a couple thousand miles on it, adding tension may cause the spokes to fail sooner.

Otherwise, I've definitely seen multiple spoke failures if the rear derailleur has either been rubbing the spokes, or allowed the chain to over shift in the largest cog, damaging the spokes.

vern
06-03-2014, 11:43 AM
It's been my experience that, generally, multiple broken spokes are a sign that the wheel is under tensioned. Were the spokes breaking at the head or at the nipple?

When a loaded wheel rotates, each spoke is stretched and compressed, alternatively, as they pass from the bottom of the wheel to the top of the wheel. When there's too little tension on the spokes, the spokes under compression will begin to fatigue, usually at the spoke head/j-bend.

From a materials perspective, what's happening during most spoke failures at the head, is that the j-bend is elastically deforming every time the wheel makes a revolution. it's not hard to imagine millions of cycles fatiguing all the spokes in a low-tension wheel, at about the same rate. therefore, when you see one or two spokes fail due to low tension, it's really only a matter of time before you're better off re-lacing the wheel.

also, depending on how long the wheel has been under tensioned, just adding more tension could fix the problem. However, if the spokes are breaking regularly and the wheel has more than a couple thousand miles on it, adding tension may cause the spokes to fail sooner.

Otherwise, I've definitely seen multiple spoke failures if the rear derailleur has either been rubbing the spokes, or allowed the chain to over shift in the largest cog, damaging the spokes.

Both broke at the head. Your comment and others all suggest it's time to start over rather than the quick fix (replace spoke), which isn't what I wanted to hear, but I reckon what I needed to hear.

As it regards the the wheel being under tensioned, I suppose then that the wheel could still be true even if under tensioned and therefore, my observation that the wheel was essentially true wasn't enough, but that I also needed to test the tension of the spokes.

Steve O
06-03-2014, 11:51 AM
I've never bought one of these, but I've always thought it would be handy to have--particularly with a cassette-side spoke break.

http://www.peterwhitecycles.com/fiberfix.asp

Any experience with these, anyone?

Harry Meatmotor
06-03-2014, 11:54 AM
Both broke at the head... my observation that the wheel was essentially true wasn't enough, but that I also needed to test the tension of the spokes.

Correct - the upside is that if the rim hub are still in good shape, it's really not a hugely expensive proposition and many, many more miles could be had with your wheels. Or, this could be an opportunity to take a wheel building class.

Checking spoke tension is a little difficult without the proper measuring device (called a tensiometer). There are also differences in lacing pattern, spoke size and shape (i.e. bladed vs. butted vs. straight gauge), and rim and hub combinations that affect what an adequate tension for any given wheel should be.

Harry Meatmotor
06-03-2014, 11:57 AM
I've never bought one of these, but I've always thought it would be handy to have--particularly with a casette-side spoke break.

http://www.peterwhitecycles.com/fiberfix.asp

Any experience with these, anyone?

They make sense if you're going to riding a long way from home, or any other means of support, but in that case, I'd just tape 4 or 5 replacement spokes for both F & R wheels to your chainstay.

cyclingfool
06-03-2014, 12:29 PM
I've never bought one of these, but I've always thought it would be handy to have--particularly with a cassette-side spoke break.

http://www.peterwhitecycles.com/fiberfix.asp

Any experience with these, anyone?

I had one for a while. I think it got nicked when my Surly was stolen (it was probably in the under-saddle tool bag). I tried using it once or twice, but I could never get adequate tension on it. I read and reread the instructions, though I have little doubt it was operator error.

The wheels I built for myself about a year ago have held up better than anything I ever bought pre-made (stock wheels, used wheels from Phoenix, and even new stuff from Handspun), so knock on wood, I won't have any issues any time soon. That said, if I do go farther afield (e.g., an overnight on the C&O which is in the works or even more distant touring [sadly not in the works]), I'll probably just do like Harry M. suggests and take a few extra actual spokes with me. I even have a mini cassette tool about the size of a half dollar to remove the cassette if necessary.

