Taking SCARY out of used bikes, one bike at a time.

Broken Spokes. Spokes can fail for many reasons. But the most common is the rear-wheel-drive side underneath the cassette. The reason is that it has the most torque and has the highest stress from everyday riding.
To check for broken spoke is simple. Just squeeze each pair and go around the wheel. If there is any broken, they will pop out of place. Keep in mind sometimes they’re just missing, so look for gaps in the wheel where a spoke should be.

Reasons for broken spokes:

  • High tension on drive side over extended use.
  • Over tensioning over the years of being true. (if your mechanic doesn’t check the tension and only true by tightening)
  • Alloy ones can crack and break over time.
  • The impact of a crash. Etc.
The cost on average is around $2-$10 per spoke, and labor can range from $15-$25. Note: that’s if the wheel is stripped down. If you have a tubeless system, it will cost you more because, in order to get to the spoke nipple, the tire, tube, and rim strip need to be removed.
Also, when having a spoke replaced, it’s a good time to check if the rim tape needs to be replaced and the tires. If tubeless, you’ll have to redo the sealant anyway, so have the other wheel done as well, so you know when both wheels have had the sealant replaced.
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