Nipple Replacement (no, not THOSE....)
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  1. #1

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    Nipple Replacement (no, not THOSE....)

    All,
    Being as this was the first time building up a wheel, I didn't know what I do know now. And what I do know is this: I should have used longer nipples. Reason being is the profile of my wheel is so deep/sharp, that there is only 1/3rd of the nipple face poking out for the wrench to grab onto. When I built the wheels, it wasn't an issue, as I did all the turning from behind. But now that I have to make some minor adjustments after riding the bike for a while, its a mess. Im scratching up the finish on the wheel, and completely demolishing the alloy nipples.
    So, I want to replace them with longer, brass nipples. Obvious problem being spoke length. Will a one size longer nipple accomidate a spoke that is cut for a shorter one ? I know the spoke length calculator recomends a shorter spoke for a longer nipple...But Im looking for 'real life' yes or no.

    Thanks !
    -Steve H

    "Today we're rolling back the prices...to 1965 !"

  2. #2

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    Can't you look at the exposed threads....

    ...and see how much space you have before you run out of screwing room? My total wheelbuilding experience consists of one (1) wheel, which was enough to convince me to pay a pro to do it. But if you know the nip is X millimeters longer, and you have 0.7X of exposed thread showing, prolly won't work.

  3. #3
    NeoRetroGrouch
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve-H
    All,
    Being as this was the first time building up a wheel, I didn't know what I do know now. And what I do know is this: I should have used longer nipples. Reason being is the profile of my wheel is so deep/sharp, that there is only 1/3rd of the nipple face poking out for the wrench to grab onto. When I built the wheels, it wasn't an issue, as I did all the turning from behind. But now that I have to make some minor adjustments after riding the bike for a while, its a mess. Im scratching up the finish on the wheel, and completely demolishing the alloy nipples.
    So, I want to replace them with longer, brass nipples. Obvious problem being spoke length. Will a one size longer nipple accomidate a spoke that is cut for a shorter one ? I know the spoke length calculator recomends a shorter spoke for a longer nipple...But Im looking for 'real life' yes or no.

    Thanks !
    First, how could you possibly get them tight from the back??? I can't imagine getting to tension spec just using the screw driver slot on the back.

    "I know the spoke length calculator recomends a shorter spoke for a longer nipple..." Where did you see this? The spoke length is speced so that the end is even with the back side of the nipple. That's not going to change with different nipple lengths.

    TF
    "Don't those guys know they're old?!!"
    Me, off the back, at my first 50+ road race.

  4. #4

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    I was able to get them to proper spec by using the slot in the back. I guess I just got lucky ? I did use lots of never-seize on 'em, and had them double checked for proper tension by a shop.

    I saw that spoke length calculation on DT swiss's web calc. Input your info, and calculate. Then change the length of the nipple, and it will give you a different calculation. The longer the nipple, the shorter the spoke.
    -Steve H

    "Today we're rolling back the prices...to 1965 !"

  5. #5
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    I've always used the same size spoke irregardless of nipple length. Usually the longer nipples aren't threaded all the way down.
    I've always thought the the end of the spoke should be 1mm below the screwdriver slot in the nipple, when the wheel is fully tensioned.
    I've never used anti-seize. I just used a dab of grease on the threads and the nipple seat/eyelet.
    If your opinion differs from mine, ..........Too bad.
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  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by MR_GRUMPY
    I've always used the same size spoke irregardless of nipple length. Usually the longer nipples aren't threaded all the way down.
    I've always thought the the end of the spoke should be 1mm below the screwdriver slot in the nipple, when the wheel is fully tensioned.
    I've never used anti-seize. I just used a dab of grease on the threads and the nipple seat/eyelet.
    Thanks. I guess I'll take a spoke to the LBS tomorrow and see just how far down it'll sit.
    For lube, I used the never-seize that comes in the chapstik like form. That suff is excellent
    -Steve H

    "Today we're rolling back the prices...to 1965 !"

  7. #7
    bg.
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    If you tightened them all up with a screwdriver you probably have short enough spokes that the longer nipples will work. Sadly, you can only be sure by replacing them all and trying it out. Usually if you use 16mm nipples you use 2mm less spoke length....but that will depend on the nipples you're using and how deep they're threaded.

    The ideal length, according to Sutherlands is the have the spoke flush with the bottom of the screwdriver slot, but again, longer nipples arn't always threaded that far, so it may not apply.
    Last edited by bg.; 06-09-2006 at 05:07 PM.

  8. #8
    NeoRetroGrouch
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve-H
    I was able to get them to proper spec by using the slot in the back. I guess I just got lucky ? I did use lots of never-seize on 'em, and had them double checked for proper tension by a shop.

    I saw that spoke length calculation on DT swiss's web calc. Input your info, and calculate. Then change the length of the nipple, and it will give you a different calculation. The longer the nipple, the shorter the spoke.
    I see what you are saying in the "corrected" it shows a shorter spoke. Corrected for what? I don't know. The Damon Rinard spreadsheet that I use does not consider the nipple length. The longer nipples I have seen still have the threads up in the head end and just add hollow metal to the bottom sort of like skirting. - TF
    "Don't those guys know they're old?!!"
    Me, off the back, at my first 50+ road race.

  9. #9
    bg.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TurboTurtle
    I see what you are saying in the "corrected" it shows a shorter spoke. Corrected for what? I don't know. The Damon Rinard spreadsheet that I use does not consider the nipple length. The longer nipples I have seen still have the threads up in the head end and just add hollow metal to the bottom sort of like skirting. - TF
    For fun I just compared some 16mm nipples to the standard 12mm nipples, both DT brass.

    With the 16mm nipple, the spoke bottoms out about half a mm above the slot, on the 12mm nips the spoke extends out past the head of the nipple by about 1 1/2mm, at least, judging by eye.

  10. #10
    NeoRetroGrouch
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    Quote Originally Posted by bg.
    For fun I just compared some 16mm nipples to the standard 12mm nipples, both DT brass.

    With the 16mm nipple, the spoke bottoms out about half a mm above the slot, on the 12mm nips the spoke extends out past the head of the nipple by about 1 1/2mm, at least, judging by eye.
    Thanks. Good to know. - TF
    "Don't those guys know they're old?!!"
    Me, off the back, at my first 50+ road race.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by bg.
    For fun I just compared some 16mm nipples to the standard 12mm nipples, both DT brass.

    With the 16mm nipple, the spoke bottoms out about half a mm above the slot, on the 12mm nips the spoke extends out past the head of the nipple by about 1 1/2mm, at least, judging by eye.
    Interesting....So Im assuming that it is safe to say, that if you bottomed out both nipples on a rim, there would be a 2mm difference (by eye)....With the 16mm coming up short. In other words, it would be a good idea to use 2mm shorter spokes if you wanted to use 16mm nipples as opposed to 12mm ones.
    So this concludes that nipple length does make a difference on spoke length, and therefor I cannot use a longer nipple in my case.

    Thanks
    -Steve H

    "Today we're rolling back the prices...to 1965 !"

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