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Corrosion under rim tape

Old 12-30-21, 04:32 PM
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ted_major
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Corrosion under rim tape

I was just taking apart a front wheel to rebuild with a hub dynamo, and found what looks like powdery white corrosion around one of the spoke holes:

Rim with corrosion around spoke hole

How concerned should I be?

To fill in the details, this is a wheel I built in 2017 for a drop bar conversion on an old MTB. (Alex Adventurer2 rim, Shimano Deore hub, Sapim Race spokes, Stan's tubeless rim tape). The clearance on the old frame with Rat Trap Pass tires was a little tight for comfort, so I returned it to original condition and removed the wheels after a couple of hundred miles. Since then, they hung in the shed (out of the weather but not climate controlled) until I brought them out of retirement for a Long Haul Trucker frame I picked up in early/mid 2020. They haven't been ridden in the rain, and currently have about 650 miles.

Is this apparent corrosion reason for concern? Is there anything I should do to prevent further corrosion?
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Old 12-30-21, 04:57 PM
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If you had a significant problem, I'd suspect to see evidence of corrosion on the outside as well. And with multiple spoke holes, not just one. I'm not sure what your picture shows but I wouldn't be much concerned about it.
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Old 12-30-21, 05:10 PM
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Corrosion? Where?

If it's there it's not bad enough to be anything. Just clean it up, put it all back together and ride.

You wouldn't believe the rusty steel rims many of us use to ride.
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Old 12-30-21, 05:40 PM
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Were these rims set up with tubeless tires? Maybe some of the sealer got under the rim tape and dried and that's what you are seeing.
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Old 12-30-21, 06:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
Corrosion? Where?

If it's there it's not bad enough to be anything. Just clean it up, put it all back together and ride.
The powdery white stuff around the spoke hole. It looks kind of like what happens when an old alkaline battery leaks inside a transistor radio.

Iím inclined to clean up and move on, but curious what might have caused it.

Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
Were these rims set up with tubeless tires? Maybe some of the sealer got under the rim tape and dried and that's what you are seeing.
Nope, Iím still sticking with tubes.
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Old 12-30-21, 07:51 PM
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electric field from dynamo.

to verify, compare rear wheel
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Old 12-30-21, 08:32 PM
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Originally Posted by cjenrick View Post
electric field from dynamo.
Be serious.

The white material looks less like corrosion than some sort of paste. If it were actual corrosion, I'd expect a history of several seasons' use on salted roads. Wipe it off and put the wheel back together.
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Old 12-31-21, 11:40 AM
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Originally Posted by ted_major View Post
The powdery white stuff around the spoke hole..
It could be aluminum oxide, but it's hard to tell from the picture. Remove it with your fingernail and see if the underlying metal is damaged in any way. If you see clean metal underneath then it's not corrosion. If the metal is pitted and thinned, then it is corrosion and should be watched to see how fast it grows.
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Old 12-31-21, 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by ted_major View Post
The powdery white stuff around the spoke hole. It looks kind of like what happens when an old alkaline battery leaks inside a transistor radio.

Iím inclined to clean up and move on, but curious what might have caused it.
Could be a many different things. Something getting in around the spoke nipple and dripping down on the backside of the tape over the spoke hole. Your salty sweat, some cleaner possibly you use. Maybe a puddle of water you road through that had a lot of something in it.

Regardless, it's not enough to be the slightest issue. You might just redo your tape again in a year or so and check if it's a continuing thing or just a one time thing.
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Old 12-31-21, 03:43 PM
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wheel builder might have used white lithium grease on nipples

and be aware of galvanic corrosion due to dis-similar metals, ie brass to aluminum, nickel to aluminum etc

but looks like steel inserts so maybe aluminum nipples to steel
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