Introduction: Broken Spoke Repair/Replace
You are riding and your bike wheel sounds like its rubbing...
- I looked down and my tire was wobbling.
- When I checked; one of my rear spokes was broken; I removed the broken spoke from the nib in the rim so I could still make it home.
- I had to tighten some of the adjacent spokes to make up some of the difference. (I will explain in a later step how to make adjustments)
- This instructable is assuming that you have a basic knowledge of mechanics. (Some of the basic skills are to be able to change a tire)
- The process is fairly simple... It's just a process.
Step 1: Tool/Part List
A few basic tools to be able to replace a spoke on your bike.
- Tire Pump (floor is better)
- Chain Whip
- Cassette removal tool
- 1" wrench to use on cassette tool
- Tire Levers
- Flat Screw driver
- Spoke Tool
- Knife/Exacto blade
- Rim tape (may need new tape)
- Replacement spoke/nipple
Step 2: Remove Your Tire
- This is my assumption part.
- Remove wheel set from your bike
- Release the air
- Using your tire levers carefully remove the tire and tube (careful not to pinch the tube inside)
Step 3: Rim Tape in the Way?
Often Rim Tape will be on the rim
- it can with be a flat rubber band, cloth duct tape material, or a nylon band that is not sticky
- If it is just a rubber band remove it.
- Otherwise using your knife carefully cut the tape between the spoke holes.
- Now we can actually get to changing or replacing your spoke.
Step 4: Cassette Removal?? (Depends?)
You might not have to remove the Cassette depending on what side of the hub the spoke is broken
- Remove your Quick release from the rim
- In my case I had to remove both the Cassette and the Spoke Guard
- Place the cassette tool into the locking nut.
- You will also need to have the Chain Whip tool to hold the cassette from ratcheting while you are loosening the nut. (A friend may be helpful to be able to hold everything at the same time)
- Carefully slide the cassette off of the splines of the hub (the top couple gears may not be attached to the rest)
*** Take note if there are any spacers behind the cassette)
- You may also need to remove the plastic spoke protector.
- Gently depress the tabs and twist the protector to remove it (turning counter-clockwise)
Step 5: Remove/Replace Spoke
This is the easy Part...
- If you have already removed the spoke from the nipple just let the nipple fall out of the rim.
n.b. If you have a deep rim you could potentially have the nipple fall into the rim. Don't worry if it does it will just shake out for you.
How to get the new spoke in...
- Pretty much each spoke will have to be weaved in somehow. I can't tell you exactly because they are all different.
- With the nipple removed from the spoke slide it in the hole on your hub.
- Take note of the direction the old one came out; if it already fell out look to the spoke that is closest to it. Insert so that the round end of the spoke is opposite to it.
- You may need to flex the new spoke a bit to get it into the hole in the rim.
- In the same way the old nipple can fall into the rim... be careful to put the new nipple back into the rim.
- Use a narrow flat screwdriver to to generally screw the nipple down.
- You will also need to use your spoke wrench to roughly tighten it to about the same as the adjacent spokes.
Step 6: Reassemble the Rim and Tire
- If you had to remove the Chain Protector put it back on and twist slightly to clip onto the spokes
- Slide Cassette over the spindle (there is one small spline that will match on the Cassette)
- Don't worry it will not go on the wrong way
- The locking nut does not have to be very tight. (it says on the nut itself)
- Put the Tube and Tire back on the rim taking note some tires have an arrow on them to show direction
(How to install the tire itself could be a separate Intractable for another day.)
Step 7: Reinstall Wheelset and Adjust Spokes
- Care full when you put the cassette onto the chain and the alignment of the dice brake/pads(if applicable)
- Reattach the Brake pads if they are rim style
Adjustment of Spokes
- Make sure your rim is installed square into the dropouts and the quick-release or axle are tight
- If you watch the rim compared to the chain stays may have some wobble.
- If the tire/rim wobbles you will need to adjust your spokes.
(You can also purchase a specific tool called a tensiometer to measure the tension you have on your spokes)
- I simply placed a straw under the derailleur cable against the rim to hear and see the amount of wobble.(see pic.)
- You can also squeeze the pairs of spokes toward each other to feel roughly how much tension you have.
(For the next part the video really helps explain which spokes to tighten)
- If the rim wobbles in you need to tighten the spoke that is attached to the opposite of the hub.
- Take note of where the rim starts to wobble, and ends its wobble.
- Find the middle of that wobble and tighten the spoke attached to the hub on for the direction you want the rim to pull. (up to half a turn tighter at a time and less and less additional tightness for the spokes up to where the wobble started and stopped on the rim.)
- If you still need to tighten the same spot more you should also loosen the opposite spokes just a bit to balance the tension.
Double Check Your air pressure, and tire ale nuts/Quick Release Pin are tight
.... Happy Riding ...
6 years ago
I'm glad that it is appreciated, if you have any suggestions of other bicycle related Instructables you would like please let me know and I will see what I can do. I also run a Bike Club at the school I work at so what is relevant for you is probably also a need for them.
6 years ago
nice in depth Instructable. first time I've come across instructions for retensioning spokes worth it just for that