How to Maintain and Replace Spokes

Posted by tan xiao yan on

The maintenance of bike spokes

Normally, the bike spokes don’t need much maintenance, because they don’t move or wear out. Therefore, all you need to do is to check them occasionally to make sure none are loose.

To check the spokes, you can pluck each one individually with your index finger and listen to the sound. The spokes on the wheel in true will all sound the same tone or note when you strum them. It seems difficult to understand, but if you try it, you’ll get it quickly. The loose one sounds a much lower not or will buzz, just like if you are plucking a guitar string with no tension in it.
Besides, turn your bike upside down or put it some way that you can spin the wheel and watch it turning freely from above. If the wheel seems to slither from side to side as it turns or rub against your brake pads, you’ll need to adjust spokes.
As well as the bike rim, spokes also need cleaning from time to time, especially after you have gone through a muddy road. Also, you need to check them to make sure there is not a bent one. If you find one or more, the spokes need repairing as soon as possible. So, here comes the question. Do you know how to change the bike spokes? Let’s figure it out together.

The replacement of bike spokes

The first thing you need to do is to remove the wheel from the bike, and then remove the tire from the wheel. If you don’t know how to remove wheels or tires, please refer to the previous articles for help.
Next, remove the rim tape and pull that off. You can use a flat blade screwdriver to help remove the rim tape. Insert the screwdriver under the rim tape and you can easily pull it off.
In order to remove the broken spoke, you’ll always need to remove the near spoke first, because the broken one is stuck by the near one. Spin the nipples off and take off the broken spoke.
The new spoke should be exactly the same length and diameter as the old one. To get the right size, you can take the whole wheel to the bike shop, or remove a good one to measure by.
Insert the head of the spoke into the empty hole in the hub and place it in the right place. Insert the nipple through the hole in the wheel rim and thread it carefully onto the end of the spoke. Use your hand to tighten the nipple; the spoke wrench is not necessary yet. Remember not to tighten the nipple for real.
Mark the spoke that you temporarily remove and the new one.
True the wheel, and pay attention to the two marked spokes. Adjust the nipples on these two spokes accordingly to see whether the wheel is spinning evenly. You may have to adjust other nipples to make the wheel spin evenly.