Tip: Broken Spoke Repairs
My First Repair with FiberFix – Not very Neat But Worked
I’d like to say broken spokes are a rare occurrence but they don’t seem to be for me. Yes, they only seem to happen on loaded tours when I am far a local bike shop. Yes, the broken spoke is on the drive side of the rear wheel where I can’t get a replacement spoke in. Yes, there is usually some kind of warning and I’ve ignored it.
On my July tour, I woke up after a night of savage camping and a snack meal to find 2 broken spokes on the drive side of my rear wheel. This is not the way to start the second day of a tour. We were in Yelm, WA and not very close to a bike shop. The waring signs that the rear wheel had been damaged where there when I unpacked my bike in Renton but I was in denial.
In the past I have always carried spare spokes, but I have been unable to get the spoke size for my wheels from the folks at Longbikes so I decided to carry FiberFix Kevlar Spoke Replacement. I had never used them but the folks at Granite State Wheelmen and Harris Cyclery like them so what the heck.
Note: I had no problem removing the broken spokes because I had XT Cassettes which are open in the back. The Kevlar Spoke is then looped through the spoke hole.
I was really surprised by how well these work. You have to read the simple instructions carefully but they are very easy to install. If you do it right they are as good as spokes and have all the adjustment capability you will need to true your wheel. Just be careful they also have all of the downsides of real spokes if you over tighten them. I am not great at wheel truing and was very careful about over tightening. I got a acceptable repair that carried me loaded to Hood River (about 220 miles) where I replaced the damaged wheel.
I am very pleased with these little wonders and will carry several in my bike bag from now on. I also like the nifty little spoke wrench that comes with the kit. You can order FiberFix Replacement Spokes from Grannite State Wheelmen ($10, no shipping for club members – lots of good pictures at this site) or Harris Cyclery ($11.95).
The FiberFix Kevlar Replacement is a highly recommended addition to your Touring Took Kit. I always carry 2. They are small and light so carrying a few is no problem.