Replacing Bladed Spoke
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  1. #1
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    Replacing Bladed Spoke

    I am replacing a NDS bladed spoke on a Fulcrum Racing 5 rear wheel. It is the 2nd spoke that has snapped in the last 6 months. Other time it was a DS spoke.

    I was wondering if people think I should bring down the tension in all spokes first before truing the wheel? Seems a lot easier to deal with on a traditional J-bend spoke wheel.

    Any thoughts or advice appreciated. Mike T? I may have to get a bladed spoke Campy tool as this seems to be too much to expect of my DIY slotted hardwood block.

  2. #2
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    I had a brand new set of Mavic wheels that broke 2 spokes on two separate occasions within a month of purchase. I took the wheels in to have the tension checked / adjusted because I didn't have a tool to do it. After that, I never broke a spoke again.

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    Mike T. no longer comes around here much. I think he's either much busier with family or has lost interest. You may try to PM him and see if he responds or if you can find an email, contact him directly.

    From what I know, non-drive side spokes can break prematurely if they flex a lot due to insufficient tension. Of course that doesn't explain why you broke a drive side spoke. Did these spoke break at the nipple end, hub end or in between?
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  4. #4
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    Thanks. They broke at the nipple end (but not exactly at the nipple). Because of that, they were quite dangerous and gave me a welt across my calf.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GKSki View Post
    Thanks. They broke at the nipple end (but not exactly at the nipple). Because of that, they were quite dangerous and gave me a welt across my calf.
    OUCH, sorry to hear.

    Not at the nipple thread but further up? Unusual and leads me to believe manufacturing defect or just poor quality control.
    "If someone needs 200 rolls of toilet paper for a 14-day quarantine, they probably should have made a doctor's appointment way before the COVID-19 outbreak." -- Unknown

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  6. #6
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    Yes, both DS and NDS spokes broke about an inch or two up from the nipple. Made me question metal fatigue. Kind of in favor of standard spokes going forward as I don't really need these trick wheels.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GKSki View Post
    Yes, both DS and NDS spokes broke about an inch or two up from the nipple. Made me question metal fatigue. Kind of in favor of standard spokes going forward as I don't really need these trick wheels.
    I would say the egg is on the face of Fulcrum in this case. Don't know what brand of spokes they use or if they make their own.

    I build up a set of wheels with bladed spokes (DT Swiss Aero Comps). I have 5,000+ miles on them and never had a problem - never even had to re-true them.
    "If someone needs 200 rolls of toilet paper for a 14-day quarantine, they probably should have made a doctor's appointment way before the COVID-19 outbreak." -- Unknown

    "With
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    -- DCGriz, RBR.




  8. #8
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    Yes. Not a lot of confidence in this wheel when I retension and true it. Can't predict if there will be a failure with other spokes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GKSki View Post
    Yes, both DS and NDS spokes broke about an inch or two up from the nipple. Made me question metal fatigue. Kind of in favor of standard spokes going forward as I don't really need these trick wheels.
    The breakage point tells you that this is not likely a tension issue but rather a defective spoke issue. Both spokes broke in the same place, but the difference in tension between the DS and NDS spokes is large. You could argue that the DS spoke broke due to tension (you have no data to support the argument, but let's just say it is true) but then you couldn't make the same argument about the NDS spoke.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kerry Irons View Post
    The breakage point tells you that this is not likely a tension issue but rather a defective spoke issue. Both spokes broke in the same place, but the difference in tension between the DS and NDS spokes is large. You could argue that the DS spoke broke due to tension (you have no data to support the argument, but let's just say it is true) but then you couldn't make the same argument about the NDS spoke.
    I would also say that if it were a tension issue, low tension on the NDS is more likely to cause a failure than overtensioning. If severely overtensioned, the rim would crack before the spoke would break.
    "If someone needs 200 rolls of toilet paper for a 14-day quarantine, they probably should have made a doctor's appointment way before the COVID-19 outbreak." -- Unknown

    "With
    bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."
    -- DCGriz, RBR.




  11. #11
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    I agree with you Kerry and Lombard. Probably no reason for a factory wheel (designated as hand-built though) to have any failures. They do have about 4 years on them though.

    I replaced the spoke and trued the wheel. Took my tennis string tension iPhone app and set it to measure tone in khz as the spokes are pinged. I got consistent readings from the spokes, so I really think the wheel is tensioned correctly.

    Guess I am just not as confident of this flat black anodized flat spokes as I am of the good old stainless, round, j-bend spokes from DT Swiss, etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GKSki View Post
    I agree with you Kerry and Lombard. Probably no reason for a factory wheel (designated as hand-built though) to have any failures. They do have about 4 years on them though.

