Replacing a spoke

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by Panter, 10 Jun 2008.

  1. Panter

    Panter Just call me Chris...

    I broke a spoke on my SCR3 last night.

    Instead of rushing to the LBS with the wheel, I thought it was about time to learn to do it myself so I duly rushed to the LBS but minus the wheel and returned with a new spoke and a spoke key :wacko:

    Did some googling, replacement looks straightforward, get home and remove the tyre, the rim tape and the old nipple.

    Here's where the problem starts. The hooked bit of the spoke that hooks into the hub has a flat end and will not fit through the hole in the hub. Have I got the wrong spoke? are the ends different?

    EDIT: I think I may need to remove the cassette, is this right?
  2. fossyant

    fossyant Ride It Like You Stole It!

    South Manchester
    You have to thread a spoke from the rim end - the flat bit keeps the spoke in place - did you check the length of the spoke as if wrong it will either be to short - can't tighten, or too long and cause a puncture.

    When (not if) you get it fitted, tighten it up then slowly, a bit at a time start upping the tension whilst checking trueness. You'll most likely have to adjust adjacent spokes as well to avoid an egg shaped wheel.
  3. domtyler

    domtyler Über Member

    One of those jobs best left to the experts imo.
  4. goo_mason

    goo_mason Champion barbed-wire hurdler

    Leith, Edinburgh
    Nonsense, Dom ! :biggrin:

    I was breaking them so frequently on the rear wheel on my SCR2 that I had the replacement and truing down to 10 minutes, from letting the tyre down to get the wheel off the bike to having a fully inflated tyre back on the bike.

    You should only need to take the cassette off if the spoke has broken on the cassette side; I managed to get mine on the other side without removing it (it can be a bit fiddly, but there's a knack to it).

    You may have the wrong spoke though - I bought a handful from the Edinburgh Bike CoOp and they managed to slip me three of the correct ones and two that were too long :wacko:

    Once you've learned to do it once, it gets easier and it really is pretty straighforward. I'm no mechanic and not great with my hands, but even I managed it !
  5. swee'pea99

    swee'pea99 Legendary Member

    Have to say I'm with Goo on this one...nothing particularly testing about it IMHO. As Fossyant says, you have to thread it thru' non-hooked end first - and yes, you might have to remove the cassette first. If you do find out it's the wrong one, just take it back to the shop with your wheel and they'll swap it for the one you need - no skin off their nose. Oh, and I wouldn't worry too much about egg-shaped wheels/adjusting other spokes...assuming your wheel was true before the breakage, once the new one's in and tightened so it's 'about the same' tension as its neighbours ('ting' them with a small spanner/metal tyre lever to get a feel) you should find all is well.

    Well done for having a go, whatever happens!
  6. It's a rite of passage and a piece of pish, get it done! Goo is right about it being a quick job once you've done a few. I once popped a spoke on top of a mountain in upstate Penn., in the ten minutes it took for my riding buddies to realise I wasn't with them and get back I'd got it replaced, had the wheel back in and was pumping it back up. They didn't believe I'd replaced a spoke until I brandished the broken one at them.
  7. OP

    Panter Just call me Chris...

    Thanks peeps, appreciated :biggrin:

    Yes, its the cassette side. Obviously, I don't have the tool to remove the cassette so its back to the LBS tomorrow for the tool and No, the supplied spokes weren't the right length ;)

    Ah well, live and learn :blush:

    On another note, the guy in the shop said it tends to be the cassette side where breakage is most common (makes sense) so in which case I assume its not worth carrying spare spokes if you need to remove the cassette to change these?

    And (whilst I'm asking) I assume that the tool I have to remove car oil filters is essentially the same as a proper chain whip? it certainly fits the cassette nicely and locks into place or am I likely to damage a tooth by using this?
  8. yenrod

    yenrod Guest

    Actually if you've a wheel thats knackered but still straight, practice with that...

    The experience will come in VERY handy indeed !

    I went thru pretty much the same as Goo' - you get good at it, though i aint perfect.
  9. OP

    Panter Just call me Chris...

    Well, its all done :biggrin:

    Turns out you can't use an oil filter wrench so I had to buy a chain whip as well so for the cassette remover, chain whip, spokey and 2 spokes the repair cost £25.00. Pretty pricey for a spoke replacement but I've learned a lot and it was quite satisfying.

    The wheel runs nice and straight now, its not perfect but if I fiddle any more I think it'll just get worse. Its more than good enough anyway :smile:

    Goo, I take my hat off to you. 5 minutes? it took me over an hour :smile: :sad:

    Still, it'll be much quicker next time

    Thanks again for the advice all, and best wishes from Panter the resident CC spannerman :smile: :biggrin:
  10. goo_mason

    goo_mason Champion barbed-wire hurdler

    Leith, Edinburgh
    10 mins actually after quite a few times doing it. I did one on the old MTB wheel over a year ago as my first attempt at spoke replacement. That took about an hour ! By the time of the third one on the road bike it was a breeze (especially since getting the wheels and tyres off the road bike is a doddle compared to the MTB).

    £25 well spent - you have the tools and the knowledge now to do it for free next time :biggrin:
  11. byegad

    byegad Guru

    NE England
    Well done Panter that £25 quids worth of tools will save it's own price in a short time and you'll avoid having to wait until Tuesday when you break one on Good Friday!
  12. OP

    Panter Just call me Chris...

    Thanks Guys, thats the plan :biggrin:

    Sorry Goo, I thought for some reason you said 5 minutes, although 10 is still impressively quick :wacko:

    I don't know why I was so worried about removing the cassette, its laughibly easy isn't it.
    I think the wording "special tool" put me off plus memories of disambling old bike wheels and all the bearings dropping out onto the floor never to be seen again :angry:
  13. How much is a spoke repair these days ?

    I've been doing it myself for ages, used to paying 60p for the spoke, but what's a bikeshop charge ?

    I was in EBC in Mcr last year just after they'd opened, and the guy in front of me wanted a p*nct*re fixing.
    The bloke behind the counter apologised, said they'd only just opened, had been amazed at the amount of work people were bringing-in so they were recruiting for two new mechanics, but until they recruited them there was a bit of a backlog - they could either sell the guy a new tube for £3 and he could fix it himself or they could fix it for £8 (£5 for the puncture plus £3 for tube) and it would take a week.
    The guy said he'd wait the week...

    I was amazed
    a) he couldn't fix a puncture
    :angry: he was willing to wait a week
    c) he was willing to pay £8

    I'm just too tight. If I can do it myself, I'll have a go.
    I'd also rather learn how to do it so that next time I need to do it I can just get it done rather than have to trail to the shop, be without the bike until it's fixed, then have to go and get it again.

    So Panter, like byegad I think your £25's well spent - you've got the knowledge and tools to fix your next spoke, you can also replace the cassette when that's worn-out.
    Well done.
  14. Odyssey

    Odyssey New Member

    Hacksaw will finish the job... :laugh:
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