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Discussion Starter #1
Hello All, I am having non drive side spokes loosening all the time. I also had a lot of non drive spokes poping at the head with a cheaper sert of wheels. This is mainly happening on 700 road wheels, 23 c rims with 25 c tires. I am a bigger rider 250 - 265 lbs the wheels were always 3x both sides. Any advise, perhaps on a better build? I hear radial on non drive could be the way to go. I am sick of having to retune wheels after every ride. I have built several 3 x mountain wheels with no issues.
 

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wheelbuilder
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I don't know your assembling and truing procedures. Spokes loosening up is a sign of a poor build one way or another. Either the components are not appropriate or the building procedures are incorrect. Check for proper spoke length. If the tension is right, the spokes should be flush with the top of the nipples. What parts are you using? For you weight I recommend (as would many others) 36 spokes both front and rear if you are using traditional rims like and Open Pro. If you are using a deeper profile like Velocity Deep Vs, you could get away with 32 spokes. More information would help diagnose you problem. Give us your building methods and components used.

-Eric
 

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The spokes were probably not stress relieved, and they may also be too loose. You don't say the rim and # of spokes or the spoke gauge...that info would be helpful.

For a big guy I'd recommend a sturdy rim, probably 36 spokes, 2.3/1.8/2.0 or 2.0/1.7/2.0 on the drive side and 2.0/1.5/2.0 on the non-drive side... tension on the drive spokes at least 100kg.
 

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Say "nuke-u-lar"
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Bennythepitbull! Same thing I said on mtbr, you need to provide all the specifics of your wheel build before anyone can really comment; 3x is generally stronger than radial.
 

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I had a set of 32 spoke wheels that were always coming loose... I tied them together where they cross, and didn't have any more problems.
I used a light wire, but I've heard tell of folks welding them, which is even stronger.
 

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The reason your breaking spokes. Is there is spoke play between the hub and the j bend. Everytime you load and unload a spoke. ie bump in the rode. You slam the j-bend part into the hub. This then cold forges, I really say cold slams- the j-bend, It then becomes very brittel and then breaks. YOU need spoke washers!!!!
I dont understand why tactile play is never discussed here in these forums. Its really one on the most overlooked part of the wheel build. Spoke washer are worth their weight in gold!!! I used to also break spokes. PS when i weighed 160 lbs, now im 200 lbs Put spoke washer on all my wheels now. I think the biggest thing I notice was my wheel feel snappier.
Is your tension 100kgf? Low tension can cause problems.
I did a test. cheapest spokes i could find. From a walmart bike. Cheap rime and hub. I rebuilt it. Its never broken a spoke and I havent had to retrue it at all.
 

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purplecu22 said:
The reason your breaking spokes. Is there is spoke play between the hub and the j bend. Everytime you load and unload a spoke. ie bump in the rode. You slam the j-bend part into the hub. This then cold forges, I really say cold slams- the j-bend, It then becomes very brittel and then breaks. YOU need spoke washers!!!!
I dont understand why tactile play is never discussed here in these forums. Its really one on the most overlooked part of the wheel build. Spoke washer are worth their weight in gold!!! I used to also break spokes. PS when i weighed 160 lbs, now im 200 lbs Put spoke washer on all my wheels now. I think the biggest thing I notice was my wheel feel snappier.
Is your tension 100kgf? Low tension can cause problems.
I did a test. cheapest spokes i could find. From a walmart bike. Cheap rime and hub. I rebuilt it. Its never broken a spoke and I havent had to retrue it at all.
You are right about the merits of spokes washers. However, they are not needed on every build. They are recommended when the spoke holes in the flange are larger than 2.3mm and always if you are using spokes with 1.8mm ends. I've built Campy hubs with spoke washers and without and the fit is just fine without. Washers don't hurt a build, but sometimes the fit is so tight that the washers spit when bringing the spokes to tension.

The spoke will only "slam" the j-bend into the hubs if the tension is low enough to allow for spokes to go slack. Max tension is usually determined by the rim strength, but I know of at least one hub that has a max tension rating of 102kgf. That is a conservative number and is known to be lower that real life results from wheel builders using these hubs. Most rims can handle 110kgf. At those tensions, you still need the correct amount of spokes to insure spokes are not going slack in impact. More spokes does mean more durability all thing being equal. More spokes make a stiffer wheel and one that can handle higher loads.

-Eric
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
sorry and here is the info

The rims are mavic open pro the hubs are Tiagra front and rear both are 32 DT straight g spokes in a 3 x pattern. the rims are 23 c with hutchinson carbon comp 25c tire.



Thanks for the advice and help everone!

If my bike help it is Scattante r550
 

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cookiethepitbull said:
The rims are mavic open pro the hubs are Tiagra front and rear both are 32 DT straight g spokes in a 3 x pattern.
It is a light rim with (probably) 14g spokes and you are a heavy guy... I'm not surprised they are coming loose! Even if you have 100kg on the drive side it's probably 60kg on the non-drive, and a 14g isn't stretched very far at that load. Since it is a light rim, it will bend in more at the bottom and the non-drive spokes can go completely slack when you hit a bump. To prevent this you want a stiff rim and light butted spokes which will stretch more and require a greater rim deflection before they go slack. You could try respoking them with the spokes I mentioned above, but I think they'd still be marginal for someone your size... a stiffer rim and 36 spokes on the back would be better.
 