    I replaced the spoke and trued the wheel. Took my tennis string tension iPhone app and set it to measure tone in khz as the spokes are pinged. I got consistent readings from the spokes, so I really think the wheel is tensioned correctly.

    Guess I am just not as confident of this flat black anodized flat spokes as I am of the good old stainless, round, j-bend spokes from DT Swiss, etc.
    How many miles is 4 years?
    "If someone needs 200 rolls of toilet paper for a 14-day quarantine, they probably should have made a doctor's appointment way before the COVID-19 outbreak." -- Unknown

    "With
    bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."
    -- DCGriz, RBR.




  13. #13
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    Probably less than 15k. Rims and hubs look brand new.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GKSki View Post
    Probably less than 15k. Rims and hubs look brand new.
    Hmmm, well at 15K miles, wheels don't really owe you a lot. Nice if they can go longer, but I don't really consider this a premature failure. If they are rim brake wheels, the brake tracks are probably getting worn concave by now.
    "If someone needs 200 rolls of toilet paper for a 14-day quarantine, they probably should have made a doctor's appointment way before the COVID-19 outbreak." -- Unknown

    "With
    bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."
    -- DCGriz, RBR.




  15. #15
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    Well, I probably overstated the miles conservatively. Brake tracks are fine, far better off than my old school Mavic rims of wheels I have had in the past.

    When a wheel is wearing out from extended use, I far more expect the rim cracking at spoke holes or brake track or spokes pulling through the eyelets.

    We'll see how this rebuild works out. Frankly the hub and rim look good enough to warrant chucking all the spokes and rebuilding it completely. Probably would do so, but Fulcrum charges so damn much for their spokes. May be able to find a suitable Sapim replacement.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by GKSki View Post
    Well, I probably overstated the miles conservatively. Brake tracks are fine, far better off than my old school Mavic rims of wheels I have had in the past.

    When a wheel is wearing out from extended use, I far more expect the rim cracking at spoke holes or brake track or spokes pulling through the eyelets.

    We'll see how this rebuild works out. Frankly the hub and rim look good enough to warrant chucking all the spokes and rebuilding it completely. Probably would do so, but Fulcrum charges so damn much for their spokes. May be able to find a suitable Sapim replacement.
    Or a DT Swiss replacement.

    FWIW, I knew a woman with over 20K miles on a pair of Fulcrums. The only thing wrong was that her rear brake track was obviously concave. She never popped a spoke to my knowledge. Earlier wheels than yours.

    It's not difficult to do better than anything with the name Mavic on it.
    "If someone needs 200 rolls of toilet paper for a 14-day quarantine, they probably should have made a doctor's appointment way before the COVID-19 outbreak." -- Unknown

    "With
    bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."
    -- DCGriz, RBR.




  17. #17
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    Yes, it does seem DT Swiss and Sapim at the least make bladed black straight pull spokes that I could use instead.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GKSki View Post
    Yes, it does seem DT Swiss and Sapim at the least make bladed black straight pull spokes that I could use instead.
    I would use DT Swiss. If you want bladed, use Aero Comps, not Aero Lites. If you don't care about bladed, use Competitions, not Revoltions.
    "If someone needs 200 rolls of toilet paper for a 14-day quarantine, they probably should have made a doctor's appointment way before the COVID-19 outbreak." -- Unknown

    "With
    bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."
    -- DCGriz, RBR.




  19. #19
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    Thanks. I am thinking of rebuilding the wheel with DT Swiss Competition spokes. I think it will be stronger and I find round spokes easier to deal with. With the way this rear wheel is laced with 10 radial spokes on the left side, it will be quite easy to replace all spokes one at a time.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by GKSki View Post
    Thanks. I am thinking of rebuilding the wheel with DT Swiss Competition spokes. I think it will be stronger and I find round spokes easier to deal with. With the way this rear wheel is laced with 10 radial spokes on the left side, it will be quite easy to replace all spokes one at a time.
    Probably a good idea as if a few spokes broke, others may not be far behind.

    Competitions are great spokes for sure, but bladed spokes have the advantage of immediately being able to see spoke windup while tensioning. Champions are less of an issue with spoke windup and are dirt cheap.
    "If someone needs 200 rolls of toilet paper for a 14-day quarantine, they probably should have made a doctor's appointment way before the COVID-19 outbreak." -- Unknown

    "With
    bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."
    -- DCGriz, RBR.




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