How To Replace A Broken Spoke | Mountain Bike Maintenance

How To Replace A Broken Spoke | Mountain Bike Maintenance

– Given the nature of mountain biking, you’re gonna damage your
wheels here and there. Sometimes, that’ll mean
breaking a spoke or two. Now it’s easy to replace a spoke at home. You don’t have to be afraid of doing it cause it’s not the same
as building a whole wheel. As long as your wheel isn’t too far gone, this is how you get a
spoke back in the wheel and get it true. Our tools for this job, you’re need some replacement
spokes in the correct length, along with some replacement spoke nipples. Allen keys to remove your
wheel from your bike. A chain whip. A cassette removal tool
with an adjustable spanner. Rim tape, or alternatively,
Gorilla Tape or electrical tape. Relevant spoke keys to
suit your spoke nipples. Optionally, a spoke tension meter. Ideally, a wheel jig. Alternatively, you can bodge
a wheel jig using your frame and having some cable
ties on there obviously. Firstly, you’re gonna
need to prepare your wheel before you start fixing it. Obviously, I’ve taken a
tire off this particular one because it was full of sealant and needed to clean it up a bit. In doing so, I’ve noticed
that the actual rim tape is damaged where when the spokes broke, they actually pierced
straight through the rim tape. So that won’t seal again and if I chose to run an inner
tube in there in the future, there’s a good likelihood
that it’ll be able to snag the tube and puncture it. That’s gonna need to be replaced. Bearing in mind there are various different types of rim tape available. This was set up for tubeless so you need a tubeless ready rim tape. In our workshop here,
we’ve got some random DT Swiss rim tape here. We’ve also got Gorilla tape, which is a really popular option and some rim manufacturers
actually ship theirs with this. You can get away with
using electrical tape despite what people say. But once you put it on and
it covers sufficiently, it will seal tubeless. Next up cause this is a rear wheel I’m replacing the spokes on, I’m gonna need to remove
the cassette from the bike. I need a chain whip and
a cassette tool for that. If yours is non-drive side, you’re gonna need to remove a disc rotor, so you’ll need a torx T25 for that. Of course if it’s the front wheel, you’ll only need to remove the disc rotor if it’s on a disc side
and you won’t if it’s not. And then of course, you need to work out the exact spoke length and type that you need to replace yours. If it’s a regular spoked wheel, say a 32 spokes wheel, you can measure these spokes up and most good bike shops will carry stock. But more unusual wheels
like these particular ones, these are Mavics that
came on my Nukeproof. They’ve got bladed spokes. These are different length spokes and they quote them all on the Mavic site, so you can get the specs for them and order them online. Make sure you get the right
spokes for your wheel. Obviously, you need to make sure you’ve got the right style of spoke first. You get straight pull spokes and you get regular spokes, which got a slight hook on the end. These particular wheels
got straight pull spokes. I already know that and I’ve
already ordered my spokes. Just make sure when you’re
replacing your spoke, you mimic what the other
spokes do in the same area. Firstly, I’m just gonna
remove this other spoke that’s also got a bit of damage to it. Of course, when you’re removing spokes, make sure you have the right spoke key. It’s essential that it fits correctly. There’s a number of
different ones on the market. If you’re unsure about this, your bike shop will be
able to demonstrate to you the difference between them
all before you buy one. First things first, you
just need to locate the head of the spoke onto the
flange of the hub there. You’ll find it just locks into place. If you’ve got a conventional spoke, you just push them through
and pull them to the side. On this particular wheel, I just have to cross the two spokes and it lines up with the
hole here in the rim. I’m just gonna tuck the edge
of the spoke through there. Because I don’t trust myself
to not drop the spoke nipple into the rim cavity here, I’m actually using just a fine pick to sit in the back side of the nipple here because I can’t thread into
it cause of the design. I’m just gonna push that
through into the rim. You can see it there. I can locate the nipple onto the spoke and just tighten it up just enough that I know it’s not gonna fall off. What you wanna do when
you’re replacing your spokes is just do them up finger tight. You’ll find that’s often just
to the end of the thread. Just enough to hold the spoke in place, to hold it with a little bit of tension. My three spokes are now
replaced into the hub and I’ve got the nipples screwed on. I’m just gonna use the spoke key here and just loosely nip these up until they’re, spoke nipples
at the end of the thread here on each one. Then we’re gonna go one to the wheel jig and get this thing straight. So you don’t need to know
everything about building wheels to replace a couple of
spokes and true it up. But what you do need to know
are the really key things. Initially, you don’t
wanna do over a quarter of a turn with your spoke key. Also you gotta bear in mind you don’t wanna put too
many turns on any one spoke. You might be just drawn into the fact that the wheel has been
pulled over to one side and be trying to cure that. As you’re tightening a spoke, you’re actually pulling it in. You can actually make the
