How Often do Bike Spokes Break? [avoid spokes breaking]

Sometimes it’s more difficult to detect a bike problem than fix it. Same for the bike spokes. They seem to be some thin cables. But every single spoke plays a vital role in the construction of the wheel.

So, the overall performance of the bike change whenever they break. But, as I said, sometimes, it’s difficult to identify a problem than fix it. As there are a large number of spokes, it’s tricky to say how often do bike spokes break.

As a result, a few spokes break at a time. Thus, the bent rim and wobbling wheel appear suddenly.

Anyways, let’s know how often the bike spokes break. By this, you can decide when and how to fix it. Let’s dig in.

How often do bike spokes break

How Often do Bike Spokes Break

Well, 5000 to 6000 miles of riding is an average duration on how often the bike spokes break.  But, some riders have completed around 20000 miles with a single pair of wheels. Where few riders get broken spokes even before completing 500 miles. So, you can’t say exactly how often do bike spokes break.

Anyways, some factors significantly influence the life span of bike spokes. Let’s talk about them.

1. Average Mileage: Whenever you get a new wheel, the brand guarantees an average mileage. For example, a bike wheel offers 3000 mileage.

It means the spokes or other components (hub) won’t wire out before completing a 3000-mile ride. If you know the average mileage of the wheel, you can assume how often do your bike spokes break.

2. Rider’s Weight: Don’t get me wrong, healthy mate. Your weight can decide how often do bike spokes break.

If your weight is more, the spokes will break more frequently, where riders with less weight can ride more distance with the same spokes.

3. Type of Terrain: How long do the bike spokes last. It depends on the surface you are riding on. For example, if you ride a road bike on the hill, spokes won’t last very long. 

Even they can break after a very first ride. Well, that’s just an example. I know you guys are smart enough to choose which bike is for which terrain.

Let’s know the average mileage of different types of bike wheels (if you ride them on a suitable surface).

BikeSpoke StrengthAverage Mileage

4. Spoke Count: High-end wheels offer a larger number of spokes on their rims. That’s why the gap among the spokes is less here.

So, the pressure on each spoke gets too low, and the bike spokes break less often. Other hands, lower-end wheels feature fewer spokes on the rim.

How to avoid bike spokes break

How to avoid bike spokes break

Now you know how often do the bike spokes break. Again it’s totally theoretical. You can exceed the average mileage of a bike wheel if you take proper care of the spokes. So, follow these below tips to avoid bike spokes breaks.

  1. Ensure Uniform Tension: Most of the time, bike spokes break due to uneven tension around the rim. When the tension is not uniform, an imbalanced pressure appears through the wheel. Thus, spokes break from one side where pressure is higher. So, you must ensure uniform spoke tension on all around the rim. How? I will describe this in the next section.
  1. Keep Spokes from Rust: It’s easy to understand how spokes get weak due to rust. Actually, rust-free spokes last 3 times longer than rusty spokes. So, it’s mandatory to keep the spokes from rust to extend their life span. For that, keep the spokes clean and away from moisture. Also, apply rust remover wherever rust appears on them.

How to fix bike spokes break

Even after you take all the preventive steps, spokes will break after average mileage. So, you will need to replace them.

Also, adjust the spoke tension so that the spokes don’t break too early next time. However, before you start, you will need some tools ready. Let list them first.

After getting all the essentials, you are ready to go.

Step-1: Replace the spokes

bike wheel webbing fix

You will need some Spare Spokes for the job. Before you get some, know the diameter of the wheel. Also, consider the diameter of the spoke hole. Then, get the spokes accordingly.

  1. Firstly, remove the wheel from the bike. Loosen the quick release and uninstall the axle nut. Then take the wheel out. Also, remove the freewheel if it’s the rear wheel.
  1. Secondly, separate the tire tube from the rim. For that, open the valve and let the air come out. After deflating the tire get some tire levers and separate the tire tube from the rim.
  1. Thirdly, identify the broken spokes. For that, set the wheel to a wheel repair stand. Then grab a couple of spokes at a time and squeeze them. If the spokes’ heads come out of the rim, immediately remove them. Do it with all the spokes until no spoke left.
  1. Finally, replace the exhausted spokes with the new ones. First, insert the spoke in the spoke hole of the hub. Now, insert it in the spoke hole of the rim. Then, tighten the spoke nut, but don’t overtighten it.

Step-2: Adjust spokes’ tension

After replacing the spokes, it’s time to adjust their tension. It’s a crucial task to do. If you don’t want spokes to be broken again, maintain an optimum spoke tension. Also, make sure the tension is uniform all around the rim. Anyways, let’s go step by step to adjust the spoke tension.

  1. Firstly, set the wheel up. Before that, remove the rim strip. Now, keep the wheel on the wheel repair stand. Then, set the stationary indicator. In the following steps, you just have to tighten or loosen the spoke nipples. However, lubricate the nipples if they are stuck due to rust.
  1. Secondly, perform lateral truing. First, bring the indicator pins close to the sidewall of the rim. Then, rotate the wheel and observe where the rim is supposed to be touched the indicators. Decrease the gap until the rim touches the indicator. If it touches the left indicator pin, tighten the right-sided spokes. Tighten the right-sided spokes if it’s rubbing on the left side of the indicator. Repeat it until the wheel gets true.
  1. Thirdly, true the bike wheel radially. First, bring the indicator close to the down wall of the rim. Then identify the high spots and low spots by rotating the wheel. Tighten the spokes on the high spots and loosen on the low spot. Do it until the wheel becomes round.
  1. Finally, create uniform spoke tension through the rim. For determining the tension, grab and squeeze the spokes. Wherever you find an inconsistency, loosen or tighten the nipples. For example, if the spokes are too hard to squeeze, loosen the nipples a little bit. Tighten the nipples if the spokes are too easy to squeeze. Repeat it until the tension is uniform all around the rim.

Frequently Asked Questions about Bike Spokes

Is it normal for spokes to break?

Bike spokes have a certain lifespan. If the lifespan exceeds and the spokes break, it’s normal. But, when the spokes broke before the average mileage, it’s not normal. It’s an indication that there is a problem with the bike wheel. Take care of the wheels to avoid frequent spokes break.

Why does my bike keep breaking spokes?

Well, bike spokes break because of rust or uneven tension. These problems will occur when you don’t maintain them properly. Besides, the spokes can wear or tear due to carrying overweight. Whenever your weight exceeds the capacity of the wheel, spokes will break.

How much does it cost to fix bike spokes?

If you want it to be done by professionals, it will cost at least 1-1.5 USD for each spoke. But you can do it in one-third of the cost if you get a DIY solution. However, it will cost a few bucks for the initial setup. But, for next time, it will only cost the price of the spokes.


A bike wheel is constructed with a tire tube, rim, hub, and spokes. The hub holds the rim through spokes. All the pressure of the wheel is distributed equally through them. Thus, the wheel stays straight while riding.

But, when bike spokes break from random positions, the pressure doesn’t remain uniform through the rim. As a result,  the wheel started wobbling. 

However, straight and bent-free wheels are a must to ride efficiently. Moreover, a bent wheel can lead you to accidents. So, you must fix the problem to keep the wheel straight.

Anyways, know how often do bike spokes break. Then get a fix when it occurs. Also, take some preventive steps so that the problem doesn’t arise too frequently.

That’s it for today.


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