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Any bike repair whizzes out there?
Old 06-19-2010, 01:27 PM   #1
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Any bike repair whizzes out there?

My wife and I have Chinese hybrid bikes. Last year her rear wheel popped four adjoining spokes. On close inspection I could see that they had rust pitting and popped at the stress concentration point. I took it to a bike shop and they declared that she needed a whole new wheel assembly. After 3 weeks and about $100, she got back the bike with a black wheel with no spoke guard and no quick release, even though the old wheel was silver, with a spoke guard and quick release. I was not amused.

So today I took down the bikes from the barn and now my bike has popped 5 spokes - same deal.

So my long winded question is how to I determine which rear wheel to order on line to fix this myself. The tire size is 26 x 1.95, it has a quick release axle and a disc brake and is double wall alloy. What other parameters do I need to match?

Thanks.
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Old 06-19-2010, 01:46 PM   #2
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Rather than order online without talking to someone, I would call up and ask them what you just asked us. Or do an online chat thing with a customer service rep.
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Old 06-19-2010, 03:03 PM   #3
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Try Performance. They usually do a pretty good job of leading you through the specification process. If there is a Performance shop near you, you can have it shipped there and pick it up and save the shipping cost.

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After 3 weeks and about $100, she got back the bike with a black wheel with no spoke guard and no quick release, even though the old wheel was silver, with a spoke guard and quick release. I was not amused.
Thanks.
I would be far more irritated with the quality of the original bike.
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Old 06-19-2010, 03:12 PM   #4
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Not really a bike person, but i thought that bike shops would "lace up" rims. Am i hopelessly out of date?
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Old 06-19-2010, 03:20 PM   #5
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Not really a bike person, but i thought that bike shops would "lace up" rims. Am i hopelessly out of date?
Usually you just replace the broken spoke(s), true the wheel and you're good to go. You can do this on the road in an emergency.

It sounds like there were some problems with the original wheel and the bike shop mechanic didn't feel it was worth the time to fix it. My impression is that most bike shop mechanics think that "department store" bikes are "junk" and don't like to work on them.
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Old 06-19-2010, 03:23 PM   #6
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Can you find another LBS (bike slang for "local bike shop") that you trust more? Otherwise you could call Nashbar.com and talk with someone. Usually much cheaper to buy online, but in this case you have to get everything right. Spoke guard isn't important, BTW, since the derailleur should be adjusted so that the chain won't go into the spokes. Also, many wheels are designed s.t. even if the chain comes off, it won't get stuck in the spokes (due to spacing). Slang for spoke guard: Dork Disk.

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Not really a bike person, but i thought that bike shops would "lace up" rims. Am i hopelessly out of date?
No, they still do that, but usually for high end wheels. It's true you could add back the broken spokes and true the wheel, but it's probably too far gone at this point.

And before you spend too much money, consider that you can get some good used bikes on Craigslist.

I bought this bike for $30 for my sister (only a junky department store bike, but hey, only $30):

GailsMagna 004.jpg




What brand and model are the bikes?
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Old 06-19-2010, 04:10 PM   #7
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...................
What brand and model are the bikes?
Wife's bike is an LL Bean hybrid which I think was made by Schwinn - cost about $250 new, 4 years ago. My bike is a Giant Sedona - cost about $375 two years ago. Neither bike has more than a couple of hundred miles on them. Other than the crappy spokes, they are in great condition.
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Old 06-19-2010, 04:39 PM   #8
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Usually you just replace the broken spoke(s), true the wheel and you're good to go. You can do this on the road in an emergency.

It sounds like there were some problems with the original wheel and the bike shop mechanic didn't feel it was worth the time to fix it. My impression is that most bike shop mechanics think that "department store" bikes are "junk" and don't like to work on them.
Bike shop said that when multiple spokes pop like that it distorts the rim and it has to be replaced. I've got to believe that it is just too labor intensive to relace an inexpensive rim and hub.
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Old 06-19-2010, 06:47 PM   #9
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Because your bikes are relatively low-end, I'd say new bikes from Craigslist (or a garage sale) is looking like a pretty good option. You'd have to spend about $100 for a wheel that isn't going to rust and die, and you could get a bike comparable to yours for that price on Craigslist (like this one). It can be fun. You could do any needed repairs yourself.

I have a truing stand, and still find that truing a wheel is very, very difficult. The bike shop is probably right about replacing.
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Old 06-19-2010, 07:53 PM   #10
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...............
I have a truing stand, and still find that truing a wheel is very, very difficult. The bike shop is probably right about replacing.
Thanks for the suggestions - I'll start watching Craigslist.

I had a paper route and spent many an hour trying to true my rear wheel. Trying to true it laterally, radially and keep it centered to the hub is a maddeningly difficult task.
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Old 06-19-2010, 10:30 PM   #11
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I break alot of spokes - probably about 1 every hundred miles (big guy, rough roads). I buy replacement spokes by the set (40). A wheel can survive many broken spokes, with just on-the-road truing, by following one simple rule.

When a spoke breaks, stop and replace it immediately. It just takes 5-10 minutes once you learn how (easier than fixing a flat). Just tension the spoke to about the same as the other spokes on that side and the wheel will be true enough. Riding with the broken spoke(s) is what messes things up and makes the wheel tough to true.
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Old 06-20-2010, 06:46 AM   #12
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I researched this online and discovered that there was a large batch of defective stainless steel spokes sold to a variety of manufacturers in 2005 / 2006. The defective spokes break in the center as opposed to the end, which is more normal. (I looked up my receipt and my bike is a 2005, bought in 2006 - so much for my memory).

On both my wife's bike and my bike, we lost 5 or more spokes at once, which wrenches the rim to one side. So, I think we were just tremendously unlucky to have bought new bikes during this period. I'll talk to the bike dealer on Monday, but I doubt I'll get anything more than sympathy and an offer to order a new wheel.
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Old 06-20-2010, 09:11 AM   #13
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Since 1991 I haven't broken a single spoke. I credit it to good wheels. DW has broken a few, and the cheap wheel we bought last year is ready to be replaced.

I think that manufacturers try to make the wheels so light that even higher end wheels can have problems.

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Old 06-21-2010, 01:51 PM   #14
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I went to the local bike shop, got a new wheel for $65, had them transfer over brake disc, cassette and the Dork Disc , and I should be good to go. I think I just initially got a wheel with bad spokes, as they were stainless steel but rust pitted.

Case closed!
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Old 06-21-2010, 01:56 PM   #15
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Don't know too much about bike repair, but I do whizz every so often...

I'm still riding the road bike I bought in '92 or so for $45. Replaced the seat, and replaced tires and tubes a couple of times. That's it.
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Old 06-21-2010, 02:43 PM   #16
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I'm still riding the road bike I bought in '92 or so for $45. Replaced the seat, and replaced tires and tubes a couple of times. That's it.
The forks last year, crank and pedals a couple times and the frame after it bent....
just like Grandpa's hammer.
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