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Help needed - Loosening "spoke-prepped" spokes?(10 posts)

Help needed - Loosening "spoke-prepped" spokes?Leak
Jan 22, 2003 5:45 PM

I have a set of wheels that were built using spoke prep or "freeze". They've gone out of true but the spokes are so frozen to the nipples that they won't turn without winding up the spoke.

Any suggestions on how to "unfreeze" the nipples from the spokes?


re: Help needed - Loosening "spoke-prepped" spokes?curlybike
Jan 22, 2003 6:05 PM
Find a set of pliers that do not have a cutter at the back of the throat. If that area is smooth and will clamp down on a spoke, use the pliers to hold the spoke while you try to true the wheel. There is a tool made for this, it is called Twist-Resist. If these are alloy nipples you are probably screwed. They have a tendancy to bond to the spoke due to corrosion of the nipple. That may be the spoke prep that you think you have. Also try heating the nipple with a butane lighter that you can direct the heat with. Loctite breaks down at 350F+.
re: Help needed - Loosening "spoke-prepped" spokes?Leak
Jan 22, 2003 6:43 PM
They are brand new wheels...only had one ride on them so far, so I don't think it's corrosion. I'll try the pliers.


re: Help needed - Loosening "spoke-prepped" spokes?NoahD
Jan 22, 2003 6:15 PM
Most likely the spokes won't come unfrozen, but there are a few things to try before having the wheels re-built. First, put a drop of lube (Tri-Flow) on each nipple and spin the wheel quickly forcing the lub down the threads. Let the lube seep in over night. The next day try loosening the nipples. If they won't loosen, try turning the spoke wrench the other way (tightening) to break the seal. Also, the spokes can be held with pliers while trying to turn the nipples - may prevent wind-up.
Unfortunately, these will probably never be good wheels. I doubt they were built with actual spoke prep - probably loc-tight. Expecially if you have alloy nipples and SS spokes,whcih tend to freeze-up on each other, you may just want to re-build the wheel. In the future, whomever you have build your wheels may or may not use any type of thread preparation. To save yourself from any problems, buy the spokes yourself and dip them in either Ace TFE teflon paste (cheap) or Wheelsmith Spokeprep (not so cheap). After years of building and truing wheels, I highly recommend steel nipples (much less likely to freeze or strip) and standard butted spokes (14/15 or 15/16)which do not wind-up as easily as revolution spokes or other extremely butted spokes. Heavier, but they do the job better. Good luck.
Steel nipples? Where the heck did you get them?Kerry Irons
Jan 22, 2003 7:19 PM
I've only ever seen brass (traditional) and alloy (corrosion and breakage for 10 gm weight savings) nipples. Where on earth did you get steel nipples. What brand of spokes use them? Why are they better than brass?
Steel nipples? Where the heck did you get them?curlybike
Jan 22, 2003 8:47 PM
I am sure that he must have a special secret source since he has been using them for many years and wheelsets. Do you think he ever picked one up with a magnet? I doubt it.
Steel nipples? Where the heck did you get them?NoahD
Jan 23, 2003 3:07 AM
I have a special shop connection:)
Steel nipples? Where the heck did you get them?NoahD
Jan 23, 2003 3:05 AM
Steel nipples? Did I say steel nipples? Of course I meant brass.
re: Help needed - Loosening "spoke-prepped" spokes?gybeho
Jan 22, 2003 8:00 PM
Try using a soldering gun to heat the nipple up and melt the spoke prep.
re: You may want to cut out the offending spoke(s)...dzrider
Jan 23, 2003 8:12 AM
replace it, and leave the rest alone especially if there is only one bad spot. It won't cost much and will save lots of time, effort and frustration.