Noticed that my rear wheel is pretty un-true and is hitting the brake pad / wont spin freely.

Decided that I would try to fix it myself before opting to pay 20 bucks.

There is one spoke that is completely loose. The problem is that one i turn the spoke it does not tighten, nor does it feel like its being screwed into anything. (my spoke is straight all the way - i have this wheel)

1. Can I fix this, or do I need a new spoke / bike mechanic
2. Does riding like this make things worse (aside for greater wear on my brake pads)

  • Are you turning the spoke or the nipple? Are you turning it the right way? Have you read any pertinent how-to's? (sheldonbrown.com/tooltips/truing.html)
    – WTHarper
    Mar 21, 2014 at 17:23
  • I am turning the nipple. The spoke and the nipple turn together. I did read that, but maybe I need to go try again?
    – mkoryak
    Mar 21, 2014 at 17:50
  • Can you take the nipple out of the wheel and just try screwing it by hand? Just as a sanity check? The brief answer to your questions....bearing in mind that the spokes are supposed to be under tension, (1) you should be able to fix it yourself if you;ve got the right tool, (2) yes it would because you're putting more load onto the other spokes, so you may see problems develop with them too.
    – PeteH
    Mar 21, 2014 at 18:07
  • what does the nipple screw into?
    – mkoryak
    Mar 21, 2014 at 18:39
  • It sounds like the spoke has broken off at the hub. Mar 21, 2014 at 19:45

2 Answers 2


The spoke and nipple are turning together? This wheel uses straight spokes. Don't think it's likely, but the notch could be stripped at the hub, meaning there wouldn't be anything you could do about it besides get a new hub.

I think more likely your spoke nipple is probably stripped. Try to get another one from somewhere that is the same size as the ones already in your wheel, and try to replace the bad one. You just need to take off your tire and rim tape, and pull the bad nipple all the way out. Then get another nipple (2.0mm diameter) and thread on. See if it works. Could also be bad threads on your spoke.


If you can turn the spoke, the spoke must be broken; or, if it's a straight pull, try to tighten it at the hub.

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