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1 spoke popped off today(2 posts)

1 spoke popped off todayFez
Jul 4, 2003 4:16 PM
32 hole Mavic Open Pro. No spoke wrench, I just spread open brake calipers and put the spoke back in the hole and rode it home. Rim was out of true and it rubbed a little, but luckily home was closeby and downhill.

What could have caused this? Really, I was just riding around and boing! the spoke popped off. Rims were supposedly perfectly true. Is it possible that it was true but the spoke tensions were all uneven?

This is the first time this has happened, but is it common enough even on well tensioned wheels that I should start carrying the spoke wrench and learn the art of wheelbuilding?
re: 1 spoke popped off todayoff roadie
Jul 6, 2003 11:20 AM
Its more likely that the spokes were impropperly stress relieved and / or overall tension was to low, allowing rapid spoke fatigue. While uneven tension contributes to a causes some accelerated fatigue to particular spokes, those other two factors wil cause spoke breakage more quickly because they affect ALL the spokes, one of which is likely to go. It doesn't even require any special event, its just a matter of time / miles repeated those fatigue cycles over and over...

With well built wheels, spoke fatigue isn't a problem, but how do you know if they are well built, unless you know wheelbuilding? If the tension is high and they stay true through many miles of use, that is a very good sign the spokes won't give you any trouble, but there should be (and is) a better way to be sure.

Personally, I don't carry a spoke wrench on most rides. I probably should get one of those multi-tools with a chain tool and emergency spoke wrenches, just to be safe. But if you really want to be safe, the best time to use a spoke wrench is at home, before the wheel is ever ridden.

That said, I like to build my own wheels, but may be a bit paranoid or opinionated.