Pesky spoke/nipple

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by budokai, Aug 19, 2008.

  1. budokai

    budokai New Member

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    I have one spoke on my wheel that keeps coming loose. I don't know if it's the nipple or the spoke. I'll tighten it up but it comes loose in a matter of a few min/miles. Could the threads be striped on the spoke/nipple? I've not take the wheel off to investigate closer but I thought I'd try hear first incase anyone had any ideas.
     
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  2. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    FWIW. I would replace the 'bad' nipple with a new one, first ...

    PARTICULARLY IF the wheel happens to be laced with 15g spokes OR the one spoke is 15g while the others are 14g ... because, if there is a mismatched nipple size, it will result in the situation which is vexing your wheel.

    Of course, if the ONE spoke is mismatched from the others, then I would replace it, too.
     
  3. budokai

    budokai New Member

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    All the spokes should be the same. I purchased the wheel fully built up at Jenson's. Could they have goofed there? I've had the wheel for about 6 months now and the problem only started in the last week or so.

    Thanks
     
  4. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    If the problem only began recently, then the problem will probably be 'fixed' after you replace the nipple ...

    When you replace the nipple, you have to try to ensure that the tension on the spoke has as close to the same tension as the spoke it is PAIRED with (i.e., the one it is interlaced with), and vice-versa ... and (of course), all the other spokes on that side of the wheel (if a rear wheel) have as close to the same tension as possible, too!

    When building/truing a wheel, it can be suggested that having the interlaced spoke at a drastically different tension with its 'mate' [the one spoke tensions the other] is the cause of many problems which some people encounter with their wheels -- including, broken spokes & stripped nipples.
     
  5. Peter@vecchios

    [email protected] New Member

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    You have a 'flat' spot on the rim at that point, so that the tension at that spot is lower, so the spoke is loose, the nipple lossens. Need to raise tension at that point, both right and left side nipples, that will make the tension at that point proper BUT will probably see the flat spot there when you do that.
     
  6. Albert 50

    Albert 50 New Member

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    Is the nipple actually tightening on the spoke or just twisting the spoke. If so hold the spoke with pliers or similar then turn the nipple:)
     
  7. Hewerrr

    Hewerrr New Member

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    I don't think it's a good idea to hold the spoke with pliers. You could easily score the spoke, creating a weak spot. If the spoke is frozen enough that you have to hold the spoke in order to turn the nipple, then both probably need replaced anyway.

    The loosening spoke could be caused by lots of things. If you don't know much about wheelbuilding or truing wheels, take it in to your LBS. It's not rocket science, but it's easy to make things worse by mucking around, especially without the proper tools.
     
  8. Albert 50

    Albert 50 New Member

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    Yeah, I know that, should have mentioned to wrap a couple of layers of tape around the jaws:)
     
  9. kdelong

    kdelong Well-Known Member

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    Better yet, spray some penetrating oil on the threads before beginning and let it soak in over night. W*-*0 is good for this. (the product is WD-40 but that seems to be product non-grata on this forum). After it is loose, remove the nipple and very lightly lubricate the spoke threads with what ever chain lube you use. Re-install the nipple and true the wheel. Be sure to prestress the spokes as you are truing the wheel, or you will be re-truing it after your first ride.Some people don't like to lube their spoke threads as they believe that the lube allows the nipples to loosen themselves. If you have trued the wheel correctly, they will not loosen by themselves, but you will be able to loosen them when you want to.
     
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