Developed a wobble
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  1. #1
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    Developed a wobble

    I have been riding on my wheels for a couple years without an issue and suddenly I noticed I had developed a wobble in the rear. I was truing the wheel when I heard something rattling around. Anyway I pulled off the rim tape (Stans) and spun the wheel and a chunk of metal fell out. My thought was it's a piece of the rim butt weld.. I looked that over and figured it looked good.

    Then truing the wheel I noticed one nipple bottomed out and I looked at my spokes inside and thought that they were maybe 2ml to long. So then I ordered up a set of spokes and nipples going 2ml shorter on the driveside and 1ml shorter on the non drive side.

    When I took the original wheel apart it all became apparent as the spoke nipple had broken half of the head off and that is why it was bottoming out.

    Anyway I spent $50.00 to rebuild my wheel when all I needed was a new nipple which I already owned.

    Lesson learned. The good news is I have a fresh spoked rear wheel. When I opened up my wheelsmith spoke prep it was all dried so I went down to the hardware and bought some plumbers sealant. You know you can use that white tape or the sticky paste stuff. So I used the sticky paste stuff.

    I thought about using it before but had the Wheelsmith. Anyway it is pretty sticky and it never actually dries out so I am sure it will make a fine spoke prep. It's messy to clean up so making sure you do not get it all around is a good idea. Because it never actually dries like a glue you can true the wheel up down the road if you ever needed to. Anyway it's much cheaper then Wheelsmith spoke prep. It's probably been used before but to me it's my idea. I am like that and tend to figure out things that will work when pressed. Sometimes it comes back at you and sometimes it becomes a life long method. The spoke length is perfect now also. I keep all that on an external hard drive to refer to as I do 100% of my maintenance and I maintain my son in laws bike. He is hard on his bike and is a poor mechanic so I do it for him. Lucky him as I pay for it all to boot.
    Last edited by BikeLayne; 12-15-2016 at 12:14 PM.

  2. #2
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    if there's one thing I can't do tha'ts fixing a wheel. But i'm a lightweight and have never broken any wheel, ever.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by aclinjury View Post
    if there's one thing I can't do tha'ts fixing a wheel. But i'm a lightweight and have never broken any wheel, ever.
    you ain't been around!~

    PO: are u talking using pipe dope on the spokes? When you hear something rattling around, usually something is busted.
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  4. #4
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    The rattle as I said was a broken spoke nipple. Half the head broke off and was rattling around. Yes pipe dope for thread prep. People have used a lot of different products for that such as wheel smith spoke prep, boiled linseed oil, anti seize, paint and now pipe dope as you called it. The mechanic at the local bike shop makes his own prep from paint but he adds some other stuff to his personal paint spoke prep brew. . Anyway I am sure that pipe dope (plumbing sealent) will work real good. I have been using aluminum nipples since about 78 when I built my first set of wheels. I have never used brass nipples but I would imagine they probably would not have broken.

  5. #5
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    WTF? You somehow thought that your spokes had stretched 2mm, so you bought new ones???? Man, I hope you're not an aircraft mechanic......
    "L'enfer, c'est les autres"

  6. #6
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    I'm not an expert wheel builder, but if the spoke is through the nipple, but not above the nipple hole in the rim, I consider that close enough, ready to roll!!!!
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by duriel View Post
    I'm not an expert wheel builder, but if the spoke is through the nipple, but not above the nipple hole in the rim, I consider that close enough, ready to roll!!!!
    I have built maybe 10 sets of wheels over the years. Hardly an expert. However from my perspective the spoke length is fine as long as it contacts the full thread length of the nipple threads. In other words to short is a future failure. It can stick out past the nipple head as long as the nipple does not bottom out on the spoke threads during truing. Anyway the new spokes fit right in there real nice. Until I actually saw the broken nipple I thought that I pushed the limit on spoke length being to long. Turns out it was fine.

    If I were an expert I would have probably realized that I had a broken nipple and just replaced it. No cost as I have some in the garage.
    Last edited by BikeLayne; 12-15-2016 at 03:52 PM.

  8. #8
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    The stuff I use is Oatey Great White Pipe Joint Compound with Teflon. True; it's messier to apply or wipe off than grease or Spoke-Prep, but IT WORKS.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter P. View Post
    The stuff I use is Oatey Great White Pipe Joint Compound with Teflon. True; it's messier to apply or wipe off than grease or Spoke-Prep, but IT WORKS.
    They had that one at the hardware also. It's good to know somebody else thought it was a usable idea.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by BikeLayne View Post
    They had that one at the hardware also. It's good to know somebody else thought it was a usable idea.
    Just so you don't think too hard about it, plain old grease works just fine. Never dries out, prevents corrosion, makes wheel truing easy for a decade or more. Other things work too, but you already have grease in your shop.

