Author Topic: Spokes  (Read 4007 times)

Spokes
« on: February 15, 2019, 01:21:46 pm »
The pbp website preparation page suggests carrying 5 to 8 spokes.

Really?

I think I've had 3 spoke failures in many years. Never more than one on the same ride. I I think one spoke is a reasonable precaution 2 would be very cautious more than that suggests you doubt the reliability of your equipment and should probably a dress it before starting.
   Eddington  81 miles  112 kms

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Spokes
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2019, 01:31:05 pm »
Always worth carrying a few spare spokes for a long ride.  They can be neatly stored between hub and rim...


(I suppose as an organiser it's easy to be cynical about the reliability of other people's equipment.  The problem with this sort of advice is it will be ignored by the people who actually need it.)
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: Spokes
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2019, 02:46:55 pm »
A tandem trike lost 10 spokes during the first night of PBP15. There weren't quite enough spares on board and it took a while to find the last couple of replacements, making for slower progress for a while.

So many bikes use proprietary spokes nowadays and there is no hope of finding a suitable replacement spoke for them along the route.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

Re: Spokes
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2019, 02:49:03 pm »
Come close to Elliptigos at your peril.  I had a single drive side spoke break on LEL 2013 and shifted into the spokes on day 6 of the Wild Atlantic Way Audax (WAWA) 2016. Fortunately in the latter case, the spokes did not break and just needed a spoke key to remedy.  I think Stuart's Elliptigo saw 15 spokes break on WAWA.

Re: Spokes
« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2019, 02:58:39 pm »
I remember asking a mechanic at one control for "un rayon pour mes lunettes" and getting a blank look, even after explaining it (in even worse French).

I ended up fixing them with a plastic tea stirrer and some tape (https://www.flickr.com/photos/66870021@N02/6086680803)
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

Re: Spokes
« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2019, 02:59:40 pm »
The pbp website preparation page suggests carrying 5 to 8 spokes.

Really?

Yes, Really.
Although, having said that..... it kind of depends.
If you know your wheels, know who built them [like yourself], how long you've been riding them etc then you probably don't need to bother.

But, as LWB says, they are absolutely essential to carry if you're riding a wheel other than the standard 32/36 spoke count, built into a standard 3-crossed laced wheel etc because chances are you're not going to find them at any PBP control. You'll be able find somebody who has some tools, and some time to help, but if you're turning a wheel with a specific type of spoke then, basically....forget it.

I've been a mechanic on two LELs where people have had to pack because their [very nice] non-standard wheels have given way and I was unable to help. And even with more common spoke lengths, you cannot guarantee that all controls will stock them, whereas if you can hand over some spokes of the right length to an on-duty mechanic, then you're in business.

For the weight penalty, it's a no-brainer IMO.
Garry Broad

fuaran

  • rothair gasta
Re: Spokes
« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2019, 03:04:08 pm »
How many different spoke lengths do your wheels use?
Do you have a suitable replacement for any 1 spoke?

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Spokes
« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2019, 03:21:28 pm »
How many different spoke lengths do your wheels use?
Do you have a suitable replacement for any 1 spoke?

With deep section rims, and disc hubs, it's possible to end up with 4 different spoke sizes for 2 wheels, meaning that to have 2 spokes for each size, you're at 8.

They are pretty damn light, and it's easy to cable tie them to a seatstay for transport.

The bigger issue you can run into with disc brakes tho is you need to take the rotor off, which means you need the lock ring tool, *AND* something to turn it. Assuming you want to be able to fix it at the side of the road in the middle of nowhere. If you're just wanting to get to the next bike shop and don't want to worry about them stocking the right spares, then just the spokes. I carry a lock ring tool, but I did order one from wolftooth tools as they are really light.

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

Re: Spokes
« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2019, 03:44:41 pm »
With a disc rear hub you may end up with similar length spokes on both sides, and the PD-8 dynamo is basically symmetrical, so on my audax bike at least all of the spoke lengths are similar enough that any of them could reasonably be substituted for an emergency repair.

That said, I've never broken a spoke and I've never ridden with anyone who's broken a spoke. I view the level of spoke breakage observed at LEL to be pretty unusual...

