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Truing wheel when nipple/spoke corroded

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Truing wheel when nipple/spoke corroded

Old 01-20-18, 08:47 AM
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epnnf
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Truing wheel when nipple/spoke corroded

ya know when you ride around for a few thousand miles, the nipple/spoke joint gets ... SLIGHTLY corroded/rusty/dirty? Im not talkin bout leaving it outside in the rain for months rusty. I just mean normal use, keeping yer bike maintained, but not truing the wheels since its not necessary. Then, when it IS necessary, you go to turn the nipple w/your wrench and the spoke twists. What to do?
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Old 01-20-18, 09:35 AM
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You try to hold the spoke from turning. A vice grip attached to the spoke just above the wrench works. Well sometimes. Problem is that the corrosion bond can be greater then the spoke's twisting strength. So before you go to that length you need to ask if the wheel really needs truing at the possible cost of breaking spokes during the attempt. Do you have extra spokes on hand? Do so before continuing. Are your nipples AL? If so then they add to the friction with the rim and also corrode faster to the spokes then brass nips do. You cab try to drip a drop of penetrating oil on the spoke/nip and giving it some time to capillary action in.


I wouldn't be spending too much time figuring out how much exposure your nips got, the damage is already done. This is how we learn and why some of us will do preventative work before the problem gets to be old. Andy
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Old 01-20-18, 09:47 AM
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I find that penetrating oil or even triflow works pretty well to loosen up a stuck nipple.
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Old 01-21-18, 11:03 AM
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A few drops of linseed oil and let it soak overnight. Take care with the first turns/movement. Go slow. If you want to avoid or postpone the stick*, use a tiny/small drop on the threaded portion above/going into the nipple and one on the outside where the nipple flange comes in contact with the eyelet. If the wheel is built/tensioned proper, this will not effect the wheel going out of true by loosening stuff(s) up.




*as prevention prior too/maintenence
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Old 01-22-18, 12:54 PM
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This is why it's a good idea to dip the spoke threads in oil before you build the wheel. The linseed oil will lubricate the threads during the build, then gum up and hold the nipple on, and all the while exclude air and water from the interface.


Once it's happened, all you can do is try penetrating oil on the offending nipple, or put a drop on all the nipples and go for a ride.
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Old 01-22-18, 01:21 PM
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Originally Posted by epnnf View Post
ya know when you ride around for a few thousand miles, the nipple/spoke joint gets ... SLIGHTLY corroded/rusty/dirty?
Nope. Not even after a decade with some riding on roads where salted snow melted. I use stainless steel spokes that don't rust, and lubricate nipples + rim sockets with zinc anti-seize so galvanic corrosion doesn't freeze them in place.

Im not talkin bout leaving it outside in the rain for months rusty. I just mean normal use, keeping yer bike maintained, but not truing the wheels since its not necessary. Then, when it IS necessary, you go to turn the nipple w/your wrench and the spoke twists. What to do?
Build your own wheels the right way or delegate to a one-person operation where the hands that earned its reputation are the ones doing the work.

That failing, don't buy wheels with alloy nipples because unprotected ones will definitely freeze due to galvanic corrosion if you're not a fair weather rider.

Otherwise, lubricate the threads + socket for each nipple before starting truing using a light oil like 3-in-1, escalate to penetrating oil like Kroil, and replace spoke + nipple when that proves insufficient.
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Old 01-22-18, 01:42 PM
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I realize that this won't solve your immediate problem, but for future reference...

When lacing up a wheel, I dip the spoke threads into linseed oil, and add a touch of grease on the outside of the nipple where the flange will contact the eyelet. Have had zero issues with corrosion (but I don't ride bikes in the winter which would exacerbate the problem).

So far, I've only had to replace a single spoke, but was able to do it easily and there was no corrosion on the spoke threads or where the nipple seats into the eyelet.
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Old 01-22-18, 02:56 PM
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To what's been said so far, I'll add that when I'm preparing to touch up an old wheel of unknown provenance (such as the 50-year old wheels on my English 3-speed that I did a few weeks ago), I'll break free any spoke I plan to adjust by loosening it first. In my mind, that stresses everything a little less than trying to add tension to a seized spoke.
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Old 01-22-18, 03:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Drew Eckhardt View Post
Nope. Not even after a decade with some riding on roads where salted snow melted. I use stainless steel spokes that don't rust, and lubricate nipples + rim sockets with zinc anti-seize so galvanic corrosion doesn't freeze them in place.

...
+1 I use marine boat trailer hub grease. No claims for galvanic corrosion, but not much happens when you use that stuff and you know it isn't going anywhere.

Ben
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Old 01-22-18, 03:14 PM
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As noted, a penetrating oil allowed to soak and work it's magic for a day or so, combined with holding the spoke is about all you can do. Then you just have to hope the force is with you. The real key is prevention, but obviously it's late for that now.

Sometimes the only option is cutting out the offending spoke and replace it. This is a very practical solution for a single frozen spoke, but gets less practical when a few are involved, in which case decide if you can live with the wheel aligned as well as possible, or build fresh.
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Old 01-22-18, 09:32 PM
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Oil
and Try to Loosen, not Tighten the spoke to break it loose initially.
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Old 01-22-18, 10:08 PM
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One trick that MAY help, but no promises.

Unload the spoke while you try to turn the nipple. The easiest way is to use a broomstick to lever the rim across with the hub as the fulcrum. This makes it a 3 hand job so you'll need to recruit someone to lever the rim until the spoke just begins to slacked, and no more. That leaves you to hold the spoke while turning the nipple.
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Old 01-23-18, 04:19 AM
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I use heat every now and then to help free up a seized nipple.
Can be as mild as laying the Wheel sideways, then holding a Candle or cigarrette lighter underneath, or as forceful as a MAPP torch.
With a MAPP, I've actually been able to melt aluminium nipples off the spokes, w/o any apparent collateral damage.
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Old 01-24-18, 09:48 AM
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When I run into a wheel that has frozen nipples I like to use Liquid Wrench. I put the wheel in my truing stand & put LW on the nipples from both sides, then I lightly spin the wheel & hold a screwdriver against the spokes ( Like a baseball card in the spokes ) on both sides, then let it sit fore a while, I go back and start by loosening the nipple first. Works out more then not for me but I do have a lot of spokes & nipples for the ones that don't survive.

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Old 01-24-18, 11:03 AM
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If all the above fails you replace the spoke, cut it in half. remove the halves..
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Old 01-24-18, 11:07 AM
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I've had luck with de-tensioning several spokes directly opposite the problem child, then trying again.
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