Breaking Spoke Blues

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Roy Carpenter

Guest
Howdy all!

I just purchased the Golden Eagle Robin Suburu 35cc kit just over a month ago. Before I go any further, I'll be honest with you-I weigh in at over 300 lbs. I have ridden my Schwinn Alloy Seven cruiser for over 2 years, and quite a lot before getting the Golden Eagle kit. Here's the bottom line: The Suburu engine is excellent, I move at 30 mph with the street gear on level ground. The Golden Eagle mounting system is well designed, and made, BUT the drive ring causes spokes to break on the rear wheel. Needless to say, that gets old very quickly!! I've had four spokes break within the last 5 weeks, and all four spokes were driven spokes which were attached to the drive ring. After breaking 3 spokes, and 3 trips to the truing stand, I replaced my stock rear wheel with a good triple V rim, with 14 guage wheelsmith stainless steel straight spokes, and also took plastic ties, and laced the "driven" spokes to the 18 "non-driven" spokes so that when torque is applied to the drive ring, 36 spokes "give" instead of 18, still thinking that my weight was the real issue. I broke another spoke today. I have to ask myself this: If it's my 310 lbs that is causing this, why is it always a "driven" spoke that breaks on the rear wheel? And now that "driven", and "undriven" spokes have been laced together right where the "driven" spokes attach to the drive ring, then my weight would theoreticly be cut in half, (as far as torque on the "driven" spokes, when throttle is applied are concerned), and it would be the same as a 170 lb rider WITHOUT tie wrapping the spokes together so that all 36 spokes are "driven". The folks at Golden Eagle wanted to sell me a heavy duty back wheel with 12 guage spokes, (which they said they couldn't order replacement spokes if a spoke breaks, so I'd have to buy a whole new wheel). They were also very quick to say that my weight was the issue, but said nothing of it when I was talking to them about ordering the kit. (I explained my weight to them at that time as well). As long as the drive ring slightly bends the spoke forward at the nipple, and releases the spoke to it's original position, when you let off the gas, then eventually the spoke will break, regardless of it's guage. I don't think it is too much to say that the drive ring should be designed so that it engages all 36 spokes, and should mount much closer to the spoke nipple, and rim, instead of practically mid spoke where the spokes are more vulnerable to being pushed forward, then backward, then forward, then backward, and so on. That's pretty obvious!
I don't even know what to do at this point...maybe loose 150 lbs, but I'll bet ya those spokes will keep breaking anyways. I feel like I wasted $630.oo. Anybody have any suggestions? Does anybody know where to buy, or order 12 guage stainless steel spokes? (If that will even solve the problem)
 
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5-7HEAVEN

Guest
:cool:Roy, no offense, but before i gained another 125lbs, i'd be using at least 12g spokes. then again, i'm not a GEBE guy.

i'll probably use 12g spokes on my twin-engine project, if i can't find 10g-11g wires.
 

bamabikeguy

Active Member
Joined
Sep 30, 2006
Messages
1,929
If you can't get the wheel locally, Peddler will ship

The steel WheelMasters can be ordered from J&B Importers via any bike shop. Offhand I don't have the item number, maybe searching "WheelMaster" will bring up the # for 7 speeds, I think I've posted it 3 times in other threads.

I have 2 brand new wheels (7 speed) in my shop for next weeks builds, get a small discount from The Peddler since I buy so many parts and bikes.

If you can't get them locally, my bike shop can ship the wheel for $40+upsground, calculate 5 pounds from Decatur AL to your location for UPS shipping charges, and you can have them in a few days.

I have 2 heavyweight customers who both started riding at over 275 pounds, no wheel problems with the steel and heavy duty tubes.
 
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larymor

Guest
Dont give up yet !

