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  1. #1
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    Tightening a wheel spoke

    Hi,

    I am new to bikes and have an old bike I would like to fix. First of all, there is a loose spoke/nipple. When I try to tighten this nipple, it seems to just unwind itself as soon as I let go. Am I do soemthing wrong here or is it unfixable?

    Thanks for any advice.

  2. #2
    Pwnerer Wordbiker's Avatar
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    Put a drop of lube on the threads. What you are experiencing is spoke windup. Free the threads and you'll be able to turn the nipple.

    It's not a bad idea to put a drop on each nipple before truing.
    Quote Originally Posted by ahsposo View Post
    Ski, bike and wish I was gay.

  3. #3
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    hi, thanks for the quick response. Hmm I tried using WD-40 as the lube and still can't quite get the nipple to twist. From the center of the wheel looking towards the tires, do I twist the nipple clockwise or counter-clockwise to tighten?

  4. #4
    Cycle Dallas MMACH 5's Avatar
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    The nipple screws onto the spoke in the same way a nut screws onto a bolt.

    If you are looking down the spoke from the rim toward the hub, turn the nipple clockwise to tighten it.

    ***A word of caution***
    Continuing to "refurbish" this bicycle could get you hooked on an insatiable desire to ride and work on bikes. (My wife is so very tired of seeing me tinker on my bikes.)
    That's gonna leave a mark.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by maka1 View Post
    hi, thanks for the quick response. Hmm I tried using WD-40 as the lube and still can't quite get the nipple to twist. From the center of the wheel looking towards the tires, do I twist the nipple clockwise or counter-clockwise to tighten?
    From that vantage point it would be counter-clockwise. But it sounds like the nipple is probably badly corroded onto the spoke threads and therefore not actually turning on the threads at all - just winding up the spoke. Then when you release the nipple the spoke unwinds again. Penetrating oil or applying more force (i.e. turning it further) might loosen it up, but you may just have to replace that spoke.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by MMACH 5 View Post
    The nipple screws onto the spoke in the same way a nut screws onto a bolt.

    If you are looking down the spoke from the rim toward the hub, turn the nipple clockwise to tighten it.

    ***A word of caution***
    Continuing to "refurbish" this bicycle could get you hooked on an insatiable desire to ride and work on bikes. (My wife is so very tired of seeing me tinker on my bikes.)
    lol, thanks. Yeah I am very well aware of what I am getting into and looking forward to

    Quote Originally Posted by prathmann View Post
    From that vantage point it would be counter-clockwise. But it sounds like the nipple is probably badly corroded onto the spoke threads and therefore not actually turning on the threads at all - just winding up the spoke. Then when you release the nipple the spoke unwinds again. Penetrating oil or applying more force (i.e. turning it further) might loosen it up, but you may just have to replace that spoke.
    Thanks for clearing that up. I guess I have to find two clamps to see if it can be done. The wheel is starting to look warped to me actually in which case is non-fixable?

  7. #7
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MMACH 5 View Post
    The nipple screws onto the spoke in the same way a nut screws onto a bolt.

    If you are looking down the spoke from the rim toward the hub, turn the nipple clockwise to tighten it.

    ***A word of caution***
    Continuing to "refurbish" this bicycle could get you hooked on an insatiable desire to ride and work on bikes. (My wife is so very tired of seeing me tinker on my bikes.)
    Mine's not...she would rather have me around tinkering on bikes than down at the local watering hole

    Aaron
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

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