How to Repair a Broken Bicycle Spoke

How to Repair a Broken Bicycle Spoke

This is a quick tutorial on changing a broken spoke on a bicycle.

This is my first repair-style video. I intend to make a series of repair videos as repairs on my bikes are needed. I hope this video is helpful, I love doing bike repairs!

Please let me know in the comment section if you have any questions, and I will do my best to answer them ASAP.

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The bike in this video I call ‘The 35’. I’ve used it almost every day for 2 years, including 2 Canadian winters. The amount of rust on the bike was caused from road salt, not abuse. I’ve kept the bike very well maintained, and it still rides as good as a brand new bike.

okay so in this video I'm going to show you how to change the Broken Spoke on a bicycle this is a mountain bike it's really the same for all bikes doesn't really matter okay so before we're going to do any work on this bike we'll talk about what causes a broken spoke and the signs and symptoms of having a Broken Spoke reasons there's basically three reasons that I can think of right now that may cause you to break a spoke first reason is maybe you're carrying too much weight too much load on your bike put strain on the extra strain on the spokes and causes one to break maybe another second reason is something maybe has come in contact with your with the inside of your wheel be it your foot or your or a stick or something that just sticks itself through there and breaks one of the spokes off that's actually what caused this one to break down here and the third reason that may cause you to brick spoke is if your truing your wheel and you're tightening up the spokes it may cause more of them to break the way you can tell you have a broken spoke first of all you can probably hear it dangling around down there and you'll also notice your wheel is almost immediately not straight and this one on this bike is really not straight you can see that next you see if you try and push this back it move very that's because you'll sort of trim it and to break that either again for the frame down there that so if you were to encounter a broken spoke while you're out on the trail it's good good idea to stop immediately and assess the problem obviously but you want to make sure that this spoke that's broken is not going to get caught in your derailleur because that has been known to cause derailers to get ripped right off and then you got to get a new derailleur and a whole bunch of new stuff so well I did when this problem occurred was I got the spoke and I just wrapped it around another spoke and that kept it from getting stuck in my derailleur depending on how it breaks you can sometimes I'll take the spoke right off and get it out of your way so that's not going to happen okay so the first step for repair is I take the wheel off I like to take the wheels off with the bike upside down okay now the wheels off the next step is to remove our cassette so we can get access to the inside of the hub where the new spoke goes through there's lots of different styles of cassettes they all have different ways of being removed this one uses the tool that looks like this cost me maybe fifteen dollars it's a good investment though I've used it many times so that goes in there like that the reason you need this is because Cosette tightens on tightens all and it just threads on but to thread it off you try and turn it this way it free wheels because that's how it works so you need this tool that goes inside so that you can turn this way the image top the vise you just put this tool on the advice and then you just turn this this way but I don't have a I don't have a vise so I'm going to use a wrench and side of the wall goes you get started it's always easy which comes plastic piece off I've actually got two spokes that are broken actually this is good because one of them is broken on the outside of the nipple and the other one is broken on the inside at the hub so I'll get to show you how to do both repairs so you first obviously start by removing the old spokes okay so these are the old spokes and these are the new ones it's important before you go any further to make sure that the new spokes you have are the same length as the old ones that were in the bike so they're going to fit so we'll just make sure and they are exactly the same length these I call them new spokes do not actually new there it is from an old rim that I had lying around so the spokes going into the hub follow a special pattern and that pattern goes circle stick circle stick so you want to follow that pattern when you're going through as best you can this one here is going to be a stick which means that the spoke needs to come through the back and go through to be a stick and that pattern also shows us that after a spoke comes out of the front like this one where you're doing is going to be it's going to go over top of this one over top of this one and then under this one so our spoke up here is going to go over top of this one over top of this one but under that one like this just like that – right where our nipple is so the reason you don't have to take off the spoke for this one is that it just fits right into the nipple like that and then you just got to tighten that one up so after you've got the spoke in the nipple you want to just tighten it up a little bit I'm going to leave it so there's lots of threads showing because when we're finished we're going to true the wheel a little bit but since the wheel was already true before it should go pretty much right back to true just by tightening the two that were broken so I just wanted to be able to see you which were the two that were broken so I'm just going to leave that one like that and now we'll proceed to fixing the other one the reason you need to take the tire off is because what actually broke here was not spoke it was the nipple and there's still a piece of the nipple right there so we need to get that nipple out and put a new nipple in so obviously you remove the air from the tire by pressing on the valve then you remove the tire the next step is we got to take that old nipple oh there it is right there that's where it was so we look behind the little rubber strip that's in there and there it is it's a little broken off nipple that's what a good nipple should look like so just broke right at the end there so now we remove the rubber strip again and put the new nipple in just like that cover it back up then you get your smokin just do the same pattern you did before so now I'm going to put the tire back on we've also got to put the freewheel back on as well like that don't make us sell tightenings when you pedal okay so now when I turn my wheel you can see that there's one spot where it's really not straight that's where those two loose spokes are so now we're going to go and tighten those up so that they're as tight as everywhere else and it's loose try it again so now we're going to tighten up those two spokes where the threads were still showing and we're going to vary the tightness so that the wheel is straight again there's one so that it's just barely tight and then we do the other one so it's just fairly tight and then we're going to add more tension until they're straight I'm going to use my brake pads to judge the house centered the wheel is so right here it's pretty pretty well centered when I get to there it's not centered at all so we're going to tighten it until it is centered by putting even amount of tension on the two strokes that I broke so I then after you're satisfied with how true the wheel is I just got to put air back in the tire and you're good to go back on the road so I hope this video is helpful and thanks for watching

