Bicycle Mechanics - Chronic Loosening Spoke
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09-21-05, 06:27 AM
Here is the problem:
I purchased a brand new Bontager Race Light Wheelset off of ebay and have put about 600 miles on them. For the first 400 miles they were GREAT with no problems. However in the past 200 miles I have one spoke on the rear wheel (non-drive side) that is constantly backing out and causing the rim to go out of true. I have retightened and retrued the wheel three times. It starts to go out at around 25 miles plus. The tension of this spoke is around the same as all of the others on the same side.
Last night after my ride it started out again and this time I backed the spoke almost completely out of the nipple and put medium (blue) permatec thread locker on the threads. I did not want to jump directly to the red high strength stuff for fear of locking things up too tight.
I have not hit anything in the road that would have bent the rims and they do not appear to be bent or out radially.
Was using permatec thread locker a good thing to do? I will try riding on the wheel again tonight, but if this does not work what would you guys do?
Also, if I or my LBS cannot fix the problem, I wonder if Bontrager will rehab the wheel (as if defected) since I am not the original purchaser? :rolleyes:
Unless you have a good relationship with your local Trek/Fisher/LeMond/Klein dealer and they're willing to lie for you, no warranty on ebay stuff.
09-21-05, 07:31 AM
if the wheels were brand new haven't you got the original receipt-
a warranty claim should be possible if you have the receipt-
if the receipt was lost then you don't have much chance
09-21-05, 07:47 AM
I think you did the right thing in using the blue and not the red.
the blue should be perfect in holding tight the nipple, in order to prevent the wheel from going out of true. Here's an old school trick to make the nipple hold without thread lock, and that is to rough up the threads on the spoke a little bit, i mean purposely take some plyers and gough the spoke threads so as to make them less smooth and more gritty. The needle nose plyers have little grooves cut into the jaws and thats perfect for roughing up the threads a little bit.I some times CAUTION 1ST TIME WHEEL BUILDERS TO NOT OVER OIL THREADS ON THE SPOKES AND SPOKE NIPPLES. I PREFER THEM TO BE DRY FOR MAXIMUM HOLD LATER WHEN TIGHTENING UP TO TENSION.
09-21-05, 09:01 AM
the most commun probability is that you are suffering from a case of "Un-even" tension on your spokes, this scenario ussually becomes present when the rim is being deform by some kind of impact, dent, poor building quality or even a manufacturing deviance but that is pretty uncommun with the current double wall rim technology, anyway the typical cause of this fenomenon is that the wheel get hit or somehow deform and in the efford to keep it "some how straight"(temporary fix at best) one side of the spokes get overtight (the side that can bring the rim to center) in a efford to bring the rim back to center or to be concentric on the case of a up and down deviance, the side effect of this procedure is that some of the spokes are left with very little or no tension (since the rim is already bend their way) sadlly this is just the start of the demise of the wheel do to the uneven tension in the spokes (what keeps the wheel structurally sound) that will stress some of the spokes more than others and at the end start to cause failures and breakage of the spokes (at the Nipple base but mostlly at the contact point with the hub).
I build a few hundred wheels over the years and for sure I repair far more and I never found any kind of treadlock agent to be useful(Is always a compromise), well wheelsmith spoke-prep kind of have that effect, personally i have great results going the other way around and ussing antiseize compont a extremlly slick and long lasting copper base lubricant in form of a messy "Cream" this also offer some dielectric properties that make the spokes a lot less prone to seize i even run alumunim nipples on my offroad tandem & Downhill wheels with no failures (keep in mind I'm nobody special at this, I just build the wheels the way they are soppose too).
anyway when you are putting tension on a wheel you can measure spoke tension in two basic ways, ussing a "Tensionometer"(Dt's are best but they cost about $300 dollas) a tool that measure the deflexion of the spokes to calculate the tension or a much simpler sistem by ussing the "Torque" at the nipples to tell the tension on each of the spokes, this method becomes imposible to use or at least extremlly un-reliable the minute that you aply "random" treadlock or mecanical friction to SOME of the Nipples (all or nothing is the only way to do it), basically you want to keep all the Nipples in the EXACT same treatment so they can provide a baseline setting to measure the tension.
last I have many clients (most of them now also friends because they apreciate the work ettics ) with wheels i build 8/10 years ago that i still "warranty" (if the failure is not do to miss-use or abuse) even if is being a long time since i work on a bike shop, because the wheel was build with a proper method, "spokeprep" and with equal and proper tension, sadlly many of the machine build wheels of today and even some of does "hand Build" at the shops (and for sure at E-retailers) are pretty lamme and more than anything made in a hurry and worry about the today and not the years to come, sadlly the almost "lost art" of wheel building is going the way of the doddo on this fast pace profit driven market..
Uppss, sorry for the rant, do your self a favor find a truing stand or at least flip your bike upside down and use the brakes as a Gauge and check that the rim is on center (side to side and up and down) if all this is fine and the spoke tension is pretty even (use your finger to compress any two spokes and repeat the operation all over the circunference of the wheel) maybe you just have a "Funny" nipple and or spoke, go to the shop and get the EXACT SAME (brand,gauge,,,, Double single butted whatever you have to keep the rate of flexion even) and replace it.
sorry again if this is a little complicated even more with my poor ingles, but wheel building is not exactlly a easy task, for sure if you want it done is going to take time and efford, is not to many way to cut corners and still get long lasting results...
Also next time chose a wheel with "Eyelets"(I don't know if you have them or not on this rim) since they let the nipple "Float" more (much less surface friction with the rim) and they are less prone to get losee.
hope this helps
09-29-05, 08:06 AM
O.K. I figured out what was the problem. After trying thread lockers and replacing the nipple, it kept working loose (although slower w/ the use of the locker).
So, I decided to take the nipple out again and examine things a little closer and thats when I found it. The eyelet on the inside of the rim is about a third missing. Therefore the flanged part of the nipple was not seating 100% against a uniform surface. Evidently this was a defect during manufacture or it broke loose sometime after the first 500 miles I had them. Looks like they will be going back for a new rim.
Looks like they will be going back for a new rim.
How are you planning on doing so under warranty?
It sounds like you are in dire need of Sheldon Brown's SEMMETRISPOKES. Your wheel is exhibiting classic signs of right-hand nipple threading described here: http://sheldonbrown.com/symspoke.html
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