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Cheap Bastard
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12 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hows it going. First post on this forum, but familiar with others. You can classify me as the noob with a cheap mountain bike. Anyway, when truing my wheels, I used the screwdriver tap and listen technique, and noticed that one of the spokes was plain dead. I tried tightening the spoke to give it tension, but it literally does nothing. The spoke is almost as "tight" as possible, and it has not tensed and does not make a difference to the truing of the wheel. Is this a common problem, and is there a fix other than to buy a bike over $800?
 

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Fat-tired Roadie
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18,453 Posts
When you say it's almost as tight as possible - do you mean you're having a hard time turning the spoke nipple, but tension's not increasing? That sounds like maybe a stripped thread. Your shop can sell you a new spoke nipple, or a new spoke, depending on what's stripped. It needs to be the right size, so take the wheel with you if you decide something needs to be replaced.

Breaking or stripping a spoke is not too uncommon, or too weird a problem.
 

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Cheap Bastard
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12 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the responses. I meant that when I have it tightened all the way, there is no tension on the spoke. For right now, I don't see it as being a problem. My wheel is true enough, and the dead spoke does nothing to untrue the wheel. I bought the bike as a whole, so I didn't put the spokes on. It could be possible that the factory put the wrong spoke on, but I doubt it because I do not believe it was dead when I bought it.
 

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Fat-tired Roadie
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18,453 Posts
If the spoke doesn't have tension on it, it'll go through tension-release cycles when you ride and break prematurely. That probably won't cause an accident or anything, but it's pretty bad for the other spokes.

Stupid question - did you remove the reflectors? Also, what rims do you have?
 

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Cheap Bastard
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12 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Weinmann Double Wall Alloy Rims, if they are still the same as when I bought it (2008). No, the reflectors are still there, and the reflector is on a different spoke. I enjoy being visible and staying safe (oxymoron in mountain biking). I'm humbled by the helpfulness of this forum. Thanks guys.
 

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Fat-tired Roadie
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18,453 Posts
I have a couple wheels built with Weinmann rims. They're about the cheapest rim on the market, or at least the cheapest that has a label. They don't build into a very good wheel, or at least not for me - it's very difficult to make them round, especially around the joint.

Are yours round? If you give them a spin in a truing stand, you might discover that your dead spot is actually closer to the hub than other parts of the rim. If you tighten up the spokes at the high spots, it could clear up the issue. It is possible to get an okay wheel from them, just not a brilliant one.

The reflectors don't have much effect on tension, but they do make it harder to tell what you're doing when you try to tune a wheel and they have a nasty tendency to break and leave garbage on the trail. If you want to be seen, front and back reflectors and blinky lights are great. Valve stem lights always look cool to me when I see them too.
 

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Cheap Bastard
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12 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks AndrwSwitch. Those are good suggestions for the reflectors. I don't have a truing stand, but I'll flip my bike over and try checking today.
 
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