  11. #11
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    pig or sheep intestine will also work.

    not as easy, inexpensive or as reliable as grease, but you will set yourself apart.
    Yossarian: don't worry. nothing's going to happen to you that won't happen to the rest of us.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kerry Irons View Post
    Just so you don't think too hard about it, plain old grease works just fine. Never dries out, prevents corrosion, makes wheel truing easy for a decade or more. Other things work too, but you already have grease in your shop.
    How about that? Spoke tension will hold the nipple tight. There's no need for any further adhesive. Heck, a drop of light weight oil will do it, on the threads of each spoke. Makes assembly a piece of cake.

    Also brass nipples don't corrode or split apart like aluminum. They'll last forever. Aluminum nipples can't hold the abuse they get absorbing impact. Not surprised one split on ya, BikeLayne.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fredrico View Post
    How about that? Spoke tension will hold the nipple tight. There's no need for any further adhesive. Heck, a drop of light weight oil will do it, on the threads of each spoke. Makes assembly a piece of cake.

    Also brass nipples don't corrode or split apart like aluminum. They'll last forever. Aluminum nipples can't hold the abuse they get absorbing impact. Not surprised one split on ya, BikeLayne.
    I have found oil or grease does not last and after a couple years the nipples are dry in there and they squeak and pop and are difficult to work with. So I use spoke prep. I was happy with the Wheelsmith prep but this time when I opened the container it was dry. I did not put the lid back on tight enough I guess. I wanted to get the wheel together at the time so I thought I would go with pipe dope. It was a risky idea as I had never heard of it but it turns out to be a popular method.

    I am going to continue using aluminum nipples. I think I can handle a broken one every 40 years.


    However I found a bit of information on you tube. Here is the quote.


    "If you're going to build a wheel, treat the spoke threads with a washout-resistant thread prep. You'll thank yourself later. Common spoke preps include Wheelsmith SpokePrep, boiled linseed oil, and plumbers' pipe-thread sealant. "



  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by BikeLayne View Post
    I have found oil or grease does not last and after a couple years the nipples are dry in there and they squeak and pop and are difficult to work with. So I use spoke prep. I was happy with the Wheelsmith prep but this time when I opened the container it was dry. I did not put the lid back on tight enough I guess. I wanted to get the wheel together at the time so I thought I would go with pipe dope. It was a risky idea as I had never heard of it but it turns out to be a popular method.

    I am going to continue using aluminum nipples. I think I can handle a broken one every 40 years.


    However I found a bit of information on you tube. Here is the quote.


    "If you're going to build a wheel, treat the spoke threads with a washout-resistant thread prep. You'll thank yourself later. Common spoke preps include Wheelsmith SpokePrep, boiled linseed oil, and plumbers' pipe-thread sealant. "


    I know what you're talking about: ride a few winters in rain and snow mush and the nipples get sticky, rounded off by the spoke wrench, and the aluminum ones break. I encountered many while mech at a bike shop. I've used light oil on brass nipples, stainless steel spokes, and rims with brass eyelets. The first thing to go is always the aluminum rim. Never had a problem tweaking them up 5 years later. But I don't ride in snow and hardly ever in rain.

    Sounds like you discovered the ideal for what you've got, and you're not ham handed with the spoke wrench. Go for it.

  15. #15
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    This thread has gone on too long without the requisite response from cxwrench, so I must speak up in his stead: THIS BELONGS IN THE WHEELS AND TIRES FORUM.
    "None of us knows for sure what's out there; that's why we keep looking. Keep your faith; travel hopefully. The universe will surprise you, constantly." The 13th Doctor.

  16. #16
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    I was just sharing my experience, kind of like a sit around and chat thing. I am not a verteran wheel builder or anything telling somebody what to do or anything of that nature. But I am good to go and hopefully I will get some years from the wheels. Probably right now my bargain tires should be replaced as the Michelin Service Course that I bought on clearance are not tough enough for the roads around here. Seems fine for the front but the back is getting sliced and diced to shreds.

    Maybe I will try the Roubino Pro road tire next. It is slick in the middle and has tread on the sides. The one I was looking at weighs 235gm for the 25mm size. I have been using Vittoria tubes and they seem real good so maybe the tire will be also.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by BikeLayne View Post
    I was just sharing my experience, kind of like a sit around and chat thing. I am not a verteran wheel builder or anything telling somebody what to do or anything of that nature. But I am good to go and hopefully I will get some years from the wheels. Probably right now my bargain tires should be replaced as the Michelin Service Course that I bought on clearance are not tough enough for the roads around here. Seems fine for the front but the back is getting sliced and diced to shreds.