IOW, it's a novel idea, and if used properly probably can help you out in a pinch. I've seen people speak glowingly of them online. Personally, though I wasn't much impressed...

jnva
06-03-2014, 12:38 PM
Just build a wheel like this and it'll never break
http://youtu.be/sZ7dtrRrSTg

hozn
06-03-2014, 09:32 PM
Yeah, agree with what others have said. Your wheel is likely under tensioned and tensions are uneven, so spokes will keep breaking. If you have an iphone you can try the spoke tension app. It apparently works quite well; you just have to measure carefully.

To ensure that the tensions are even you can just use tones too (but it helps to have a reference point). You probably want 120kgf on your rear drive side; I usually do around 110kgf on the front. Depends on the rims, but most support that. As you surmised the wheel being laterally true has rather little bearing on the quality of the build/wheel.

Mikey
06-03-2014, 10:12 PM
I have much to learn, but need to build my own wheels. Okay, there goes the rest of my non-existent free time.

Dirt
06-04-2014, 05:49 AM
Lots of good information here. Bicycle wheels are pretty amazing things. Well built ones are fantastically strong and remarkably light weight.

I've generally found that making sure that the wheel matches the rider helps a lot in the longevity of a wheel. The trend in wheels for the last decade or so is to have fewer spokes and a deep-dish rim. Wheels on less expensive bikes were made to look like the ones on high end bikes, but they may not function like their more expensive brethren. These wheels aren't bad, but they don't match all riders.

I'm a pretty big guy (6'4", 200lbs) and I used to be quite a bit bigger (wider). I found that old-school wheels (32 or 36 spokes in a 3-cross lacing pattern (each spoke crosses 3 other spokes between the hub and the rim)) provided me the best ride and most durability in most conditions.

This might not be a bad discussion for a coffee club or happy hour. It is often easier to discuss these things with visuals and wheels you can touch and play with.

mstone
06-04-2014, 06:09 AM
36 spokes 3x +1

I'm not a cute little person, I don't need a cute little wheel. :)

Harry Meatmotor
06-04-2014, 06:18 AM
to kind of tack-on to dirt's comments: similarly to the old work triangle adage "Fast, Cheap, Good; Pick two," for bike wheels it's typically, "Light, Cheap, Strong; Pick two."

Dirt
06-04-2014, 07:39 AM
to kind of tack-on to dirt's comments: similarly to the old work triangle adage "Fast, Cheap, Good; Pick two," for bike wheels it's typically, "Light, Cheap, Strong; Pick two."
Quite true. My inexpensive and strong wheels are definitely not light. You can mix those adjectives around in any combination and the statement tends to hold true. :D

Bill Hole
06-09-2014, 01:02 PM
I just replaced the wheel set on my commuter for this very reason. After three spokes, I saw the handwriting on the wall and bought a set of 36-spoke wheels. I squeezed and plucked the spokes to be sure they were tight before mounting, and I expect them to work much better than the Shimano HR-500's that came on the bike. This is the second bike I've bought in recent years that required new wheels because of spoke breakage. I have little faith in original-equipment wheels.

The longest-lasting wheels I've ever had were the set I built myself in 1981 for my old Falcon 10-speed. They're still rolling.

Terpfan
02-25-2015, 05:49 PM
So opinions requested on this same subject. My relatiely newish (bought in late sept) road bike (ridley fenix) broke a spoke on rear wheel two weeks ago. I think on drive side. Anyway, I got in maybe two-threeweeks of riding before another spoke broke (maybe 500 miles, tops, between breaking). But i keep thinking it can't be the wheel as it's so new and my hybrid took 3 yrs to need a new wheel. Is my mechanically stupid mind just way off and it's just crappy stock wheel? I'm going to check to see if there was any warranty on it.

hozn
02-25-2015, 09:17 PM
Yes, crap wheel. Well, badly built wheel. It could probably be salvaged but likely needs to be completely detensioned and retensioned in order to ensure that tensions are even - and also that they are high enough (if the wheel is sufficiently spec'd I am guessing the wheel was under tensioned).

