I have a new Trek 720 Touring bike with about 1000 miles and have broken two spokes on the rear tire in the past two weeks and haven't yet added the weight of panniers. This is a 24 spoke wheel and I'm told Trek doesn't have a 32 spoke wheel for this application. I'm concerned for when I begin my cross-country touring in another month and adding another 30-35 # over that wheel. This Trek model is new this year...anyone else out there have similar problems? I've traveled 1000s of miles without broken spokes until now. Any diagnosis?

NOTE - Trek has issued a recall for this particular wheelset

Trek Recall Notice for Bontrager Approved TLR Disc 700C 24H Front and Rear Wheels

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    Looking at the specs of the bike on Trek's site it is hard to tell why they think a 24-spoke wheel makes sense. It doesn't look like a particularly deep rim (which would help to minimize the effects of a broken spoke) and in general you want a conservative wheel design for a touring bike – even a "roadie's touring bike." If it is still under warranty, it seems worth the trouble to ask Trek to replace the wheel. Something is clearly wrong.
    – dlu
    Commented Jul 22, 2015 at 21:25
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    I can't imagine putting a 24-spoke wheel on a "touring" bike. But breaking spokes that soon suggests that the wheel was incorrectly built or built with bad spokes (which seems to be happening more and more of late). Commented Jul 22, 2015 at 21:27
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    @DanielRHicks - the Trek 720 is marketed as a "credit card touring bike" -- basically a regular road bike with a front rack. The real Trek touring bike is the Trek 520. You can always buy another wheel -- its just a 700c disc wheel at the end of the day.
    – Batman
    Commented Jul 22, 2015 at 21:52
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    @JohnZwinck -Why would one buy another 24-spoke wheel? Commented Dec 3, 2015 at 14:37
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    This question isn't really a duplicate it turns out, as the issue in question here is specific to this model of bike as evinced by the fact that Trek have now recalled this wheelset due to the high incidence of spoke breakages: trek.scene7.com/is/content/TrekBicycleProducts/Asset%20Library/…
    – tomRedox
    Commented Jan 19, 2017 at 19:59

4 Answers 4


To close this out and give an answer specific to this model of bike; no this is not a usual amount of spoke breakage, Trek have issued a safety recall notice for this wheelset based on the rate of spoke breakage and the risk of the broken spoke then getting caught in the brake caliper which could then cause a serious accident.

Trek issue this warning:

DO NOT RIDE YOUR BICYCLE UNTIL THE WHEEL HAS BEEN INSPECTED If you break a spoke, it could engage the brake caliper and you could be involved in a serious accident. Do not ride this bicycle until your dealer has inspected the bicycle to determine if it is affected by this recall.

All the details can be found here:

Trek Safety Recall Notice for Bontrager Approved TLR Disc 700C 24H Front and Rear Wheels

  • It does, that edit was raised in response to my flagging the question as no longer a duplicate. I'm adding the answer in the hope that this gives an answer that can be accepted, that being the idea for stack exchange sites obviously
    – tomRedox
    Commented Jan 23, 2017 at 20:45
  • Be grateful if you'd remove the downvote on that basis
    – tomRedox
    Commented Jan 23, 2017 at 20:46
  • @Móż And, IMO, if that edit had appeared in the review queue, it should have been rejected as "attempt to reply". Disappointing to see a mod editing an answer into a question. Commented Jan 23, 2017 at 22:48
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    @DavidRicherby in general yes, but product recalls I think there's an argument for making them as prominent as possible. (and I had to edit the answer in order to change my vote)
    – Móż
    Commented Jan 23, 2017 at 23:12
  • hang on - you're not happy with the Recall Notice edited into the question, and someone else is unhappy with the Recall Notice as an answer. Where should the recall notice go?
    – Criggie
    Commented Jan 23, 2017 at 23:58

The wheel was probably badly built in factory and/or not adjusted when you bought the bicycle.

Anyway 24 spoke wheel is very odd component selection for touring bicycle, and I would get myself decently built 36 spoke rear wheel, if I were in your position.

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    Surely there is room between 24 and 36 spokes? Personally I tour on 24s but if the OP wanted more spokes, 32 seems perfectly reasonable and easier to come by. Commented Sep 27, 2015 at 6:38

I had the same problem with my Trek 720 disc. I paid for the first spoke to be repaired at a nearby bike store. The second spoke broke approximately one month later. I took it to the store that I bought it and they gladly repaired it for free. The service guys agreed with me that this should not be happening. They told me if another spoke breaks, they would contact Trek to replace the wheel.


I have a Trek DS 8.6. I ride C&O Canal and GAP with panniers. 3or 4 of us who ride have bought new Treks in last 3-4 years. All of us have had broken spokes and wheel issues. I have long distance cycled for 40 years and have loved my Treks until recently with multiple recalls and broken wheels. Have not experienced this with the older bikes. Feel something is wrong somewhere. I always have bike serviced before rides and feel these problems must be defective materials. The price is not cheap but the bikes seem to be unreliable!! Disappointed

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