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spokes broke rapidly
#1
I am a little heavier than many cyclists. I ride longer distances than many cyclists. A lot of my riding is on rough tracks.

In the past, many bikes I have ridden, have never had broken spokes. Some have had broken spokes, but it has normally taken at least two years before they have broken.

Bicycle components are getting weaker.

I bought a new 29 inch mountain bike.

After 6 weeks, I had a broken spoke in the back wheel. I was approximately 10km from home. By the time I got home, I had two broken spokes in the back wheel. I replaced these.

After 6 days, I had another broken spoke in the back wheel. Again, by the time I got home, I had two broken spokes in the back wheel. I replaced these.

The next day I had another broken spoke.

My back wheel now has 3mm spokes. They will probably never break.

If anyone finds spokes break rapidly, I suggest replacing them with thicker spokes.

Putting 3mm spokes in the back wheel, adds very approximately half a kg to the weight of the wheel.

I also replaced the bearings and axle.

https://forums.bikeride.com/thread-8365.html

In the picture, in addition to noticing the cartridge bearings, and 10mm axle, you might notice the 3mm spokes.

   

Before putting in thicker spokes, you need to drill the holes in the hub and rim larger.
  Reply
#2
Brand new bike, or just new to you?
Take care,
Jesper

"I am become Death, the destroyer of bicycles." NJS
  Reply
#3
(05-04-2023, 03:21 PM)Jesper Wrote:  Brand new bike, or just new to you?

Brand new bike.

A lot of bike components are being made to break or wear out sooner. There are a lot of people who only ride their bike short distances on rare occasions, so they don't have many problems.

Can somebody with several old bikes measure the thickness of the spokes on the old bikes, and compare them to the thickness of spokes on new bikes?
  Reply
#4
Probably not much help but I’ve found when I break one they all start going in my experience. But I definitely wouldn’t consider myself a good bike mechanic
  Reply
#5
(05-04-2023, 11:33 PM)Lss555 Wrote:  Probably not much help but I’ve found when I break one they all start going in my experience. But I definitely wouldn’t consider myself a good bike mechanic

When one breaks, a lot of the others have been stressed or weakened.

Replacing them with thicker spokes, solves the problem.
  Reply
#6
Do not make assumptions regarding the quality of the spokes with regards to them breaking. First, if you break more than one you should rebuild the entire wheel due to the possibility of a poor wheel build in the first place and/or undue stress on the remaining spokes. I use 14 gauge (approx. 2.0mm) spokes, but you can get them as straight gauge or butted. Usually, I will use butted spokes for a lightweight competition builds (road bike), straight gauge (14) for standard training or low load touring (usually just rear wheel unless requested for front also. I'll move up to 12 gauge (approx. 2.6mm) spokes if someone is of a heavier build or for a heavy load touring bike (both front and rear wheels). I have never used 10 gauge (approx. 3.2mm) for any road bike yet. Your 3.0mm spokes are 11 gauge (?). Again, it depends on whether the spoke is butted (thinner center) or not, the designed use of the bike under normal conditions, and the maximum designed load of the bike (rider and cargo) which would determine spoke width. I highly doubt that the spokes are of low quality unless the bike itself was also designed as an economical bike at low cost (high volume mass produced) and for general light use (many so called "mountain" bikes are not designed for what they appear to be; read the warning decals). Quite often it is a "you get what you pay for"; and a quality bike will cost more due to all components (including spokes) being of a higher grade/quality; and the assembly of those bikes being under stricter quality control during all phases of building (including wheel assembly)..
Most wheels I have built using 12g spokes were only for the rear wheel on racing bikes for heavier riders; 12g front and rear for touring.
I have never had complaints of broken spokes under the normally expected use of wheels I have built for others. I do not build up cargo or mountain bikes; only road which pretty much limits the overall loads to be expected.
Given your situation, and without having any knowledge of the quality of the bike, your weight, plus cargo (if any), I would more likely suspect a poor wheel build over low quality spokes being used; but it could be a combination of factors (low quality spokes, low quality assembly, rider weight, road conditions, bike specs., et al.).
Using 3mm spokes might be overkill if you did not eliminate or take into consideration all other possible factors first before assuming it was specific to the spoke diameter. At this time you will not be able to assess other possible factors due to the wheel having been rebuilt with with the oversized spokes.
Take care,
Jesper

