Couple of minor (?) issues

Scotty55

Senior Member
Location
Uddingston
Hi

On my commute this morning, my bike started to make a funny clunking noise from the rear wheel and was sluggish. The brake worked, but in an 'all or nothing' way - it was either full on or full off.

I checked the bike and I have a broken spoke on the wheel, and the brake cable had a 90 degree kink in it. I've starightened the cable with my hands and the brakes appear to be back to normal - I'll find out on my return home....

I suspect that I hit a branch or stick which caused the damage, but can't be sure.

Is a spoke replace an easy job for an inexperienced amateur? Should the brake cable be replaced, even though it's been straightened? I don't know a great deal about bike maintenance - if it's a job for the LBS, fine with me. Just don't want to be bikeless for any length of time.
 

Alex321

Über Member
Location
South Wales
Spokes are not hard to replace, provided you have an appropriate sized spoke key (a cheap tool if you don't), but the wheel will probably then need trueing. Which again, provided it isn't stupidly far out, and you have a wheel trueing guide (a bit more expensive, but you only need to buy it once), shouldn't be too hard.

If the brake cable had an actual kink in the sheath, then it will be weakened there, and will be likely to kink again. I think replacing it is probably best, but you could try just carrying on. It is unlikely to fail completely.

EDIT - if you have tubeless tyres, it will be more faff to replace the spoke, as you would normally just take out the inner tube and lift the rim tape away from the head of the spoke nipple. With tubeless that is both messier and will need at least that part of the rim tape replacing. Once the spoke is actually replaced, trueing can be done without taking it out of the nipple, so no further issues that way.
 
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Dogtrousers

Kilometre nibbler
Is a spoke replace an easy job for an inexperienced amateur? Should the brake cable be replaced, even though it's been straightened? I don't know a great deal about bike maintenance - if it's a job for the LBS, fine with me. Just don't want to be bikeless for any length of time.
Depends on your degree of tolerance for faffing. First source the correct length spoke, potentially remove the cassette (if it's on the drive side) faff around with rim tape. Figure out how to true the wheel ...

Personally I don't touch spokes myself - anything to do with wheels/ spokes/ wheel truing goes to the LBS. But there will be gnarly wheel-builder types on here who regard it as a mere bagatelle.

As to the brake cable, that's not a difficult job and I'd tend to just do it (for both brakes). But if the bike is going to the LBS I'd get them to do it while they're at it.
 
OP
Scotty55

Scotty55

Senior Member
Location
Uddingston
Thanks. Sounds like so many of the simple jobs which I convince myself that I am more than capable of tackling, then spend half a day getting the right tools, followed by 15 minutes of effort and swearing before admitting defeat and giving it to someone who knows what he/she is doing.
 

All uphill

I didn't recognise you but I knew your bike
Location
Somerset
Thanks. Sounds like so many of the simple jobs which I convince myself that I am more than capable of tackling, then spend half a day getting the right tools, followed by 15 minutes of effort and swearing before admitting defeat and giving it to someone who knows what he/she is doing.
You are right, the first time doing most jobs on a bike is a faff. Getting the correct tools, having the confidence, not forgetting an essential step.

For me that faff is just a sign that I am learning; gradually I have learnt to accept that and not be disappointed if it takes a while. The good thing is that each task soon becomes easy.

For a quick fix - LBS
For a slow fix, but good learning - DIY.
 

Alex321

Über Member
Location
South Wales
Thanks. Sounds like so many of the simple jobs which I convince myself that I am more than capable of tackling, then spend half a day getting the right tools, followed by 15 minutes of effort and swearing before admitting defeat and giving it to someone who knows what he/she is doing.
It may be best to get the LBS to replace the spoke.

But if you ride a lot on even moderately poor road surfaces, it is probably worth getting a trueing stand (and spoke key) and learning how to use it, as the daily bumps and knocks are likely to gradually send the wheel out of true. You can check it with the stand every now and then, and tweak it quite easily if it does start to go out.
 
OP
Scotty55

Scotty55

Senior Member
Location
Uddingston
Thanks. I know that I need to get both issues dealt with, but is the bike safe to ride with a broken spoke? i.e. if the LBS can't fix it for several weeks, am I able to keep riding it just now? It's not hard biking, mainly gravel trails and tarmac.
 
Location
London
You are right, the first time doing most jobs on a bike is a faff. Getting the correct tools, having the confidence, not forgetting an essential step.

For me that faff is just a sign that I am learning; gradually I have learnt to accept that and not be disappointed if it takes a while. The good thing is that each task soon becomes easy.

For a quick fix - LBS
For a slow fix, but good learning - DIY.
true - and will be faster doing it yourself afterwards - bike shops can rarely just drop everything/everyone else to attend to your glitch at a moment's notice.
 

vickster

Legendary Member
How many spokes does the wheel have? I had a broken spoke on my 32h rear wheel and had no choice but to ride about 20 miles on it (was on way to 2nd Covid jab).
Got it fixed and trued before riding again. (£20 or £25 at LBS).
Didn’t stop riding…This the benefit of having multiple bikes! :whistle:
 

Cycleops

Legendary Member
Location
Accra, Ghana
It’s unlikely your wheel is out of true but even if it is you don’t need a truing stand, you can true it in situ using a cable tie tied to the fork/ rear triangle as a guide. Plenty of vids on YouTube.
Remove the spoke, cut it down or fix it in place making sure it won’t move if you want to use the bike.
 

roubaixtuesday

self serving virtue signaller
Spoke replacement and wheel truing is definitely not "an easy job for an inexperienced amateur". Only attempt if you're prepared for a learning experience IMO.

Brake cable replacement is easy, and I'd encourage you do so that ASAP as its safety critical.

You can ride a wheel with a broken spoke no problem safety wise. The issue is that it's very likely to get further out of true and more spokes broken, potentially very quickly, but could last ages.

Personally, I keep a spare rear wheel, so I can get repairs done at leisure.
 

cougie uk

Über Member
I'd get the spoke replaced at the LBS and get a couple of spare spokes too. They tend to break after stuff like this.

Then you can attempt to replace the next one's.
 
Location
London
I'd get the spoke replaced at the LBS and get a couple of spare spokes too. They tend to break after stuff like this.

Then you can attempt to replace the next one's.
does anyone know how you measure spokes that are already in a wheel (ie not broken and extracted) so that spares can be kept/carried.
 

Dogtrousers

Kilometre nibbler
I tried wheel truing once myself and I only managed to make it worse. Mind you that was in the days before Youtube and message boards all that malarkey. I just had a book.
 
Location
London
I tried wheel truing once myself and I only managed to make it worse. Mind you that was in the days before Youtube and message boards all that malarkey. I just had a book.
It's not that hard if you take your time - I did some practice during hard lockdown - mainly by getting an old wheel, setting out to even spoke tension, taking a wheel out of true then bringing it back. I used a spare bike frame as the mount, and this:

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tafJlBrTUPw


which some folk sneer at but I find quite handy.

I have since got a full stand.
 
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