electric bike spokes

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Why do spokes break?
Spokes are made from very strong steel and don't normally break.
Lots of people ride bikes for years without seeing a broken spoke.
On electric bikes, the spokes are twice as strong as on normal bikes, and yet, broken spokes happen to some riders and not others. So why?
The reason: you ride a lot faster with an electric bike than with a normal bike.
So when you brake hard, your inertia may pull the heads of the spokes off, especially if you are fairly heavy (sorry..).
Your weight may be spread out on the wheels but the braking forces concentrate directly on the spoke where the brake pads make contact with the rim.
The rotational inertia of the heavy motor also adds to the stresses.


What can you do to stop spokes from breaking?
Brake more progressively.
Keep your tyres well inflated to spread out the stresses evenly.
Keep your spokes evenly tensioned (taunt but still have a little flex) so that when braking hard, the immediate spoke can still yield a little and shares the stresses with its neighbours.
Disc brakes are kinder on spokes.


Wheel maintenance


The objective of wheel maintenance is to keep the wheel as round as possible, with its spokes even tensioned and of course, well pumped up. Keeping the tyres well inflated is the best way to prevent damage to the rim and spokes and contributes to lower battery consumption. The correct pressure you need to keep your wheel inflated is imprinted on the sidewall of the tyres. It is between 45 psi to 65 psi for all Woosh bikes. For comfort, you should use two handed trackside foot pump. If you don't have a pressure gauge on your pump, keep the tyres quite firm, that you cannot depress more than 3mm with your thumb against the sidewall. Electric bike spokes are 13 gauge spokes, thicker and much stronger than 14 guage spokes on normal bikes. The gauge refers also to the size of the brass nipples at the end of the spokes (13G is larger than 14G). 215mm
Spokes for length
Woosh Elios 215mm
Woosh Sirocco 2011  
Woosh Sirocco X 223mm
Woosh Aspen 2011 255mm
Woosh Aspen X 252mm
Replacing broken spokes: You should replace any broken spokes as soon as possible to prevent damage to the rim. If you only need to replace one or two spokes: There is no need to take wheel out. This job will only take 20 - 30 minutes. Raise the bike high enough so you can sit behind the wheel comfortably, put the bike on a large table is not such a bad idea. Using tyre levers to undo the tyre, innertube and rim tape to expose the area where the broken spoke is. Thread the new spoke through the hole, screw the nipple on and pull it back so that the nipple is in place. Using a flat head screwdriver to hold the nipple in place against the rim, undo the spoke. Thread the spoke through the hole in the hub, observing that spokes are laced alternatively to the insde and outside of the hub flange. The spoke being flexible, flex the spoke so to engage its thread in the nipple. Use your flat head screwdriver to screw in the nipple until the spoke no longer feels slack. Re-install the tyre and pump it up. Use your spoke key to bring the new spoke to the same tension as other spokes. Check your wheel for roundness, true it if it's not perfectly round. If you don't have a truing rig, you can always use the brake pads to guide your truing.