Can this wheel be saved?



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Trent Gregory H

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Hi, folks. I have a wheelbuilding question concerning a 36 spoke rear wheel I'm building up using an
Ultegra rear, Torelli Master rim, and
14/15/14 gauge DT spokes laced 3x. The first time I tried to build up this wheel, the bike shop sold
me too-short spokes. I caught that only after I'd laced it up once and began trying to tension
it. So I unlaced it, took the spokes back, and got some new ones in the right length. I
decided, however, to try to recycle some of the nipples from the first build. That build
seemed to go OK, but some spoke tension imbalances came to the fore when I took the wheel out
for its first ride, and after trying to correct those piecemeal, I decided to detension the
wheel and start the tensioning and truing process over again. I reread the relevant parts of
Jobst's book, and began working carefully and deliberately.

Here's my problem: I've had about four of the recycled nipples round off and / or collapse so far.
Every time I remove a failed nipple and replace it with a good one, the wheel goes radically out of
true, and each time I've retrued and retensioned the wheel, another one or two fail. So my
questions:

15) Should I cut my losses and detension the wheel yet again, the better to go around the wheel
systematically replacing all the nipples with new ones? Or should I just replace them on the
drive side (since those are the ones that are failing)?

16) If I do only replace the drive-side nipples, can I get away with just detensioning the
drive-side spokes, or should I take all the spokes down?

17) Is my recurring problem a sign that I'm trying to put too much tension on the spokes? I've been
stress-relieving after each round of tensioning and truing, and as far as I can tell, I'm
nowhere close to overloading the rim.

Thanks for any help you can give,

Trent
 
trent gregory hill wrote:

> Here's my problem: I've had about four of the recycled nipples round off and / or collapse so far.

Here's just one general point and a long shot:

General point: Lube not only the nipple threads but also the inside of the rim/outside of the
nipple where they contact. I use a thin film of whatever grease is handy, others have suggested a
drop of oil.

The grease on the rim/nipple contact surface really cut down the amount of torque I needed to bring
a wheel up to high tension; this could help your rounding-off problem.

Long shot: Did you take the wheel up to fairly high tension when building with the too-short spokes?
If only a part of the nipples' threads were engaged, high tension might have damaged the nipples or
their threads.

Good luck,
--
Mark Janeba remove antispam phrase in address to reply
 
On Sun, 12 Jan 2003, Mark Janeba wrote:

> trent gregory hill wrote:
>
> > Here's my problem: I've had about four of the recycled nipples round off and / or collapse
> > so far.
>
>
> Here's just one general point and a long shot:
>
> General point: Lube not only the nipple threads but also the inside of the rim/outside of the
> nipple where they contact. I use a thin film of whatever grease is handy, others have suggested a
> drop of oil.
>

I've been using linseed oil on both the nipple threads and the contact area. Would a straight
lubricating oil work better, iyho?

> Long shot: Did you take the wheel up to fairly high tension when building with the too-short
> spokes? If only a part of the nipples' threads were engaged, high tension might have damaged the
> nipples or their threads.
>

Alas, yeah, and I suspect this is the main culprit.

Thanks, Trent
 
"trent gregory hill" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:p[email protected]...
> Hi, folks. I have a wheelbuilding question concerning a 36 spoke rear wheel I'm building up using
> an Ultegra rear, Torelli Master rim, and
> 14/15/14 gauge DT spokes laced 3x. The first time I tried to build up this wheel, the bike shop
> sold me too-short spokes. I caught that only after I'd laced it up once and began trying to
> tension it. So I unlaced it, took the spokes back, and got some new ones in the right
> length. I decided, however, to try to recycle some of the nipples from the first build. That
> build seemed to go OK, but some spoke tension imbalances came to the fore when I took the
> wheel out for its first ride, and after trying to correct those piecemeal, I decided to
> detension the wheel and start the tensioning and truing process over again. I reread the
> relevant parts of Jobst's book, and began working carefully and deliberately.
>
> Here's my problem: I've had about four of the recycled nipples round off and / or collapse so far.
> Every time I remove a failed nipple and replace it with a good one, the wheel goes radically out
> of true, and each time I've retrued and retensioned the wheel, another one or two fail. So my
> questions:
>
> 1) Should I cut my losses and detension the wheel yet again, the better to go around the wheel
> systematically replacing all the nipples with new ones? Or should I just replace them on the
> drive side (since those are the ones that are failing)?
>
> 2) If I do only replace the drive-side nipples, can I get away with just detensioning the
> drive-side spokes, or should I take all the spokes down?
>
> 3) Is my recurring problem a sign that I'm trying to put too much tension on the spokes? I've been
> stress-relieving after each round of tensioning and truing, and as far as I can tell, I'm
> nowhere close to overloading the rim.

I just hate that. My sympathies.

I would detension the wheel, build with new lubricated brass* nipples and get a spoke wrench that
fits properly.

*You don't say if they are aluminum nipples. If they are, ditch them for good brass ones.
--
Andrew Muzi http://www.yellowjersey.org Open every day since 1 April 1971
 
On Sun, 12 Jan 2003, A Muzi wrote:

> "trent gregory hill" <[email protected]> wrote in message
> news:p[email protected]...
> > Hi, folks. I have a wheelbuilding question concerning a 36 spoke rear wheel I'm building up
> > using an Ultegra rear, Torelli Master rim, and
> > 14/15/14 gauge DT spokes laced 3x. The first time I tried to build up

>
> I just hate that. My sympathies.

Thanks, Andrew. It's been a real PITA.

