Empowering The Bicycle Traveler

Carrying Spare Spokes

In bike touring, as in life, one needs to plan for the worst and hope for the best. The middle of nowhere is nowhere to be with a broken spoke without a little bit of know how and prior planning. Breaking a spoke is one of those rare occurrences but it does happen and the bicycle tourist needs to carry extra spokes in the proper lengths, a spoke wrench, and a tool to remove the rear cassette. A search on the internet brings up many instructional videos on how do do the deed, so I’m not going to duplicate those here.
It might be a good idea to carry a FiberFix spoke replacement as a stop gap until the next bike shop too.

What I do want to share is this idea for carrying spare spokes. I don’t claim to be the first one to think of this, in fact I normally tape some spokes to my left chainstay, but I decided that looks too ghetto. A two or three inch long piece of foam whittled into a cylindrical shape a little larger than the inside diameter of the seatpost can be pierced lengthwise with three or four spokes and then stuffed inside the seatpost.

spokes piercing a piece of foam

Penetrate the foam. Then thread a nipple on the end.

Foam inserted into seat post, with spokes

The foam should fit tightly enough that it won't bounce out

The spokes are relatively easy to access (just remember to mark the seatpost before removing it so the saddle height will be the same when reinstalled.) Some tourists stuff spokes into the ends of the handlebars but I don’t like the idea of the spokes being bent like that, and it wouldn’t be that handy on a bike with bar end shifters.
So there you have it. One step closer to being self-sufficient on the road.

4 comments… add one
  • Aushiker January 26, 2012, 9:53 pm

    Neat idea. Of course with a Surly Long Haul Trucker, there are braze-ons for carrying two spare spokes. I also carry a Fibre-Fix which can make life a little easier out on the road.

    • Bike Hermit January 28, 2012, 8:45 am

      Of course with a Surly Long Haul Trucker, there are braze-ons for carrying two spare spokes” Indeed. Another reason to love the LHT!

  • Roger June 22, 2013, 3:53 am

    Great idea BH! I have the luxury of space with my trailer. I have 5 spares for 20″ and 5spares for 26″ wheels stored in a cut down 2.4l PET bottle. All my other hardware spares are stored there too like tools, chain links, oil bottle, patches solder darning needle, araldite etc,etc. I tend to take more with me when I’m on a tour as I venture into remote regions. My mechanic showed me how to replace a spoke without taking the wheel off. He assured me that the modern SS spoke can take all the bending and re straightening needed to negotiate a disk brake rim. The spoke went on ok and tightened up but it was pretty kinky all the same. I lasted till I could get professional assistance.


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