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Suddenly, I'm breaking spokes - Is my Neutron wheel jinxed?(3 posts)

Suddenly, I'm breaking spokes - Is my Neutron wheel jinxed?Helix
Aug 27, 2003 6:23 PM
Until last month, I was a happy camper. Over 5000 km on my Campy Neutron wheels and they were nearly as true as the day I bought them. I loved 'em.

Then, due to an embarrassing incident involving an unexpected cell phone call while loading my bike into the car, I backed over my rear wheel, ruining the rim (Neutrons are strong, but not that strong.) My LBS replaced the rim, rebuilt the wheel, and I was back on the road. 400 km later - wham! - a broken drive side spoke. I took the wheel back to my LBS to replace the spoke, as they were the only source in town for Neutron spokes. I picked the wheel up this afternoon and - wham! - 24 km into my evening ride - another broken drive side spoke.

Am I now fated to get a broken spoke every time I ride? Is this the dark side of factory built wheel-sets? Once you break a spoke, you can never get them back to the state of grace that they had when they left Italy? Or is this just bad luck? (I tend not to blame my LBS, as they are THE high end shop in town and their wrenches are known for their high quality work. I also checked the wheel before I rode tonight and it seemed to be perfectly true with the spokes of nearly equal tension all around.)

Any ideas?
re: Different tensionshudsonite
Aug 28, 2003 4:15 AM
The rear Neutron wheel uses different spokes and tension on the drive side versus the non-drive side. On the drive side, the spokes are 2/1.8/2 with a tension of 120->140 Kg. On the non drive side, the spokes are 2/1.5/2 with a tension of 50->60Kg.

If as you say all the tensions are the same, then you may have found your problem. They should not be the same. Each side is the same, but the sides are different.

I would suggest that you contact your LBS and ask them what spokes and tensions they used. It is possible that they tensioned them to what is considered normal and not to what Campagnolo recommends. It can happen that experienced people sometimes forget to read the manual. This can lead to missing some important nuances of a particular product.

Neutron/Proton wheels are known to be very strong. It is possible that they have not had to re-build these very often and are relying on normal wheel building doctrine. It happens all the time, especially with people that have been doing something for many years successfully.

If you need more info :

If you still do not get satisfaction, I suggest you call Campagnolo. They may be able to service your wheel or know someone that is an expert in these asymmetrical wheel builds.
re: Suddenly, I'm breaking spokes - Is my Neutron wheel jinxed?litesp
Aug 28, 2003 10:05 AM
Other questions to consider.
1. Did your LBS use a new set of spokes or the same old ones? Some spokes may have been stressed to its elastic limit. There may be tiny fractures left in those spokes.
2. If they did use new spokes, did they follow the same lacing pattern?
3. Did your LBS inspect the hub's spoke holes for signs of distortion or damage. Hubs that don't support the spoke heads properly will likely fatigue prematurely.