14. How to Replace a Broken Spoke

Demonstrates a single spoke removal and installation.

IMPORTANT: Nuts and bolts on your bike should always be tightened to the manufacturer's specifications.
How to Replace a Broken Spoke
DVD Vol. 1 DVD Volume 1
This video is available on DVD

If you break a spoke on your wheel, the best thing to do is stop riding until you can get it repaired. However, sometimes you simply have to keep riding, in which case you can keep the broken spoke out of the way by twisting it around an adjacent spoke.

Spoke Removal

To replace the damaged spoke, first remove your wheel and then the tire, tube and rim tape. Then remove both ends of the damaged spoke and nipple. Spokes usually break either at the nipple or at the hub flange. If it's a rear wheel, you'll have to remove the cassette or freewheel first.

Spoke Installation

Insert the new spoke and gently flex it into place, using the other spokes as a guide. When installed properly, the spoke pattern should be consistent all the way around the wheel.

I personally recommend using linseed oil to lubricate the nipple threads before threading the nipple on to the spoke using a screwdriver or nipple driver.

Gently pre-bend the new spoke by pushing down on it at the hub flange, and then tighten the nipple using a spoke wrench until it has the same tension as the rest of the wheel. Check this by plucking the middle of the other spokes on the same side and then compare them to the sound of the new spoke. Now you can true the wheel as demonstrated in the last tutorial, and re-install your rim tape and tire.


Related Links

Discuss this topic in the Wheel Forums

10/10 Tyres keep popping off wheels...

Hello guys

Just bought a new pair of 700c hybrid wheelset with an inside rim width of 19mm. I have tried to fit schwalbe 700 x 40c tyres on them but the tyres just pop out from the rim when inflated. It seems to be a loose fit. Somebody please advise.

Thanks...

09/21 Mavic Crossroc wheel


I bought a wheel set of Mavic Crossroc. The rear hub came with a 12 X 135 set up, but I need to a 12 X 142 mm so I got some adaptors and I have disassembled the hub but I can't figure out how to remove the actual end cap on the axle. Do I have to remove them, if yes how ? If no do the 142 mm just slides over these caps ??

Thanks...

09/05 Rear Axle - tough pedaling

I removed my rear wheels on my single drive ancient Miami Sun trike, right rear bolts to bearing, left wheel has a nut on end of shaft ... I had the wheels trued, and tubes and tires replaced ... tires are .25 wider than original. Now when I try to ride it is quite a bit harder to pedal. Is there a proper tightness for the rear wheel axle nut ? or is the wider tire the culprit ? I just assume I did something slightly wrong ... Thanks... Read more >>

09/01 Replace or repair wheel?

Hello All,

I need some advice on whether to repair or replace my rear wheel. I have a decent single speed road bike that a friend built together for me. I let another friend borrow it, and he decided it was a good idea to ride 6 miles on a flat (lessen learned not to let people borrow your stuff). So in doing so, he busted a spoke, and bent the rim. I removed the busted spoke and got a new tube. Its rideable but the wheel wobbles a bit, not terrible but enough to be annoying. Im not an experienced mechanic so I was wondering if this is something that is worth taking to a bike shop... Read more >>

08/12 Fitting tubeless tyres on a rim?

Hi guys

Question for you cycle experts. Would tubeless tyres fit on a magnesium alloy wheel? Please see link below of 26" magnesium alloy wheels that i am interested in.


Thank you...

08/11 Remove Hub End Caps

How can I remove the hub end caps from my front wheel? The wheel is a 2014 TBC Revolution Trail 27.5 with 32 spokes. I tried pulling them off by hand and with a pair of pliers but was unsuccessful.

The reason I'm doing this is because I noticed movement when I grip the wheel and move it side to side. I suspect the hub bearings and would like to remove the caps to have closer look and possible replace the bearings.

Here are some pictures of the wheel and hub:

[Image: 2nvs56h.jpg]

07/30 What freehub do I have?

Hello to everyone,
I'm new to the forum and I want to congratulate with all of you for your excellent work! Now we can go to the serious stuff:

I'm not an expert of bikes and I'm trying to fix my old TREK. The freehub is broken so I decided to replace it. It was not easy but, finally, I removed it from the bike. Now I have two questions:

1) I'm not sure I removed it correctly because the back of the freehub is different from what I can see online
2) if I removed it correctly, can someone tell me what kind of freehub is this? I want to buy the replacement <... Read more >>

07/27 Replace Cassette with Freewheel

I have a road bike with a Shimano Tiagra, 12-25T cassette.  I have a freewheel that should provide higher power on top gears.  How would I go about removing the cassette and hub and installing the freewheel?
What exactly is needed?  Is it possible

Will swapping the cassette...

07/23 Started my 10 speed to 3 speed hub conversion from 27" to 26" wheels.

The rear wheels seems to fit fine. The spacing was perfect. Both wheels are off of  different Raleighs. The  rear brakes need changing. The bent 27" forks are being replaced with 26" forks. I serviced the bottom bracket and put a single chain drive and new peddles on as well. I think it will work but until it's finished, you never know for sure. There will be 4 or 5 pics. Will change the drop bars to flat bars, put a comfort seat on and see where it goes from there. If anyone has any advice I am interested in hearing it.

07/20 Swapping 27" wheels for 26" wheels.

I have a fairly nice Raleigh with a bad 27" front wheel. Too far gone for truing. I have a nice spare 26" wheel set.
Can I replace the 27"wheels with 26" wheels. I'm thinking the brakes pads would need to be move 1/2 inch and as the replacement rear 26" wheel is a 3 speed Shimano hub, their would be no dersillers to set up. Am I missing anything that would derail my plan?... Read more >>

07/20 Shimano 600 freewheel question.

I picked up Nishiki Custom Sport with what I think is a Shimano 600 freewheel. Odd set up. The freewheel has the axel bearings were the freewheel removal tool would normally go. the only adjustment on the free wheel side is a single nut which goes up against the bearing seal. I wondering if I am missing a part or is that the way it is supposed to be? anyone familiar with this setup?... Read more >>

07/13 Fitting Wrench on Nipple

Recently the front wheel on my 2012 Specialized Sirrus Sport became wobbly. I'm the kind of guy who would normally just take this to the shop to get trued by a professional, but I'm planning a long bike trip this Fall and decided I need to learn how to keep my wheels true myself. I went down to the bicycle dealer and bought two things: a triangle-shaped spoke wrench that fits three size nipples (0, 1, 2), and a $100 truing stand. I wanted to do this right.

I was not expecting the problem I ran into: I could fit the wrench (size 2) onto about 2/3rds of the spoke nipples, bu... Read more >>

06/30 How to choose the correct rim tape for my wheel?

Hi guys

Can anyone tell me how to choose the correct rim tape width for my wheel/rim? My wheel has an inside rim width of approx. 19mm. Would an 18mm wide rim tape thus be the ideal size for my wheel?

Thank you...

06/20 Will this work on 20" rim?


I want to buy a electric conversion kit for my bike but the smallest rear wheel that they supply is a 26"
rim. I asked if they can supply a 20" rim with spokes and the fella said he just sells them he dose not know if that is possible. If I do buy the 26" rear wheel can I change the rim and spokes for a 20" one?
and what size spokes would I need?
...

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