SPB

Re: Spokes
« Reply #9 on: February 15, 2019, 03:45:42 pm »
All true, quixoticgeek, though you'd also need that lockring tool to take off your cassette, and a chain whip, if you broke a spoke on the drive side of the rear wheel.
 And the drive side of the rear wheel is the most likely place for a spoke to break.

On my remote bikepacking shenanigans I carry a fibrefix emergency spoke.  A clever little kevlar cord that you thread through the hub spoke hole and into the nipple, then tighten to tension.  One size fits all spoke lengths, and can be installed with rotors and cassette in place.

https://www.sjscycles.co.uk/spokes/fiber-fix-emergency-replacement-spoke/

mattc

  • n.b. have grown beard since photo taken
    • Didcot Audaxes
Re: Spokes
« Reply #10 on: February 15, 2019, 03:52:20 pm »
<snip>


That said, I've never broken a spoke and I've never ridden with anyone who's broken a spoke. I view the level of spoke breakage observed at LEL to be pretty unusual...
It's still a small dataset, but quite similar observations were made at LEL2009 (by Phil Chadwick, occasional visitor to these parts). Probably find-able here somewhere - IIRC he had lots of standard spokes at Eskdalemuir-ish, but lots of bikes couldn't use them :(

Of course this is in the category of MIGHT POSSIBLY end your ride - not "WILL VERY LIKELY" ...
Has never ridden RAAM
---------
No.11  Because of the great host of those who dislike the least appearance of "swank " when they travel the roads and lanes. - From Kuklos' 39 Articles

Re: Spokes
« Reply #11 on: February 15, 2019, 04:09:34 pm »
I only need two lengths of spokes across my front and rear wheels.  Advantage of a dynamo hub up front I guess.  Though I dare say you could choose different rims to align spokes lengths as well. The problem with tubeless is that if you need to replace a spoke you almost certainly need to break the airtight rim tape. Fortunately I gave not had the latter problem.

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Spokes
« Reply #12 on: February 15, 2019, 04:11:07 pm »

Is this the time to ask: How far can you ride with 1 broken spoke on a 32 spoke wheel?

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

Re: Spokes
« Reply #13 on: February 15, 2019, 04:12:46 pm »

Is this the time to ask: How far can you ride with 1 broken spoke on a 32 spoke wheel?

J

I did 25km like that (rear wheel) on LEL13 through the Howardian Hills. I dare say with disc brakes I would be happy riding even further. I would have ridden further like that had it been necessary.  I now run much winder tyres at lower pressures so hopefully spoke stresses are much less now.

Re: Spokes
« Reply #14 on: February 15, 2019, 04:13:11 pm »
On my remote bikepacking shenanigans I carry a fibrefix emergency spoke.  A clever little kevlar cord that you thread through the hub spoke hole and into the nipple, then tighten to tension.  One size fits all spoke lengths, and can be installed with rotors and cassette in place.

https://www.sjscycles.co.uk/spokes/fiber-fix-emergency-replacement-spoke/

That looks rather clever, and I especially like the fact that it comes with instructions on how to use. Do you just carry one when remote bikepacking?

Re: Spokes
« Reply #15 on: February 15, 2019, 04:14:30 pm »
One of the guys who packed at St Ives was a Thai rider, lovely bloke, couldn't thank me enough for trying to keep him going, and I felt so sorry for him - but honestly, it was just bonkers - to come all that way from Thailand, and ride a wheel 'like that' without chucking a few spokes in his luggage was just so crazy. There is DNF and there is DNF - some are unavoidable and some are most definitely not.
Garry Broad

SPB

Re: Spokes
« Reply #16 on: February 15, 2019, 04:14:45 pm »
If you have to take the tubeless tyre off because the nipple's fallen out, you'd more than likely have to tube it anyway.  A hand pump won't reseat it (though I have had success with a borrowed CO2 canister, so you may get lucky).  Another advantage to that fibrefix...

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Spokes
« Reply #17 on: February 15, 2019, 04:17:35 pm »
If you have to take the tubeless tyre off because the nipple's fallen out, you'd more than likely have to tube it anyway.  A hand pump won't reseat it (though I have had success with a borrowed CO2 canister, so you may get lucky).  Another advantage to that fibrefix...