If there was no specific trauma (e.g. chain chewed through spoke), the spokes breaking is a symptom of a bigger problem; replacing the broken spokes won't solve the larger issue.

Jason B
02-25-2015, 10:16 PM
Ok, ok, cheap wheels, poorly made wheels seems to be obvious for the broken spokes, but what about riding style contributing to broken spokes? (Not insinuating anything Terpfan, just broadening the topic)
I have a buddy who got a decent bike with some decent Folcrums, nothing super special but a solid level wheel. He has broken many spokes. I have to think his constant mashing style, with swaying attack-like spurts, terribly inefficiently mind you, has to do torque damage. No???
Also, I have another buddy, great rider. Built himself a beastly set of wheels with sapims and alchemy elf and (the other alchemy) with on par rims (can't remember). He has spurts of soaring power attacks. He also breaks spokes regularly. Granted, cavendish can churn out twice as much power with with nary a ping. barring having Marky's fleat of wrenches to finely tune his precious spinners, can't power surges and riding style have some play in the broken spoke arena? Nes pas?
Here's as question, do sprinters break more spokes?

brendan
02-25-2015, 11:14 PM
The old-timers (compliment) at Bicyclespace built up a pair of bombproof wheels for the big dummy a little ways back. Sapin heavy-duty spokes, rhyno lite boxy rims, etc.

Neither light nor cheap (for their class of rim), but hopefully no worries for the next 5-10 years.

B

hozn
02-26-2015, 06:56 AM
I'm no expert here, and I may be well be wrong (am happy to be wrong!) but from what I have read, I don't think riding style -- at least in terms of torque -- is going to be a singnificant factor in breaking wheels. Apparently forces due to pedaling torque are less significant compared to forces from braking torque and far less significant than forces due to rider weight and impact. So definitely heavier riders or people riding on rough terrain (and riding "style" could be a factor there) are going to need stronger wheels.

I will admit here that I do feel that braking force -- specifically disc-brakes -- is a significant factor. This is because I have broken (a few!) spokes on disc-brake wheels. I am willing to concede that there were probably some mistakes made in those earlier builds -- and likely my wheels weren't under sufficient tension. I now treat front (disc-brake) wheels more like rear wheels in terms of going for maximum/recommended tension for the rims. I also pay a lot more attention to stress relieving spokes and also ensuring that spokes don't wind up when building. And I use thinner / more elastic spokes (Sapim D-Light or CX-Ray). And I prioritize tension balance over perfect trueness, since a disc-brake wheel being slightly (e.g. 1mm) out of lateral true isn't going to cause any brake rub. So far I haven't had any issues since refining these techniques, but both of my recent disc wheelsets each have only 3k miles on them, so they're still babies.

If a wheel is built correctly and still breaks, then my first instinct would be that there are insufficient spokes. More spokes means, obviously, more sharing of the load when the rim deflects (which it does in the normal course of riding) due to impacting a hole (or a curb) or even just as the wheel rotates. It is the dramatic changes in tension that cause spokes to break, so finding a spoke that is very elastic may help or adding more spokes so that any single spoke is changing less. Etc.

Terpfan
02-26-2015, 01:05 PM
Could be my riding style, although I doubt it given I don't have that much power. I suspect it's just a crappy wheel combined with dealing with random bumps on MVT/DC roads. I literally broke one or two spokes in three years on the hybrid and logged thousands of miles before needing to replace the rear wheel. I'm going to shoot them a note asking more about bike warranty because it will blow if I have to drop a few hundred for a new wheel just months into riding it. We shall see.

Terpfan
02-27-2015, 08:39 AM
Could be my riding style, although I doubt it given I don't have that much power. I suspect it's just a crappy wheel combined with dealing with random bumps on MVT/DC roads. I literally broke one or two spokes in three years on the hybrid and logged thousands of miles before needing to replace the rear wheel. I'm going to shoot them a note asking more about bike warranty because it will blow if I have to drop a few hundred for a new wheel just months into riding it. We shall see.