wheel slightly egg-shaped. You’ll increase the hop in it. Every time you have to tighten a spoke, consider that you might
not need to tighten it. You might need to just
back off the tension on the two spokes either side of it. The first thing is you need to get your wheel into the wheel jig. You’ll need to use your
rear wheel axle for this. Just set it into the top and then just tighten the jig. Make sure that your wheel is fully in as if this was a fork or a
part of the frame itself. Then using the lowest set of cages here, you make your adjustments so
you can see your side to side. As you can see, you can
screw these in and out. Obviously, I wanna do up and down as well. I’m gonna use the slight
L-shaped indent here. I’m gonna put it underneath the rim. I’m gonna screw it all the way in. I’m just gonna give it a spin and you’ll find it’s probably
gonna contact on here. (metal scraping sound) And there we go, we’ve got our reference point straight away. So I’m just gonna back it off a tiny bit so I don’t take too much paint
off the edge of the wheel. I’m gonna start working my
way around the spoke nipples. Note how I’m sat inline
with the top of the rim here so I can see the side and
side and the up and down just by looking straight down it. (metal clanging) You can hear the spokes
coming under tension there as they twist slightly
when you tighten them. This is something that you have to work on (loud metal clang) through the wheel. Once you’ve got your
wheel roughly straight, you wanna take it out of the jig. I’m gonna show you how
you relieve that tension on the spokes and it’ll
pop back into place again. I’ve worked my way around the whole wheel. Just sorta nipping up
those three key spokes. Just with a bit of adjustment, loosening some and tightening others, I’ve got the wheel as straight as I can. I have noticed that this has
got a slight bend in the rim so it’s never gonna be perfect but it’s good to go basically. One important thing you need to do before you finish truing your wheel is relieve the tension on those spokes. As you tighten the nipples, the spokes also slightly move. That creates the popping and pinging. You wanna relieve that tension
now and then double check because some of those
nipples would’ve just loosened themselves slightly. Do it a couple of times then ride and wheel and you’re good to go. This is how you remove the tension. Put the wheel on a hard surface. If you need to, just protect the axles, and just lean on the sides of the rim. Again, lean on it, not giving it a massive push
so you can bend the wheel. Just enough so you can
help remove that tension. Essentially, this is what I’m looking for. You can see a tiny bit of air. Bit of daylight on both sides here. The rim, although it’s not 100% straight, that’s pretty close considering it’s had three spokes out of it. Enough for the rest of the spokes to pull the rim out of
shape and distort it. Our rim is obviously very slightly damaged but that’s a pretty good job. You don’t actually need a wheel jig just to do this job at home. It is possible to do it with your bike. Before you get as far
as replacing the tire, if you just put your
wheel back into the frame. Make sure everything lines up well. Put the axle back through. Just gonna do this one finger
tight for now to show you. Using the trusty cable tie, you can set one across the top of the rim so you can monitor the hop up and down. And another one, you can
adjust so it’s nearly dragging on the sidewall of the rim
to do the side to side. And you’ve got essentially
a homemade wheel jig. This is perfect just for
doing a job as simple as this. We’re just replacing a couple of spokes. The wheel is mostly in good condition so there’s nothing to worry about. If your wheel is a bit
more knackered than that, then you will need to
put it in a wheel jig and do it properly. If you’ve got access to
one through a friend, maybe you should borrow one. The wheel is trued, everything’s done, ready to go back on the bike. Just need to put some rim tape on, on this particular one, and then put a tire back on. Of course, if you’re putting
the tubeless rim tape back on, it’s sometimes very important and crucial by manufacturing dimensions, to put the correct one on. Mavic, for example, recommends one to be point one five millimeters thick so they say use their own one. But you can get away with
using other materials like I explained earlier. So there you go, there’s the basics of replacing a spoke on your wheel. Remember, this is just a
case of something to do if you’ve just snapped a spoke and you haven’t mangled your wheel. If your wheel is massively
buckled and out of true, I definitely recommend taking
it to your local bike shop and getting them to
have a look at it first. If you wanna find out
some more great videos, check down here for some
frame protection decals. It’s a great one to do, especially
if you’ve got a new bike or something like a flashy paint job that you don’t wanna mess
up when you’re riding it. Of course, another great one is ten tools to make your life easier
when working on your bike. Pretty helpful, bunch of tools in there. Hopefully, it’ll make your life easier. Of course, as always, click
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  1. Another very good video Doddy and very nice to see you got your trusty cable ties involved again. I do have 1 question though, if you'll indulge me. Are you not supposed to hold bladed spokes to stop them rotating slightly while tightening the nipple?