Hang in there Roy! Follow BAMAS advice closely and you will have success. I have the same engine mounted on a $100 aluminum Mountain bike with full suspension and stock wheels which are 14gauge spokes and no problems yet at 125 miles on it, and I have hit some pretty nasty potholes here in Fargo ND. I tied the spokes at the beginning of the installation....I hid in the bush's here and read everything I could b4 the kit was ordered. I had to frame mount my engine as the little bolt that holds the rear derailer on was in the way...I am glad I did cause down the road when i need to remove the wheel for any future problems it will be easy to do. BTW...I weigh in at 250lbs....no light weight guy..perhaps the full suspension has helped stop the spoke breaking problem..I dont know....I am going to replace the tube with a puncture proof one with slime and mr tuffy liners as soon as I have my first flat...and if the spokes break I will get a wheel with 12gauge spokes to replace it. Dont give up Roy!
Lars
 
5

5-7HEAVEN

Guest
:cool:bama's referral, WHEELMASTER, has 9gauge and 10gauge spoked rims!

must contact them when my project time is right.
 
R

Roy Carpenter

Guest
Heavy Duty Wheel

Well, Bamabikeguy, it sounds like your course of action is about the only one I could logically take. I sure hate to take this Sun Rynolite wheel off my bike, but it appears that 12 guage spokes can't be ordered. Only complete wheel assemblies, and lord help ya if you break a spoke. If one doesn't break a spoke, however, then "problem solved"....that's the good news.:D
Does that $40.00 include the 7 speed gear casette, or free wheel? Is the wheel round, true, and tensioned, and ready to mount? I have "V" type rim brakes on the machine...are the wheels fashioned for rim brakes? If so, then it sounds like one heck of a deal to me.
 
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Roy Carpenter

Guest
Options

The thought of 9 or 10 guage spokes on my back wheel sounds good too. Spokes that thick couldn't break under hardly any circumstances. I'm gonna E-mail the Wheelmaster, and see if he can either put 10 guage spokes on the wheel that I have, or build me one. If not, then I'll go with the 12 guage wheel, but that scares me, because I've been breaking 14 guage spokes right and left, and the 12's aren't that much thicker. A couple of options to weigh now! That's a heck of a lot better than nothing...lol...that's for sure.:D
Thanks Guys!
 
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Roy Carpenter

Guest
Wheelmaster

Bama, (if i may), lol, (you can call me "BIG RUH"..lol), Thanks for letting me know about those wheels. I'd like to take a rain check on those, until I hear something from Wheelmaster. I think he offers a wheel with 9 guage spokes...I e-mailed him, and waiting for a reply. I explained exactly what I needed, and what I needed it for, so let's see what he has to say. The 12 guage worries me, because it's so close to the same guage I've been breaking a lot of.
 

bamabikeguy

Active Member
Joined
Sep 30, 2006
Messages
1,929
imho, 9 gauge is waaaaaaay overkill, a few of the MB.commers have experiences with Worksman's 10 gauge, which is MORE than adequate.

http://www.motoredbikes.com/showthread.php?t=3801&highlight=worksman+bikes+spokes

The 10 gauge will still take a bit of finesse, you have to ream out the bottom of all the notches a tad, (I think there's a pic in my Worksman trike thread).

If you zip tie these things where there is no "flex", I guarantee you can't bend or break them. If you do the "superdupering" on the rear wheel like I've been stressing, no flats might be the secondary result.

Nobody has used 9 gauge on a GEBE, (here on MB.com anyway) but like I said, 10's are gonna surprise you with the weight.

Glad you are finding the wheel locally or on-line, me helping shipping is kind of a last resort for folks in the Siberian wilderness or Gobi desert, where a bikeshop is farther than the 30 miles mine is from my driveway.
 
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Roy Carpenter

Guest
9 guage spokes

Yeah, Bama, I'm sure you're right about those 9 guagers being too thick. Those are the ones that go on an old Harley Electra-Glide or something like that..lol. I was thinking about the 10 guage spokes as well. Let me ask you this though; The Wheelmaster dude mentioned his "four cross" spoke lacing pattern. Will that still allow the spokes to line up with the GEBE drivering?
 
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