Can You Reuse MTB Spokes?

Mountain bike components can be costly, especially for high-end bikes. Sometimes, even mid-range mountain bikes use premium components. Understandably, you would want to reuse certain parts. So, can you reuse mountain bike spokes when changing hubs? Let’s take a look.

When reusing your mountain bike spokes, the most important thing to consider is the tension of each spoke when installed in the hub or rim. If you are unsure about getting the tension right, it is best to let a professional remove the spoke from the old hub and install them in the new one.

When changing your wheel hub, there is a lot to consider. Some people change the entire wheel, while others do not feel the need. If that sounds at all like you, and you are struggling to find the information you need, I recommend that you read through this article, as I will cover everything.

Reusing Mountain Bike Spokes: Pros And Cons

If you’re in a rush, here is a quick breakdown of the pros and cons of reusing your mountain bike spokes. That said, I do recommend that you keep reading through this article because the topic is quite complicated, and the more you know, the easier your decision will be. Let’s get into it:

Saves moneyIt can be hard work
Finding similar spokes is hardTension is tricky
Recycling is greatRequires a toolset
Less impact on your riding 

Reusing MTB Spokes: Pros And Cons

The cons outweigh the pros if you do not have the right tools and a little patience. Remember. You will need to unscrew each nipple before screwing them all into the new rim. For the hub, it s not so bad, but you will have to ensure each spoke is secure.

Do You Need New Spokes When Changing Hubs?

When replacing your wheel hubs, you do not need new spokes. Using your old spokes is a great way to save some money, but it often requires a lot of work. Here are a few things to consider:

  • Time versus cost: Building or rebuilding a mountain bike wheel can take time, especially if you make mistakes and have to undo them. Sometimes it is more convenient to buy a wheel with everything installed.
  • How old are your spokes? Reusing the spokes with little to no wear and tear is perfectly fine. However, replacing them is better in the long run if they are showing signs of damage.
  • The hardest thing you will have to deal with is the tension. If not done correctly, the wheel will not be centered.

Do You Need New Spokes When Replacing A MTB Rim?

Most mountain bike riders will buy a complete setup that includes the rim, hub, and spokes when purchasing new rims. Then, all that needs to be done is the wheel fitting, followed by fitting the wheel onto the bike.

On the other hand, some riders prefer to build their own wheels. In this case, it is possible to reuse your mountain bike rims.

The spoke nipples might not be able to be reused. Some manufacturers use different standards. It is rare and more companies are adopting a more standardized method. However, before you start rebuilding a mountain bike wheel, check that your spoke nipples are compatible.

Why Do MTB Spokes Break?

As mentioned, one of the most significant factors as to whether or not you should reuse your mountain bike spokes is the condition of those spokes. Therefore, it is also essential to understand why they break, as it will help you assess whether or not your current spokes are too damaged to be reused.

Here are a few reasons why mountain bike spokes break:

  • Improper riding on rugged terrain
  • Stones hitting the spokes
  • Large sticks getting stuck in the spokes
  • Rust damage (rare)
  • Too much or too little tension

Rust damage can affect the spokes, around them on the rims, or it can affect the nipples. If your spokes are rusty, it is best to replace them rather than reuse them.

Can You Ride A Mountain Bike With Missing Spokes?

Spokes on any bike are there to serve a specific purpose, and a rather important one at that. So, while you can get away with missing one or two spokes, it is essential to ensure that you replace them as soon as you can.

Riding with missing spokes can cause a few problems; these are exacerbated if you are missing more than one or two. Here are a few issues that can be caused:

  • The remaining spokes can take strain
  • The rim can start to bend around the missing spoke
  • The wheel could be off-balance

Can You Ride A MTB With Broken Spoke?

Missing one or two spokes is one thing, but riding with broken spokes should always be avoided. Remember, the spokes will not be doing their job if broken, but they can cause issues.

The last thing you want is for a broken spoke to come loose while riding, as it can damage other parts of the bike, including some of your spokes.

If you have a broken spoke, remove the tire, and take the spoke out before your next riding session.

Are Mountain Bike Spokes Expensive?

Before we discuss how much mountain bike spokes cost, it is essential to remember that there are two specific reasons why someone would want to reuse their spokes:

  • Some riders have costly setups, so saving money on the spokes makes sense
  • If cost is not a factor, the rider may simply want to build their wheels according to their riding style or for a hobby

To buy spokes for most mountain bike wheels, you can expect to pay between $10 to $40 for a complete set of stainless steel ones. So, they are not something that breaks the bank.

If you are replacing your wheel, it is better to buy a complete setup.

If you are having your wheels redone at a bike shop, they will often replace your spokes, so if you think it will save you a few dollars, tell the shop to reuse your spokes.


Cover all your bases if you plan to reuse your mountain bike spokes. Start by inspecting each spoke while checking for damage. At the same time, remember that you can replace individual spokes and do not have to replace them all at once. Hopefully, you know which option is best for you, replacing your spokes or reusing them.


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