"We stand behind every product we sell. If an item does not meet your expectations, simply return it. We guarantee your money back for a full year. After one year. we will provide an exchange, repair, or store credit to ensure you have product that meets your needs. If you have lost your receipt, we will provide a store credit at our current price.

You can get help with this from our Customer Service folks. They can be reached at 800-727-2433 or EMAIL them at customerservice@performancebike.com They will be happy to assist you."

Well, I guess I'll just bring it at the next broken spoke. What's funny is they seem to think I want the money when I fact, I just want it to work.

hozn
02-27-2015, 09:39 AM
Yeah, performance is great about stuff like that. Good -- hopefully they can get that bike back on the road. I am not sure I would trust them to actually rebuild the wheel, but YMMV.

Terpfan
03-03-2015, 08:06 AM
Yeah, performance is great about stuff like that. Good -- hopefully they can get that bike back on the road. I am not sure I would trust them to actually rebuild the wheel, but YMMV.

Oh, I'm still riding until my next spoke breaks (hoping it clears the end of BAFS at least).

And agreed, I am a little nervous about them on a rebuild. Although I went to the one in Springfield and the lead maintenance guy there seems good.

Terpfan
03-17-2015, 10:34 AM
Oh, I'm still riding until my next spoke breaks (hoping it clears the end of BAFS at least).

And agreed, I am a little nervous about them on a rebuild. Although I went to the one in Springfield and the lead maintenance guy there seems good.

That didn't take long. Less than two weeks later (and I only rode half of the days in between with snow/work/etc), another broken spoke on rear tire. I rode hybrid in today and tomorrow I will take it to Performance and basically say I need you guys to give me a wheel that works. Otherwise, the bike has been fine. The only other plus is that I've become an expert at knowing exactly when the spoke tension goes even modestly.

Terpfan
03-31-2015, 02:17 PM
That didn't take long. Less than two weeks later (and I only rode half of the days in between with snow/work/etc), another broken spoke on rear tire. I rode hybrid in today and tomorrow I will take it to Performance and basically say I need you guys to give me a wheel that works. Otherwise, the bike has been fine. The only other plus is that I've become an expert at knowing exactly when the spoke tension goes even modestly.

So heard back from Performance that Ridley denied the warranty on rear wheel. Their rationale was two-part. One, Ridley claimed they have never had anyone claim a wheel warranty issue. Two, they claimed it should have had a claim from the first broken spoke. Both the Performance employee and I thought those are total bs responses given every wheel is built individually so saying the others were fine is pointless and because the regular response to any broken spoke is not to presume wheel failure, but to change the spoke.

Anyway, Performance guy said he will push back on Ridley given it's their product. Then mentioned they could do a wheel for me for $100 and no labor installed. But I said I was only five months into one year warranty so I don't think I should be paying. He said he'll try with Ridley again and then we'll go from there.

So, awaiting his call back and keeping my fingers crossed that Ridley has an iota of customer service although not expecting it.

dasgeh
03-31-2015, 02:56 PM
So, awaiting his call back and keeping my fingers crossed that Ridley has an iota of customer service although not expecting it.

Have you tried twitter?

Terpfan
03-31-2015, 03:57 PM
Have you tried twitter?

Not yet. I'm thinking social media is my next outlet if Performance doesn't succeed, but I figured best to let them try first.

hozn
03-31-2015, 08:36 PM
the regular response to any broken spoke is not to presume wheel failure, but to change the spoke.

I would suggest that a broken spoke (from stress, not some known trauma, like a chain off the big cog) -- especially on such young wheels -- should be assumed to be a symptom of a larger problem with the wheel. Spokes will keep braking until the root problem (undertensioned or unevenly tensioned wheel most likely) is fixed.

But of course, I agree that to use that as reason not to honor warranty is dumb. I would recommend not getting factory-built wheels again. Folks like Easton hand build their wheels and my limited experience suggests that they do a good job.

