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Broken spokes, replace piecemeal, rebuild or new wheel?


Newbie321
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As per title which one and/or when? So I've broken the second spoke in less than two months, wheel is a Stans Crest ZTR. Do you keep replacing spokes as they break, get all new spokes for entire wheel or just buy a new wheel?

 

Edit: Wheel is just over a year and a half old, been ridden almost daily on a mix of road and not so smooth trails.

Edited by Newbie321
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Get the Spoke Tension Checked and Adjusted and replace only broken spokes.

Spokes that are Over Tension Snap easy on the Hub Side.

If you are Jumping with the bike ..............

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Broke one spoke after about 6 months .....

 

2 or 3 months later a second spoke broke .....

 

 

 

Had a LONG discussion with the LBS about my options and their recommendations.

 

 

 

Nothing seemed wrong, no visible damage to the rim, etc ....  We decided to replace the second spoke .....  In the next year not a single broken spoke.

 

 

 

It happens.

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As per title which one and/or when? So I've broken the second spoke in less than two months, wheel is a Stans Crest ZTR. Do you keep replacing spokes as they break, get all new spokes for entire wheel or just buy a new wheel?

 

Edit: Wheel is just over a year and a half old, been ridden almost daily on a mix of road and not so smooth trails.

Are you a big fella?

I think Crests have a weight limit.

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Crest rims are light, and relatively cheap. But they are not strong.

Replace the second spoke, make sure the spoke tension is even (maybe have a good wheelbuilder do this for you.)

If you lose more spokes in the next month or two, then that wheel will need a rebuild, and probably a new rim. But I'll give it another spoke first to give it a chance.

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Spoke tension is not the issue, spokes break from fatigue.  Adjusting tension at this late stage will not get you anywhere. That is why the usual advice is to respoke the wheel (or just the offending side) because all the spokes are moving so all will fatigue at a similar rate.  Usually the "soft" side of a wheel will fatigue first (non drive or non brake)

 

The secret is to build a wheel that moves as little as possible.  This boils down to as many stress relieved spokes (double butted) with as many crosses as possible and to the maximum tension that the wheel can stand.

 

A fatigued spoke will normally brake in the elbow or at the beginning of the threads.  If you look at the break with a magnifying glass you will see part of it is greyish and part silver, the silver being the last section to fail.

 

Crests are very light rims so "move" more than a heavier rim.  This contributes to both spoke and rim fatigue. It is the price that you pay for weight saving.  Stans also specify a low drive side spoke tension (95 kgf).  This drops significantly when you inflate the tyre, allowing more movement -especially on the non drive side.  I tend to build them with more tension (110 kgf) but that depends on the spoke count.

 

My advice is if you break a spoke replace it, if you break another rebuild the wheel.

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Had many wheels where couple of spokes broken, just replace, make sure spoke tension is even and carry on. The wheel will eventually come right and stop breaking spokes. Spokes are expensive, the bikeshop would advise you to rebuild the wheel, less risky option for them.

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This guy might not be everyone's cup of tea but I enjoy his videos.  A bit of a long video and some of his math is a bit dubious but I like the point he make.

 

He suggest spokes on the drive side should be one gauge thicker than the ones on non drive side.  As far as I'm aware nobody does this:

 

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What Dave said. Also:

 

If the wheels are built with straight gauge spokes, they'll all fatigue and break in time. It's up to you whether you want to spend a few hundred bucks a spoke (rim tape, spoke, labour) every time, or just rip off the band aid and spend a lot less in total, but all in one go.

 

If the spokes are breaking at the first thread or at the bend, chances are you'll be facing the same choice as above - the wheels probably weren't properly stress relieved when they were built, and will all go eventually.

 

No point buying a whole new wheel if the hub and rim are still good, just find a decent wheel builder.

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I've had a similar, perhaps much worse problem with a rear wheel - i've had about 7 or 8 spokes break just beyond the J bend, mainly on the brake side. Initially it was every few rides. I replaced them with the same brand of spokes and more recently with a different brand and the frequency of breaks seems to be slowing down. By the sound of it, the damage was done initially so I can expect a few more.

 

Its quite a weird one for me, having abused a  wheel built with 7 year old Chinese spokes on a HT for the last 3 years with only one break.

 

I would not have thought that a case of non-stress relief could result in repeat failures like this...

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I've had a similar, perhaps much worse problem with a rear wheel - i've had about 7 or 8 spokes break just beyond the J bend, mainly on the brake side. Initially it was every few rides. I replaced them with the same brand of spokes and more recently with a different brand and the frequency of breaks seems to be slowing down. By the sound of it, the damage was done initially so I can expect a few more.

 

Its quite a weird one for me, having abused a  wheel built with 7 year old Chinese spokes on a HT for the last 3 years with only one break.

 

I would not have thought that a case of non-stress relief could result in repeat failures like this...

 

Not stress relieving a wheel after building is one of the biggest causes of spoke failure.

 

It's one of the reasons that if I build you a wheel and a spoke breaks, I'll replace it free and cover any incidentals.

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One thing I've learned over the years is that anybody can bleed brakes, service lowers, replace bearings and bb's but not anybody can build a good quality wheelset. It's really a skill that comes with years of experience. Big difference between a mechanic lacing a wheel and work done by an experienced wheelbuilder.

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Not stress relieving a wheel after building is one of the biggest causes of spoke failure.

 

It's one of the reasons that if I build you a wheel and a spoke breaks, I'll replace it free and cover any incidentals.

would that include his fantastically poor line choice (Straight at the sharpest meanest rock) down the trails too?

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