I purchased a dynamo hub, rim, and spokes for a wheel build. Unknown to me at the time of purchase, I discovered that the spokes all have blue thread locker compound pre-applied to the threads. The spokes are DT Swiss Competition.

1) Do I need to use any other thread-locker or spoke prep?

2) Do I need to lace and tension the wheel all at once, or can I lace it one day, set the nipples to a set start position (with a nipple driver) and then tension it later?

  • The second question, I've build wheels over a number of days, just coming back to it when convenient. As you say, it helps if you can get to a common point when you stop working on the wheel, just for ease of picking it up again. Your first question, I suspect it depends who you ask. The people who taught me, swore that no spoke prep / locking agent was ever required. They readily accepted that other people would disagree but they stood by what they said.
    – PeteH
    Commented Jan 4, 2015 at 21:14
  • I've used spoke prep the last couple of times I built wheels, and it seemed to make things go a hair smoother. However, the spokes I used were not "pre-treated". Commented Jan 4, 2015 at 23:58
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    And I have only heard of applying grease to spokes, not thread locker: sheldonbrown.com/wheelbuild.html @ Preparation
    – Vorac
    Commented Jan 5, 2015 at 13:55
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    Wow. That's some of the first Sheldon I've seen that seems like I wouldn't recommend it. All the wheelbuilders I have known use spoke prep (or pretreated spokes, but not both) and then apply a light bit of triflow/oil around the nipple so it spins freely in the eyelet on the first truing. Commented Jan 5, 2015 at 16:39
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    I've used linseed oil on a number of wheels and have had no problems. It seems like it initially acts as a lubricant, but after a day or two it dries out and hardens, acting as a thread-lock compound. The long dry time is a nice feature as it gives you some leeway before the threads get fixed in place. Commented Mar 3, 2018 at 1:35

1 Answer 1


DT Swiss make a series of spokes called ProLock which incorporate a re-usable thread-lock type feature. You can build these over several days no problem and re-true them for years without trouble. It isn't blue, so that isn't what you have.

The usual blue stuff is Loctite 242 which I would not personally want to use on spokes because it sets in ten minutes and is fully cured after 24 hours; after it cures you can fully break it apart but not make small adjustments, so later truing will not really work. Should you wish to remove it Loctite's data sheet suggests the correct solvent to use is methylene chloride.

I personally use grease on spoke threads, as on any other threads which don't need locking. With grease or ProLock you can take as long as you like. I never tried Spoke Prep for lack of a UK supplier at a reasonable price.


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