How to Repair a Spoke in a Bicycle Wheel

How to Repair a Spoke in a Bicycle Wheel
Keeping your wheels under you is the most important lesson any cyclist knows. They learn it the first time a wheel goes flat and they have to walk five miles home or they slide on ice and land on the hard ground. Keeping your spokes intact is one of the many ways you can keep your wheels under you.


Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • Spoke wrench
  • Replacement spokes
  • Wrench
Step 1
Determine if you need to replace one spoke or the whole wheel. If only one or two spokes are bent or broken you can easily replace them without worry. However, it is not suggested to try to replace a great number of spokes unless you have experience.
Step 2
Remove the accoutrement. If you're going to replace the spoke or two that are damaged, you will want to take the wheel off your bike. Following this, take the inner tube and tire off of the rim. Depending on the makeup of the wheel you may need to remove the inner freewheel sprocket. Mark the parts of the bike as you remove them so you can replace them exactly how you removed them.
Step 3
Replace the spoke. You should be able to slide the damaged spoke out easily enough and replace it with a new one. Take note of the side where the head of the spoke connects so that you can insert the new spoke exactly as the old spoke was. Attention to detail is very important because you don't want your spokes to give.
Step 4
Tighten the spoke with the spoke wrench. Tighten it up until it is taut. Check the surrounding spokes to make sure they are all of the same tightness. Make sure the nipple of the new spoke does not protrude or it may puncture the tube.
Step 5
Replace the wheel parts. This is another part where attention to detail comes in handy. Everything needs to go back exactly as you took it off or the bike may not roll as well as it did, even with a new spoke.

Article Written By Heather Broeker

Originally from North Carolina, Heather Broeker studied journalism and advertising at the University of North Carolina. After graduation she moved to Los Angeles, where she worked for Fox Searchlight, Fox Reality and later as a writer and marketing director. Broeker now lives in Los Angeles and runs Head Over Heels, a writing and public relations company.

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