  2. You glossed over any tips for getting all of the sealant out of the rim and cleaning the rim tape residue from the rim. How clean is clean enough? Does it need to be perfect?

  3. You are meant to hold aero bladed spokes in place with a stablisation tool as you tighten the nipple otherwise they twist out of alignment, this guy failed to do that, it can cause them to break prematurely. They are aligned so they cut into the air, for aerodynamic effect.

  4. That cable tie truing guide is a great hack! In fact, you could probably tape one cable tie to the seat stay so the locking end is sticking up and you can slide a tail (without locking end) through it. It's adjustable that way. You can't back it out, but you can run it all the way through and back in if needed. I'll try it next time

  5. You did one really crucial mistake
    Bladed spokes need a special spanner in order to keep the bladed part from twisting (as it happened in 5:55)
    Otherwise you are putting tremendous forces on ur hub flanges and on the spokes them selfs.

  6. #askgmbn I went to a bike demo this weekend and rode the Specialized Stumpjumper, and tried a bunny hop and did it over a big log. At home, I have a Trek Marlin, and i can't get my back wheel off the ground. Why can I bunny hop the demo but not my own bike?

  7. When I built a new wheel, I used a broken piece of spoke to hold the nipple though the hole and then simply screwed it off of that and onto the replacement spoke.

  8. those are only 24 spoke wheels!!!! and they were speked on the nuke proof mega? I think those would be destroyed after one hard landing!!! Am I wrong?

  9. pretty cool but who has all these specialised tools? better just taking it to a shop instead of buying them all. and yes you can bodge it, so why not show us the home mechanic way?

  10. I have totally mangled my front Fulcrum rim, got it straight by bending it back. One scary thing when bending back the rim was that the weld opened and closed as I applied pressure. I guess no more jumps and trails on my rims.

  11. Next video: How To Replace A Broken Spoke On Trail
    Next video: How To Replace A Broken Spoke On Trail Without Tools
    Next video: How To Replace A Broken Spoke On Trail Without Tools With A Leaf Blower

  12. #askgmbn#askanyone, let's say you don't care about your bike's geometry and you have a hard tail and a downhill fork and you decided to install the fork to the bike…how will you react

  13. and why exactly dont you use the blade holder for bladed spokes? you're torquing those things so much and in the video you can even see them twist so much!! de-stressing the spokes wont always fix that

  14. But if you've learned those skills then lacing a new rim in is easy so you may as well save your money and build your own wheels,

  15. Watching doddy twist up those bladed spokes is terrifying. There's a tool for that dude! Also, I'd suggest the Park TS4 truing stand, or their available thru-axle adapters for best results.

  16. yup ive got one of those jigs just lying around for that once in a bluemoon when i break a spoke! Maybe show another method instead of using a £2-300 jig that the average rider doesn't have!

  17. 7:52 If the wheel itself has been trued on the jig, why does it still do that when it is mounted on the bike? That's what happens with my bike. How can the bike itself be used as a jig if the sideways motion of the rim is not the same when it's on an actual jig?

  18. hi one of my spokes broke on my dirt jump bike and i am looking to replace it. But I have no idea how to find the correct size for my spokes. I my wheals have formula 20 hubs, Jalco X320 rims, and mach one spokes that are J bend with 26 inch wheels. Do you have any advice on finding the correct size spokes and which ones should I get for my bike?

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