Terpfan
04-04-2015, 11:55 AM
Performance to their credit gave me another wheel (cyclocross that fits). Ridley's just too cheap to stand behind their product. Lesson learned. Funny you mentioned getting off factory wheels, as my hybrid's second wheel has been an absolutely awesome and tough.

peterw_diy
04-04-2015, 02:19 PM
Not yet. I'm thinking social media is my next outlet if Performance doesn't succeed, but I figured best to let them try first.

IMO you should write this up on bikeforums.net where it will get more visibility, and reduce Ridley's ability to make that absurd Historical Infalibilty claim in the future.

Terpfan
05-20-2015, 09:05 AM
Damnit, I had a rear non-drivetrain side spoke snap on me at the hub. I think something got into my wheel on the MVT by where the NPS guys were mowing the grass. Twig, rock, or something, because i heard the pang as if something got in there and hit the back of my heel. I suppose it could have been the spoke itself, but I don't think it would have flown out that way so easily. Needless to say, bah, I've had the worst luck with spokes on this bike. I literally think I replaced one spoke ever or maybe two on my hybrid in 3 years of owning it.

Terpfan
05-20-2015, 10:28 AM
And, I'll tag on, the guys at Bicycle Pro Shop on M St (right at Key Bridge) were awesome. I explained the issue and that I needed it to ride home. They fixed it for me while I waited. I know the LBS' are all back-logged with stuff so as a commuter, I especially appreciate them doing that for me.

Lt. Dan
05-20-2015, 11:27 AM
When I first bought my Fuji, I broke a spoke on my first three rides!!!! after the third time, I loosened all of them, re-tensioned both wheels, and used loc-tite on the nipples. Over a thousand miles later, and no issues with breaking or loosening spokes

hozn
05-20-2015, 01:58 PM
With sufficient tension, you don't need loctite; I suspect the real fix was that you retensioned it.

@Terpfan, at minimum you need those wheels completely rebuilt. Worst-case (if the rims are too out of true to build with even spoke tensions), you need new wheels. Get hand-built wheels or factory wheels that are known to be high-quality. With factory wheels, have someone check the tensions after a couple hundred miles in case the spokes unwind. With hand built wheels, no spokes should be unwinding (if you hear pinging sounds when you start riding them take them back to have tensions checked).

Terpfan
05-20-2015, 02:23 PM
With sufficient tension, you don't need loctite; I suspect the real fix was that you retensioned it.

@Terpfan, at minimum you need those wheels completely rebuilt. Worst-case (if the rims are too out of true to build with even spoke tensions), you need new wheels. Get hand-built wheels or factory wheels that are known to be high-quality. With factory wheels, have someone check the tensions after a couple hundred miles in case the spokes unwind. With hand built wheels, no spokes should be unwinding (if you hear pinging sounds when you start riding them take them back to have tensions checked).

That's the weird thing. The rear wheel is relatively new. They took back that crappy factory one for me and gave me a new (slightly nicer) cross wheel as a replacement. I noticed the spokes out of tension once on the new wheel and had them tightened, but no real problems until today when the spoke break. So this would be the first spoke on this new rear wheel.

So do you think it may be something else causing it like the hub? I'm trying to think of what else could cause it. I'm not a small guy (6'3 255 or so), but no one at LBSes seem to think that was the issue given the bike frames size. Leaving me kind of at a loss for what's causing it.

The actual ride itself is all roads and trails--little bit of Wisconsin Ave, 33rd/34th/35th in Georgetown, MVT, Beacon Hill Rd, etc--so nothing that's off-road or even all that too bumpy, imo.

Steve O
05-20-2015, 02:33 PM
That's the weird thing. The rear wheel is relatively new. They took back that crappy factory one for me and gave me a new (slightly nicer) cross wheel as a replacement. I noticed the spokes out of tension once on the new wheel and had them tightened, but no real problems until today when the spoke break. So this would be the first spoke on this new rear wheel.