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cookiethepitbull said:
Hello All, I am having non drive side spokes loosening all the time. I also had a lot of non drive spokes poping at the head with a cheaper sert of wheels. This is mainly happening on 700 road wheels, 23 c rims with 25 c tires. I am a bigger rider 250 - 265 lbs the wheels were always 3x both sides. Any advise, perhaps on a better build? I hear radial on non drive could be the way to go. I am sick of having to retune wheels after every ride. I have built several 3 x mountain wheels with no issues.
Just as another possibility, it could be your truing procedure. If you just true and don't retension, you will soon have uneven tension on the spokes and they will never stay tight. - TF
 

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Take a comprehensive approach

Lot’s of good advice already given in this thread. Here is my two cents: The real issue is that your are a bigger, heavier, and probably stronger person than the average rider. The loads on your rear wheel are enormous. Therefore, a relatively standard build like you describe (Mavic open pro 32 hole, 3 cross, DT straight gauge) is probably never going to be durable enough for you, no matter how expertly built. My advice as follows:

1. 36 holes, 3 cross, both front and rear.

2. Stiffer rims, some sort of deep V is probably called for. Do not go for weight savings, go for strength.

3. Do everything you can to equalize the tension on the drive and non-drive sides of the rear. The easiest way to do this is to get a hub that has a larger drive side flange than the non drive side. This works to equalize (between the two sides of the wheel) the angle at which the spokes leave the rim and effectively reduces the need to have the drive side at a greater tension. This in turn allows, you to increase the tension on the non-drive side and still maintain proper dish.

Bottom line, the real fix is probably a new set of wheels. I am sure the members of the board that are more expert than myself could recommend a parts list for the build strategy outlined above.

I realize that this is not the cheapest fix recommended but it does address the fundamental issues. If you do go this route, you can rebuild your current wheels and have them as a back-up set.
 

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Not entirely true

TurboTurtle said:
Just as another possibility, it could be your truing procedure. If you just true and don't retension, you will soon have uneven tension on the spokes and they will never stay tight. - TF
Unless the drive side spokes are also coming loose, the wheel is really not losing tension as per se. Non-drive side tension is completely determined by the drive side tension and dish. The NDS spokes are only brought to a tension that gives correct dish and trueness, once the DS spokes have been tensioned to the maximum amount the rim can handle.

To me it sounds like the wheel is undertensioned overall. Take the wheel to a good wheelbuilder. The DS tension probably needs to be increased. On the NDS, I would swap out the straight gauge spokes for a heavily butted spoke like the DT Revolution in 2.0/1.5/2.0. The relative elasticity of the lighter NDS spokes will help keep them from going slack during riding. If this does not cure the problems, then more spokes and/or heavier rim is required.
 

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cookiethepitbull said:
Seems like the spoke washers are the most cost effective Does anyone think that Tying & Soldering Spokes would help also ?

https://www.hammerpilot.com/media/tie_solder.jpg
Spoke washers are cheap... but they also won't solve your problem. I like spoke washers when 1.8mm ends are used... but I'm not sure they help even then.

Tying and soldering offers no benefit other than keeping a broken spoke from flopping around.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
thanks all

IN my investigation of this wheel it seems there may have been too much spoke prep ; it was like oosing, I am going to give the wheel a retuning and go with it from there.
If that does not work I am going with a mag wheel! For real!
 

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Nope

cookiethepitbull said:
IN my investigation of this wheel it seems there may have been too much spoke prep
Too much spoke prep (there is no such thing) does not cause spokes to loosen. The primary cause, as noted by other posters, is insufficient tension.
 

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Open pro rims can take a lot more than 100kgf. Suggest you increase the tension on all rear spokes. rruff (above) makes a good point. If you have only 100kgf on the drive side, you non-drive side spokes probably have less than 2/3rds that much in order to properly dish the wheel. If the Park Tool conversion chart is accurate I've had more than 150 kgf (Revolution spokes) on my Open Pro drive side spokes for years. Would not try that with straight gauge though. Point is 100 kgf on the drive side may not leave enough for the non-drive side.

Al
 

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Stogaguy said:
2. Stiffer rims, some sort of deep V is probably called for. Do not go for weight savings, go for strength.
While there are advantages to deep v rims for larger riders (and it is an option worth considering), I do not think that they are the only way to go. I weigh 240# (down from 270) and ride 30+ miles round trip to and from work on roads of highly variable quality on Sun CR18s. The most important thing is to get the drive side tenision high enough and as even as possible.

I would also agree with those that are recommending that you use a 36 spoke wheel, at least in the rear.
 

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cookiethepitbull said:
Seems like the spoke washers are the most cost effective ,


Does anyone think that Tying & Soldering Spokes would help also ?

https://www.hammerpilot.com/media/tie_solder.jpg

Using some Loctite 222 (note, I said Loctite 222, NOT 242, NOT 609, etc...) on the threads on the nipples will keep spokes from loosening.
 
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