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How to Replace a Broken Spoke

Gather the following tools and you’ll be ready to replace a busted spoke.

  • New spoke
  • Spoke wrench
  • Truing stand
  • Tire levers

1. Remove wheel.

Start by removing the wheel from the bike.

2. Remove everything from wheel.

Remove the tire, tube, and rim strip from the wheel. If it is the rear wheel you are working on, you may also have to remove the cassette to access the hub flange.

3. Remove spoke.

Remove the broken spoke and its nipple.

4. Install the new spoke.

Insert the new spoke through the hub flange, and lace it in the same pattern as the old spoke.

Apply some lube, such as Spoke Prep or linseed oil, to the threads of the spoke.

Drop the new nipple in through the rim, and thread the spoke into it.

5. Tighten new spoke.

Tighten the new spoke until it is at the same level of tension as its neighbors.

6. Test and ride.

If the wheel is true, you can put everything back together and ride! (If not, true the wheel, and then you can ride.)