My riding has been a little sporadic lately. I’ve gotten two or three early morning rides during the week but nothing consistent. I could make the typical excuses – I’m tired, sick, need the rest, blah, blah, blah. I’ll save my breath and your time.

Great Day For A Ride

I hit the road on Saturday for a planned 20 mile ride but only ended up getting about 12 in. It was a beautiful morning for a ride with the skies partly cloudy and the temps in the mid 60s. Just an awesome morning to be out for a ride. And I felt pretty good too. A perfect recipe for problems.

Until The ‘Twang’

At about the six mile point I’m riding along and I hear a ‘Twang’ followed by the sound of a metallic object bouncing on the road. I immediately pull over and start walking back to where the sound occurred to see if I could see what the object was. I see it and immediately recognize it as a spoke. I look at my rear wheel and found where it came from. Now I could either call the SAG WagonSAG wagon: Support motor vehicle following long races or recreational rides to pick up riders unable to complete the event. In other words, I'd have to call my wife. or try and make it home. I decided to ride a little bit and see how it went. I didn’t ride hard the last six miles home and the wheel held up just fine.

Cycling Tip: If your broken spoke is still attached to the rim, just bend it over and wrap it around an adjacent spoke. This gets the broken spoke out of the way so the wheel can turn freely and you can try to limp home. My spoke was a straight pull spoke that broke at the nipple so it came away cleanly.

Then A Trip To The LBS

Later in the afternoon I took my rear wheel into the Local Bike Shop (LBS) to have the spoke replaced. $31 later (including a wheel truing) and I’m ready to ride on Monday. Luckily, they don’t stock the spokes I need the same way they stock cycling clothes I need. That’s me saying they don’t stock clothing for cyclists unless you’re the size of my 18-year old daughter. But I digress.

Overweight Cyclists and Wheels

Surprisingly, this is the first broken spoke I’ve ever experienced. With me being an overweight cyclist, I’ve had my share of wheel issues but never a broken spoke. Being overweight we put a lot of stress on the wheels of our bikes and they need to be beefy (sorry) enough to withstand it. My old Cannondale gave me problems because my weight and the rim design (box style) didn’t work too good together. I routinely had loose spokes and had to keep an eye on them. Eventually, it was a rim problem that lead me to retire that old bike. The rims were old and I was too fat. My new (used) bike has a mid-V rim cross section that lets it withstand the stress I put on it a little better. I have a post planned in the future specifically discussing road bike wheels and overweight cyclists.

Now, how many of you have experienced broken spokes?

PHOTOC: mitsukuni