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Wheel Building Question(12 posts)

Wheel Building QuestionAlpedhuez55
Aug 21, 2001 9:40 AM
I am about to build my first set of wheels. I have heard several different suggestions as to what to treat the spokes or nipples with. They include Blue Loctite, Red Loctite, Anti-seize, Spoke Prep, linseed oil and grease. Does anyone have any suggestions?
NOT LOCTITE! How will you ever re-true? nmMB1
Aug 21, 2001 9:51 AM
DONT USE LOCTITE!!...dirtbag
Aug 21, 2001 10:13 AM
I built some ATB wheels a couple of months ago and someone advised me to use loctite 290, green light duty stuff. I am now rebuilding the wheels because I attempted to true and rounded off/broke the alloy nipples. Use Permatex anti seizing compound (auto parts store item)on the threads and lube the nipple seats of the rim with a good, teflon based waterproof bicycle grease. the spoke tension should be all the threadlocking agent you will need, loctite is only a crutch for poorly built, improperly tensioned wheels. For some great wheelbuilding info visit "Sheldon Browns Wheelbuilding Page"
Wheelsmith Spoke PrepSpoke Wrench
Aug 21, 2001 10:34 AM
I used to use linseed oil and had OK results but I found out I had to let the wheels "age" for a day or so before riding or the spokes loosened up.

Currently I use Wheelsmith Spoke Prep and I think that I get a little better results. I have to say that it's pretty expensive if don't build enough wheels to use it all up. My feeling is that a product that is specifically designed for a particular use is generally going to be a little better than "make do" substitutes.
Blue Loctite...TJeanloz
Aug 21, 2001 10:58 AM
Most wheel builders have a personal preference for what they do, and they think that this secret preference makes their wheels special. In the shop, we use blue loctite. For what it's worth, Mavic uses the french version of blue loctite on all of their wheels. Most people who have problems with loctite will tell you that the 'prepped' the spokes with the stuff. What you want to do is finish building the wheel completely. Make sure the true, dish and tension are right, and then put ONE drop of loctite on each spoke, where it meets the nipple. Once you've put a drop on every spoke, give the wheel a good spin in the truing stand, which will draw the loctite into the nipple.
Blue Loctite...MrCelloBoy
Aug 21, 2001 11:01 AM
I asked my well respected (by me) LBS, that's building my Cafee Tetra Tetra, if they were going to use spoke-prep on my precious wheelset and they said "NO, that stuff is crap, we use Blue Loctite!"
I believe them.
I trust them.
I will descend like a B.O.O.H. with my stoker screaming for mercy on our CXP33/Phil Wood/straight 14 gauge/brass nippled/Rivendell Rll-y Pol-y hot dog wheelset!
Blue Loctite...yes butMB1
Aug 21, 2001 11:21 AM
He is building his first set of wheels. They will undoubtedly need touching up several times. Save the loctite for the experts.
Don't use loctiteTom C
Aug 21, 2001 11:56 AM
I've built ALL my wheels for over 20 years and rebuilt the backward laced machine built wheels that came on some complete bikes I bought in the past. The purpose of a spoke,nipple lubricant was to make sure your 2 different metals under the influence of water and road salts wouldn't fuse together which would make re-truing impossible. Any use of loctite to my mind is something being used to hide a poorly built wheel much like the idiotic practice in the past of crimping spoke nipples. By all means use an oil or grease if that's what's handy. I favor, get this,3in1 oil because it penetrates into the fine threads of the spoke nicely but any lubricant is better than none.
Food for Thoughtgrzy mnky
Aug 21, 2001 4:48 PM
Had the guys at The Wheelsmith shop crimp my nipples right in front of me when they came loose after they did a major true job on them. I guess that makes them....

Ultimately it comes down to the needs of the situation, expereince and your preferences. Most of the books advise linseed oil (Brandt and others). DT makes a spoke that now has a "nylock" inside of it like an aircraft nut. Used blue loctite after one nipple kept coming loose on a replacement spoke for a Ksyrium. Have scraped numerous wheels where the alloy nipple oxidized onto the spoke (not built by me), but that comes with living near the ocean and salt air. I don't believe that Wheelsmith's Spoke Prep is much different from normal anit-seize compound available in any auotmotive store - just way more expensive - I'm sure they'll maintain that it is formulated with pure "unobtainium." The bike industry isn't known for it's extensive R&D budget and both NASA and the auto industry are way ahead of them on just about every front.

If you use RED Loctite you can forget ever doing any work on the wheels - it's virtually permanent without a tourch and you'll strip the nipple or twist off the spoke. Linseed oil is cheap and works quite well.
I guess that makes them..Tom C
Aug 21, 2001 5:09 PM
Out of business? Seriously, if as you yourself point out that the use of red loctite is virtually permanent without resorting to a torch, what degree of permanancy is crimping? Just because they (Wheelsmith) had the fancy registered trade mark next to their name doesn't mean... well as said under a wide variety of applications,"that and 50 cents will buy you a cup of coffee. Hell grz, you could trademark your handle just as well. I can't guess why you were comfortable with what they did to your wheel but I hope it's still true because tough luck right? if it's not.
10w oilJofa
Aug 21, 2001 12:01 PM
Get into the habit of using ordinary motor oil... just put a few drops on the ends of a handful of spokes at a time. The only reasons for any lubrication at this interface are to reduce galling during building, and to prevent corrosion in use. The nipple will never unscrew in use (as long as the spoke has no latent torsion), because it is always preloaded to some degree. Glues and Spoke Prep and such only allow you to be slack about your control of that spoke twist, which will manifest itself anyway eventually,glue or no glue: it's better to get it right in the first place, and be assured of true wheels. If you aren't sure whether or not your spokes have the twist removed, then put a post-it on one ore two before tensioning, and use that to judge how much you will need to back off the spoke nipple.

GreaseKerry Irons
Aug 21, 2001 5:41 PM
I've used grease for decades with good success. It helps in the build, doesn't leak out into the tube, and lasts a long time. I've taken apart 9 year old wheels with 50K miles on them without a single "stiff" nipple. Spokes loosen because of inadequate tension. Using Loctite is a crutch, IMO. It does guarantee that spokes won't loosen, but so does a good build.