"I am become Death, the destroyer of bicycles." NJS
  Reply
#7
(05-05-2023, 04:06 AM)Jesper Wrote:  Using 3mm spokes might be overkill if you did not eliminate or take into consideration all other possible factors first before assuming it was specific to the spokes.

There are many different factors. One is I do a lot of riding on rough tracks. It is harsh on the back wheel, which takes most of the weight.

I am not in competition. My concern is the bike not breaking. Let's say, for example, I used 2.6mm spokes. The wheel might be 200g lighter. If my wheel is heavier, and it does not break, I don't care.
  Reply
#8
(05-05-2023, 09:02 AM)ichitan Wrote:  
(05-05-2023, 04:06 AM)Jesper Wrote:  Using 3mm spokes might be overkill if you did not eliminate or take into consideration all other possible factors first before assuming it was specific to the spokes.

There are many different factors. One is I do a lot of riding on rough tracks. It is harsh on the back wheel, which takes most of the weight.

I am not in competition. My concern is the bike not breaking. Let's say, for example, I used 2.6mm spokes. The wheel might be 200g lighter. If my wheel is heavier, and it does not break, I don't care.

You still need to buy the type of, and quality level of bike suitable to your needs. It the bike was not designed for your weight and road conditions then the quality of the spoke is not necessarily the issue. Your statement was in regards to new bike parts failing, but even the best parts can fail when they are used inappropriately or if they were installed incorrectly (e.g. poor wheel build).

For the sake of clarification for others, you may want to post the bike's make and model, cost, spoke and wheel brand (if shown), and the bike's maximum weight load specification. Your weight (if you are open to providing it) would also help others in determining if the bike is sufficient for their needs. If your bike is of decent quality, designed for the conditions that you expect to use it on, and rated for your total weight load then I would not expect there to be issues with the exception that you got a bike that was not given due diligence in regards to the quality control used to produce it. All I know from your initial statement is that you broke spokes, but the actual cause (bad parts, bad build, improper use, etc.) of breakage remains unknown. Also, for a new bike that wheel should have been covered by a warranty. I would have returned the bike to the place of purchase and had it repaired/replaced without cost to yourself.

I have yet to experience any problems with new bike parts (barring accidents or misuse, or by my own misapplication or poor installation- I'm not perfect!), but I do not look for "bargain basement" parts (new or used; used parts only for vintage period correct builds); and although the parts I use are not necessarily related to cost, they are selected (often by the client) for the specific rider (size, riding habits, budget, etc.) and the bike's intended use (e.g. competition, touring, commuting, off-road, etc.).
Take care,
Jesper

"I am become Death, the destroyer of bicycles." NJS
  Reply
#9
I could buy a bike which is specifically designed for heavier riders. Most likely it would cost a lot more.

I think, to buy an ordinary mountain bike, and put stronger spokes in the back wheel, works out much cheaper. The aluminum frame seems very strong, and most likely will never break.

In the future, I may look into buying a stronger back wheel, or a stronger pair of wheels, which I could put in an ordinary mountain bike, or a stronger bike.

If anyone wants to share links to where I could by strong wheels, or strong bikes, please share.

On a forum like this, we can all learn from each other.
  Reply
#10
(05-05-2023, 12:22 AM)ichitan Wrote:  
(05-04-2023, 11:33 PM)Lss555 Wrote:  Probably not much help but I’ve found when I break one they all start going in my experience. But I definitely wouldn’t consider myself a good bike mechanic

When one breaks, a lot of the others have been stressed or weakened.

Replacing them with thicker spokes, solves the problem.