    Maybe I will try the Roubino Pro road tire next. It is slick in the middle and has tread on the sides. The one I was looking at weighs 235gm for the 25mm size. I have been using Vittoria tubes and they seem real good so maybe the tire will be also.
    I've had phenomenal luck with Conti Gatorskins, 28Cs on the commuter/winter/foul weather bike. Last flat I got was rolling over a big nail in the Whole Foods parking lot. My mistake. I mashed into it while jumping on the bike and starting up, weighted down with groceries. They've been on the bike several years, and haven't gotten any cuts, believe it or not. Can't find where the nail hit. They don't ride as harsh as riders complain with the 25C Gatorskins. They feel comfortable at 90 psi for me, 160 pound rider.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fredrico View Post
    I've had phenomenal luck with Conti Gatorskins, 28Cs on the commuter/winter/foul weather bike. Last flat I got was rolling over a big nail in the Whole Foods parking lot. My mistake. I mashed into it while jumping on the bike and starting up, weighted down with groceries. They've been on the bike several years, and haven't gotten any cuts, believe it or not. Can't find where the nail hit. They don't ride as harsh as riders complain with the 25C Gatorskins. They feel comfortable at 90 psi for me, 160 pound rider.
    Gatorskins are the most popular tire in this area. They are a nice durable tire. I just do not like the way they ride so I have been trying other tires. Probably give the Rubino's a try next. I will just buy one for the back and see how it does back there. A little tread on the side appeals to me at least until I ride on it and then who knows what I will think.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by BikeLayne View Post
    Gatorskins are the most popular tire in this area. They are a nice durable tire. I just do not like the way they ride so I have been trying other tires. Probably give the Rubino's a try next. I will just buy one for the back and see how it does back there. A little tread on the side appeals to me at least until I ride on it and then who knows what I will think.
    We got good reports on Rubino Pro at the shop. They were judged as only slightly less durable but grippier rubber, and the sidewalls were certainly more comfortable than the Gatorskins.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fredrico View Post
    We got good reports on Rubino Pro at the shop. They were judged as only slightly less durable but grippier rubber, and the sidewalls were certainly more comfortable than the Gatorskins.
    Thanks for the tip. Maybe it will be a good tire for me. I was going to order one at the next 25% off sale at Nashbar. Put it on the back and see if flats every 50 miles like what I am experiencing now with the Michelin Service Course. It's weird as I went 700 flat free miles with the Michelin Service course and now just this week I have had 4 flats in the 115 miles that I rode. Because of the weather there is a lot of debris on the roads however.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fredrico View Post
    I know what you're talking about: ride a few winters in rain and snow mush and the nipples get sticky, rounded off by the spoke wrench, and the aluminum ones break. I encountered many while mech at a bike shop. I've used light oil on brass nipples, stainless steel spokes, and rims with brass eyelets. The first thing to go is always the aluminum rim. Never had a problem tweaking them up 5 years later. But I don't ride in snow and hardly ever in rain.

    Sounds like you discovered the ideal for what you've got, and you're not ham handed with the spoke wrench. Go for it.
    I have to wonder what kind of grease you guys use that dries out. I've used grease on my commuter bike that got ridden year-round in Michigan - lots of salt and grit. (Brass) nipples turn easily after a decade.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by BikeLayne View Post
    Thanks for the tip. Maybe it will be a good tire for me. I was going to order one at the next 25% off sale at Nashbar. Put it on the back and see if flats every 50 miles like what I am experiencing now with the Michelin Service Course. It's weird as I went 700 flat free miles with the Michelin Service course and now just this week I have had 4 flats in the 115 miles that I rode. Because of the weather there is a lot of debris on the roads however.
    Isn't that a b!tch?! Why is it flats come in strings? I always thought it was tire wear, age, road conditions due to weather, or a combination of those, and bad luck. It's reassuring in such periods of uncertainty, to slap on new rubber, just in case!

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kerry Irons View Post
    I have to wonder what kind of grease you guys use that dries out. I've used grease on my commuter bike that got ridden year-round in Michigan - lots of salt and grit. (Brass) nipples turn easily after a decade.
    Is it true that aluminum nipples get galvanic corrosion, making them even more brittle than they are new? Most of the wheels Ive encountered were factory built, that were never lubed in the first place. And yes, brass will still turn, as long as mech doesn't round off the nipple with his wrench.

    I've used grease on all screws, bolts exposed to the weather, and never had a problem with corrosion or frozen parts. Campy grease is really waterproof. It'll stay forever, IME.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kerry Irons View Post
    I have to wonder what kind of grease you guys use that dries out. I've used grease on my commuter bike that got ridden year-round in Michigan - lots of salt and grit. (Brass) nipples turn easily after a decade.
    . Phil Wood

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fredrico View Post
    Isn't that a b!tch?! Why is it flats come in strings? I always thought it was tire wear, age, road conditions due to weather, or a combination of those, and bad luck. It's reassuring in such periods of uncertainty, to slap on new rubber, just in case!
    I did just that today. The michelin had a big cut down to the cord so i tossed on my last new service course. Since i had the tire off i put the wheel on the truing stand and it looks good. Its only been 50 miles but the truing stand is still on the workbench. I will put it away this weekend but i wanted to see if my son wants me to look at his wheels first.

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