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Almost Not a Newbie
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So I scored this gorgeous Bianchi on eBay. Rides like a dream, fits me perfectly, gets lots of compliments. Great shape. My intention is to make it my primary ride. I put about 100 miles on it w/o incident, though I knew the tires (700x23) were old and would need replacing sometime soon.

Sunday I'm on a group ride when a spoke breaks on the rear wheel. Never happened before to me on any bike, despite that I'm about 195 lbs. I made it back to my car, took it to the bike shop, they replaced the spoke and re-trued the wheel. Put new tires on while they were at it. Good to go.

Yesterday I went for a ride. Another spoke broke. Back to the lbs. We agreed that these were not isolated incidents. They're re-building the wheel, using the original 32-hole hub, and using new spokes and a Mavic rim.

What do you guys think caused the problem in the first place? Will a wheel rebuild solve it? Should I be running 700x25's instead of 700x23's?

Any and all advice welcome. Thanks, Bernie
 

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bernmart said:
What do you guys think caused the problem in the first place? Will a wheel rebuild solve it? Should I be running 700x25's instead of 700x23's?
The most likely cause was a poorly built factory wheel, with the spokes at low and/or uneven tensions, and not stress relieved.

Rebuilding with new spokes could solve the problem - if the shop knows how to build a wheel properly**. Why was the rim replaced? Was it worn out (or close enough to being worn out that its not worth rebuilding it)? Or maybe the shop is replacing it with a stronger, stiffer rim, which would also reduce the likelihood further spoke breakages?

**Having a shop rebuild a wheel is not always the end-all do-all solution to wheel problems. Quite frankly, there are many shops out there that don't do a good job at wheel building. There's more to making a wheel durable and lasting than just being able to lace the spokes and make it round. It's not that wheel building is difficult, it's just that there is little formal training for this skill. Most mechanics learn to build wheels informally from some other shop mechanic, and as much myth and folklore gets passed down as real knowledge.
 

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how old are the wheels? the bike is a 1992? the spokes got brittle. i had the LBS replace just the nipples on a 6yr old set of wheels, after the 2nd broken spoke the shop decided to replace all of the spokes. as long as the hub is fine your build should be ok. might be cheaper to buy a new set of wheels than rebuild them though.
 

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bernmart said:
They're re-building the wheel, using the original 32-hole hub, and using new spokes and a Mavic rim.
Just a little advice... spring for butted spokes... and if the guys at your LBS are not "pros" at wheelbuilding, it might be a good time to learn to do it yourself.
 
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