>
> I would detension the wheel, build with new lubricated brass* nipples and get a spoke wrench that
> fits properly.
>
> *You don't say if they are aluminum nipples. If they are, ditch them for good brass ones.

Yep, they're brass DT nipples. I think I damaged a bunch of them tensioning up the wheel the first
time with too-short spokes. Some of them have already been through, what, three complete cycles of
being tensioned and retensioned.

One quick question: The wheel seems to require that the spokes around the rim weld are higher in
tension than the rest. I know that's not too unusual, but is it going to result in early wheel
death? That might not be a problem, since I suspect that the first new nipple that rounds is going
to result in early wheel death as I do my best King Kong impersonation with it.

Trent

> --
> Andrew Muzi http://www.yellowjersey.org Open every day since 1 April 1971
 
"A Muzi" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
> "trent gregory hill" <[email protected]> wrote in message
> news:p[email protected]...
> > Hi, folks. I have a wheelbuilding question concerning a 36 spoke rear wheel I'm building up
> > using an Ultegra rear, Torelli Master rim, and
> > 14/15/14 gauge DT spokes laced 3x. The first time I tried to build up this wheel, the bike shop
> > sold me too-short spokes. I caught that only after I'd laced it up once and began trying
> > to tension it. So I unlaced it, took the spokes back, and got some new ones in the right
> > length. I decided, however, to try to recycle some of the nipples from the first build.
> > That build seemed to go OK, but some spoke tension imbalances
came
> > to the fore when I took the wheel out for its first ride, and after
trying
> > to correct those piecemeal, I decided to detension the wheel and start the tensioning and truing
> > process over again. I reread the relevant
parts
> > of Jobst's book, and began working carefully and deliberately.
> >
> > Here's my problem: I've had about four of the recycled nipples round
off
> > and / or collapse so far. Every time I remove a failed nipple and
replace
> > it with a good one, the wheel goes radically out of true, and each time I've retrued and
> > retensioned the wheel, another one or two fail. So my questions:
> >
> > 1) Should I cut my losses and detension the wheel yet again, the better to go around the wheel
> > systematically replacing all the nipples with new ones? Or should I just replace them on the
> > drive side (since those are the ones that are failing)?
> >
> > 2) If I do only replace the drive-side nipples, can I get away with just detensioning the
> > drive-side spokes, or should I take all the spokes
down?
> >
> > 3) Is my recurring problem a sign that I'm trying to put too much
tension
> > on the spokes? I've been stress-relieving after each round of
tensioning
> > and truing, and as far as I can tell, I'm nowhere close to overloading
the
> > rim.
>
> I just hate that. My sympathies.
>
> I would detension the wheel, build with new lubricated brass* nipples and get a spoke wrench that
> fits properly.
>
> *You don't say if they are aluminum nipples. If they are, ditch them for good brass ones.
> --
> Andrew Muzi http://www.yellowjersey.org Open every day since 1 April 1971
>
I agree with Andrew. Use regular automotive engine oil or medium weight machine oil. Lubricate
according to "the Bicycle Wheel" on threads and the point where the nipple contacts the rim/eyelet.
Make sure you have proper engagement between the spoke wrench and the nipple before tightening. The
"Spokey" spoke wrench looks *cheap* but, if you get the red one, it works very effectively on DT
nipples. David Ornee, Western Springs, IL
 
trent gregory hill wrote:

>>General point: Lube not only the nipple threads but also the inside of the rim/outside of the
>>nipple where they contact. I use a thin film of whatever grease is handy, others have suggested a
>>drop of oil.

> I've been using linseed oil on both the nipple threads and the contact area. Would a straight
> lubricating oil work better, iyho?

Sounds like you didn't need to hear this point, you're already doing the right things.

About linseed oil in particular: I have no direct experience with this oil.

Is it the substance that starts as a lubricant and then sets up into a

semi-adhesive sludge? (just repeating things I've heard).

If it sets up/thickens, I'd go with a more traditional lubricant, myself. Makes it easy to readjust
later, if needed. A while back I replaced a rim that had been worn away by brake pads in really
grungy weather (my commute bike). No problem removing spokes at all - the nipples turned easily,
despite the gross conditions the rim was used in.

With the kind of tension you're using, the spokes won't detension on their own, a reason I've heard
given for using a substance that sets up over time.

Good luck,
--
Mark Janeba remove antispam phrase in address to reply
 
I've been building wheels for years, and read Jobst's Book several years ago and found some of it
excellent.

However it's relatively recently that I discovered the real secret and he doesn't mention it even
though I'm sure he knows it.

The real secret to truing a wheel is
1. to not have a bashed rim.
2. to get all the spokes on each side tightened down exactly the same on the nipples before you
start adjusting. Then adjust them all the same amount until you have reasonable tightness. Then
true by no more than MINOR adjustments to any spoke. In other words don't be giving full turns to
any spoke over another. etc. It comes right in no time.
 
In article <[email protected]>, Gearóid Ó Laoi, Garry Lee
<[email protected]> wrote:

>Then adjust them all the same amount until you have reasonable tightness. Then true by no more than
>MINOR adjustments to any spoke. In other words don't be giving full turns to any spoke over
>another. etc. It comes right in no time.

I do all my adjustments in quarter-turn increments, keeping the sides of the nipple square with the
rim. This makes it easy to know exactly how much turning you've done.

As other posters have suggested, using lubricating oil rather than linseed oil should help also. The
Spokey is a fine tool, and is very helpful when dealing with an old wheel with frozen nipples, but
on a new rim and new spokes/nipples, the Park wrench usually works fine for me.

--
---
Eric Holeman eholem1 at uic,edu Chicago Illinois USA
 
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