MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

 

 

SITE INDEX   FINDING   BICYCLES   WORK SHOP   TRADING   WHAT'S NEW?

MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

DAMAGE - INTRO

DAMAGE - DERAILLEURS

DAMAGE - CRANK & RINGS

DAMAGE - SPOKES

DAMAGE - PEDALS

DAMAGE - SIDE STANDS

DAMAGE - BRAKE LEVERS

BRAKE CALLIPERS

DAMAGE - POST & STEM

DAMAGE - WHAT ELSE???

 

 

COMPONENT DAMAGE - SPOKES

It will be difficult to determine the condition of a bicycle's spoke sets.  If a spoke is broken, the problem will be immediately obvious.  However, any form of spoke corrosion is a big issue and might well require that the wheel be rebuilt.  If the spokes or the spoke nipples look to be oxidized, be prepared for a wheel rebuild or two.  Oxidized spokes and nipples will likely be seized together, making it impossible to true the wheel.  A wheel that cannot be trued will, sooner or later, become utterly useless on the bicycle.  Oxidized spokes are a problem.  And, of course, it the spokes are badly oxidized, what does the rest of the bicycle look like?  Particularly the stuff that you can't look at.  My bet is that the freewheel on this Nishiki Continental is seized inside.

Broken spokes are hardly the end of the world, but they do present a problem.  Why did they break?  Unfortunately, you will probably never know why the spoke broke.  What you will for sure know is that the broken spoke will have to be replaced.  Once the spoke is replaced, you will need to check to ensure that the wheel is not out of true.  Of course, if the spokes are corroded, the nipples might be seized, making wheel truing impossible.  Yep, one thing usually leads to another!

If just one spoke is broken and I can find a reasonable match, I will replace a spoke.  I will also keep a close eye on the wheel for a while to assure myself that all is well.  If more than one spoke is broken, I assume that others are weak and ready to go also.  With that in mind, I replace the entire set with new spokes.  I have never used a used set of spokes to rebuild a wheel.  Nor do I recommend that anyone do so.  I have, however, swapped rims without replacing the spokes.  Without replacing means do not even remove the spoke from the hub.  I have had good luck with this procedure.

Does a broken spoke mean “expect deeper damage”, other than the need to ensure that the wheel is true?  In my opinion - no.  However, more than one broken spoke could suggest that the wheel has been very poorly maintained.  Perhaps the bicycle was ridden with the broken spokes for some time, causing structural damage to the wheel rims, themselves.  If you see more than one broken spoke per wheel, move your inspection next to the rims, looking for signs of obvious impact damage, such as a flat spot or dent.  If you see a big flat spot on the rim, look at the forks – are they bent?  If the forks are bent – look at the frame set, and so on.

Broken spokes can be an expensive problem.  Most people are reluctant to take on building a complete wheel, and for good reason.  Wheel building requires both knowledge and skill.  Knowledge can be acquired from a book, but skill comes with the doing.  Special tools are also required to build a wheel up.  Truing stands, dishing tools, spoke wrenches, and the like, are all necessary to get the job done right.  Few people have all of the resources required to build up a single wheel.  With this in mind, wheel work is often left to the expert.  However...

If owning and maintaining a vintage road bicycle is your goal, I strongly urge you to learn how to use and maintain your wheel sets.  There is no magic involved.  Simple understanding, coupled with practice, will soon teach the novice what to do and how to do it.  Vintage road bicycle wheels are fragile items and will require proper use and constant care.  Failure to develop this basic understand of wheel maintenance will mean frequent trips to the Local Bike Shop.  And frequent trips to the local bike shop can become expensive.  And consider this.  What do you do if the wheel goes out of true twenty miles out on the highway?  That would be a good time to have a few wheel building/maintenance skills at your disposal.

For those interested in learning how to build wheel, I suggest that you visit Sheldon Brown's web site.  His article on building wheels is about the easiest one to follow that I have ever come across.  Follow his suggested procedure and practice on a scrap wheel until you start to get a feel for what to do.  Once the "ah ha" response takes over, you will be on your way to achieving the skill necessary to look after your own wheels.

NEXT- COMPONENT DAMAGE - PEDALS

 

 

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