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Spoke troubles...should I replace the rims?

Ana2010-04-28 15:58:44 +0000 #1
While I was truing the wheels of my commuter, I noticed that one spoke in particular (I found others after that) turns with the nipple. I even oiled it (twice) and let it sit...to no avail. I also tried unscrewing it and oiling it again...and was still unsuccessful.

My commuter is a Trek 830 and I bought it used (I think it's an old model). I am not sure if they are the original wheels (wow, that would be something) but I replaced the tires and tubes shortly after I purchased it. I know that at least several spokes and nipples need to be replaced and I'm considering it for my next learning experience but while I'm replacing the nipples/spokes, should I replace the rims?

When I acquired the bike, both wheels were quite wobbly/out of true. The stuck spoke/nipple is on the front wheel, which was the wobblier when I purchased the bike.

I am going to take it to my favorite shop but I wanted to see what you had to say before some mechanic talked me into something that isn't necessary

(why is accessorizing so fun?)

I don't want anything fantastic, just something durable that will withstand the riding and weather.

Any thoughts would be appreciated


Blueberry2010-04-28 16:06:04 +0000 #2
From what I understand (full disclaimer: I have not built wheels), unless rims are very new and in good condition, they will not take well to being re-built into new wheels. I think it's too much stress for them. I would replace them - rims are, thankfully, not terribly expensive...

CA
DebW2010-04-28 16:27:59 +0000 #3
I've been building wheels for 30+ years and here's my advice. I actually encountered wheels like yours with frozen spokes on a bike I overhauled last month. On the rear wheel, there were 13 frozen spokes and I ended up replacing all spokes in the wheel - it was easier to rebuild completely than put in 13 new spokes and true. On the front wheel there were 6 frozen nipples, and with considerable patience I managed to get them all unfrozen and true the wheel. It took about a week. I'd put a drop of oil on the spoke/nipple junction, spin the wheel hard in the truing stand to push the oil into the nipple, and wait a day. Then I'd try turning the nipples again. One or two nipples per day would come unfrozen, and I kept repeating until all nipples turned freely. So I'd suggest you keep trying with oil on the nipples - in fact, oil every nipple because the rest will seize eventually too. Use oil once or twice a day for up to a week. If they are still frozen after a week, you'll have to cut out the frozen spokes. Do this carefully with the rimstrip on the rim, because spokes under tension become projectiles when cut. If you can simply replace a couple of spokes, then the rim is probably fine if it has no cracks or flat spots and trues up easily. If you for some reason decide to replace all or a large number of spokes, it may be easier to start with a new rim just because it will true up easier, though it's not necessary if the rim is in good shape.
Ana2010-04-28 17:11:34 +0000 #4
Your input was very helpful

I will try oiling it more often and truing it again

If all the nipple/spokes will freeze up eventually and this is only temporary fix, wouldn't it be easier for me to get them replaced instead of having to fight with the frozen nipples/spokes each time my wheel is out of true?

Thanks!

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