Spokes

rh100

Well-Known Member
When changing a spoke on the rear wheel, I had to take off the cassette, as I couldn't get it through otherwise. This seems to be backed up by BicycleTutor.

How do you change one on the road? Surely cycle tourists don't carry cassette tools do they?
 
There's a pocket-sized tool for removing cassettes on the road called, I think, a hypercracker. Although a chain whip and a cassette remover aren't really all that bulky or heavy if you're carrying tents, spare tyres and all the rest of the kit anyway.

There are other tricks. You can carry a Fiberfix spoke or two, or a couple of spare spokes with their heads cut off and a S bend put in instead, and those will get you home or to the next bike shop.

Or you can use a well-built touring wheel which you've found from long experience never lets you down in the first place.
 
OP
rh100

rh100

Well-Known Member
Uncle Phil said:
There's a pocket-sized tool for removing cassettes on the road called, I think, a hypercracker. Although a chain whip and a cassette remover aren't really all that bulky or heavy if you're carrying tents, spare tyres and all the rest of the kit anyway.

There are other tricks. You can carry a Fiberfix spoke or two, or a couple of spare spokes with their heads cut off and a S bend put in instead, and those will get you home or to the next bike shop.

Or you can use a well-built touring wheel which you've found from long experience never lets you down in the first place.
Yes the cassette tool isn't too bad I suppose, but the whip and the wrench could be a bit bulky.

Just looked up the Fiberfix, looks like a clever idea as does the mini tool.

I wouldn't fancy doing the job with a freewheel rather than cassette though, that would be tough when on the road.

Cheers
 

PpPete

Guru
Location
Chandler's Ford
A decent quality handbuilt 36 spoke wheel is unlikely to break a spoke in the first place.... and will in any case run quite happily with a broken spoke for a long way.

But if you are worried about it.... and the original hypercracker is no longer obtainable, Spa do a version of it called the NBT2.

Beware though - if lockring is tight these things can damage your dropout.
 

battered

Guru
I've only ever bent one spoke, that was on a MTB that I was bouncing down a hillside on at the time and there was half of Northumberland tangled up in the moving parts. I went on to ride it offroad for the rest of the weekend without incident. On that basis I don't think I'll ever need to replace a spoke en route, so I won't bother carrying the tools unless I try a heavily laden trip across Mali anytime soon. If I ever do that then it's 36 heavy duty spokes all the way.
 

cyberknight

As long as I breathe, I attack.
My front wheel spokes keep working loose even after a few miles, i am thinking that it is either tensioned wrongly or something more dire?

I will be taking it to the LBS at the weekend.
 

PpPete

Guru
Location
Chandler's Ford
Spokes should all be evenly tensioned. You can check by plucking (like a guitar string). Should all be similar high clear note. 700c wheels with DB spokes should be around about the A above middle C - or so I've read. If they are significantly slacker than there is insufficient tension to stop the nipples unwinding.
Do not let anyone tell you threadlocker is the answer. It is, at best, a "sticking plaster" solution.
 

cyberknight

As long as I breathe, I attack.
Yup
I can get it nicely trued with reasonable tension but keeps working loose.
I have not got a truing jig so i will let the boys at LBS play and get it right.
 

battered

Guru
I had a new wheel that repeatedly worked loose, a trip to the LBS sorted it out, they got enough tension into the thing to make it work.
 
rh100 said:
I wouldn't fancy doing the job with a freewheel rather than cassette though, that would be tough when on the road.
Nah, just pack a Black and Decker Workmate in your pannier, some lengths of flat steel to sandwich between the wooden jaws to prevent the freewheel remover chewing up the wood, and Bob's your Uncle! :blush:
 
OP
rh100

rh100

Well-Known Member
Now you have the workings of an idea there, just need to work on the practicalities though :blush:
 
OP
rh100

rh100

Well-Known Member
porkypete said:
Spokes should all be evenly tensioned. You can check by plucking (like a guitar string). Should all be similar high clear note. 700c wheels with DB spokes should be around about the A above middle C - or so I've read. If they are significantly slacker than there is insufficient tension to stop the nipples unwinding.
Do not let anyone tell you threadlocker is the answer. It is, at best, a "sticking plaster" solution.

Hmmmm, had a bit of an issue with my other bike, the hybrid on Friday (not the one I changed the spoke on in the OP). When I set off I could hear a bit of a rubbing noise coming from the rear wheel, I was listening out for other noises due to some creaking from the handlebars (another thread about that one :evil: )

Anyway, I got off the bike and sure enough the spokes on the back wheel felt a bit loose. Took it easy riding home and got around to taking a look today.

I started by plucking them as suggested, most sounded dead, so proceeded to tighten them. Spun the wheel and OMG :evil: didn't realise how much of an effect a turn or two has on the rim, completely out of true now with the rim kicking right over to one side in parts. Panicked a bit, then just started adjusting bit by bit, it now seems to be fairly true and felt ok on a test ride. So on the front wheel which also had some dead sounding spokes, I just tightened every one by an equal amount and seems to have held true.

On the rear, the drive side seems to be quite a bit tighter than the non drive side, is this because of the length effectively been different because of the dishing?

I think for peace of mind I might get them checked by LBS but at least I know I can effect a quick fix if necessary.

Another question, my spoke key has multiple numbers, mine were a fit for number 15, what does the number represent?
 

PpPete

Guru
Location
Chandler's Ford
Result ! - Well done!

Drive side is always a good bit tighter than t'other - as you suspected.

15 Gauge spokes
Get a red Spokey - ditch the one with multiple slots.
 
OP
rh100

rh100

Well-Known Member
Good idea, on a couple I used the wrong slot and then slipped, so not knowing how much I had turned it, but got away with it.
 
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