If I understand you, this is the first spoke on the new wheel. I would hang tight until you break another. If that doesn't happen, then you are good, and it was an anomaly or it was caused by being struck or something. If another one goes in the next couple of months, then it's a bigger problem.

hozn
05-20-2015, 02:34 PM
Hmmm, so the tensions of (all) the spokes on the new wheel were the same (at least within 5-10%) and were all high enough? (Do you know what the tension was / should have been?) I have definitely seen (gotten) wheels that were simply under-tensioned. That is a sure recipe for spokes breaking, especially with larger riders. Double-buttes spokes, I presume? (You may not know whether they are, but probably safe assumption on a decent wheel.)

hozn
05-20-2015, 02:36 PM
Maybe time for 36h? Assuming these were 32h.

Terpfan
05-20-2015, 02:45 PM
If I understand you, this is the first spoke on the new wheel. I would hang tight until you break another. If that doesn't happen, then you are good, and it was an anomaly or it was caused by being struck or something. If another one goes in the next couple of months, then it's a bigger problem.

Correct, it's the first broken spoke on the replacement wheel. I had previously noticed one of the spokes had become looser and taken it by Spokes on the way home one day to adjust. They tightened them all and I didn't notice anything for the next probably 15 or 20 rides or so until today when it broke.


Hmmm, so the tensions of (all) the spokes on the new wheel were the same (at least within 5-10%) and were all high enough? (Do you know what the tension was / should have been?) I have definitely seen (gotten) wheels that were simply under-tensioned. That is a sure recipe for spokes breaking, especially with larger riders. Double-buttes spokes, I presume? (You may not know whether they are, but probably safe assumption on a decent wheel.)

Yes, I would suspect the tensions were the same as the mechanic at Spokes tightened them to bring it true for me when the one was loose the other week. I suspect the wheel started way under-tensioned from where it should have been. I'm pretty sure the answer on double-buttes is yes, although I admit to being not knowledgable to know the difference one way or the other.

hozn
05-20-2015, 02:52 PM
If you already had a spoke get loose (and corrected it), i feel very confident that the problem is systemic (that loose spoke would have broken shortly thereafter): you need to have the wheel rebuilt or they will just keep breaking. I suspect the mechanic did not completely retension wheel? (I have had spokes replaced and wheels trued by mechanics and then spokes kept breaking until wheels were completely detensioned and rebuilt.)

Of course, I hope I am wrong. I have been down this road a few times, though, and eventually decided I would build all my own wheels. That ended the epidemic, though I won't pretend there wasn't some learning with my early commuter disc-brake wheels. :-)

Terpfan
06-23-2015, 09:37 AM
If you already had a spoke get loose (and corrected it), i feel very confident that the problem is systemic (that loose spoke would have broken shortly thereafter): you need to have the wheel rebuilt or they will just keep breaking. I suspect the mechanic did not completely retension wheel? (I have had spokes replaced and wheels trued by mechanics and then spokes kept breaking until wheels were completely detensioned and rebuilt.)

Of course, I hope I am wrong. I have been down this road a few times, though, and eventually decided I would build all my own wheels. That ended the epidemic, though I won't pretend there wasn't some learning with my early commuter disc-brake wheels. :-)

And, boom, there it goes again. Second broken spoke (had to have it re-tensioned twice prior to both brakes). The thing is that since this is the second wheel on the same bike (they replaced the first one with a new cyclocross wheel), I'm left with the impression that maybe there is something to the frame design that's putting untoward pressure on the rear wheel?

The reason I say that is because on hybrid, I literally had one broken spoke the entire time I owned it. I even replaced wheels prior to actual broken spokes because it just wasn't an issue. This bike is now 10 months old and between two entirely different wheels, I've had 5 or maybe 6 spokes break now. I'm trying a different Performance Bike at lunch time in Rockville.

If all else fails, I'll see if they actually honor their return system and then I'm going to just go elsewhere and pick something that everyone rides with less mechanical difficulties.

*Fingers crossed* (again).

hozn
06-23-2015, 09:49 AM
And, boom, there it goes again. Second broken spoke (had to have it re-tensioned twice prior to both brakes). The thing is that since this is the second wheel on the same bike (they replaced the first one with a new cyclocross wheel), I'm left with the impression that maybe there is something to the frame design that's putting untoward pressure on the rear wheel?

