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using lube on spoke threads and nipples during build(5 posts)

using lube on spoke threads and nipples during buildniteschaos
Jan 13, 2003 1:03 PM
I read on a post that you should put lube on the nipple where it meets the hub to help get it up to tension and even on the threads of the spoke. I've never done this on the 7 wheels I've built up and haven't had any problems, but then again, they were built up for freinds in a hurry and in a hotel room before a race, so what is really the best way to do it to keep the wheel true the longest?

I'm starting with new hubs, spokes, and rims, so what's the call?
lube it all up.....ekdave
Jan 13, 2003 2:04 PM
best bet.....
lube the spoke bed of the rim with waterproof grease - I use a Q-tip, makes it easy.

Lube the spoke threads with light oil or spokeprep if you got it. Spoke prep needs to dry before installing, and dont use too much. The spoke lube is esp. important with alloy nips if you want to be able to turn them after a year or so.

Dont listen to anyone telling you that the spokes will "unwind" if you lube the threads. Its just like any fastener (bolt, screw, etc)...what keeps it from unscrewing is the force on the threads (in this case the tension) If you have trouble with spokes coming loose, its because your tension is too low. If its up to spec, it will not unwind. Period. It just doesnt happen to properly tensioned wheels.

Spoke prep is nice for beat-up (non new, non up-to-spec wheels) because it lubes the threads, but also gives some threadlock properties, due to the filling in of the micro-space in the threads. This is good if you have a bashed up wheel that requires some spokes to be very low tension.

Anyways.....build the wheel up very slowly. Bring tension up in small increments, and evenly. Work on true and hop after you get an even tension all around (but a low tension at this point) Keep going around the wheel getting everything even tesion (plucking even works if you have a good baseline knowledge of the desired sound) Then start working on true and hop.

almost forgot...be sure to unwind the spokes after every round of tensioning. I like to put the wheel on the ground and lean in the rim with both hands (3 oclock and 9 oclock for example) and rotate to hit every section of rim. Both sides. The pinging you hear is the nipples spinning on the rim bed. This just means you didnt rotate the nipple on the spoke all the way, it instead rotated the spoke and nipple as unit. No biggie, just recheck all the tension over and over until all the windup is gone, and the tension sounds or reads even.

too much info I guess.
use it.MR_GRUMPY
Jan 13, 2003 5:12 PM
Use it. The easier the nipples turn, the higher the tension. That's what keeps the spokes tight. The only time you ever really "need" spoke prep, is if you are going to build radial. If you have enough tension, you wont start breaking spokes on your back wheel on the non drive side. If you have too much, you might break them on the drive side.
Ps. don't even think of using alloy nips, unless it's for the front wheel.
GreaseKerry
Jan 13, 2003 5:31 PM
Grease the threads, and just a touch of grease where the nipple seats in the rim. Not sure what you mean "nipple where it meets the hub" - I guess you mean rim? I've been building with greased spoke threads for many years, well over 100 wheels - no problems with loosening spokes because the wheels have enough tension. The grease works great to keep the wheel maintainable as well. I've had 10 year old wheels (50 K miles) easily unthread the spokes for a rebuild with no oxidation or frozen (brass) nipples. As you say, this is the way to get high tension without stressing things out.
Linseed oilTommasini
Jan 14, 2003 7:20 AM
Lightweight lube on drive side threads and nipple interface, linseed oil on non-drive threads and nipple interface (it drys after a few days to prevent unscrewing due to the lower tension on this side).