Broken spoke, miles from home…

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flyS564
Participant
#

I broke a spoke (cassette side) before even getting a flat tire on my brand new 09 Fuji road bike with 600mi on it. I was 30mi from home the route I went but luckily was able to ride Saxonburg and Route 8 for ~15 miles to get home. I found a zip-tie on a torn up sign on the ground and was able to use it to secure the spoke. The wheel was wobbly, so I lifted the lever on the rear brakes to make room. Is this the only thing to do? Is there a better trick such as releasing tension on certain spokes that would allow me to complete a ride with good speed, or if I was a further distance from my destination?

Learned a lot at Kraynicks and from YouTube videos yesterday. I’m comfortable replacing my own spokes and truing my own wheels now to some extent, but it’s not something you can do on the road if it’s the cassette side unless you carry 5lbs of tools…right?


brian j
Participant
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You can fashion a mini-chain whip pretty easily that would fit in a saddlebag. Oh, I guess you can buy one, too.

As for riding with a broken spoke–if you have a sensible number of spokes, you can just adjust your brakes and be off. If things are really out of whack, then you could adjust tension of the surrounding spokes.


reddan
Keymaster
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A spoke wrench weighs little, takes up little room, and will let you mess about with spoke tension to your heart’s content.

The Fiberfix spoke is also an option, but is probably overkill unless you’re way in the boonies, or your spoke count is so low that even adjusting adjacent spokes can’t get it true enough for use.

[Edited to add:] The fiberfix will also work on the drive-side, without needing to remove the cassette. In theory…I’ve not tried.


netviln
Participant
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all you would need to replace on the side of the road is a spoke wrench and whatever you need to get the tire off, unless.. like you said, its the drive side of the rear wheel.

The only option im aware of for emergency roadside repairs in that case is this:

Get a spoke that is too long, cut the stop off the end of the curve of the spoke. bend the the j some more so its more like a U. you should be able to get that through the hole in the hub. once you tighten it down it should work fine as an emergency repair until you can get home or whatever to pull the cassette. You would just have to play with it a bit to get a spoke of the right length.


netviln
Participant
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ooh.. that fiberfix thing is neat.


flyS564
Participant
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“The Fiberfix spoke is also an option, but is probably overkill unless you’re way in the boonies…..”

I’m usually always in the boonies when something like this breaks.. or I’m 75mi from home when I run over a broken glass bottle (cliff bar-wrapper and patches helped). Think I’ll practice the scenario and try make a wheel not wobbly with one less spoke if that’s possible. Anything that’s an alternative to not finishing a ride will be good for me.


mark
Participant
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on any standard wheel and very little skill you can use a spoke wrench to solve this problem in 2-10 minutes depending on your skill level… it won’t last forever, and you’ll have to true your wheel again once you get the new spoke on… but it will usually do the trick for a “30 miles left” kind of scenario.


Lyle
Participant
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You broke a spoke with only 600 miles on a wheel? How?


JZ
Participant
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The spoke could’ve been defective to begin with.

My personal all-time best was snapping the crank on a brand-new bike (second ride ever).


John
Participant
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If I were you, when I’ve got some free time I’d de-tension the whole wheel, stress relieve the spokes and re-tension (evenly). You’ll probably end up with a higher quality wheel.

I’ve broken spokes with relatively low miles on three cheap-ish factory-built wheels, never on a hand-built wheel with good quality spokes. Just one data point…


edmonds59
Participant
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I bought a brand new Kona road bike 2 years ago and broke a spoke with about 100 miles on it. The wheel went so badly out of whack it wouldn’t spin because it was hitting the seat stays, let alone the brakes. Had to call for a ride. It really sucks when you spend that kind of money on a bike and still get a crap machine built wheel.

The good news is the guys at Trek relaced it by hand at no cost and now it feels rock solid.


HiddenVariable
Participant
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ever run the chain off the top end and onto the spokes?


edmonds59
Participant
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Me? Not on that wheel.


Lyle
Participant
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Me? Not that I can remember. I have had lights impinge on the spokes, and a good fall could bend a derailleur hanger — though that would be apparent when you inspect the bike before you get back on… right?


Ohiojeff
Participant
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ever run the chain off the top end and onto the spokes?

Yup. Chewed almost all the way through three spokes. Of course, I didn’t notice that at the time. Not until I broke a spoke on my next ride. Live and learn.

I also learned how to set the limit screw properly after that experience..


steevo
Participant
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When on bike tours, I carry a spare spoke and a

hypercracker with me.

On day rides, there is no reason to only have a 20

spoke wheel, so if you break one, hopefully you

can just open the brakes or true it on the road.

My favorite tool is the cranks bro multi, it has a

chain breaker and a spoke wrench built into it.

After the 4, and 5mm those are the two i have used

the most


myddrin
Participant
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Bad couple of weeks for spokes, I think. Although, after hearing your story, I feel pretty fortunate! I was only 3 miles from home on Sunday when mine broke… in mile 25 of an intended 50 mile ride.

I happened to have a spoke wrench with me (my back wheel refuses to stay true), so I got things reasonably true and took off… figuring I could at least cycle back up to where I parked my car in Sq Hill. Less than a mile down the road (right in front of REI) realized that it was not 1, but 2 spokes that broke.

Knowing that this was far beyond my ken, I took advantage of breaking down so close to a place that does bike repair. Sadly, I won’t get my bike back for a few days yet.

So I ended up walking (in bike shoes) up greenfield ave and back to Sq hill.

I’m definitely going to be getting at least 1 of those fiberfix’s and some spare spokes (once I figure out my size).


flyS564
Participant
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Yeah on my old bike I broke a few spokes, each time on the cassette side then I replaced the wheel. Each time it took 4 days to get the wheel back. I’m thankful that I spent a couple hours learning a bit about truing wheels and replacing spokes. As far as length goes, I had spares on an old wheel that were ~2mm shorter but was told NOT to use them, I don’t understand why though as there seems to be room for the thread to move up and down at the nipple..

I have a crank bros 19 in 1 tool but I didn’t know how to use the spoke wrench as needed to adjust/decrease the tension when I broke the spoke. ;) I do know how to fix a chain on the road now after 2 bad experiences.


HiddenVariable
Participant
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in re: chains hitting spokes, i meant it to no one in particular. just as a general question to anyone who had spokes break early on.

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