Nimbus or airfoil

I have a nimbus 36 rim and I break spokes regularly doing nothing special. I have an airfoil rim that isn’t being used. WHICH RIM IS BETTER? I never broke spokes with the airfoil and I was 50 lbs. heavier.

Airfoil is probably the strongest 36" rim ever made but I can’t see why it would make a difference in breaking spokes. Wheel build and spoke quality probably have more to do with it than the rim.

Have you used that airfoil rim before? Some airfoils are smaller than they should be so that is one thing to keep in mind if you are considering building it up.

To save money on spokes you can use joined spokes instead of the pricey long spokes usually used for 36" rims. I got the idea from Max Dingemans and it works great on my 32" wheel.

Is the airfoil rim steel, or aluminum?

What does it weight, approx?

Is it still available anywhere?

Where are they breaking???

breaking spokes on nimbus rim

I have no idea why my spokes are breaking. They are breaking while riding on the flats. The same kind of riding I have done for years without any broken spokes. I am breaking at least one spoke every 20 miles

It sounds like you need the wheel rebuilt, or at least retuned. My guess is that the spoke tension is too high or too low, both of which can cause problems. Another alternative is that you got a batch of bad spokes that are unusually weak and they are breaking. I do not think that a new rim is the solution.

Presumably your LBS could retune your wheel and eliminate the problem.


broken spokes

I have used up 3 different batches of spokes, puchased over a 3 year period. I have tried my spokes tight and loose. I have tried having the shop replace them also, and still the same result. They all break. I have been riding most of my life and this is the only unicycle, of my 8, that I break spokes on. My nimbus never goes offroad. I really appreciate the advice.

It sounds like you are doing everything right. A previous poster asked where the spokes were breaking. I did not see your answer. If the spokes are all breaking at the head, it could be that the holes in the hub are too loose. Some people have suggested using brass spoke washers to more firmly seat the heads of the spokes in the hub.

It sounds like a vexing problem. Good luck with finding a solution.


Yes I was asking where the break occures on the spoke in the same place on each spoke??? It might help point to the problem!!:slight_smile:

definitely not the first I’ve heard of spontaneous spokes breaking. the 2010 Atlanta Tour-de-Cure, we had one of our riders break 3 spokes all at once in the first 400 meters of the ride! : ( sadly his day ended, but at least he wasn’t planning to do the 30 miles everybody else was! : ) so that at least was good.

I’ve had one spoke break on my nightrider pro, fixed by UDC, never had another problem and I’ve probably got around 3 thousand miles on that wheel (including some really rooty off-road riding, and the abuse of learning) : ) so I’m pretty happy with it.

Check to see if there is anything fishy about your eyelet reinforcements (the little metal rings around each eyelet, not sure if that’s the correct name for them)

As mentioned up there, brass nipples help. When I got my spoke fixed, Josh mentioned my rim had some warping, which is to be expected when you have that many miles on a rim, is it possible perhaps that your rim is making the spokes tight on one side and loose on the other to keep the wheel true? Is it possible that a wheel is funky enough that the rim is breaking spokes?

IDK, maybe it’s cursed!!! :-o

I had this same problem with a customers wheel. Problem was simple. The spokes were too tight! 36" spokes are so long they can be wound up so tight that they snap when riding, having them that tight did not offer any advantage to the wheel strength.


I had this problem with my Nightrider too. Brass nipples seem to work well.

Thank you,everyone for the advice. My spokes all break at the hub. I tighten them to be snug, but still loose enough to move fairly easily. I have tried both loose and tight. The only thing I have not tried is extremely loose or tight. This has been going on since I first purchased my nightrider 4 years ago. Should I change to my airfoil rim,or have someone local custom make spokes for me. all my spoke purchases have been from UDC.

Whoops, I meant brass washers, not nipples. You should try brass washers.

It seems like the holes in the hub may have sharp edges. If so, try to grind them down. :wink:

Thanks. I will try the brass washers and check the hub for sharp edges. I think you all have helped me zero in on the exact problem. (I HOPE)

I’d like to know which is better, separate from the breaking spokes.

I second uniMichal. Use a dremel with a small ball shaped grinder set on low speed and CAREFULLY grind away any sharp edges on the hubs spoke holes. It doesn’t take much, just a light tap.