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Very loose rear spokes. Safe to ride?

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I have been getting what felt like a little shimmy on the bike at slow speeds, and felt it again today on my ride in to work. After I parked it I poked around a little, and found there's side to side play in my rear rim. At first I thought it might be bearings, but it's because the rear spokes are so loose. I can literally grab the tire, and move the rim side to side. I can see the spoke heads moving in the hub.

So, is it safe to ride home? Is it safe to ride over to my girl's and then ride home like I had planned?

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No! I would not ride it like that. The how to section has a thread on tightening spokes.

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I wouldn't. You're risking damage to the rear wheel and possibly yourself if you keep riding it like that. You need to get that wheel trued back up asap. If you have no other option but to ride it, be ginger with the throttle.

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If you fail to have them tightened, nnot only will it ruin the hub and rim but the wheel chould completely fail when riding and result in a nasty crash. Get your bike serviced!

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I think the plan is to gently ride the bike straight to the shop from work. It'll be about 10 miles and 30 minutes.

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I think the plan is to gently ride the bike straight to the shop from work. It'll be about 10 miles and 30 minutes.

Are you still alive?

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I've rode on loose spokes before. Not that I wanted to but I had to get home. Just stay easy on throttle to brake transitions and vice versa. When your on the throttle the spokes will be tight and the rim will be true because of that thing called centrifugal force. Its when you get off the gas and on the brake when they loosen back up again. Be safe and get it fixed right!

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I had the same thing happen to me on my wife's TTR230 about a week ago. I never ride it, so I didn't realize they were loose. I'd been letting friends ride it the last few months and nobody seemed to notice anything unusual. And to be honest, it wasn't getting maintained as well as it should have so I didn't notice either. After the last ride, I wheeled it into the garage, and noticed the front end was a bit wobbly. I assumed it was the bearings as well, and decided to take a better look in the morning. Checked the wheel again the next day, and realized my front wheel axle nut was loose! :smashpc: Checked the rear and found the rear wheel had loose spokes allowing me to move the rear wheel from side to side. I removed the wheel and tightened the spokes enough to get the wheel tight enough to not move side to side, then I'll take the wheel in to get trued up. I'd at least tighten the spokes enough to keep the wheel from moving side to side before riding it in. My wife's TTR230 is just a trail bike that gets ridden at low speeds on the trail, but if I had to take a bike at high speeds on pavement, I'd be leary.

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I'm alive!!!

Glad to hear it! Out of curiousity, how much did it cost to true the rim?

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I decided to give it a quick try, and it ended up being a lot easier than I thought. I ended up going around the wheel four times before all the spokes had a nice "ping" to them. There's a slight side to side hope in the wheel, but it's not enough to worry about.

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I'm alive!!!
👍

Consider getting a spoke torque wrench. They're not too pricey but are well worth the money. Use one to check your spoke torques once a season :smashpc:

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