HOW BLAMELESS IS STAINLESS?
Tony Melo’s second questions this month is whether I think stainless steel wheel rims and spokes are a good idea or not. “Wouldn’t they be very brittle and crack easily?” he asks. Well, stainless steel has the reputation of being hard and brittle, but the term refers to a variety of steel alloys which include a proportion of chromium. There are differing grades to cover a variety of applications and the one used for wheel rim and spokes should be suitable for the purpose. One comment worth making, though, is that it is unwise to use stainless spokes and nipples together other than with an approved lubricant. Stainless threaded into stainless can result in seizure or ‘galling’, which can lock the two together before the correct tension has been reached, so it is best to use plated brass nipples with stainless spokes.
Only use stainless spokes and nipples together with an approved lubricant