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Selkie
04-09-2005, 11:31 AM
Today, I had my first broken spoke (rear wheel--broke in the middle). I rode seven miles home w/the tire rubbing against my rear brake and wobbling. Downhills were interesting!!! Unfortunately, my LBS won't have it repaired until Wednesday afternoon, which means I have to ride my clunker Trek hybrid until then.

My question to the TE experts is how best to avoid broken spokes. The bike path on which I usually ride has a couple of rough sections with some pretty bad "tree root bumps." Will it help to lift my butt off the saddle when I go over rough terrain? I usually try to on the worst spots, as my road bike doesn't have much in the way of suspension ;) If this will help, I'll get into the habit of doing it anytime I encounter a nasty bump that I can't avoid.

If this is a stupid question, forgive me. I've only been riding outside regularly for about six-seven months!!

SadieKate
04-09-2005, 02:52 PM
My question to the TE experts is how best to avoid broken spokes. The bike path on which I usually ride has a couple of rough sections with some pretty bad "tree root bumps." Will it help to lift my butt off the saddle when I go over rough terrain? I usually try to on the worst spots, as my road bike doesn't have much in the way of suspension ;) If this will help, I'll get into the habit of doing it anytime I encounter a nasty bump that I can't avoid.

Not a stupid question! Yes, lift up off the saddle. Probably don't want to do the bumps at high speed either. If you're coasting, try platforming your pedals so you can balance straight and gently across -- same thing you do on railroad tracks. This will also be kinder to your butt. :D

Adding - oh, yeah, bre sure not to lock your elbows during these manuevers. If your bike doesn't have susupension, your body has to provide all of it.

sarahfixit
04-10-2005, 08:49 PM
The only time spokes break other than outside forces(like sticks) is when the wheel is not tensioned enough. The spokes should be all tight enough that if the tire is off the rim it should make a nice ring for about 5 or more seconds when tapped. My bf and I have only broken one spoke each and we race and freeride, so it is definitely something preventable. Be ware though, some shops wont set the spokes to the tension I am talking unless you specificly request it, since it can be a more drawn out process to do initially. It is worth it though in the long run. Better handling and response, as well as durability.