Wheels Spoke breakage

Discussion in 'Bicycle Repair' started by Torques, Dec 18, 2006.

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  1. Torques

    Torques Guest

    I'm on my second rim now. I just got this new rear rim about 2 weeks ago and broke the first two the other day. The spokes always break on the left side, the side the motor is on. I have a Staton Robin Subura friction drive. I was told by the local bike shop larger spokes are not an option, they are not available. Has anyone else had this situation? In 2400 miles on bike and motor, I have broken around 12-15 spokes.

  2. Tom

    Tom Active Member

    Aug 4, 2006
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    I dont have any broken spokes, at least i dont think i do...

    on my last bike, i had to sort of bend the spokes to get the bolts on the sprocket to fit, and when i pulled the sprocket off, the spokes were waaaay bent.

    I have heard of others breaking spokes, and i heard something about buying spoke stiffeners?
  3. Butch

    Butch Guest

    I had broken and bent more than a few spokes on my GEBE bike before I switched to 12 gauge spokes for my rear wheel. I haven't had a problem since. Knock on wood.
  4. etheric

    etheric Guest

    Perhaps the new wheels could use a good once over before mounting it on the bike, that way you can eliminate some potential problems before considering other possibilities that are occuring while riding.
    If you buy the wheels from a local shop ask them to check spoke tension before giving them to you.

    What kind of wheels are you using?
    Do you have to true them often/at all?
    Do you check spoke tension throughout your miles?
    I presume the spoke pattern is 3 cross (the most common)?
    What is the diameter of the spokes right now, and are they butted?

    Perhaps there are beefier wheel options than what you are using right now (or in the past).
  5. bird

    bird Guest

    i have heavy duity 12 guage spokes on both of my bikes and never had a problem with breakage.
  6. steveadicks

    steveadicks Guest

    I broke my spokes, got them fixed, and broke them again. Im gonna talk to the guys at the bike shop for more durable spokes and tighten my sprocket, if its not tight enough the bolts break the spokes.
  7. bamabikeguy

    bamabikeguy Active Member

    Sep 30, 2006
    Likes Received:
    Steel 12 gauge are $35-40
    Alum 12 gauge maybe $50
    GEBE has one with "never need greasing" bearings for around $90 I think.

    I use the steel, only problem is a little rust. Then again, I'm a tightwad.
  8. bamabikeguy

    bamabikeguy Active Member

    Sep 30, 2006
    Likes Received:
    I have to change my opinion of that cheapest 12 gauge, the steel one, because the rust is really ugly, and probably will affect brake shoe somehow.

    What brands of 12 gauge do you guys use? I'm thinking the one with the "never needs bearing maintainance" will be the $90 answer, but if anybody uses that mid-priced aluminum one, I'd like to hear if they have had any problems.

    Besides the rust, the steel works great, no loose spokes at all.
  9. bird

    bird Guest

    the steel 12 guage that i use were something like 35 dollors and i havnt had any problems with them.
  10. Edward

    Edward Guest

    I'm having trouble wrapping my brain around the forces involved here. How does a friction drive apply enough torque to the rubber tire to break a spoke. I've never owned a bike that would be considered high or even medium quality (aside from my vintage
    Rays) and have never broken a spoke. Is it hard braking, going airborne, potholes, or off-roading? I've snapped a rear frame on one of the new Sting-Rays but the thing had over a thousand miles at speeds of up to 38mph., snapped off a brake arm, wore the inner bearing cups out of one of those 4-inch wheels and had the coaster mechanism disintegrate on a Wally World special, but the spokes are fine. Do they break at the rim, at the hub, or in the center? Are the other spokes tight or over tight? Were they true to begin with?
  11. gone_fishin

    gone_fishin Guest

    i think it's the speed that's the main factor, the spokes are flexing way faster than they were to designed to...

    that's just my thoughts...i always check my spokes, have 2 on the rear wheel that just love to go loose on me. the rest of the bike is fine.

    edit: the pedal chainguard don't like to stay tight either, now that i think on it...
  12. bamabikeguy

    bamabikeguy Active Member

    Sep 30, 2006
    Likes Received:
    I switched my rear wheel, to put a new shiny steel rim on, for the ride to the coast.

    I'm taking step by step pictures, to show "how to build the flat proof tire", and step one is zip tie the spokes.

    GEBE is sending one of their high end, Made in America-Wired in Switzerland wheels, but I didn't think UPS would get here in time, may leave spur of the moment.

    The main reason 16 gauge would snap on the GEBE installation of the drive belt ring is the ring wasn't centered properly, slight extra stress where the "bulge" occured, then high speeds and "SNAP", right at the contact point.

    I imagine high speed would always stress a slightly bent or slightly loose spoke, on any type of system. including friction.

    Since the spokes have the "best" arrangement right at the time of purchase (my bike shop guy checks them before sale, and GEBE gets them true within a micron or two before shipping) my ZIP TIE connection has the best chance to keep them true at step one, before I do any other work on the wheel.
  13. Proboscis

    Proboscis Guest

    good lx for xt hubs help but i trust in ariya rims
  14. etheric

    etheric Guest

    Clearly experience speaks more loudy Bamabikeguy, but I don't see how the zip ties would help a healthy wheel that much? As long as your tension is proper then I don't see where the zip tie trick would come in. I've heard of people doing this to eliminate noise at the cross points, but is this just to help the wheel stay true/strong if the tension has grown off over time and on the road?
  15. bamabikeguy

    bamabikeguy Active Member

    Sep 30, 2006
    Likes Received:

    Here's that thread about spokes and the thinking behind 12 gauge.

    Zip-ties are a variation of those BMX racing/mountain bikers, who weld/solder the spokes.

    The moment after you zip tie the front wheel, you can actually FEEL a more solid ride. My idea is that at our speeds, tied spokes lessens the chance of them bending or loosening.

  16. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Definitely gonna ziptie my spokes...they are so rusty I can even tighten them. They are not too loose, I was just checking them as I installed the sprocket yesterday and they seemed like they are gonna give me trouble after awhile.
  17. JosephGarcia

    JosephGarcia Guest

    Naval Jelly + wire brush x few hours = Happy Joe
  18. Guest

    Guest Guest

    I sprayed them with PB Blaster penetrating oil, gonna give 'em hell later.
    It's pouring today, so I'm out of luck for working on the bike today though..... :(
  19. The best bet is a hub mounted sprocket and heavy duty spokes. While your at it get a hub with a drum brake and you've killed two birds with one stone.
  20. Haggard

    Haggard Guest

    Hi fellas .
    I use a belt and pulleys from a jack haft to rear wheel but was having same problem with broken spokes.
    Have a look at some of my pics in gallery.
    mysolution was to garner some road signs that were no longer in use from the city works yard.
    These are aluminum. I cut to fit tightly inside of bicycle rim allowing for the concave'
    I afixed this plate to the rim by cutting and slideing 1 inch wide,(curver to match the rim)and approx 6 inch long strips of same alunminum threw the the spokes right up against the rim.
    Had to bend a little to work in but they are actually use the spoke tensioner screws as a mounting point for the plate compared to the spoke itself in traditional mountings.
    I use half inch long , quarter inch bolts to fasten
    i bolt my pulley' to this plate with no tension or grief to the spokes.
    Havent broken a spoke in over 6 months and ride 7 days aweek, average 20 th 30 miles daily.
    this solution has worked perfectly with no drawbacks i can thing of
    Even looks pretty cool.