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Wheel build question

Old 09-16-19, 05:47 AM
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stevel610 
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Wheel build question

Did I mess up or get mis-matched spokes/nipples?

I had an old wheel that had broken 3 spokes so I decided to re-lace. 32 hole Joytech hub, 622 Alex DM18 rim. Bought DT double butted spokes & brass nipples from lbs. Original spokes were 296mm and he had 295's in stock which didn't seem to matter.

The box of spokes had alloy nipples so I asked for brass which we went in the back and got. We tried a couple and they fit the spokes.

Assembling I removed a spoke & replaced 1 at a time. 3x pattern. Used antisieze on spoke threads and a drop of synthetic oil where nipples went through rim.

After basic true I de-stressed spokes by placing wheel sideways on floor and pressing on each side.

Installed tires Gatorskin 32c, and got trued to within a mm or two on bike. Went for a ride and wheel came out of true after 4-5 miles. Arriving home I found 1 spoke had pulled out of nipple and others very loose.

I was wondering if I could have gotten mismatched spokes/nipples or if I messed something up on the build. Thanks.

Last edited by stevel610; 09-16-19 at 05:55 AM.
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Old 09-16-19, 05:56 AM
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Questions

We can help better if we have more details:
  • Is this a front or rear wheel? Rear wheels sometimes use shorter spokes on the drive side to help with wheel dish for the cassette/freewheel
  • What spokes were on the wheel already? Are the butted spokes a direct replacement?
I've had new spokes and nipples separate with aluminum nipples and cheap plain gauge spokes. I used a different nipple and it worked out.

Last edited by Unca_Sam; 09-16-19 at 05:59 AM.
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Old 09-16-19, 06:14 AM
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If you had the wrong nipples, they might thread on, but you would not be able to get any tension without them slipping. Its more likely that you didn't have enough initial tension and riding it caused the nipples to loosen. I have had that happen to a newly built road wheel after mounting a tubeless tire. I later found that mounting the tubeless road tire and inflating it caused a nearly 30 kgf spoke tension drop in the wheel.
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Old 09-16-19, 06:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Unca_Sam View Post
We can help better if we have more details:
  • Is this a front or rear wheel? Rear wheels sometimes use shorter spokes on the drive side to help with wheel dish for the cassette/freewheel
  • What spokes were on the wheel already? Are the butted spokes a direct replacement?
I've had new spokes and nipples separate with aluminum nipples and cheap plain gauge spokes. I used a different nipple and it worked out.
Sorry, it was a front wheel. Original spokes were no name straight gauge.
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Old 09-16-19, 06:56 AM
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Originally Posted by dsaul View Post
If you had the wrong nipples, they might thread on, but you would not be able to get any tension without them slipping. Its more likely that you didn't have enough initial tension and riding it caused the nipples to loosen. I have had that happen to a newly built road wheel after mounting a tubeless tire. I later found that mounting the tubeless road tire and inflating it caused a nearly 30 kgf spoke tension drop in the wheel.
Thanks.

Could be there wasn"t enough to tension. Don't have a tension gauge.

Last edited by stevel610; 09-16-19 at 07:00 AM.
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Old 09-16-19, 08:17 AM
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I find i need to de-stress the wheel at least twice during a build, and pulling two spokes together by hand is part of that process of destressing, which can give you a fair idea on tension too
Using anti seize on threads and oil to lube the nipples is great, and if you've trued the wheel perfectly you can put a drop of lock tight on each nipple to stop it from loosening, this won't completely lock - if you need to true the wheel in future it can be broken coz you oiled the nipples
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Old 09-16-19, 09:05 AM
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I'm not sure why you decided to mix spokes, but it doesn't make a difference if you aren't using a tension meter to gauge your repair. If you have a musical ear (notes sound different) you can get your spokes in sufficient tension by listening to the tone made when you pluck a spoke. The thinner gauge butted spokes you bought will not sound the same as the straight gauge spokes, less material means they'll likely have a higher pitch at proper tension.

How are you gauging true on your wheel? Are you using the fork and brake pads, or a stand?

Another thought, to address the cause instead of the symptoms: You broke three spokes on a front wheel, which to me indicates damage to the rim if the wheel otherwise gave great service. Spokes fail because of tension loading cycles, if a spoke is too loose, the repeated tensioning will cause it to fatigue and break. Rim damage, like a flat spot, will allow spokes to relax enough to eventually break. If you haven't already, check your radial true, or how round the wheel rim is (with the tire off).

Worst case scenario, if you can't figure it out, you can bring it to the bike shop for a repair and true!
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Old 09-16-19, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Unca_Sam View Post
I'm not sure why you decided to mix spokes, but it doesn't make a difference if you aren't using a tension meter to gauge your repair. If you have a musical ear (notes sound different) you can get your spokes in sufficient tension by listening to the tone made when you pluck a spoke. The thinner gauge butted spokes you bought will not sound the same as the straight gauge spokes, less material means they'll likely have a higher pitch at proper tension.

How are you gauging true on your wheel? Are you using the fork and brake pads, or a stand?

Another thought, to address the cause instead of the symptoms: You broke three spokes on a front wheel, which to me indicates damage to the rim if the wheel otherwise gave great service. Spokes fail because of tension loading cycles, if a spoke is too loose, the repeated tensioning will cause it to fatigue and break. Rim damage, like a flat spot, will allow spokes to relax enough to eventually break. If you haven't already, check your radial true, or how round the wheel rim is (with the tire off).

Worst case scenario, if you can't figure it out, you can bring it to the bike shop for a repair and true!

Thanks so much. I retensioned the spokes and road it around the block. Good to go so far.

Never realized the problem a flat spot would cause. Will remove the tire and adjust if needed.


As you say, if all else fails, I'll take it to the shop.
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Old 09-17-19, 06:30 PM
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Originally Posted by stevel610 View Post
Thanks so much. I retensioned the spokes and road it around the block. Good to go so far.

Never realized the problem a flat spot would cause. Will remove the tire and adjust if needed.


As you say, if all else fails, I'll take it to the shop.
The method you described is NOT stress relieving...also...doing what you do risks tacoing the wheel.

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Old 10-10-19, 10:01 AM
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Thanks for all the helpful information. I did tighten the spokes a bit more and I've been riding on it for a couple of weeks. Staying true so I guess what I did worked. Couldn't have done it without all the helpful suggestions. Thanks again.
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Old 10-10-19, 02:49 PM
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14 gauge nipples screw onto 15 gauge spokes because they have the same thread pitch. They are sloppy though.
They just pull out easy.
Check your spoke gauge.
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Old 11-21-19, 07:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Bill Kapaun View Post
14 gauge nipples screw onto 15 gauge spokes because they have the same thread pitch. They are sloppy though.
They just pull out easy.
Check your spoke gauge.
Thanks!
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