How To Replace A Broken Spoke | Fix Your Road Bike With GCN

  • 🎬 Video
  • ℹ️ Published 6 years ago

It is possible to replace a broken spoke at home. Here's our guide.

Broken spokes don't happen very often, but, when they do it's easy to think of replacing them as an expensive job, a time-consuming job, or both. If you're feeling up to it, and your wheel isn't too specialist or too deep, you may well be able to do this job at home.

Here's our quick guide. Have you ever done this job at home? Let us know down in the comments.

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💬 Comments

Super! Showed me everything I needed to do the job all by myself! At age 54, I feel all the accomplishment of a toddler who has managed a spoonful of food!

Author — Grace O'Donnell


Just to be accurate: You at one point confused "Straight Pull" with "Radial" Lacing. While the lacing technique is called radial, straight pull is a term for hub eylets which do use in fact straight pull spokes, instead of J-Bent spokes.
Keep on doing the good work!

Author — Kurosch


Thanks Guys, you really doing a great job with this maintenance series. It’s even more useful nowadays when finding a decent bike service can be a challenge..

Author — Camper Hunter


Nice video. If you ever visit this subject again, I recommend providing a little more guidance with regard to spoke tension. Obviously, with a beginner-level "How To" video of this sort, you won't want to get into tension meters. But you could suggest that the user pluck the "good" spokes like a string on a guitar to hear their tone. Then tighten the new spoke until it produces the same tone (less tension for a lower tone, more tension for a higher tone). It's a very simple method to adjust spoke tension. If you suggest this technique, remember to alert the user that many rear wheels have different spoke tensions between the left and right sides -- so the user should only pluck and listen to spokes on the same side of a rear wheel.

Author — D.Eldon


Straight-pull is a type of spoke, not a lacing pattern-the other more common and basic type being the J-bend, where the head of the spoke is bent 90 degrees like an elbow. It's radial lacing where the spoke goes straight to the rim without crossing any other spokes-common on front wheels.

Author — Aryan Adibmehr


The How to... videos of GCN are always my favourites. Clear as ever, Simon! Thanks. :)

Author — Jyr


When I replace a spoke, I mark it with a piece of tape to make sure that is the first spoke I adjust when truing the wheel. My goal is to only ever tension the new spoke to true-up the wheel because if there are other spokes out of tension then I really want to get it to the shop before I go messing things up worse than they were before I broke that spoke.

Author — Heather Spoonheim


Thanks Simon for a very clear, helpful video. I learned a lot. Cheers.

Author — John Bouttell


...A little bit harder with disk brakes!

Also, if you bust a spoke on the road you can sort of compensate for it by just tightening the other spokes around it untilk you get home. It should ruin your rim less.

Author — AceRidesBikes


I was going to try to fix my broken spoke myself but after watching this, I’ll let a pro do it. I do every thing else myself so I really don’t feel bad about it

Author — Paulj tee


Great video. If you’re one of those people that has to be prepared for any potential bike failure like me, then you’ve taped a couple extra spokes inside your seat post 😆

Author — timu79


Undoubtedly one of the best descriptions of its kind I've seen, apart from two things:-
1) The bursts of music are disproportionately loud - Some people WOULD find it unpleasant. Please consider this if re-making, or in future instructionals.
2) The joke have to allow that one.

Author — P Wat


Can we please just appreciate Simon's pun at the start of the video, "Broken spokes are a WHEEL nightmare"

Author — JackPorter


That's a genius idea about using the old spoke to refit the nipple. I am going to use this method in future. I've had nightmares in the past trying to get the nipples back in. Thanks, very much appreciated.

Author — HRH Bucket


These videos come in at the right time, just broke a spoke recently. :)

Author — Luffy


Hey Simon, I actually remove spokes to lighten up my wheels. I have removed 4 from the front and 7 so far from the back. Definitely feel the difference on the climbing bits of my 3 mile commute to the job center. X


Author — sargestar80


Always been a task that I felt was best left to a bike shop(in both efficiency and safety terms). Having watched this video, I actually reckon I could give it a go.... (although truing is still a dark art in my eyes!)

Author — Joe Landers


Worth mentioning: If your wheel has 24 or less spokes, and is a shallow profile aluminum rim, chances are just replacing a broken spoke is going to leave you with a major high spot (vertical runout) on the rim. Due to the higher spoke tension of less spokes, the only option is to detension the whole wheel and build it back up - because low spoke rims have to be brought up to tension evenly.

Author — Cup & Cone


Spokes never break in the middle, like the demo wheel showed. That spoke was cut. 99.5% of the time, they break at the "J" bend, because of fatigue. Most "hand built" wheels, built with DT spokes, use the black colored spoke wrench. Many Mavic wheels use the green spoke wrench. Because the green wrench is for 3.30mm nipples, and the black wrench is for 3.23mm nipples, the green wrench can be used for both sizes. I'm not sure who makes the nipples that fit the red wrench. (3.45mm)

Author — MRGRUMPY53


My spokes never broke like that, they always snapped from the spoke screw 🤷‍♂️

Author — MR Make A Deal