So, I've had the chain slip under the biggest sprocket a couple of times, and the spokes got chewed up by it to the point that two of them have broken recently. So, I decided to replace all the affected spokes, and am now left with six chewed-up spokes that didn't actually break (although one of them sounded pretty suspicious when I rode it home after the second breakage).

Here's what the spokes look like:

Six spokes chewed up by a chain slip

The damage seems to vary anywhere from scratched paint-job up to the two spokes that actually broke.

Anyway, there were supply chain and delivery issues that ended up with me waiting two full weeks for the spokes to arrive, so I'm wondering: are any of these spokes in good enough condition to use as a temporary replacement while I wait for the replacement?

  • 1
    I would say they're "borderline". Should be OK for temporary use, but I wouldn't start a transcontinental ride with them. Commented Aug 26, 2018 at 11:37
  • I'd probably just wait for the new spokes.
    – Batman
    Commented Aug 26, 2018 at 11:58
  • 2
    I wouldn't use them. They will break, and likely soon. Those scratches in the spokes will concentrate stress and will cause the spokes to break. Commented Aug 26, 2018 at 13:18
  • I had a bike exactly like this - munched a bunch of spokes. On the next ride, 4 spokes broke, and they were the most-damaged ones. Safer to replace them before riding. This is why people own more than one bike :)
    – Criggie
    Commented Aug 27, 2018 at 4:31
  • 1
    @Criggie This is why people own more than one bike :) Or at least a spare wheelset... Commented Aug 27, 2018 at 9:30

2 Answers 2


If you break more spoke you can use the least damaged ones temporarily, understanding that they might break, but will probably last two weeks.

Save yourself a from future headaches by addressing adjustment of the lower limit on your rear derailleur, or getting a spoke protector, or both.


I assume you want to use them now because else you can't ride at all so for the temporary use you mention (a couple of weeks) and if you want to do the effort of taking them in/out again it should be fine but don't be surprised if one breaks around the damage point. I'm saying this from firsthand experience with spokes which are damaged in a very similar way, just worse i.e. less material left, from grinds on a bmx: what you typically get there is the spokes get squeezed between the hub and a concrete wall which then basically acts like a file shaving off steel. Plus they get bent a little bit above the hub because that's where they hit the wall. When there's about 2/3 of the diameter left and on a sketchy landing they'll tend to break. Your spokes still look much better than that though and if you're just riding on the road without jumping around you should be good.

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