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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Should one lubricate the contact area where the nipple meets the rim?

I am concerned that oil will seep through the hole and then the cloth rim tape, then contact the inner tube and deteriorate the rubber. Need I be concerned?
 

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Be sparing

A small drop of oil will not do any harm. A thin film of grease is better, as it's even less likely to migrate.

It's probably not necessary, in any event. Lubricating the threads is more important.
 

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I always do, using a small amount of oil applied with a needle applicator. The reason is to reduce friction during the initial build so that the nipple turns more easily. It does make a difference.
 

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Grease

TomBrooklyn said:
Should one lubricate the contact area where the nipple meets the rim?

I am concerned that oil will seep through the hole and then the cloth rim tape, then contact the inner tube and deteriorate the rubber. Need I be concerned?
Use grease. No seepage and it lasts much longer than oil.
 

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A must, if the rim doesn't have eyelets.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hi all, and thanks for the responses.
sanrensho said:
I always do...to reduce friction during the initial build.
pmt said:
I do, but as an old-school wheelbuilder I use beeswax.
I probably should have specified up front, I am inquiring not about when building wheels, but for already built wheels; and especially old wheels, as nipples are naturally more likely to bind the older the wheel is. And the older a wheel is, all other things being equal, the more likely it is to need truing also.

JCavilia said:
A thin film of grease is better, as it's even less likely to migrate.
Kerry Irons said:
Use grease. No seepage and it lasts much longer than oil.
So for old, already built wheels, would grease work? I wonder if it would migrate between the contact surfaces if applied around the nipple base.

JCavilia said:
It's probably not necessary, in any event. Lubricating the threads is more important.
I just read on some webpage about wheel truing, but I can't remember which one it was, where the author's opinion was that the friction between the nipple and the rim was actually greater than that between the nipple and the spoke. It was his contention or implication that lubrication between the nipple and rim was even more important than between the nipple and threads. I don't know if he fully took into account surface area of a threaded rod (spoke) as opposed to a smooth one. Intuitively, I would think there was more chance for corrosion, oxidation, and binding on the spoke threads than the rim hole.
 

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Existing wheel

TomBrooklyn said:
So for old, already built wheels, would grease work? I wonder if it would migrate between the contact surfaces if applied around the nipple base.
No way to get the grease to the desired locations without completely releasing spoke tension. For a built wheel, it has to be oil. Use something heavy like 90w gear lube.
 

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I applaud all posters for their restraint in not responding to this topic with adolescent humor.
 
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