Author Topic: breaking spokes  (Read 4055 times)

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Offline ebword

breaking spokes
« on: May 18, 2010, 12:46:48 pm »
Hi,
I need a bit of advise,
A couple of weeks ago I broke a spoke on my road bike. The bike is pretty new. (about 300 miles on it) I took it in to the shop and had them replace the spoke and re-true the wheel.
Last weekend I was on a ride and broke another spoke about (4) spokes away from the original. I took it back in yesterday and talked with the bike shop. We all agree that I should not be breaking spokes every 100 miles. They are replacing the back wheel. My question is this. Shouldn't they replace the whole wheel set? (both wheels) I am pretty new to cycling but I was always under the impression that the wheels should be sold and installed in sets.

Thank you,
Erik

Offline paddleboy17

Re: breaking spokes
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2010, 01:06:02 pm »
You want comparable wheels.  Your rear is defective because it was built badly.  Your front might be OK.  And it sounds like your dealer might be inept or lazy.  Wheels need to be true (in one plane), round (a perfect circle), and evenly tensioned.  Tensioning is what is wrong with your wheel.  It is really an art to get all three right.  Probably, by the time they got your wheel true and round, the tensioning was all messed up.  Some spokes are being pulled harder than others, and these are the ones that break.

The dealer could replace your wheel with an identical wheel, or rebuild the wheel with new spokes (reusing the hub and rim).  Just make sure that your new wheel matches the old one.    They could be trying to hoist a crap wheel on you. 

I am surprised the the dealer did not offer to rebuild the wheel.
Danno

Offline whittierider

Re: breaking spokes
« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2010, 01:18:44 pm »

Quote
Shouldn't they replace the whole wheel set? (both wheels) I am pretty new to cycling but I was always under the impression that the wheels should be sold and installed in sets.

Not really.  Most wheel problems are on the back, for several reasons that don't exist on the front.  (It is much easier to make a reliable front wheel than a reliable rear wheel.)  There's nothing magical about a particular pairing.

Offline CastAStone

Re: breaking spokes
« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2010, 01:31:53 pm »
Many road bikes actually come with two different wheels because you can save weight on the front one. So you're fine.

Offline ebword

Re: breaking spokes
« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2010, 01:37:32 pm »
Thanks,
That helps.

Offline SweetLou

Re: breaking spokes
« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2010, 09:22:23 am »
You want comparable wheels.  Your rear is defective because it was built badly.  Your front might be OK.  And it sounds like your dealer might be inept or lazy.  Wheels need to be true (in one plane), round (a perfect circle), and evenly tensioned.  Tensioning is what is wrong with your wheel.  It is really an art to get all three right.  Probably, by the time they got your wheel true and round, the tensioning was all messed up.  Some spokes are being pulled harder than others, and these are the ones that break.

The dealer could replace your wheel with an identical wheel, or rebuild the wheel with new spokes (reusing the hub and rim).  Just make sure that your new wheel matches the old one.    They could be trying to hoist a crap wheel on you. 

I am surprised the the dealer did not offer to rebuild the wheel.
Not necessarily. The wheel could be built true and round with the correct tension and still break spokes if the spokes are near their elastic limit. Also, it is more likely that if it is a tension issue, it would be the loose spokes that will break.

Why would the shop rebuild the wheel? That would not make sense. The wheel will be a warranty issue and should be replaced by the manufacturer. Rebuilding the wheel means the shop would pay for that labor. 

Offline ebword

Re: breaking spokes
« Reply #6 on: May 21, 2010, 10:50:43 am »
The shop is having Schwinn replace the wheel. They are taking care of me at this point. I was more concerned as to if the wheel SET need to be replaced or not.
I agree that it should be the manufacturers cost and not the bike shop. They were willing to throw it back together and get me back on my bike until the new one arrived if I wanted. (after my last post)

But, with the fine Oregon sunshine going on here, I opted to just wait the week for the replacement.

Offline alfonso

Re: breaking spokes
« Reply #7 on: May 21, 2010, 08:45:38 pm »
This sounds like a good result.

In response to a post quite a while ago about breaking spokes, I wrote:

Quote
A succession of broken spokes may not mean that you need new wheels. It may be that the wheels weren't properly built at the factory, and the problem may be fixed by having them rebuilt with new spokes. That was my experience.

Most inexpensive wheels are machine assembled, with fairly wide tolerances for roundness and spoke tension. If there's stress on one spoke and it breaks, then replacing only that spoke can simply transfer the stress to elsewhere on the wheel, so that another spoke will break later.