38 thoughts on “How to Repair a Broken Bicycle Spoke

  1. Where do you buy the spokes specific to your bike and do you have to cut them to size or do they come in specific sizes?

  2. How immediate is a broken spoke fix? Decommission the bike until fixed? I worry about "tacoing" the tire by continuing to ride.

  3. great info.. regarding removing cassette will I need to buy chain whip to remove cassette as in video you pressing wheel against the wall seems to have done the trick

  4. The guy at the repair shop told me I need to buy a new wheel because I had 6 busted spokes. Do you think that it would be worth trying to fix?

  5. and the 4th reason why you may have a broken spoke is because somebody kicked in your spokes while it was locked up.
    Thanks for posting this. Helpful.

  6. Thank God I broke a spoke on my front wheel…So much easier to replace it compared to the ones on the back. o/ I might even spare myself some cash by goin on my uni campus and looking around for some abandoned bicycles. The amount of those is amazing. XD

    You're awesome for sharing all these easy to follow tutorials. Last year I had to replace my freewheel (your video), this year I had to replace the axle (your video…again!) and now I broke a spoke on my front wheel – will give this a go tomorrow after I look for a new spoke. I would give you a sloppy kiss but since I'm a dude and also you are pretty far away, I shall restrain myself and just give you a big, fat THANK YOU!

  7. Thanks CJ! Now I know how I can save $25 at the bike shop. I just broke another spoke this past week on  my hybrid bike. I ride a combination of rail trails and bumpy/potholey streets on my daily commute to work. After this last one, I am thinking a heavier duty set of rims is going to be a must. I broke a different one last summer, really messed up my rear rim, and I had to hike 3 miles to work that day pushing my bike, haha.

  8. What psi should I inflate my tires to, I have a cheap non suspension bike with 26" wheels. What psi do you use out of interest, thanks.

  9. Can pot holes or an overweight rider (260 lbs) break the spokes? I was changing a flat then a slightly squeezed adjacent spokes to check then tension then one of the spokes broke off.

  10. Heading to the bike store to pick up a spoke now. Thanks for the how-to. It'll probably save me somewhere in the neighborhood of $26.50 for having a bike mechanic do it.

  11. You are generous to share this info. It was very helpful to me. I used it to fix my bike on my own. Thank you.

  12. What to do if nipple went out off rim? My rims are made of aluminum. Probably when truing I tensed one spoke too much in relation to other.
    Spoke bent because was cought in cassette and broke chain, even worse bent jockey wheel cage plate. Can that single spoke be reused and how to repair hole in rim?

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