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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Any Fans of WS Spoke Prep?

Have typically used grease for (alum)nipple to thread but thought I would give something else a try.

Seems like a good option - Lubes and apparently has a “holding” property. Seems like a little holding would be OK but not looking for “Locktite” Holding
 

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Nope. I use a dedicated thread lubricant - anti-seize compound. I use spoke tension to hold everything together and not the crutch of a thread locker, no matter how weak. I've proved through decades of wheelbuilding that sufficent tension works perfectly.

Other people use oil on the threads; I just prefer to use something that's made specially for the job. Oh but the same could be said about "spoke prep" eh? I just want my threads to be nice and free; not gummy.
 

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I've built about 5 sets of wheels using Spoke Prep and Wheelsmith AE spokes.

For a beginner, the AE spokes made life easier because you could easily feel and adjust for spoke windup.

Not sure what I did right but the wheels have all been bulletproof.

I'd use Spoke Prep again if building new wheels.

That being said, I've long since decided that I'd rather have someone else do the wheelbuilding as the fun of doing it myself was soon lost. :D
 

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Mike T. said:
I use spoke tension to hold everything together and not the crutch of a thread locker, no matter how weak.
I bought a double pack of spoke prep and now I just lace the wheels and let the thread locker hold them together instead of tension. Also, since the State forces me to carry auto insurance, I installed a flat screen TV above the steering wheel so I can watch TV instead of driving responsibly. :rolleyes:
 

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I know some folks that use plumbers pipe dope and like it. It can be a bit messy though.
 

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Mike T. said:
Nope. I use a dedicated thread lubricant - anti-seize compound. I use spoke tension to hold everything together and not the crutch of a thread locker, no matter how weak. I've proved through decades of wheelbuilding that sufficent tension works perfectly.
Can you quantify "sufficient" (curious)? I'm fairly strong and heavy, and I used to just increase tension until I no longer had problems with the rear wheel going out of true while riding. Now I use a tensiometer. I probably have an old GP4 tubular rear wheel in the shed that I could check to see where I ended up.

When I started building my own wheels in the early '80s, linseed oil was thought to be good, since I guess it dries out somewhat over time. I'm sure I've still got that first can of it around, somewhere. Lately I've used Triflow, motor oil, whatever's handy. I would've guessed that anti-seize might be a little heavy for very fine threads, but if it works, fine.
 

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I like it.

I've used anti-seize, oil (Phil's Tenacious mostly), grease, and nothing. It helps, but doesn't ensure you of building a good wheel. Haven't tried Linseed oil. :nah

HTH

M
 

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PeanutButterBreath said:
I bought a double pack of spoke prep and now I just lace the wheels and let the thread locker hold them together instead of tension. Also, since the State forces me to carry auto insurance, I installed a flat screen TV above the steering wheel so I can watch TV instead of driving responsibly. :rolleyes:
Why don't you bash the nipples between two anvils. That should stop 'em loosening.
 

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fallzboater said:
Can you quantify "sufficient" (curious)?
No because I don't own a tensiometer. It's between "too much" and "not enough" and if you don't own a tensiometer then it's either luck or judgement that gets you in the ballpark.
 

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Phil Tenacious for brass nipples, anti-sieze for aluminum nipples. Call me cheap, call me stupid, but it works fine as long as you're up to the right tension.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Ligero said:
I used to use this stuff http://www.rocklube.com/products_detail_nipplecream.html but it got a little to expensive with the amount I was going thru. Then I started mixing grease and locktite together and that worked pretty good. Now I just use Phil Wood tenacious oil.
Back when I was taught to build wheels the local wheel dude used a mixture of things (including locktite, tri-flow, midnight oil, and I think anti seize) I just assumed it was locktite plus whatever he had on the bench. I still have two set of these wheels and they are still truable.
 

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IMO there would be no reason to do so on the front wheel and rear DS... grease is a good bet b/c it sticks around for a while and doesn't dry up.. On a wheelset with a wide rear hub flange (a la campy), and with some pattern that makes the NDS tension drop (ie all heads in) then i would seriously consider using some spoke prep to make sure the NDS nipples don't loosen.