I'm pretty confident they're just badly built wheels; I haven't ever heard of a bike frame being the culprit for broken spokes (although, sure, if you're loading up the bike that is a factor). It's primarily about weight (you+bike) on the wheels (and impacts, etc.). Both wheelsets sound like they have been junk. There is no shortage of garbage wheels out there that will work fine for the person that rides their bike 5 miles a few times times a year, but they won't hold up to daily use/abuse. If you don't want to pay for better wheels (best to get hand-built, but some of the better brands like Easton also build their off-the-shelf wheels by hand) then I'd say go for more spokes. Not sure what you have now but maybe go with a 32-spoke wheelset.



The reason I say that is because on hybrid, I literally had one broken spoke the entire time I owned it. I even replaced wheels prior to actual broken spokes because it just wasn't an issue. This bike is now 10 months old and between two entirely different wheels, I've had 5 or maybe 6 spokes break now. I'm trying a different Performance Bike at lunch time in Rockville.


It sounds like you just got "lucky" with the Hybrid and it came with a decent set of wheels. They probably also had more spokes, so that can mitigate an otherwise poor build.


If all else fails, I'll see if they actually honor their return system and then I'm going to just go elsewhere and pick something that everyone rides with less mechanical difficulties.

Well, I wouldn't return bike because of the wheelset, but I suppose you could choose another bike with different wheels and get lucky. Performance (and Nashbar? Others?) carry a Mavic Open Pro / Ultegra wheelset, 32h -- seems like that would be a pretty good choice. http://www.performancebike.com/bikes/Product_10052_10551_1158367_-1_400934__400934

There is also an Open Pro 105 wheelset that is cheaper (and heavier). Neither of those will be light, but it might fix the problem.

Lt. Dan
06-23-2015, 11:01 AM
With sufficient tension, you don't need loctite; I suspect the real fix was that you retensioned it.


You're probably right, but as an old Jarhead I'm a fan of "overkill"- If I see a spider on my desk, I'm inclined to burn my entire office down... just to make sure it's dead....

Terpfan
06-23-2015, 12:33 PM
I'm pretty confident they're just badly built wheels; I haven't ever heard of a bike frame being the culprit for broken spokes (although, sure, if you're loading up the bike that is a factor). It's primarily about weight (you+bike) on the wheels (and impacts, etc.). Both wheelsets sound like they have been junk. There is no shortage of garbage wheels out there that will work fine for the person that rides their bike 5 miles a few times times a year, but they won't hold up to daily use/abuse. If you don't want to pay for better wheels (best to get hand-built, but some of the better brands like Easton also build their off-the-shelf wheels by hand) then I'd say go for more spokes. Not sure what you have now but maybe go with a 32-spoke wheelset.



It sounds like you just got "lucky" with the Hybrid and it came with a decent set of wheels. They probably also had more spokes, so that can mitigate an otherwise poor build.



Well, I wouldn't return bike because of the wheelset, but I suppose you could choose another bike with different wheels and get lucky. Performance (and Nashbar? Others?) carry a Mavic Open Pro / Ultegra wheelset, 32h -- seems like that would be a pretty good choice. http://www.performancebike.com/bikes/Product_10052_10551_1158367_-1_400934__400934

There is also an Open Pro 105 wheelset that is cheaper (and heavier). Neither of those will be light, but it might fix the problem.

Yep, the current wheel is 24 and I do think it's a relatively cheap wheel. Oh, hand-built may exceed my budget capacity, but I bet more spokes would work. I'll take it store anyway and suggest rather than deal with all the warranty stuff, they just agree to install it for me and then I have it sent there.

I actually do enjoy the rest of the bike and have found it responsive to my wear. It's just the spokes that are driving me nuts because I'm used to doing routine lower level maintainance and then a decent tune-up a few times a year, but never really encountering this sort of perpertual problem.

Many thanks for the advice!