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  1. #1
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    Having problem with spokes

    Looking for advice here.
    I bought a Specialized "Stumpjumer Expert 29'er" FSR in June of last year. I love the bike, but for one problem. I've had four spoke nipples and three spokes break in twelve months. What's going on here? I'm a 65 year old retiree and a decent intermediate rider. But at my age I try to keep the wheels on the ground and don't do drops and jumps. In fifteen years of riding on three other bikes, I've only broken spokes when I caught a tree branch in the wheel. I'm at a loss to explain what's going on with the Stumpy (one broken nipple on the front wheel; all the rest on the rear end). The bike came equipped with DT Swiss 520SL hoops and hubs. I've had the wheels trued and spoke tension adjusted on several occasions, but will have a spoke problem again within days. Has anyone else out there had a similar experience? Any words of advice would be welcome.
    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    I had a stumpjumper expert a few years ago and I had problems with the wheels as well. I weigh in around 190 and in my opinion wheelsets that are not hand made will never last for me. I just look at it as the costs of being my size and riding a lot.
    It sounds like your wheels are ready to be put out to pasture and it's time for a reputable wheel builder to build you some new hoops.


    Quote Originally Posted by lginzkey View Post
    Looking for advice here.
    I bought a Specialized "Stumpjumer Expert 29'er" FSR in June of last year. I love the bike, but for one problem. I've had four spoke nipples and three spokes break in twelve months. What's going on here? I'm a 65 year old retiree and a decent intermediate rider. But at my age I try to keep the wheels on the ground and don't do drops and jumps. In fifteen years of riding on three other bikes, I've only broken spokes when I caught a tree branch in the wheel. I'm at a loss to explain what's going on with the Stumpy (one broken nipple on the front wheel; all the rest on the rear end). The bike came equipped with DT Swiss 520SL hoops and hubs. I've had the wheels trued and spoke tension adjusted on several occasions, but will have a spoke problem again within days. Has anyone else out there had a similar experience? Any words of advice would be welcome.
    Thanks!

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by lginzkey View Post
    Looking for advice here.
    I bought a Specialized "Stumpjumer Expert 29'er" FSR in June of last year. I love the bike, but for one problem. I've had four spoke nipples and three spokes break in twelve months. What's going on here? I'm a 65 year old retiree and a decent intermediate rider. But at my age I try to keep the wheels on the ground and don't do drops and jumps. In fifteen years of riding on three other bikes, I've only broken spokes when I caught a tree branch in the wheel. I'm at a loss to explain what's going on with the Stumpy (one broken nipple on the front wheel; all the rest on the rear end). The bike came equipped with DT Swiss 520SL hoops and hubs. I've had the wheels trued and spoke tension adjusted on several occasions, but will have a spoke problem again within days. Has anyone else out there had a similar experience? Any words of advice would be welcome.
    Thanks!
    Machine-built wheels...did all the spokes break at the same point - at the bend by the hub flange or elsewhere? If elsewhere, maybe the machine did something during the build that weakened the series of spokes..ie) non-drive side outer to inner ones?
    IF by the bend, then either insufficient tension or too high a tension.
    Insufficient tension can cause a whipping action from your rim/spoke to your spoke/hub interface. This can shear off nipple heads or the bend. If the tension is too high, then you'll notice the wheel coming out of true w/ the slightest impact, which typically shears at the bend.
    So, when you had whoever check the tension, did they actually put a tension meter on it or just "felt" or toned it?
    Naysayers never apologize. Critics go to their grave thinking everyone else is wrong.
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  4. #4
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    magical wheels FAIL

  5. #5
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    I see a ton of machine built wheels fail, just as you describe. Ironically, more than half that come in the door for a fix were stock Specialized wheels. I've checked tension on them and they are coming in way too tight. I think someone at specialized needs to turn down the tension on their wheelometer

    You can probably prevent more spokes from breaking by having the wheel detensioned, then brought back up to tension correctly and to the correct tension. Problem is now, though, that you've broken enough spokes, tension isn't going to be prefect no matter what you do.
    Redstone Cyclery
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by ignazjr View Post
    Problem is now, though, that you've broken enough spokes, tension isn't going to be prefect no matter what you do.
    I foresee a full spoke and nipple replacement on that wheel. Do it right once and you won't have to worry about it for years...unless you kick a rock into them...like I did this Sat.

    2nd day on a fresh wheel and brand new 729...kicked up a big enough rock to take out two spokes and dented my rim...SUCK! I can't just replace the spokes alone since one is an inside and the 2nd is an outside on the same flange and I can't lace it back into the wheel w/o bending the crap out of the inside one unless I de-tension
    Naysayers never apologize. Critics go to their grave thinking everyone else is wrong.
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  7. #7
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    I wouldn't worry about it. You shouldn't have to bend it that much, it should be fine. Bending the spoke enough to get it in won't affect the tensile strength of the spoke.
    Redstone Cyclery
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by ignazjr View Post
    I see a ton of machine built wheels fail, just as you describe. Ironically, more than half that come in the door for a fix were stock Specialized wheels.
    What spokes are they using, brand-x cheapo azn spokes? How about the other FAIL wheels you see, what spokes are they using? I know over/under-tensioned wheels are prone to FAIL regardless of what spokes thay are using, but would really like to know if the big-brand boys' corner-cutting with cheap spokes is partially to blame as well.

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