Author Topic: Are there counterfeit DT spokes?  (Read 1863 times)

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Offline zerodish

Are there counterfeit DT spokes?
« on: August 22, 2019, 10:15:13 am »
I dug a wheel out of a recycle bin that had 4 broken spokes. I didn't look closely at the spokes but it looked like they were cut. I disassembled the wheel and used the spokes of a new wheel. Since then I have broken 4 spokes all of them failed in the middle. I now believe the spokes I thought were cut also broke in the middle. These are the only DT spokes I have ever broke so either the quality has gone way down or they are counterfeit. Spokes that break in the middle always have an inclusion. I bought some DT Alpine spokes several years ago. Afterwards I learned they had made a change in the design of the spokes that made them easier for machines to build the wheels. The shaft between the elbow and head was lengthened. This resulted in the heads popping off of the spokes. All of the information is on the tandem list over at Hobbes. Several tandem wheel builders will no longer use these spokes. After that stunt and a failure of DT to fix the problem I would not be surprised if DT has downgraded their quality. I have been unable to reach DT. https://flic.kr/p/2gC4GDL

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Are there counterfeit DT spokes?
« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2019, 06:22:32 pm »
I can't say I'm surprised that spokes dug out of a recycle bin had problems.  While they might be counterfeit, I suspect a simpler explanation is that at some point the derailer of the previous bike failed ("killer stick" is a simple explanation), and scored many or all of the spokes on the drive side.  Similar damage could have been done via other mechanisms on the non-drive side wheel, or a front wheel.

Once there's a stress concentrator on a spoke, like  a scratch, nick, or notch, it's a matter of time until it fails.  Try buying some new spokes of the proper length.

Offline misterflask

Re: Are there counterfeit DT spokes?
« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2019, 08:13:04 am »
I needed a wheel recently for a gravel bike and scrounged one in my basement stash.  The wheel had DT spokes and had been built around 5-10 yrs ago.  After several months a spoke broke in the middle.  I thought it odd, but replaced it.  In the next few weeks, two more spokes broke in the middle and I broke another one by bending it while disassembling the wheel.  On examination, the spokes have small corrosion spots that I theorize allowed corrosion stress fractures to start. 

The wheel wasn't pampered, but it wasn't abused either.  All my bikes have been rained on but none live outside.  My basement is probably mid-way along the damp-dry continuum.  So far this has been a unique experience and there are a lot of bikes and wheels in the basement. 

I still have the old spokes if anyone has specific questions about them.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Are there counterfeit DT spokes?
« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2019, 08:50:16 am »
I can't say I'm surprised that spokes dug out of a recycle bin had problems.  While they might be counterfeit, I suspect a simpler explanation is that at some point the derailer of the previous bike failed ("killer stick" is a simple explanation), and scored many or all of the spokes on the drive side.  Similar damage could have been done via other mechanisms on the non-drive side wheel, or a front wheel.

Once there's a stress concentrator on a spoke, like  a scratch, nick, or notch, it's a matter of time until it fails.  Try buying some new spokes of the proper length.
Yeah, I have had it happen near the bas of the spokes.  On the TA I didn't have a tool to pull the cluster so we stopped in a bike shop and the mechanic kindly pulled the cluster and replaced a few broken spokes gratis other than the cost of a few spokes.  He obviously thought I had shifted the chain into the spokes and when I said no, he just gave me a knowing look.  The next time we pulled the cluster when more spokes broke we realized that one of the little screws that held the stack of cogs together when you take the cluster off was completely loose and free to slide in and out.  It had scored all the drive side spokes and looked like the chain had been shifted into the spokes.  Not sure how that was missed the first time.  Anyway after the screw was made secure and pretty much all the drive side spokes were replaced all was well.

Scoring multiple spokes mid spoke would be harder to manage and less likely, but possible I guess.  I have never seen it happen on more than a single spoke on any bike I have worked on.

Offline zerodish

Re: Are there counterfeit DT spokes?
« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2019, 07:50:51 am »
I have now seen the same type of failures in a set of DT 2.0 wheels. So I can now say the defective spokes exist. The defective spokes are coming from Asia in built up wheels. It looks like salt accelerates the breaks. The spokes I'm using are breaking about every 100 miles. I'm the spoke nerd. This rate of breakage fits with the formula I came up with using Wheelsmith data. You can read about it here all the typos are mine. If DT wants to sue me I am ready for them. https://www.wheelfanatyk.com/blog/for-spoke-nerds-only/

Offline zerodish

Re: Are there counterfeit DT spokes?
« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2019, 04:12:39 pm »
Here is a new photo of DT spokes removed from a set of DT Swiss 2.0 wheels. Most likely this failure caused a crash. https://flic.kr/p/2hxWcRb

Offline agruntgrunt

Re: Are there counterfeit DT spokes?
« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2020, 07:31:48 pm »
Spokes do become brittle with age, when you get 3 or more spokes
it's time for re-lacing, all new spokes. If you don't you will continue
to break more spokes.