Loose spoke and wheel true advice please?

Discussion in 'Bicycle Mechanics and Repairs' started by Bigtallfatbloke, 30 Aug 2007.

  1. Bigtallfatbloke

    Bigtallfatbloke New Member

    I have aquired a loose spoke and a wonky rear wheel on my recent tour. The rear wheel wobbles when I spin it and rubs against the brake blocks (which i have had to loosen off to let the wheel run freely). I tried to tighten up the spoke but it just keeps popping out again at the central hub end. Is this a job for LBS man or is there anything i can do myself to fix this? I think the technical term is that my rear wheel needs 'trueing'.
  2. Tim Bennet.

    Tim Bennet. Entirely Average Member

    S of Kendal
    In my experience, wheels that need trueing are either get done properly or you are merely postponing further trouble.

    Obviously with some knowledge and a jig, you can do it yourself properly. Conversely, taking it to a shop doesn't mean it will be done right either.

    Learning to wheel build always does seem to be one of those skills that would be worth learning and I'm sure it's very satisfying to build your own wheels. However if you have the wheels done right in the first place, it's a skill you never need! So why bother?
  3. domtyler

    domtyler Über Member

    Take it to the shop, it normally costs a tenner or so for a new spoke and true. Try buggering about with it yourself and you will find yourself in a whole new world of pain.
  4. Brock

    Brock Senior Member

    If it 'keeps popping out at the central hub end' then the spoke must be broken surely? Personally I'd put a new one in, tighten it up so it rings the same as the others and until the wheel looks true again, then carry on my merry way. Mind you, my bike is a heap of old dung, and I'm not too fussed about the wheel being perfectly true. The others advice of bunging your LBS a tenner is probably right. ;)
  5. starseven

    starseven Guest

    I've spent a bit of time learning how to retrue wheels, through trial and error Im now confident I can get one back in shape.

    Having said that if the wheel in question was a newish one like yours I would pay a tenner and let some one who knew what they were doing fix it.

    Shame about the weather on your recent trip by the way, that was the worst week I can recall in the last few years!!!!
  6. OP

    Bigtallfatbloke New Member

    I'll take it in to the lbs on Monday...I suppose the spoke must be broken as you say...only I dont know what a busted spoke looks like compared to one that just poped out...erm..if they do that I mean...anyway I would have more chance of scoring Anna Kornikova than fixing my wheel so I'll get a bike bloke to do it.
  7. TimO

    TimO Veteran

    Spokes don't just pop out, they're under way to high a tension for that. Unless you've got an unusual type of hub, the end of the spoke stops it going through the hole in the hub, if it'll go in and out of the hub, then the head has broken off (the heads of the spokes will alternate inside and outside of the hub as you go around). At the rim, normally the spoke screws into a nipple, which similarly can't go through the hole in the rim unless it's broken.

    Spokes tend to brake at the curved bit near the hub (normalled called the elbow), if it's broken there, there is no way that it can be fitted back. The bit that was on the end is probably out on the road somewhere.
  8. Chris James

    Chris James Über Member

    BTFB, just a quick question, when you are trying to tighten the spoke, what are you turning and which way? i.e you are tightening not loosening the spoke aren't you?
  9. OP

    Bigtallfatbloke New Member

    I was putting the broken end back into the hole then twisting th eother end (with the screw thread) to tighten it...from you are all saying it's clearly broken at the hub end.
  10. rustychisel

    rustychisel Well-Known Member

    sounds like the spoke head has snapped off, leaving the elbow loose and flapping. New spoke and true is the answer. Examine other spokes to see the difference.
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