Right on, might have to do that the next my spokes start going 🤘🏼
  Reply
#11
(05-05-2023, 08:11 PM)ichitan Wrote:  I could buy a bike which is specifically designed for heavier riders. Most likely it would cost a lot more.

I think, to buy an ordinary mountain bike, and put stronger spokes in the back wheel, works out much cheaper. The aluminum frame seems very strong, and most likely will never break.

In the future, I may look into buying a stronger back wheel, or a stronger pair of wheels, which I could put in an ordinary mountain bike, or a stronger bike.

If anyone wants to share links to where I could by strong wheels, or strong bikes, please share.

On a forum like this, we can all learn from each other.

I agree that we can learn from each other. What we learned here was that buying a bike that was not specifically suitable can create problems. One can not assume that something is of poor quality if it is used for a purpose beyond its design capability As with bikes I have built, they are modified to fit the need first instead of later. Buying something and using it beyond its design specifications can result in catastrophic failure and cause personal injury or worse. If you purchase something knowing you plan to go beyond its limitations then it needs to be modified before being used, or certain parts need to be custom ordered to suit one's usage and thus specifically meeting the specific needs of that rider before use and thus avoiding potential failure and/or injury. Yes, quite often the predesigned item which meets your personal needs will be more expensive upon purchase, but if you figure in time and materials (in this case: thicker spokes, wheel disassembly, drilling out rim and hubs, wheel reassembly, wheel truing) you probably actually spent more than what it would have cost to purchase a more suitable bike in the first place (if done at a shop in the US that repair/modification probably would have cost $100 or more for parts and labor); and you have no guarantee that the front wheel will not fail for the same reason and require more repair/parts/modification. That does not include the hassle of having the bike fail upon using, possibly being stranded without the use of the bike due to failure, and the risk of personal injury or worse. Perchance it really would have been best to have bought the "correct tool for the job" in the first place by spending more at the outset. One should always consider safety risks first since an injury or property damage can far outweigh the cost of the bike if you had an accident where an injury occurred or where there could have been property damage resulting from an accident.
The lesson learned is to buy the correct item be it by design or pre-customized to fit one's needs before attempting to use it. Otherwise you put your own and/or another's safety at risk. Also, refrain from putting blame on a part or design if you know you are using something beyond its design capabilities unless you can prove that the failure was indeed caused by a faulty design and/or workmanship when the bike was being used as designed. If items do fail from normal use within warranty time limits then those items should be replaced/repaired at no cost to the owner. If you modify the bike you have now voided the warranty (either partially or in full) and any failure or injury that occurs due to that modification (or not) is on the owner and the dealer/manufacturer is not going to be held liable.

Regarding bikes for heavier riders, you can easily do an online search for bikes meeting design specifications for riders above certain weights. There bikes of all types (mountain, commuting, folding, electric, etc.) that meet the needs of heavier riders with the possible exception of lightweight racing bikes. Just search under "bicycles for heavy riders" and you will find sites listing bikes rated for 300 to 500 lb weight loads. Of course, most are not locally available and need to be ordered so I would suggest doing it through a local shop rather than directly ordering via online dealer/manufacturer unless it was your only option; and as with any bike I am sure that there are decent bikes priced under $500USD and upwards. I am only directly familiar with one bike since a friend uses it, and it is a Mongoose brand (model unknown) fat tire mtb. He weighs about 300 lbs at about 6 foot tall, and paid under $400 about 2 years ago (just before the pandemic rush on bikes); and I have heard of no complaints (comfort or function) by him. I think he rides about a minimum of 100 miles per month with rides of about 25 miles. I do know that it is a rigid steel frame with disc brakes (cable, not hydraulic).
Take care,
Jesper

"I am become Death, the destroyer of bicycles." NJS
  Reply
#12
Be careful being an expert after the event. I have never had a new bike where spokes have failed so quickly. I did not expect them to fail. But after they failed, you tell me I should have bought a different bike.

