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  • Spokes

     mallorcadave updated 4 years, 10 months ago 3 Members · 5 Posts
  • Tall_bloke

    30 August 2015 at 7:55 pm

    I seem to be going through too many spokes on my rear wheel. I have a 29 er and have had to replace 6 snapped spokes in just over a year. Both side have gone but only ever 1 at a time. Can I replace the spokes with heavy duty spokes or is it just the way it is?

  • Steve Kish

    30 August 2015 at 10:57 pm

    You should be able to replace with heavier gauge spokes but let’s to analyse why they’re breaking first …

    How many of the six did you break on the drive side?

    How many are pulling spokes (that is to say the spokes that pull the rim when you turn the hub?

    Is either the drive side or non-drive side a radial spoking?

  • Tall_bloke

    31 August 2015 at 8:40 am

    Got me there Steve. Only 2 were on the drive side, but the one yesterday was one of the 2. Didn’t know there was so much to do with spokes. I was just riding along a fairly flat track with no big holes or bumps.

  • Steve Kish

    31 August 2015 at 7:39 pm

    Yeah, spokes and wheel building (although not the black art that some will try to convince you of) is quite technical. I’ll try and explain a bit and use a standard 32-hole rear wheel as the example.

    The spokes that need to be the strongest are the 8 drive side pulling spokes. These are the spokes on the cassette side that ‘pull’ the rim when you turn the hub. The other 8 on that side are support spokes.

    The second most hard-working spokes are the non-drive side pulling spokes. They do the same job but are under slightly less pressure being on the other side of the hub.

    If you are going to replace any spokes, use heavier gauge spokes of the same length by firstly replacing DSPS and then NDSPS.

    Spoke tension is also quite important – a wheel too tight places a lot of tension on the spokes and a wheel too loose may allow too much flex that can cause spoke failure through constant bending and rubbing and of course, a floppy rim. Spoke tension can be roughly gauged by tapping a replacement spoke and hearing roughly the same note as one already in there – doesn’t have to be pitch-perfect though.

    …and of course, use a good quality spoke such as DT Swiss or Sapim. The difference between a good spoke and a bad one is staggering and worth 10 times the price difference. Under no circumstances buy a Robregal spoke. I’ve cooked spaghetti stronger than this brand!


  • mallorcadave

    1 September 2015 at 8:42 am

    I’ve only ever broken spokes on factory built wheels that came on full builds and in every case it has been that the manufacturer has used 15 guage spokes instead of 14, presumably to reach a weight price point balance. It’s not just that they are thinner but also that bend at the head end is not a snug fit in the flange holes which allows the head of the spoke to want to straighten out slightly. That’s why when I build wheels I only use (as Steve said) DT and Sapim spokes in 14g

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