How far would you be comfortable riding on a fibrefix ?

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

Re: Spokes
« Reply #18 on: February 15, 2019, 04:18:00 pm »
Is this the time to ask: How far can you ride with 1 broken spoke on a 32 spoke wheel?

Several thousand km before I defeated my apathy and replaced it (rear wheel on a fixed).

Another time I couldn't ride any further at all after a single broken spoke (I had a suitable spare spoke and a spoke key with me).

Wheels vary a lot.

[EDIT] Can't remember whether I've replaced the broken spoke on my 32 spoke (geared) PowerTap hub either, and I've done > 400km on that wheel since I first noticed it was broken.
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

Re: Spokes
« Reply #19 on: February 15, 2019, 04:21:32 pm »
Is this the time to ask: How far can you ride with 1 broken spoke on a 32 spoke wheel?

[Ah, that reminds me...]
Answer: depends if it's the spoke that's gone or the flange on the hub that's split!  :)

Happened to a German rider at St Ives on the return leg. He asked me to fix [what he assumed, quite rightly] was a broken spoke on his buckled rear wheel. Not able to find the offending little blighter....I noticed his [Dura Ace] hub has split!"

So I lent him my rear wheel to get him home.

Sometimes stuff just happens.

But back to your original question - quite a long way. Personally, I'd rather do without the stress of it though.  ;D
Garry Broad

SPB

Re: Spokes
« Reply #20 on: February 15, 2019, 04:25:55 pm »
On my remote bikepacking shenanigans I carry a fibrefix emergency spoke.  A clever little kevlar cord that you thread through the hub spoke hole and into the nipple, then tighten to tension.  One size fits all spoke lengths, and can be installed with rotors and cassette in place.

https://www.sjscycles.co.uk/spokes/fiber-fix-emergency-replacement-spoke/

That looks rather clever, and I especially like the fact that it comes with instructions on how to use. Do you just carry one when remote bikepacking?

That's the reason I got it - part of an emergency trailside tool kit to avoid a potential 100km walk to habitation - but, now I've got that kit, it lives full time on the bike I use for that sort of stuff.  I'll take a different bike on PBP, but am making a note to bring it along.  It only weighs 16g, and is small enough to easily find room for.  Plus having it with me guarantees I won't need it :)

Incidentally, I've never had to use mine but a friend has used his, and it worked well.

SPB

Re: Spokes
« Reply #21 on: February 15, 2019, 04:31:26 pm »
If you have to take the tubeless tyre off because the nipple's fallen out, you'd more than likely have to tube it anyway.  A hand pump won't reseat it (though I have had success with a borrowed CO2 canister, so you may get lucky).  Another advantage to that fibrefix...

How far would you be comfortable riding on a fibrefix ?

J

When my friend used his, it was actually on a club winter training long weekend in Tenerife.  He carried on riding until we went home.  Of course, that wasn't 1215km, but it showed no sign of wearing and I'd be comfortable riding all the way back to Rambouillet with one if necessary.  Maybe giving it a once-over at each control to reassure me it still looked OK.

T42

  • Tea tank
Re: Spokes
« Reply #22 on: February 15, 2019, 04:42:53 pm »
Maybe I'm a bit happy-go-lucky, but I've done PBP 3 times on 24-spoke rear wheels with no spares.
I've dusted all those old bottles and set them up straight.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Spokes
« Reply #23 on: February 15, 2019, 04:51:33 pm »
Is this the time to ask: How far can you ride with 1 broken spoke on a 32 spoke wheel?

Until you've got more than one broken spoke, obviously.

(Ridability of wonky wheel significantly enhanced by absence of rim brakes.)
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Re: Spokes
« Reply #24 on: February 15, 2019, 05:06:36 pm »
Maybe I'm a bit happy-go-lucky, but I've done PBP 3 times on 24-spoke rear wheels with no spares.

Quite possible, but you'd probably change something if you did have a problem with that configuration.

It's the same logic as "I've played Russian Roulette four times now and I'm still alive!" or "I've texted whilst driving hundreds of times and haven't killed anyone" although the consequences aren't as extreme.
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."