The next time I buy a bike, if I buy another bike, I will consider the options.

This bike is a good bike. It is a relatively light weight, aluminum mountain bike. Now that I have replaced the spokes in the back wheel, I expect very few breakages. But then, the future is unknown. Something unexpected could happen.

If you know of any really good bikes, you could share the links.

(05-06-2023, 07:09 AM)Jesper Wrote:  I am only directly familiar with one bike since a friend uses it, and it is a Mongoose brand (model unknown) fat tire mtb. He weighs about 300 lbs at about 6 foot tall, and paid under $400 about 2 years ago (just before the pandemic rush on bikes); and I have heard of no complaints (comfort or function) by him. I think he rides about a minimum of 100 miles per month with rides of about 25 miles. I do know that it is a rigid steel frame with disc brakes (cable, not hydraulic).

I ride longer distances than your friend. I am not as heavy as your friend.

Fat bikes have greater rolling resistance, and take more effort to pedal than mountain bikes. Fat tires vary a lot. Some have a huge amount of rolling resistance, others are not so bad. But they all take more effort to pedal than a mountain bike. As time goes on, more people will realize that, and a less people will buy fat bikes.
  Reply
#13
(05-06-2023, 11:08 AM)ichitan Wrote:  Be careful being an expert after the event. I have never had a new bike where spokes have failed so quickly. I did not expect them to fail. But after they failed, you tell me I should have bought a different bike.

The next time I buy a bike, if I buy another bike, I will consider the options.

This bike is a good bike. It is a relatively light weight, aluminum mountain bike. Now that I have replaced the spokes in the back wheel, I expect very few breakages. But then, the future is unknown. Something unexpected could happen.

If you know of any really good bikes, you could share the links.

(05-06-2023, 07:09 AM)Jesper Wrote:  I am only directly familiar with one bike since a friend uses it, and it is a Mongoose brand (model unknown) fat tire mtb. He weighs about 300 lbs at about 6 foot tall, and paid under $400 about 2 years ago (just before the pandemic rush on bikes); and I have heard of no complaints (comfort or function) by him. I think he rides about a minimum of 100 miles per month with rides of about 25 miles. I do know that it is a rigid steel frame with disc brakes (cable, not hydraulic).

I ride longer distances than your friend. I am not as heavy as your friend.

Fat bikes have greater rolling resistance, and take more effort to pedal than mountain bikes. Fat tires vary a lot. Some have a huge amount of rolling resistance, others are not so bad. But they all take more effort to pedal than a mountain bike. As time goes on, more people will realize that, and a less people will buy fat bikes.

You offered no information other than "I could buy a bike for heavier riders", that is implying that the bike you bought was not suitable. I asked for bike specs, brand/model, cost; but no info was forthcoming. I did not ever state that you SHOULD have bought a different bike, merely that you might have needed to. You never provide any specifications so anyone replying can only answer with general suggestions; not concrete demands. If you bought a cheap bike to save money it is on you. If you do not want to spend the money on a bike to properly fit your needs it is on you. If you do not bring your bike to a professional for warranty service it is on you. If you do not provide any information to help others to provide more insight it is on you.
You wanted info on bikes for heavier riders. I provided some. I did state that you rode more or less than my friend, nor weighed more or less. I merely provided anecdotal experince ob what my friend has. I know about rolling resistance, but you only mentioned a bike for heavier riders without providing any preference to the type of bike, features, or maximum weight specification, or what your preferred "rolling ressistance" is (since you like to modify bikes think about changing tire and/or rim width which will change rolling resistance characteristics of the new bike). I will no longer worry about providing any more information to you. You simply could have read and disregarded the information, but you wanted to comment after the information was provided. Next time state your weight if you want a specific recommend.
Regarding your new bike spoke failure; since you took it upon yourself to repair and modify an item under warranty without having it checked by a professional it raises questions as to why you would not have it repaired under the warranty. You have no idea as to the cause of failure (nor do I or could I) yet you point directly to the part that broke and point out that "new" bike parts are of poor quality. I can tell you that poor quality bike parts have been made for decades. It all depends on on choice and money spent.
Sorry I took time to reply; I will know longer waste my time providing my decades of experience to you, or read your posts since they do not provide any specifics required to properly answer them. If you want specifics then ask for them by providing all the information required, and asked for.
You still have the opportunity to provide information regarding the bike you bought since as yet you have not provided any information. Maybe others can avoid this mystery bike with its mystery specifications. All I can surmise is that you bought a cheap bike which was not designed for you or your intended use; and its failure was not assessed by a professional, but said failure must be the result of a poor quality parts yet there is no evidence to back up that assumption. Wish you luck.
Take care,
Jesper

