Spoke has broken at the thread end

T675Rich

Well-Known Member
Location
Birmingham
While riding to work this morning a heard a ping, had a quick look but couldn't see anything wrong and stupidly carried on to work, when I got to work I checked everything over including seeing if spokes were loose. I tried one that was very loose and it came out of the nipple, it looks as though it has broken half way up the thread.

I assume it is because I over tightened it, I had a couple of loose spokes after going over a rough bit of road so I used a spoke key to tighten them up, to what I thought was just when they started to get tight enough. I judged that badly. So now I have a few loose spokes and a very untrue wheel. The broken spoke stays in the nipple but won't take any tension.

What is the best thing to do, can I make adjustments to other spoke to try and pull the wheel inline and ride home or given I must have caused this in the first place would I be better not riding it until it is fixed?
 

Sharky

Guru
Location
Kent
All depends on how many spokes in the first place, how much of a buckle there is etc. and how far you have to ride home.

In the past (a long time ago), I've had wheels with 2 or 3 spokes gone and I've just wrapped the loose spokes round the next one to it and as long as it is not affecting the braking managed to get home ok.
 
OP
T675Rich

T675Rich

Well-Known Member
Location
Birmingham
Looks as though I have 32 spokes, the wheel it quite far out of line, I have disc brakes so it is not really causing an issue there but the wheel does rub against my mud guard.
 
OP
T675Rich

T675Rich

Well-Known Member
Location
Birmingham
I'll see if I can straighten it enough, is it likely that over tightening it causes the breakage or could there be any other issue? I was navigating a shared use crossing at the time on a very slight hill, I wasn't pushing down on the pedals that much.

If I don't tighten things right again how likely is it that I could damage the wheel?
 

Smokin Joe

Legendary Member
Overtightening would not cause a spoke to break. The threads would strip long before that, and in any case if one spoke was overtightened to that extent the wheel would be way out of true.

Simple fatigue or damage will be to blame.
 

I like Skol

Hold my beer and watch this....
Just ride it home carefully, you'll be fine.

I once had a spoke break while riding to the start of a long (100 mile) forum (@ColinJ) ride. I continued and did the ride, including some of my idiotic hopping around and jumping over fallen branches, etc then repaired the wheel after I got safely home. Those wheels gave me no end of trouble until I replaced them with a set of my own handbuilts. It was just crappy OEM wheels, nothing to do with riding on a broken spoke. Some wheels are built badly with shonky materials, it is just an unfortunate aspect of manufacturers cutting corners to hit a price point or increase profit.

Repair your wheel, but don't be surprised if another spoke fails in the next few weeks/months.
 

ColinJ

Puzzle game developer
I once had a spoke break while riding to the start of a long (100 mile) forum (@ColinJ) ride. I continued and did the ride, including some of my idiotic hopping around and jumping over fallen branches, etc then repaired the wheel after I got safely home.
I had a spoke break on one of my forum rides too. Unfortunately, it was a wheel with a reduced spoke count so the loss of just that one spoke was enough to put the wheel way out of true. I ended up having to take my mudguard off and disconnect the brake cable to get the wheel to turn and then rode 12 miles very gingerly to Blackpool station to catch a train home.
 
OP
T675Rich

T675Rich

Well-Known Member
Location
Birmingham
The bike has done just under 400 miles, would they be fatigued by now? I'm going to see what I can do to true the wheel, or at least make sure it isn't rubbing.

I really should learn to fix it myself but I am really not confident tbh especially as I would need to remove the cartridge too,
 

Ajax Bay

Veteran
Location
East Devon
heard a ping, . . . I checked everything over including seeing if spokes were loose. I tried one that was very loose and it came out of the nipple, it looks as though it has broken half way up the thread.
The broken spoke stays in the nipple but won't take any tension.
What is the best thing to do, can I make adjustments to other spoke to try and pull the wheel inline and ride home or given I must have caused this in the first place would I be better not riding it until it is fixed?
Most spokes break at the elbow by the hub and will not wave around catching or damaging anything during a limp home (made easier if the rider is carrying a spoke key and knows how to use it). [Edited to add: The rider can unscrew the broken spoke from the nipple and remove it.] If a rear right hand side spoke breaks at its thread / the nipple there's significant hazard that it will catch on part of the drive (chain/RD) and you'll have to hope you're only going slowly as it will be better that full-on disc braking. [Edited to add: Once discovered, twist the broken spoke round one adjacent.] I have foolishly damaged an RD this way and limped home with a shortened but loose chain on a selected sprocket (RD in back pocket).
 
Last edited:
OP
T675Rich

T675Rich

Well-Known Member
Location
Birmingham
I took the bike to a small place where I work and they said it looks like the wheel has no integrity and I should return it to the shop I got it for a warranty claim so I took it on the car to the lbc where I bought it, they disputed that there was a issue with the wheel, replaced the spoke and trued the wheel and it seems fine. I think I really need to learn to do these things myself as they charged £25 ish.
 

Smokin Joe

Legendary Member
I think I really need to learn to do these things myself as they charged £25 ish.
It is a good idea to learn to do jobs like that yourself, they are fairly straightforward and there is plenty of help availably both on YouTube and here.

But don't complain about the shop charging £25 - that is a fair price for their time and knowledge and they don't do it for any less because they need to earn enough to stay in business.
 
OP
T675Rich

T675Rich

Well-Known Member
Location
Birmingham
It is a good idea to learn to do jobs like that yourself, they are fairly straightforward and there is plenty of help availably both on YouTube and here.

But don't complain about the shop charging £25 - that is a fair price for their time and knowledge and they don't do it for any less because they need to earn enough to stay in business.
I wasn't suggesting that wasn't a fair price, or at least I certainly didn't mean to more that fact that I could have saved most of that if I learnt to do it myself.
 
Top Bottom