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.
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.