Count the broken spokes

Getting the better of broken spokes

On the way home from my recce ride yesterday something awful happened.

I rode down a flight of steps. It’s a flight of steps I’ve ridden down loads of time before with no ill effects. Not this time. No, this time there was an awful noise from the back wheel. A nasty, nasty noise told me that something was amiss.

I stopped and looked at the offending wheel. It was pretty clear I’d sheared off a spoke at the nipple. No bother really. It’s irksome but nothing more than that, so I carried on riding. As I carried on I realised that the back wheel was all over the show.

I stopped and looked down. The sight that confronted me was downright upsetting. I hadn’t snapped a spoke, I’d snapped four. A quick bit of mental arithmetic told me I was missing one eighth of my total spoke count at the back. That’s a real loss of structural integrity.

I don’t think I’ve ever had a more nervous ride (with the possible exception of my old daily commute and the odd rocky descent in Scotland) as I expected my back wheel to fall apart at any moment. Fortunately, I made it home in one piece.

Riding home with broken spokes was just the start of my bother.

No, repairing it would be the real pain in the backside. As you’ll remember from a similar situation last week. I really love re-seating tubeless tyres.

So, with a handful of new nipples in hand I set about it this morning. It turns out that the original broken spoke count was wrong: I actually had five spokes sheared off. Oh well.

Having got through that, and chased a dropped nipple round the inside of the rim, everything went smoothly. In fact….[goes to check]…it’s still up.



Posted by BackPedalling Andy

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