Sticking nipples

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by lfoggy, Dec 30, 2008.

  1. lfoggy

    lfoggy New Member

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    Having problems with a pair of 4 year old wheels built with Record hubs, Mavic OpenPro rims, aluminium nipples and stainless spokes. They have only covered about 4000 dry miles and both rims and hubs are excellent. The wheels now need truing but many of the nipples are stuck solid. When you turn the spoke key the spoke just twists and I'm sure if I twist more I will break the spoke. The key is a perfect fit and high quality so the problem is with the nipples seizing onto the spokes. I've tried oiling the nipples to no avail so I think I will have to rebuild the wheel but am now not sure what type of nipples to use. Is this a common problem with aluminium nipples ? Are old fashioned chrome-plated brass nipples better or was I unlucky ? Any tips on how to prepare the threads prior to assembly ?
     
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  2. kdelong

    kdelong Well-Known Member

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    I can only suggest soaking the nipples with WD 40 or Wintergreen Oil and letting the wheel sit overnight before you try anything else. I have always lubed the threads on my spokes when I build a wheel. If I'm feeling energetic, I will dip them into melted parafine wax. Otherwise, I just dab on a little white lithium grease. Brass nipples will probably be less prone to seizing, but if you are really concerned with weight, go with aluminum. I have never heard of nipples seizing like that on a dry weather bike.
     
  3. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    You live in England and managed 4000 dry miles? Impossible, I say!

    I used to live in Bolton and got rained on pretty much every ride.

    Try using a pair of pliers with a soft cloth inbetween the jaws to hold the spoke and then try turning the spoke nipple.

    Since you said they were dry miles and not subject to rain and winter road salt, I'm guessing there's some galvanitic corrosion going on (or similar) due to the dissimilar metals. Maybe something like PB Blaster (a good penetrating oil) would help, but I think that a bit of mechanical brute force may be required.

    At a guess I'd say some anti-seize similar to what you'd use for spark plugs (metal plugs in an aluminium cylinder head) for a car. Pick some up at Halfords. I'm guessing they'd sell something there to "unstick" spark plugs too - that may work.

    If you rebuild, take a look at some of the spoke manufacturers websites for info on this - there has to be something.
     
  4. Aussie Steve

    Aussie Steve New Member

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    OK the title got me intrigued...but now i give up caring :(
    ahh well, back to googling & ogling "Christina Aguilera"
     
  5. Peter@vecchios

    [email protected] New Member

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    NOT uncommon to see stainless spokes permanently bonded to aluminum nipples. Either the builder didn't use any lube or he used wet Wheelsmith spoke prep, which 'can' result in the thing you are seeing. Try holding the spoke with a tool like this

    http://harriscyclery.net/itemdetails.cfm?ID=642

    Yep, pricey. If no-can-do, all you can do is cut the spokes outta the rim and rebuild. Reuse the rim if it isn't to wacked from cutting the spokes out. Use brass nipples, lube well, both the threads of the spoke and the nipple rim interface.
     
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