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28 votes
Accepted

Loose spokes after only a few rides

Unfortunately, most bikes are only rated to 300lbs or less. However, if this is a new bike, you should take it back to the shop and get them to fix it. They can't claim they didn't know you were a ...
28 votes
Accepted

I have a 2nd broken spoke after 300km on a new bike, is it the wheel or me?

Not enough points to comment, so here is an answer instead, based mostly on my own experience. I've been using a bike as my main, if not sole, mean of transportation for the last 20 years or so. ...
  • 396
27 votes
Accepted

Can I ride on 15 spokes instead of 16?

You shouldn't ride on a wheel with broken spokes more than necessary, especially if its a low spoke count wheel (like a 16 spoke wheel). The load gets unbalanced with respect to the other spokes. ...
  • 45.7k
27 votes
Accepted

Purpose of 'bore' on spoke nipples - why are spoke nipples not threaded through their entire length?

Adding threads to any sort of bolt under tension doesn't actually make it much stronger, beyond the first ≈5 threads. Adding more basically just adds dead mass; either way the whole thing will ...
25 votes
Accepted

Bent spoke design wheels — feasible?

Spokes bent like that can't take any load (tension), so it would not work. However, bending multiple spokes around each other can produce a feasible wheel with non-straight spokes, like the last photo ...
  • 510
19 votes

I have a 2nd broken spoke after 300km on a new bike, is it the wheel or me?

I suggest you get the wheel rebuilt properly, once and for all (probably by a different bike shop). A well-built wheel should be able to handle even riding off kerbs or small unavoidable potholes ...
  • 48.9k
16 votes
Accepted

What kind of wheels use spoke washers/nipple washers?

Spoke washers are used at the hub end, between the flared out cap and the hub itself. The intention is to take up extra length between the bend and the end, to help prevent the spoke from breaking. ...
  • 106k
15 votes
Accepted

Rim cracks on spoke adjustment holes, how much should I panic?

To me, it looks like whoever (or whatever, as it was likely machine built) used the wrong size tooling to hold and screw the spoke nipples as the wheel was built. Not a rim manufacturing defect but a ...
  • 28.7k
13 votes

Purpose of 'bore' on spoke nipples - why are spoke nipples not threaded through their entire length?

The bore guides the thread of the spoke to the threading of the nipple allowing easier spoking with less risk of cross-threading. The bore also allows the spoke to be threaded deeper w/o adding more ...
13 votes
Accepted

Spokes bow out from the hub flange

Bowing as the outer spokes exit the flange is normal. The angle when the spoke is made is set arbitrarily, and it's the job of the wheelbuilder to cold set it best as possible to match what the ...
12 votes

When truing a wheel, is it enough to only use a tension meter, and not a truing stand?

A wheel could theoretically be trued by tension alone if you started with a perfectly manufactured rim, hub, spokes and nipples and you were building a perfectly symmetric wheel. The reality is that ...
  • 9,878
11 votes
Accepted

How much is too much - spokes protruding into the rim

That is poorly built and unacceptable (in my book) as a paid for product. If all of the spokes are protruding some, and several more than others, it means that the wrong length spokes were used. ...
  • 9,878
11 votes
Accepted

Why do spokes loosen?

I have to say I think this is a myth, for a properly built wheel. Spokes have threaded ends which the nipples screw onto. Like almost all screw threads, they are self-locking. Since the spokes of a ...
  • 17.1k
11 votes

How precise do spoke sizes need to be?

This topic is really poorly understood. Anyone who ever who tells you it's fine to just round up or round off when choosing spoke lengths hasn't been through the disaster scenarios that can be caused ...
11 votes

Back wheel spokes keep breaking

Usually spokes don’t break because they are too weak but because they have too low or uneven tension. Even tension will distribute the load among several spokes. High enough tension will make sure ...
  • 22.3k
11 votes

Loose spokes after only a few rides

I completely agree with the accepted answer of @David Richerby from personal experience. As a heavier rider (~22 stone) for many years, I also found with a couple of different bicycles that the rear ...
11 votes
Accepted

Pinging sound on new radial front wheel

I think you have found the answer to your question, about the cause and meaning of the pinging. I would suggest however that to assert the wheel invariable needs re-truing (at that answer does) is ...
  • 4,283
11 votes

Why did my bicycle have a spoke shatter and a tube rupture?

Guessing: you had one spoke break at the J bend and the rivet end was lost. The remaining part of spoke popped the tube from below, perhaps it was a little sharp? And the tyre on the outside was ...
  • 106k
10 votes
Accepted

How long between spoke adjustments on a mountain bike?

A well built wheel should go years without needed truing. If you are truing the wheel every 2 months something is wrong with the build. There's no way to know via the internet, but my guess is that ...
10 votes
Accepted

Cause of broken spokes (pictures included)

The grooves/enlargement shown at the hub are all normal. The path to a wheel that doesn't break spokes is use premium quality spokes (DT, Sapim, and Wheelsmith are the usual poster children), set ...
10 votes

Problems with spoke threads, and stressing the wheel

There is one major cause of this problem and it is putting a 1.8mm aka 15ga spoke in a 2.0mm/14ga nipple. This mismatch will screw together and hold under some tension, but then slip. It is easy to ...
10 votes

What can cause wheel spokes to snap in the middle?

I've dealt with a number of wheels where there were inexplicable failures at the mid-span of the spokes (far away from the elbow or threads). I haven't heard of instances of this where the failure ...
9 votes

How precise do spoke sizes need to be?

A typical spoke has around 8-10 mm of threading on it, and you don't necessarily have to engage all of it with the nipple. So it's not super sensitive to small variations in length. For most folks, ...
  • 11.9k
9 votes

Spoke max tension

There is no hard-and-fast rule for max spoke tension. (Other than "Dang, there's a crack in the rim at this spoke hole." That means you added too much tension...) In my limited wheelbuilding ...
  • 9,026
9 votes

I have a 2nd broken spoke after 300km on a new bike, is it the wheel or me?

First congratulations and encouragement for getting out there on the bike. Don't get discouraged, the problem is fixable. I totally agree with other answers saying get the wheel rebuilt with new ...
9 votes
Accepted

Is there a benefit of lacing trailer wheel spokes radially instead of crossed?

Crossed spoke lacing is primarily necessary to transmit torque from the hub to the rim, rather than for increased strength, although I suspect hub flanges have more strength when loaded by a crossed ...
8 votes
Accepted

Wheel size for heavier rider, larger vs smaller

I've heard before that a smaller wheel is actually stronger, and this site states the following. Because a 26-inch wheel has a smaller circumference than a larger 700c wheel, the rim is ...
  • 21.5k
8 votes
Accepted

Tube puncture over spoke, but rim tape fine

I would recommend replacing rim tape with a modern plastic one. You could inspect the existing cloth one, but then you would need to remove it to inspect the spoke ends. Cloth tapes often don't ...
  • 17.1k
8 votes
Accepted

How to remove spoke twist

There are two things I generally do to help eliminate most of the twist. When tightening spokes, get in the habit of slightly overturning and then turning back. (i.e. If I want to tighten a spoke 1/...

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