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Left side spokes breaking Alfine 8
#1
Alfine 8 speed with disc brakes
32 db spokes
velocity Blunt SL 29in rim.

I use this combination on a city bike. Bike is heavy and I carry alot but only for city transportation. I blew the first spoke at the nipple/thread edge. The second two have been at the head.

Trying to decide what to do.

Bike shop manager thinks upgrade the spokes to Alpine III's.

But it is odd as the wheel is almost symmetrical. It is a strong rim.

I would say I am near 800-1000 miles on the wheel set.

Bike is a Raleigh alley way.

Would you re-lace the left side or do the whole thing?

Should I just re-lace the left side and sell the wheel?
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#2
The description tells me that it has most likely been built improperly. Spokes shearing off at the threads means the torsion has not been removed. Spokes breaking at the elbow hint to insufficient tension and / or no stress relieving. I would relace the whole thing, but I do that myself - and actually it is not hard to do. Just replace a spoke at a time and bring the wheel back to round. Then again carefully balance the spoke tension and increase it. Make sure to watch (and remove) the torsion at each step and stress relieve. Try to make the tension as even as possible while keeping it as round as possible.

You might want to change to a higher spoke count (36 or even 40) for a bike used to lug around heavy stuff, but for most applications I consider 32 spokes to be sufficient (but then I don't really know about your riding style, transportation needs, weight of what's dragged around...).

I guess Nigel can chip in wiht some suggestions Re spoke number and spoke gauge to use...
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#3
Sounds like you are limited to 32 spokes, unless you purchase a new hub...

Like Joe; I would rebuild the whole wheel; and scrap the existing spokes and nipples.

Spokes: I would use Wheelsmith DH13; but Alpine III are similar.

Please post a picture - the failure at the rim MIGHT be because the spokes are entering the rim at too much of an angle. In which case changing from a X3 to a X2 would make the situation better - BUT would not allow spoke substitution as Joe suggested, and requires different spoke lengths.

For the other 2 failures, see Joe's note above.

That Alfine 8 is pricey..... http://www.amazon.com/Shimano-2014-Alfine-speed-Internal/dp/B007XU0IX4 and very large diameter. Starting from scratch, I'd use a 36H hub, Wheelsmith DH13 spokes and cross two.
Nigel
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#4
Yeah, I think you need a rebuild by a pro. How much do you weigh? I know your spokes are shorter and offset is less, but at over 200lbs + bike + load I'd want more spokes.
I'd have the best build a new wheel with your hub & rim. Peter White will do it as you don't have rim brakes. He is very blunt & realistic. He'll sell you the spokes & tell you what you need. Under 6 weeks turn around.
I'm over 265lbs and never use less than 36 spokes on the rear, doesn't matter who builds it, (though I've never tried a P. White 32 spoke) I'll ruin it with less than 36.
I don't trust local bike shop guys, only a focused wheelbuilder with experience with huge riders.
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