For wheels with > or ~50kg on the NDS, should be fine without a locking compound.
 

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Mike T. said:
No because I don't own a tensiometer. It's between "too much" and "not enough" and if you don't own a tensiometer then it's either luck or judgement that gets you in the ballpark.
Understood, but the engineer in me has a hard time being comfortable with that. I would say hitting that range is initially luck, then experience. The tensiometer mostly removes the need for either (although you'd have to trust the rim manufacturer's recommendations). One might also argue that there's a narrower "optimal" range between "too much" and "not enough" for long wheel life (especially with real light rims) that's even harder to hit.

I think it'd be interesting to measure tensions of similar wheels done by some of the really experienced builders (who don't use a tensiometer), and see if they've all converged on similar tension levels, or if there's much variation.
 

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fallzboater said:
Understood, but the engineer in me has a hard time being comfortable with that. I would say hitting that range is initially luck, then experience. The tensiometer mostly removes the need for either (although you'd have to trust the rim manufacturer's recommendations). One might also argue that there's a narrower "optimal" range between "too much" and "not enough" for long wheel life (especially with real light rims) that's even harder to hit.

I think it'd be interesting to measure tensions of similar wheels done by some of the really experienced builders (who don't use a tensiometer), and see if they've all converged on similar tension levels, or if there's much variation.
Maybe, but the practical auto mechanic in me (licensed) and, of course, long time bike fixer, knows that most bolts & nuts, that don't have their torque quantified, do a great job of staying where they're put.

Of course some things are more critical than others (aluminum cyclinder head studs versus doorlock bolts. Spoke nipple versus pedal spindle) but my decades of wheelbuilding have given me the knowledge that there is a big allowable variation in acceptable spoke tensions. Yep I'm aware that the tension of 20 spokes is more critical than for 36 spokes and that 260 gram rims are more critical than 560 gram rims. But then in my wheelbuilding pages I issue that warning to the newbs telling them that the job gets more critical the further they stray from "normal" wheels.

But I'm still not going to get a tensiometer until there's something on the market that truly measures tension. If you're an engineer (I think you said you were) then can I assume you might have some issues with how spoke "tension" is currently "measured"?

We get to compare the deflection of a 4" piece of spoke to a supplied cross reference chart right? Jeeze we'd better be measuring the diameter of EVERY spoke in that wheel hadn't we? Doesn't the enginner in you have a bit of an issue with that? But then I couldn't afford to buy a machine that measured true tension in a spoke.

Pro UK wheelbuilder Roger Musson (he's an engineer) found that spokes in a wheel varied in diameter (QC? Screwup?) and that a tensiometer reading didn't mesh with a pluck/ping test. So what's the built in tension variation if we don't blueprint every spoke in a wheel?

Check out this pearl!

I'm just happy with my guesswork (I like to think that it's more precise than that) compared to a quantified tension. After all, isn't the proof of the pudding really in the eating? I can't remember the last wheel I built that failed because of unquantified tension. Plus I deal with dozens of people per year who get motivated to build their first wheels because of my website. The numbers of those people that have suffered because of unquantified tension on their first wheelset is zero. I've never had negative feedback from one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
wankski said:
IMO there would be no reason to do so on the front wheel and rear DS... grease is a good bet b/c it sticks around for a while and doesn't dry up.. On a wheelset with a wide rear hub flange (a la campy), and with some pattern that makes the NDS tension drop (ie all heads in) then i would seriously consider using some spoke prep to make sure the NDS nipples don't loosen.

For wheels with > or ~50kg on the NDS, should be fine without a locking compound.

Good thought - _Not sure where the lower limit would fit (50kg) but the basic principal seems appropriate.

In fact, I have such a wheel - which in part had me thinking about different “preps”.
 

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A Teflon-based grease is what I've used for 27 years. Never had a spoke freeze-up on me. I just took apart some wheels I built back in 1984. I'd used Teflon grease, and they came apart with my spoke-wrench without a struggle.

"If it t'aint broke - don' fix it." old Yankee suggestion.
 
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