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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I built a front 303 and rear 404 on Tune hubs last year, and had a hard time dealing with the aero spokes winding up when I built them and am continuing to have a hard time with the spokes winding up when I am riding them. Zipp suggests that the exterior nipple shoulders be lubed when building, but they don't provide a recommended lube. Do any of you lube the nipple shoulders before building, and if so, what do you use.

White lithium grease, chain lube, WD-40, graphite, Mobil 1, etc.?

I'm getting ready to build up 3 sets of Zipps and would like to avoid the spoke windup problems on these builds.
 

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Quality grease

fabsroman said:
I built a front 303 and rear 404 on Tune hubs last year, and had a hard time dealing with the aero spokes winding up when I built them and am continuing to have a hard time with the spokes winding up when I am riding them. Zipp suggests that the exterior nipple shoulders be lubed when building, but they don't provide a recommended lube. Do any of you lube the nipple shoulders before building, and if so, what do you use.

White lithium grease, chain lube, WD-40, graphite, Mobil 1, etc.?

I'm getting ready to build up 3 sets of Zipps and would like to avoid the spoke windup problems on these builds.
Any quality grease will be just fine. Lighter oils and dry lubes tend to not have the staying power of quality grease. Lithium grease tends to emulsify with water, so that would not be my first choice. Grease the spoke threads too. You may still get some windup, but if you just file a little notch in a piece of hard wood or plastic, or wrap some cloth around the jaws of a small adjustable wrench, you can hold the flats of the spokes and prevent them from twisting during the build.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
After a weekend of racing, I am too brain dead to think of what a quality grease would be. I have some grease that I use for my car wheel bearings and brake caliper guides. Would that work? I also have some Mobil 1 synthetic grease for ball joints/chassis lubrication. Would that work? Other than white lithium grease for my bike, I don't think I have any bike specific grease.

Along with the hubs and spokes I just ordered, I ordered the Sapim spoke holding tool that is supposed to prevent them from winding up. I'm hoping that it will do the trick, but I am thinking about using the grease as added insurance because dealing with the spoke windup on my previous build is a pain.

I cannot lube up the inside of the nipples because they are going to be DT Swiss Pro Lock nipples that have some type of compound in them to prevent them from working loose. They don't recommend that the inside of the nipple be lubed because it kills this compound.
 

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Prolock stuff is not necessary, so I wouldn't worry about "killing" it. Actually, I'd get regular 14mm nipples and use marine anti-seize if they are aluminum, or any grease if they are brass. The Prolock will make them wind-up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
That is nice to know. At least the Sapim CX-Ray spokes come with their own nipples, so I'll use them instead of the Pro-Lock and save the Pro-Lock for standard spokes.

Can the marine anti-seize be used on the exterior shoulders of the nipple as Zipp recommends, or is it just for the interior so that they don't seize up?
 

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fabsroman said:
I built a front 303 and rear 404 on Tune hubs last year, and had a hard time dealing with the aero spokes winding up when I built them and am continuing to have a hard time with the spokes winding up when I am riding them. Zipp suggests that the exterior nipple shoulders be lubed when building, but they don't provide a recommended lube. Do any of you lube the nipple shoulders before building, and if so, what do you use.
White lithium grease, chain lube, WD-40, graphite, Mobil 1, etc.?
I'm getting ready to build up 3 sets of Zipps and would like to avoid the spoke windup problems on these builds.
Let's go over your issues -

Spoke windup is when the nipple to spoke thread friction overcomes the ability of the spoke to resist twisting. It has nothing to do with the nipple seat. Spoke windup, especially with bladed spokes like CX-Ray, is very easy to see and almost as easy to deal with. I see you're getting the Sapim tool. I have one and it works fine, but as the other say, something else will work fine too.

Greasing the nipple seat just allows lower friction for building and subsequent re-truing (if the lube stays there). Any grease is fine. Some use oil but I wonder at its ability to stay between nipple & seat over time.

I'm not sure why some nipple makers use a thread locker as it's well proven that sufficient tension is all that is needed to stop nipples unscrewing. The goop just makes for greater spoke windup.

Personally I use anti-sieze on spoke threads and Bullshot red grease on the seats - but that's only because a tub of it sits on my workbench. They've both proved themselves over a couple of decades use.
 

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fabsroman said:
That is nice to know. At least the Sapim CX-Ray spokes come with their own nipples, so I'll use them instead of the Pro-Lock and save the Pro-Lock for standard spokes.

Can the marine anti-seize be used on the exterior shoulders of the nipple as Zipp recommends, or is it just for the interior so that they don't seize up?
Are you buying the spokes and nipples from Zipp? If so they will be fine... but don't use Sapim nipples... they are slightly wider and IME tend to bind in a Zipp rim. WS and DT nipples are ok. 14mm will give you a little more room for the wrench.

The anti-seize is good for both the threads and the shoulders.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The spokes aren't coming from Zipp, so I'll be ordering some 14mm DT non-Pro-Lock nipples later today and going to West Marine to find some marine anti-seize.

Thanks for the help.
 
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