Things Fall Apart Apr 14, 2014

Things Fall Apart-2

Sometimes, your wheels get dented or damaged beyond repair. That happened to Kyle while we were riding in Los Angeles back in January on his Stinner Mudfoot cross bike. I liked the way these three photos turned out from the aftermath.

Things Fall Apart-1

Things Fall Apart-3

More Recent Roll posts coming from Los Angeles and beyond!

Tools of the trade:
Mamiya 7ii / 80mm
Kodak Porta 400

  • Chris

    Why not reuse the spokes? Great shots anyway.

    • There’s no point in re-using two-year old spokes…

      • boomforeal

        why not?

        • They fatigue, the threads get beaten up. The wheels will last longer… When you ride a cross bike on trails, they get damaged, bent, scratched. It’s better to re-lace new rims to new spokes. By the time you unlace the wheel, replace damaged spokes and re-lace it, you could have just cut it all apart and built the wheel already.

          Just my 2 cents.


          • boomforeal

            how many wheels have you built/rebuilt, with new/used spokes?

          • My apologies for not being more clear: these are off-road wheels. Not road-specific / around town wheels. Every single wheelset I own that sees nothing but dirt are all trashed, specifically at the spokes. Spokes do fatigue. They lose their tensile strength, like all metals. My cross and MTB wheels all have spokes that are scraped, bent and the last thing I want to do is reuse busted spokes on a new wheel.

            Road wheels / commuter wheels / track – fixed – urban stuff, sure. I don’t doubt you can re-use them, but If I take my MTB wheels to my shop and ask them to reuse my spokes, they’d laugh at me.


          • boomforeal

            oh i wasn’t confused about whether the wheels were being used off or on road

            my offroad rims see a fair amount of abuse, but i admit to being at a loss re. how you manage to continually wreak such havoc on your spokes… maybe you should try crashing less?

            spokes only fatigue if you are running too little or too much spoke tension on your wheels. a properly built wheel won’t lose tension, and your spokes should last much longer than your rims, even if you are thrashing wheels, unless you are using superlight/junk spokes – in which case you might want to reconsider what you are using

            from experience riding cross bikes, touring bikes, mountain bikes, and wrenching and teaching mechanics in some places that are pretty damn rough on bikes and where people are very low on funds: unless it is conspicuously damaged, there’s no harm in re-using a spoke. if you aren’t reusing them because you are worried about your mechanics laughing at you, well, first world problems

          • Hey man, when you live in very rocky places, rocks hit your wheels. You’re speaking from your experiences and I’m speaking from mine. No reason to be unnecessarily accusatory.

            My mechanics would “laugh” because my spokes are fucked up, bro.

          • boomforeal

            you need to come up and ride the shore :-)

          • Yeah, because I like riding with people who are passively back-handed in their commentary…

            Oh wait. I was just being passive aggressive.


          • boomforeal

            that was a suggestion, not an invitation

          • Tell Morgan I said hello.

          • boomforeal

            will do

          • Jimmy Zwaagman

            Spokes do fatigue bro, read the gert schrainer ( May have spelt that wrong) and educate yourself before you call people out

          • boomforeal

            the question, raymond, was how many wheels have you built/rebuilt. i didn’t call anyone out. i simply asked john to back up his assertions, and offered some of my on based on relevant research and experience

            and i’m not your bro, buddy

          • Bicycle Tech

            Spokes do fatigue. I could assert some authority here with the thousands of wheels I have built but instead I will quote some body who knows much more than I do. On page 31 of “The Bicycle Wheel” Jobst Brandt says: “Spoke fatigue is caused by the combination of static load, the carried load, the distance traveled, and the number of spokes that share the work. The heavier the load, the more rapidly the spokes fatigue.” You could try arguing with Jobst Brandt about wheels but you would lose.

            Now there are some instances where I will reuse spokes for a lightly used wheel, but reusing heavily used 2-year-old spokes is a fool’s errand.

          • boomforeal

            undone by jobst. i stand corrected, and educated

          • After that extensive and exhausting back and forth, turns out you were wrong. Maybe next time, you’ll use a little more tact when you comment.

        • Sara DB

          At 50 cent per spoke (on cost), it’s really not much of a waste. As well, I’ve found many dozens of things to do with used spokes, clipped or whole. My favorite for the clipped ends: sharpen one end enough to penetrate drywall, bend one end to a hook-like shape – stick sharp end in wall and hang a cap on the hook end. See? Clipping doesn’t always mean waste!
          (to be fair, the above tip is much easier with a baby vice, bench grinder and a needle-nose – but there are so many things you can do with left over stainless thin gauge wire like spokes!)

          • boomforeal

            like building wheels ;-)

  • Spencer Brown

    Love these photos together!

  • Goog Smells

    I’ve read that cutting spokes can damage the hub/rim, and therefore it is best to take the time to unlace the whole wheel. Is that total hogwash?

    Also, I still can’t get over how great those Mudfoot bikes look.

    • Adam Miller

      Theoretically, maybe? Because you’re de-tensioning much faster than you would by removing each spoke nipple one by one. What does Jobst Brandt say?

      I wouldn’t worry about it. At the most, maybe I would cut opposite spokes (i.e., 12 o’ clock, 6 o’ clock, 3 o’ clock, 9 o’ clock, and so on) so as to distribute the de-stressing around the entire wheel rather than concentrating it in one place (I can’t tell how Kyle is cutting the spokes based on the pictures).

    • boomforeal

      if you are planning to reuse the rim, its definitely wise to de-tension gradually rather than cutting spokes. same is likely true for superlightweight hubs. extreme changes/ranges in tension is hard on all wheel components

      • Agreed!

      • Goog Smells

        Thanks! Cutting them at least makes for a great photo.