Rear bicycle wheel showing broken spoke

My spoke, she’s a-broke

As Ben noted when he fixed my broken spokes during the recent Lejog attempt, more spokes had been mangled and I should replace them as soon as I got the chance. (He didn’t have enough spares to replace them all.) I’m glad to report that I didn’t have any more failures over the next three days of riding, but when I got home and took the wheels out of the travel bag, one more spoke had snapped in transit.

I’ve ordered a complete replacement set for that side, but meanwhile I have a few spares. I needed a couple of extra tools to remove the cassette, but I had everything else on hand.

The first order of business was to remove the tire and tube, and then the rim tape.

Bicycle wheel with rim tape partially removed
It took some doing to peel off the laminated rim tape

Next I removed the cassette and the broken spoke.

Cassette and broken spoke next to bicycle wheel
Cassette off, broken spoke removed

Bicycle hub and spokes showing damage
Damage to the remaining spokes is apparent

With the cassette off, it’s easy to see the damage to the remaining spokes. There’s also some damage to the hub which I hope is just cosmetic. (Hunt doesn’t list hubs for sale separately on their site, but they do sell rims.)

New spoke laying beside broken spoke
Checking that the length matches

Tools and parts to replace a spoke
The brake disc had to come off, too

Putting the new spoke in meant verifying the direction and the number of spokes to cross. (I hadn’t checked until I ordered the replacement spokes: It’s 28 spokes, cross 2.) The only real challenge was getting the nipple to start to thread in, as the rim is rather deep and the nipple is not notched for a screwdriver. I’m glad I remembered a trick from a video I’d watched on wheel building: I threaded another spoke into the opposite end of the nipple and used that as a tool to get it started.

Bicycle wheel with spoke wrench
On and tight

Once I got enough thread in for the nipple to emerge from the inner portion of the rim, I tightened up the spoke until it felt about the same as its neighbors when I plucked it.

Replacement rim strip on bicycle wheel
Replacement rim strip in place — mostly

Pulling a thorn from a bicycle tire
I’m glad I checked

When I picked up the tire to put it back on, I had an additional surprise: there was a thorn through the tread! The tube proved to have a hole as well. This must have happened on the last day of riding, en route to Carlisle, but the tire was not flat on arrival, and I didn’t notice it had lost air when I packed the bike up for the return home several days later. (I let the air out of the tires when I pack the bike.) No problem as I still had one unused tube remaining.

Bicycle sprocket showing notched tooth
This notch turns out to be by design

Reassembled bicycle wheel resting against balcony railing
Ready for cleaning and truing

With a good tube on and the tire remounted, I put the cassette and brake disc back on. Now I’m ready to finish unpacking Kuroko and give her a good washing and lube, after which I’ll check this wheel for trueness.

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One response to “My spoke, she’s a-broke”

  1. […] Another spoke broke in transit from England back to Japan. […]

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