Replacing/Tightening Spokes questions

I have a 1993 CR250 that needs some wheel work. I did a quick spoke check and it looks like about 10 spokes on the rear wheel and 2 spokes on the front wheel are not as tight as they should be. A few spokes on the rear wheel are really loose, I can grab them with my hand and slightly rotate them. I tried to tighten a few of them but the nipple and spoke turn as one.

When they get corroded together like this is it possible to heat them up to break them free and tighten them up? ...or do they just need to be replaced?

Will I have any problems only replacing 5-10 spokes but not all of them?

Im trying to get this issue resolved spending the least amout of money possibe.


Take the time to rotate and spray each nipple with some penetrate (slick 50). When you get ready to try and turn them, take a pair of quality vise grips and clamp onto the spoke inline with the vise grips teeth, near to the nipple as possible. That way you will only be tweaking the nipple and not the spoke. If they wont move, spay again, come back later and try again. You may have to put the really stcuk ones at 6:00 so the penetrate will run down into the nipple. Time consuming I know, but I don't wont to have to lace up a wheel----yuck.:thumbsup:

So you reccomend leaving heat as a last resort? I guess if I plan to heat them I will need to take the tire off to avoid damage to the tube and I would rather not do that.

Is it likely that assuming I use a quality penetrant that I should be able to get these frozen spokes tightened or will I end up having to replacing them?

You wont know until you spray and try.

As far as heating them, I would'nt take the tire/tube off. It wont take much to heat the nipple to see if it will move. Just don't do it too many times in a short period of time. Let it cool off inbetween tries.

Another option you can try if the spoke nipples are four sided square. Take a hammer and place the head flat against one side of a nipple. Take another hammer and tap sharply on the opposite side. This may also loose the nipple as they are aluminum and will distort easly. What ever you do, take your time and stop if you get frustated. Once again, lacing a wheel to me is yucky.

I would reccomend using ONLY a spoke tightening tool not pliers or vise grips or anything else. The nipples are easily deformed.

Using a penetrating oil has always worked for me to break free the stuck nipples.

The vise grips go on the spoke to stop it from turning, not the nipple.

What is the difference between a spoke tightening tool and a standard wrench? A wrench should not be used?

The vise grips go on the spoke to stop it from turning, not the nipple.

Ok, I see what your getting at. That sounds like a good idea.

What is the difference between a spoke tightening tool and a standard wrench? A wrench should not be used?

A spoke tightener will be much wider than a wrench of that size. This way it engages more of the nipple so that it does not get striped of it's flats.

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