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Broke a spoke today, so just thought I'd post this as a companion to the "flat statistics" thread.

I seem to break about 3 front spokes for every rear one. I would have thought it would be the other way around.

What's your experience?
 

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I've had four or five rear NDS spokes on powertaps break, and just one other rear spoke break besides that.

Never broken a front spoke, pushing close to 100,000 miles.
 

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Never broken a front spoke in decades of wheelbuilding and bike riding. It's almost always the NDS rear but it's gotta be 20+ years since one of those broke.
 

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Broke a spoke today, so just thought I'd post this as a companion to the "flat statistics" thread.

I seem to break about 3 front spokes for every rear one. I would have thought it would be the other way around.

What's your experience?
In 26 years of riding amazingly I have only broken only one spoke, on the rear wheel of a touring bike. I am no lightweight either. In those years my weight has been between 175 and 195lbs. Now cracked rims is another story. I have cracked the drive side eyelets on several rims, but the spokes were just fine
 

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Almost all my broken spokes have been rear NDS spokes.

I had one front hub with too deep countersinks for the spoke heads on the outside. It broke a couple spokes after 8k miles. I have more of them and lace those hubs 1x heads in now.
 

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Only broken front spokes I've seen were due to a stick or something getting into the wheel. Personally, I've never broken a front in 40+ years of on-off riding.
 

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Never broken a front spoke, 100% rear here, too. In addition, with spokes you could also wonder about drive-side versus non-drive-side spoke breakage. All of mine were NDS, but it's a total of three spokes within one season in all my years of riding. Probably some rim issue; had the wheel rebuilt after that, and no problems since.
 

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Nearly all were rear NDS, like most people here. Your experience is anomalous, Alan.

Pirx, your experience suggests a wheel built with insufficient tension.
 

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Pirx, your experience suggests a wheel built with insufficient tension.
The wheel had been fine for a few thousand miles, until I hit that pothole, hard (pinch-flatted, too). I literally went over the wheel with a magnifying glass after that, and found no damage. However, after another 400 miles or so I broke my first spoke, and two more after 200-300 miles each. After the third one I had had enough of this and had the wheel rebuilt at the factory (it was a Zipp 404, and they rebuilt it for free). It's still going strong 10,000 miles later now.
 

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Like the others, all rear, NDS (a useful new abbreviation I've learned in this thread) spokes.

I'll echo others - the initial impact rarely seems to break spokes, it is usually the gradual stress over time after a wheel has been knocked out of true/round, affecting the spoke tension. I once hit a trench across the road (35+ in the dark, I didn't see it until the last minute in my headlight beam), where I blew both tubes and dented both rims (didn't go down, amazingly enough), but none of the spokes broke. OTOH, I've hit potholes where there is no visible damage, but then I'd break a spoke a few weeks or months later. Replace spoke, go another couple of months, another broken spoke.

One broken spoke on a wheel might be random, but if it happens again (on the same wheel) you need to do like Pirx and get the wheel rebuilt. I learned from hard experience that simply replacing the spoke and true/tension may not be enough, repeated breakage means a rebuild, or you'll keep breaking spokes.

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I have had 7 or 8 spokes break, and they were all rear spokes. Some were on the drive side, but I didn't document the number. These were all on my Alex R500 wheels on my first modern-day road bike. By the end of the month, these wheels will have rolled a total of 25,000 miles, documented.
 

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Never broke a spoke in my life. 13 years road, mtb, etc. Not one. I've only even ever seen one broken on a ride, and I think it was a carbon one.
 

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I've only broke a spoke once in the past 10 years (about 50k miles). It was rear NDS. Brand new wheel build. It broke about 2.5cm below the elbow indicating to me the spoke was defective.
 

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Broke a spoke today, so just thought I'd post this as a companion to the "flat statistics" thread.

I seem to break about 3 front spokes for every rear one. I would have thought it would be the other way around.
There is something wrong with your front wheel.
 

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When I picked up my Trek mtb from Goodwill, it had a broken rear NDS spoke. I did manage to break a front spoke on my Surly commuter last year though. Bike was also purchased used
 
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