GT Grade / Stans Grail Spoke Problem

Heisenberg71

When you're dead, you're dead
Location
Wakefield
I am just back today from an epic 500 mile Bristol to Edinburgh ride. Great ride but crap weather. Bike was amazing, comfortable and performed well. I love this GT Grade Carbon Dura Ace Di2. However on day four I suddenly snapped a spoke in the rear at the nipple. May have been the quite potholy road surface proceeding it. Quick stop off at the awesome Breeze Bikes in Amble and they replaced the spoke and trued up the wheel. All good.

However the following day suddenly another one goes in the rear, then one in the front, both again at the nipple. I have never had any spoke snap on any bike, but three spokes in two days in two separate wheels? Crazy and surely indicates a fault or metal fatigue potentially? Finished the ride one spoke down in each wheel praying it would survive, which it did. Wheels slightly out of true but not drastic.

I have contacted Stans to see what they think, as well as Wiggle who sold the bike originally just over a year ago. Not holding out much hope and thinking it may need to be fixed not replaced. Stans Grail Rims and DT Swiss hubs are awesome so I am assuming I could get them re-laced or even do it myself potentially.

Your thoughts on cause of three snaps in two days?

Recommendation on heavier duty spokes?

If DIY how do I correctly measure / specify the right spokes?
 

I like Skol

A Minging Manc...
The stock wheels on the Grade range are diabolically badly built which is a shame because the rims and hubs are perfectly adequate. I think the wheel supplier must have a lorry load of chocolate spokes they are using to build these wheels. My wheels were replaced by Wiggle without hesitation with THESE which are proving to be much more reliable (bloody noisy freehub though!).
I am not alone in suffering wheel problems with the Grade @Kestevan had issues too.

If you do go the rebuild route the DT Swiss double butted competition spoke should do nicely although you could save a small amount of weight by going to the thinner revolution spoke without any likely issues. These spokes are available in black.
 
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I like Skol

A Minging Manc...
The fact you are asking this question leads me to suggest that you find someone to rebuild them for you. I am no expert but build strong wheels for my best bikes and these have proven to be strong and long lasting. You wouldn't want to screw up the wheels on such a good bike, perhaps learn/practice wheel building on something less important?
Having said that, how bad can they be, certainly no worse than the originals!
 

Venod

Eh up
Location
Yorkshire
I built some wheels with Grail rims and some Chinese Hubs (same as Novatech) but branded different, I used Sapim DB race spokes, so far they have been faultless, I use the them on the CX bike, they have had some rough treatment, but i run them tubeless, the highest pressure they have seen is 50 psi rear 40 psi front.
 
OP
OP
Heisenberg71

Heisenberg71

When you're dead, you're dead
Location
Wakefield
I am pretty mechanically competent but I have never built a wheel. I like the challenge of learning another self-sufficient skill but would I have confidence at 50 mph bombing down a descent sat on the top tube? I don't think so. I may let an expert do it then.

Thanks guys.
 

I like Skol

A Minging Manc...
Problem is, I don't think it will be warranty due to being outside 1yr, but you never know and it is always worth asking, especially as this is a well known and accepted fault within the trade.
If it isn't warranty then replacement wheels are unnecessary and a simple rebuild of the wheels using the perfectly good hub/rim components and some decent spokes should result in a strong, reliable, long lasting wheelset for a relatively small outlay.

In fact, I think in a long winded, round about way I have talked around to the answer. Try for warranty replacement and if that isn't successful then buy the spokes and have a go at selfbuild for about £30-40 of materials, nothing to lose and a cheapish experiment.
 

I like Skol

A Minging Manc...
I have bought spokes from ROSE in the past and found the price extremely competitive even with cost of carriage (haven't shopped around this time).

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You will need to remove a spoke from each side of each wheel to check the length and also the length of the nipples. You may need 4 different spoke lengths for disk braked wheels but that is unlikely as you often find that the front will only use 1 size as they are close enough to the calculated theoretical length to do. You will also need a spoke key.

Cost of black spokes £46 delivered as shown above but this could be reduced to only £35 if you use the cheaper silver stainless steel type.
 

fossyant

Ride It Like You Stole It!
Location
South Manchester
Just get the wheels rebuilt. Factory wheels are usually built by machine which isn't as good as a wheel builders skills.

Rebuilt a few myself.
 

Kestevan

Last of the Summer Winos
Location
Holmfirth.
Mine was a "special" case, as I didn't actually buy the bike (it was a competition prize) and getting any sort of response from GT UK has proven impossible.

After snapping multiple spoke front and rear I had the wheels rebuilt by a friend in the club. The front was fine, but he said that rear rim was badly out of shape and he couldn't guarantee a reliable fix.

I bought a replacement rear from Superstar using the same Stans Grail rim and since then I've had no problems (touch wood).
 

I like Skol

A Minging Manc...
Mine was a "special" case, as I didn't actually buy the bike (it was a competition prize) and getting any sort of response from GT UK has proven impossible.

After snapping multiple spoke front and rear I had the wheels rebuilt by a friend in the club. The front was fine, but he said that rear rim was badly out of shape and he couldn't guarantee a reliable fix.

I bought a replacement rear from Superstar using the same Stans Grail rim and since then I've had no problems (touch wood).
My rear rim was out of shape, radially not laterally, and interestingly not where the spoke had broken. God knows what is going on with these wheels before they are fitted to the bikes, it is almost as if GT are buying 'seconds' because they are stupidly cheap and they just pick up the bill for any that do actually get ridden and come back faulty?
 

Kestevan

Last of the Summer Winos
Location
Holmfirth.
My rear rim was out of shape, radially not laterally, and interestingly not where the spoke had broken. God knows what is going on with these wheels before they are fitted to the bikes, it is almost as if GT are buying 'seconds' because they are stupidly cheap and they just pick up the bill for any that do actually get ridden and come back faulty?

Guy that rebuilt mine said the rear rim was "like a fecking pringle". It was so bad he couldn't get it round with any sort of consistent tension and he recommended a new rim... just bit the bullet and bought a new one.
 
OP
OP
Heisenberg71

Heisenberg71

When you're dead, you're dead
Location
Wakefield
When I got the first broken spoke replaced by Brreze Bikes they said exactly the same thing. The rim is radially out of shape. They pulled it laterally true but said without a full rebuild they couldn't do much about the fact I was riding an egg. Seems too much of a coincidence we have all found the same problem.....

Bottled it today and took both wheels to Cycletech in Wakefield for a full rebuild with original hubs and rims. He says the spokes are "plain gauge, so inherently cheap and weak with stainless nipples". Recommended heavy duty DT Swiss spokes and brass nipples. I get them back in a week, which is a bummer but lets my legs recover.

In the meantime I have contacted Wiggle to see what they say. They can have the pictures, broken spokes and receipts as well as a report from LBS. Nothing to lose. I just didn't trust my novice wheel building skills.

You're all legends, as ever!
 
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