However, you rightly point out that this is a warranty issue, and the shop is dealing with it by replacing the wheel. Most wheels perform reasonably well out of the box. If they're replacing the wheel, there's a very good chance that your problems will be solved.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2010, 08:47:18 pm by alfonso »

Offline Westinghouse

Re: breaking spokes
« Reply #8 on: May 25, 2010, 03:43:08 pm »
Unless you are really power driving your equipment, whatever that might be, your wheel is defective. I paid a measly $37.50 for my Weinmann rear wheel, and pedaled fully loaded from south Florida to San Diego CA, and then from south Florida to Key West, FL and back again with not the first broken spoke. If all you are doing is riding unloaded, somebody did not put your wheel together properly.
It happens.

Offline Tourista829

Re: breaking spokes
« Reply #9 on: May 27, 2010, 08:03:34 am »
I would question the competency of the dealer. For what you are going through, I would ask him for a new front wheel too, if it would make you feel better. If the spokes break after the new wheel is installed, and you like the bike, contact the company directly, see if they will pay for another dealer to rebuild the wheel. If you have had enough, have him give you your money back and go elsewhere.

Offline ericb

Re: breaking spokes
« Reply #10 on: June 03, 2010, 05:40:08 pm »
If they are custom wheels built by your bike shop, you should get a full refund and go elsewhere.

But most likely it's not the dealer's fault -- I assume these are machine built wheels that came with the bike. Sad but true, this is the state of machine built wheels on mass produced bikes these days.

Offline Moondoggy

Re: breaking spokes
« Reply #11 on: June 05, 2010, 05:33:56 pm »
The shop is having Schwinn replace the wheel.

I`m going to be a harsh sob, but there is the problem. Schwinn is now Pacific. The same folks that bring you a bunch of crap Walmart bikes. They slap a Schwinn sticker on a Huffy bike. It pains me because I grew up with Schwinn = quality. I still have my USA made Schwinn Homegrown Mt bike. The last good thing the real Schwinn made. Now you have to go to Waterford or Gunnar to get a real Schwinn

Offline Westinghouse

Re: breaking spokes
« Reply #12 on: June 07, 2010, 03:11:13 pm »
Schwinn. Why has thou forsaken us? My first touring bike was a Schwinn Le Tour bought in 1984 and used for many thousands of fully loaded, transcontinental touring miles until British Airways bent it around like a pretzel on a flight between Milan, Italy and London in 1994. Brit Air paid to have the frame straightened, but the old pack mule was never quite the same after that and started coming apart where the welds had been twisted.

Now you can get Schwinn labled bikes at Wally World, and probably K Mart and Target. They are not the quality bikes they once were.

Offline paddleboy17

Re: breaking spokes
« Reply #13 on: June 07, 2010, 04:18:51 pm »
The collapse of Schwinn goes back to early 1990's.  The UAW had attempted organize Schwinn's factory staff under the guise that they should get UAW salaries.  Schwinn responded by moving frame production offshore.  I don't quite have a year for this, but by 1994 the process of having bike built offshore proved to be too big to manage, and Schwinn fell apart.  The Schwinn family (may just be Richard Schwinn)  sold off everything but the Waterford factory in which high end Paramounts had been built. 

The Waterford factory became Waterford Bikes, although they are somehow licensed to make frame repairs to Paramounts.  Scott was the initial purchaser of Schwinn, which may have been just the name.  It has changed hands several time since then.  For all practical purposes, the Schwinn we all loved ceased in 1995.  Gunnar fits in there somewhere, but I don't quite understand the business model for Gunnar.

I have a 1992 Paramount Series 3.  She has a lugged frame, braised in Japan, so she is not a Waterford Paramount.  Still an excellent bike, and gorgeous to look at.  A lucky purchase by me, as I did not know enough back then to appreciate what I bought.  I have replaced everything on her several times.  I lucked out in that the 126 MM rear dropouts flex enough to accommodate a 9 speed hub.  Waterford will modify the frame to have 130 MM dropouts, but that would be really expensive. 

As far as I know, the only place to get a lugged frame is Waterford.  Waterford make lugged frames for Rivendell.  I have a Waterford lugged built Adventure Cycle tour bike now.  Just as pretty as my Paramount.
Danno

Offline Scovilleater

Re: breaking spokes
« Reply #14 on: April 22, 2013, 07:03:57 pm »
Thank you Moondoggy!
I have worked in multiple shops for a number of years now. It pains me to see so many people blame a shops technical staff for what is obviously a sub quality manufactures product. Wheel building is truly an art. You have to true laterally, radially, and dish a wheel to the center of the hub. All of this needs to be done while keeping balanced spoke tension. It is ludicrous to expect a machine built wheel to meet a high level of quality.
With that said, if you break even a single spoke the whole rim / hub interface is suspect. One does not just replace a spoke, the entire wheel needs to be gone through, true/round/dish/tension. If it is a machine built wheel there is only so much that you can expect from it in the first place, let alone it's ability to be repaired well.
Where as asking for two wheels to be covered by warranty when only one has failed... Really?
Lastly, remember that with most things in life you get what you pay for.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2013, 07:05:54 pm by Scovilleater »