How to Replace a Broken Spoke

robrob

Member
Replacing a Broken Spoke

I found a second broken spoke on the rear non-drive side (brake disc side) of my Pace 500. The first broken spoke came about 6 months and 400 miles ago. I was able to replace this one without removing the wheel, tire tube or the brake disc which I did last time. Here's how I did it:

Caution: If part of the spoke is still in the spoke nipple (silver part at the rim) do not unscrew the spoke from the nipple until you're doing the repair because the nipple will fall into the rim and then you'll have to remove the wheel, tube and tire to get it back out.

If the nipple has fallen into the rim you’ll have to pull the tube Schrader valve out of its hole and turn the wheel until the nipple falls out of the hole.

Start by deflating the tire and removing the Schrader valve core to completely deflate the tube. Rotate the tire so the broken spoke is high and to the rear for easy access. Keeping the broken spoke high will prevent the nipple from falling down into the rim.

Remove the old spoke at the hub and thread the new spoke into the hub. Pay attention to the spoke pattern—at the hub the spokes alternate, being threaded from the inside and outside.
I was able to thread the new spoke in by running it through a large hole in the brake disc between the braking surface and the hub.

At the broken spoke pull the tire and tube off to the side of the rim. I had to use a plastic tire iron to get the tire off the rim enough to get access to the spoke nipple (see picture).

Slide the rim tape off to the side so you can see into the rim nipplehole. Use the broken spoke to hold the nipple in place. Thread into the nipple from the outside of the rim (see picture). This will allow you to control the nipple so you can lift it enough to thread the nippleonto the new spoke. Once you get the new spoke threaded into the nipple, hold the nipple and unscrew the old spoke you used to control the nipple. Screw the new spoke into the nipple as far as you can by hand.

Put the rim tape back in place and push the tire and tube back into place.

Install the Schrader valve core and inflate the tire.

Tighten the new spoke to match its surrounding spokes.

The Pace 350 & 500 use 13 gauge steel, black, j-bend spokes. I have heard that newer Pace 500s have 12 gauge spokes in the rear. 13 gauge round steel spokes are 2.3mm id diameter, 12 are thicker at 2.6mm. The Aventon Level rear wheel uses the thicker 12 gauge steel spokes. It’s best to get replacement spokes from Aventon but a bike shop can custom make correct size and length spokes. The shop may have to order the blank spokes and then cut them to size and thread them.

The picture shows the old spoke outside the wheel threaded into the outside of the nipple, the new spoke installed and threaded into the inside of the nipple, a plastic tire iron holding the tire and tube off to the side of the wheel and the yellow rim tape moved to the side:
Replace_Spoke_Pace.jpg
 
Last edited:

fooferdoggie

Well-Known Member
if you have had two broken spokes the wheel really needs to be rebuilt. otherwise its a good chance it will just keep having issues.
 

Rondak46

New Member
I am willing to replace them all. If anyone finds a source for the rear 12 ga. spoke replacements, please post a link.
 

J.R.

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
I am willing to replace them all. If anyone finds a source for the rear 12 ga. spoke replacements, please post a link.
Are they really 12 gauge? That's the thickest spoke I've heard of on an ebike. Maybe that's a new thing now. Most mid drive are 14g and hub drive 13g. There are many offerings on Ebay for 12g, a lot of mopeds use 12g. Unicycles often use 12g, I've seen unicycle parts suppliers advertise them. What length spoke do you need?
 

Rondak46

New Member
Are they really 12 gauge? That's the thickest spoke I've heard of on an ebike. Maybe that's a new thing now. Most mid drive are 14g and hub drive 13g. There are many offerings on Ebay for 12g, a lot of mopeds use 12g. Unicycles often use 12g, I've seen unicycle parts suppliers advertise them. What length spoke do you need?

Thanks for the reply. I don’t know how long they are. I just discovered the broken spoke and I am just now looking into it.
 

J.R.

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
Thanks for the reply. I don’t know how long they are. I just discovered the broken spoke and I am just now looking into it.
I've had one spoke break recently. Picked up a few from a local shop. Mine were 13g, 2.3mm. 14g are 2.2mm. 12 gauge are fairly thick at 2.6mm some sellers advertise 2.5XX.

To measure the length use a ruler that measures mm and measure from the inside of the J bend to the very end of the threaded end. You may need to remove a spoke to measure.

Whenever you replace a spoke you should always replace the nipple. The fine threads on both get distorted when you tension them, they tend to get a little cupped. Even riding the bike stresses them. When you thread a new spoke into a used nipple you'll notice it doesn't screw on easy and smooth. It's possible to damage the threads on both the new spoke and the old nipple, causing the connection to be weaker than it should be.

I saw this site for heavy gauge spokes.

 

Rondak46

New Member
I just measured it. The length is 192 mm to the break. I am guessing the the missing bend portion would add another 4 or 5 mm.
 
Last edited:

J.R.

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
It would be so much easier if bike manufacturers wrote one page of specifications when they source parts and include that with every bike. I had to measure my bike spokes too in order to get replacements. Seems like an obvious thing that should be available from the brand.
 

Rondak46

New Member
It would be so much easier if bike manufacturers wrote one page of specifications when they source parts and include that with every bike. I had to measure my bike spokes too in order to get replacements. Seems like an obvious thing that should be available from the brand.

Absolutely. What-with the spoke issues on the Level,.. you’d think there would be a part available on their page. Hopefully the community will be able to provide links to replacements. I’ll post if I find one. J.R., thanks for the engagement on this thread.
 

Rondak46

New Member

So, that site is the company’s old site. The new site is https://mbrebel.com and I talked to the owner, Lynne, who is quite knowledgeable. I ordered 11 and 12 Ga. spokes. I’ll let y’all know how it works out. If the 11 Ga. spokes work, I will consider rebuilding my rear with them.

One thing that she noted is that the hub spoke holes may have sharp, non chamfered, non radiused edges (sharp) which may be breaking the spoke. This makes sense to me.
 

robrob

Member
The Pace 500 rear spokes are: drive side spoke, 198 mm. non-drive side 199 mm. 13g is the thickness.

The Level rear wheel does have thicker 12 gauge spokes but they are probably the same length as the Pace 500 because I believe they use the same hub motor and rim.

I don't know the specs of either front wheel but I have not heard of anyone breaking a spoke in the front wheel.
 
Last edited:

Bigal1463

Well-Known Member
Good luck Alex, I hope they do, but there are other sources, like another company that sells Aventon products. I purchased mine online at Bike Berry in California, when Aventon didn’t have a bike in stock.
 

TxAventon

New Member
Thanks for the details Robrob. I found your post too late, as I just noticed my first broken spoke this morning before my ride. Since I did not want to wait for days before riding again, I removed the spoke and the nipple promptly feel into the wheel. :-(

I did not have any issues on my ride, but I am wondering how long it will last rattling around in there. I tried to order a black 13 gauge 198 mm spoke today, but I was not able to find a site that lists one for sale. Aventon is sold out and none of the other web sites showed 13 gauge black spokes. (I do not want to use a silver one) My LBS takes off Thursdays during the Pandemic to build and restock their bikes that are selling like hotcakes. I will reach out to them in the morning, but I might have to use one of web sites listed above to find a replacement spoke.

Thanks again!