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Breaking a spoke at the rim(8 posts)

Breaking a spoke at the rimPaulCL
Oct 3, 2002 5:45 AM
I've popped my fair share of spokes over the years. But, this morning, I popped a spoke at the rim. It appears that the nipple cracked. Huh?? I've never had that one before.

What do you think? Just wear and tear on the nipple or should I be concerned about anything else.

As an aside....the negative to low spoke count, super light wheels, is that if you pop a spoke, your ride is done. With 32 spokes, do a little loosening then tightening, and keep going. Maybe I should invest in a temporary spoke repair kit.

Thanks. Paul
re: Breaking a spoke at the rimMike Prince
Oct 3, 2002 6:18 AM
From the tone of your message, sounds like you ride finished early. Bummer.

Anyway, are the nipples brass or aluminum? I remember a pretty spirited thread a few months back about nipple material with a consensus that there were some risks with alloy nips. Was the spoke on the drive side? Those spokes are tensioned much higher and would be more prone to the damage you describe.

I'd check the nipples including the damaged one. If it's cracked, I'd write it off as a fluke. If the threads actually tore out, I would seriously consider a rebuild with some (stronger) brass nipples.
re: Breaking a spoke at the rimPaulCL
Oct 3, 2002 6:44 AM
Yes, the aborted ride was a bummer. I rode all of 8 miles before I had to turn around.

Aluminum nipples, non drive side. The nipple cracked. Actually, on the road, I unscrewed the remaining nipple from the spoke and salvaged the spoke. The only reason I salvaged the spoke is becuase it is a Sapim C-Xray spoke which are expensive and very hard to find.

Just a couple of weeks ago, I had my LBS take a look at that wheel. They did some adjustments - yippee. I guess I should count myself lucky that the spoke broke this morning 8 miles from home. Last Saturday, I did a one way 70 mile ride out into the country. A broken spoke would have been a real bummer.

So, brass nipples are stronger?? Maybe I should think about replacing the nipples. Aferall, if one nipple was torqued enough to crack, what about the others??? time to take a hard look at the wheel . Thanks. Paul
Broke so many alloy nips I gave up on 'emcory
Oct 3, 2002 7:25 AM
I'm a Clydesdale, and I'd rather ride than work on the bikes, so I err on the side of strength when I choose wheels. A local shop owner is a former team mechanic and very well-respected, and I've let him talk me into alloy nipples a couple of times. Never again: I've pulled five or six nipples apart on two rear wheels. He's fixing them free, but he's getting tired of fooling with them, too.
Ditto...KEN2
Oct 3, 2002 9:00 AM
I weigh 195 so I'm borderline Clyde, but I have broken two alloy nipples on the drive side rear wheel of my commuter bike over a six-month period (Hugi hub, Mavic Open Pro CD rim, DT 14/15 spokes, factory built). I've decided to have the wheel rebuilt using brass nips.
Broken or strippedPaulCL
Oct 3, 2002 11:30 AM
the nipples. Cracked or ripped out by the threads?? Since I'm around 190, I guess I count as a borderline Clyde myself.

This is the third spoke I've popped this year - but the first at the nipple. In fact, this is the third spoke I've popped in the last four years. I guess bad luck runs in bunches.....
Broken or strippedKEN2
Oct 3, 2002 12:57 PM
The nipple head inside the wheel broke away from the rest, tne spoke was intact in the threads.
re: Breaking a spoke at the rimSingleThreaded
Oct 3, 2002 8:15 PM
I sheared 3 alloy nipples off my 20 spoke front wheel. The first at 1500 miles, and the others about 100 miles and 200 miles later. LBS rebuilt wheel with brass nipples and 500 miles later wheel workin just fine.