"I am become Death, the destroyer of bicycles." NJS
  Reply
#14
Very vague indeed. I did not see any of the specs for your new bike.
I do question why the bike was not fixed by a pro shop if it was new and would have been done for free.

If the bike is bad why not warn others by giving the brand and model?

I know someone who is large, but I figure you won't care so I won't give any information for it after reading previous comments.

I do think that @Jesper was just trying to give you as much insight as possible, but it is hard to give advice when nothing is being given to help guide it.
  Reply
#15
My aim with this topic, was to share how broken spokes can be replaced with thicker spokes.

I don't want to name the make of the bike, because I don't want to imply that this is a bad make, or discourage people from buying this make.

Many modern bikes use the same spokes. Many other modern mountain bikes are likely to fail in a similar way. Yet, mountain bikes made 30 years ago do not fail like this. Why is it that modern bikes fail, but bikes made 30 years ago don't?
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#16
Probably because they were loose. New bikes will have this issue.

The rims are machine built, and they will come untrue very easy, or can even result in broken spokes (although rare).

Whenever you have machine built wheels, you have to either break the wheels in by riding them until they come out of true; or you have to true up the tension by hand.
  Reply
#17
(05-04-2023, 03:42 AM)ichitan Wrote:  I am a little heavier than many cyclists. I ride longer distances than many cyclists. A lot of my riding is on rough tracks.

In the past, many bikes I have ridden, have never had broken spokes. Some have had broken spokes, but it has normally taken at least two years before they have broken.

Bicycle components are getting weaker.

I bought a new 29 inch mountain bike.

After 6 weeks, I had a broken spoke in the back wheel. I was approximately 10km from home. By the time I got home, I had two broken spokes in the back wheel. I replaced these.

After 6 days, I had another broken spoke in the back wheel. Again, by the time I got home, I had two broken spokes in the back wheel. I replaced these.

The next day I had another broken spoke.

My back wheel now has 3mm spokes. They will probably never break.

If anyone finds spokes break rapidly, I suggest replacing them with thicker spokes.

Putting 3mm spokes in the back wheel, adds very approximately half a kg to the weight of the wheel.

I also replaced the bearings and axle.

https://forums.bikeride.com/thread-8365.html

In the picture, in addition to noticing the cartridge bearings, and 10mm axle, you might notice the 3mm spokes.



Before putting in thicker spokes, you need to drill the holes in the hub and rim larger.

I ride a modern road bike and I weight about 120Kgs, during my first 6 months riding the bike I also broke alot of nipples and spokes at the front and rear wheels so I dis assembled the wheelset and changed it to pillar spokes with brass nipples and today i have no problems, i think these situations are caused by lower Quality Standards and less tensile strength on some materials,

today, I dont have this problem at all
  Reply
#18
(05-08-2023, 11:45 PM)meamoantonio Wrote:  I ride a modern road bike and I weight about 120Kgs, during my first 6 months riding the bike I also broke alot of nipples and spokes at the front and rear wheels so I dis assembled the wheelset and changed it to pillar spokes with brass nipples and today i have no problems, i think these situations are caused by lower Quality Standards and less tensile strength on some materials,

today, I dont have this problem at all

I am curious to know, what thickness of spokes are you using?
  Reply


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