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  1. #1
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    Putting new rim on old hub/spokes/nipples?

    Just realized my WTB Scraper i45 rear rim is cracking around the spoke nipples. See pic: https://imgur.com/a/0GEv0ru

    Though I'm really disappointed in this rim I'd like to get back on the trail ASAP for a minimum of cost.

    I'm considering ordering another rim of the same brand and model (they are about $100) and lacing the wheel up myself.

    I've never laced a wheel before but can I assume that the quick and dirty way would be to tape up the spokes, remove the nipples, old rim, then lace up the new rim? I'd probably take it to the bike shop to have them true it up.

    Or am I missing something here?

    I can also get an entire wheel with the same rim and SRAM hub for $230.

    Thanks for any advice.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by camus View Post
    Or am I missing something here?
    No, go for it. Your evil plan will succeed! ;0)

  3. #3
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    I'd check out Sheldon browns site, and Mike t's site, and give the whole job a shot!

    I do rim and hub swaps often. I dislike taping rims together. A lot. I zip off all the nipples and lace in the new rim in the same way id lace from scratch, but tons of others stick with the taping way. Both work.

  4. #4
    Barely in control
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    camus, your stated method is the most cost effective for a wheel building newbie. I say go for it.

  5. #5
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    Taping the rims together works great. You don't have to worry about stressing spokes when relacing the wheel. It's the easiest to do what you plan to do. I have done this a few times. I usually replace nipples if they are aluminum but wouldn't worry if they are brass. I tape the rims together in a few spots and loosen all the spokes slowly and evenly and then move the spokes over one at a time. No need to tape spokes.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy13 View Post
    Taping the rims together works great. You don't have to worry about stressing spokes when relacing the wheel. It's the easiest to do what you plan to do. I have done this a few times. I usually replace nipples if they are aluminum but wouldn't worry if they are brass. I tape the rims together in a few spots and loosen all the spokes slowly and evenly and then move the spokes over one at a time. No need to tape spokes.
    Right on. Good advice.

    Typically you see cracking rim beds from excessive spoke tension. You can blame the wheelbuilder, rim designer, production process, sloppy re-dishing... who knows. I only mean to point this out to say your spokes should be alright and i wouldn't hesitate to replace the rim with the same one if it's known to be reputable. Just be mindful of your spoke tensions. Sorry you have to deal with it.
    "Things that are complex are not useful, Things that are useful are simple."
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  7. #7
    Mudhorse
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    What if the ERD of the new rim is a bit different to the old one? There's a very good chance that this will be the case, even with the same model rim. If the new ERD is larger than the old ERD then a sound solution is to make up the difference with nipple washers (Sapim washers add 0.75 mm per spoke). There's no solid solution if the new ERD is smaller: you could either take your chances with less thread engagement (at the risk of stripping threads and/or snapping nipples*) or you could use longer DT Swiss** nipples (good thread engagement but still the risk of snapping nipples).

    I had a similar issue a while back when I bought the bits to make a new wheel. I got the rim first, carefully measured the ERD and then bought spokes of the appropriate length. It was only when I laced it up that I realised the rim was bent, so I sent it back for a replacement only to find that although the 2nd rim was at least straight, the ERD was 1.5 mm less than the rim I'd bought the spokes for. Fortunately I'd originally planned to use Sapim washers, so I just left those out and the spokes where the perfect length for the replacement rim.

    I tried the rim-taping method and for the life of me could not get the spokes far enough into the new rim holes so the nipple threads could engage (I may have been doing something wrong as this method seems to work for other people; possibly I didn't loosen all the spokes enough). The method I found that worked well was to tie the spoke pairs with little strips of self-amalgamating tape, remove the old rim and replace with the new rim. Worked a treat.

    Putting new rim on old hub/spokes/nipples?-20170415_191658%2520cropped.jpg

    Note the little tape flag on the key spoke.

    * Ideally, when fully tensioned, the end of the spoke should be flush with the bottom of the screwdriver slot on the nipple. The nipple relies on the spoke to give it shear and tension strength, and if the spoke is too short and the spoke end is below the nipple head then the nipple will be susceptible to breaking.


    ** Other manufacturers also make different length nipples, but AFAIK only DT Swiss nipples have thread lengths that correspond to the nipple length. The bottom of this Sheldon Brown page shows the difference between 12, 14 and 16 mm DT Swiss nipples (photo credit to mtbr's own Roger Musson - buy his wheelbuilding ebook, it'll pay for itself on your first wheel).
    Hose me down till the water runs clear.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grassington View Post
    What if the ERD of the new rim is a bit different to the old one? There's a very good chance that this will be the case, even with the same model rim.

    I suppose there may be a chance the erd is different but I'd say the odds are well in the op's favor because I've switched a lot of rims and never have been bitten, all worked out fine. Taping the rims together and switching 1 spoke at a time works fine IME and is probably the easiest and most foolproof way for a beginner to do it, just make sure to loosen all the spokes first.
    I brake for stinkbugs

  9. #9
    Mudhorse
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    I suppose there may be a chance the erd is different but I'd say the odds are well in the op's favor because I've switched a lot of rims and never have been bitten, all worked out fine. Taping the rims together and switching 1 spoke at a time works fine IME and is probably the easiest and most foolproof way for a beginner to do it, just make sure to loosen all the spokes first.
    Depends on what tolerances you're working to, I suppose. If the ERDs for any given rim model were that consistent then quality pro wheelbuilders wouldn't bother measuring the actual ERD before calculating spoke length. But they do bother, for each and every wheel they build.

    I think you're right that I didn't loosen the spokes enough for the rim-taping method to be successful for me. This was a deliberate choice on my part as I'd previously had issues when lacing up the first rim with the nipples unscrewing themselves just from moving the wheel around, and it's a right pain trying to retrieve a nipple rattling around inside the rim. It would be even more of a pain if this happened during a rim-swap process and the wheel ends up looking like a swatted umbrella. Nipples rattling loose probably won't be so much of an issue with old spokes and nipples as there'll be a bit of stiction (old spoke prep/corrosion/dirt) keeping them honest.
    Hose me down till the water runs clear.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy13 View Post
    Taping the rims together works great. You don't have to worry about stressing spokes when relacing the wheel. It's the easiest to do what you plan to do. I have done this a few times. I usually replace nipples if they are aluminum but wouldn't worry if they are brass. I tape the rims together in a few spots and loosen all the spokes slowly and evenly and then move the spokes over one at a time. No need to tape spokes.
    You dont have to worry about stressing the spokes when swapping rims, really no matter how you do it.

    Ive done it so many times now, I dont really worry about loosening them evenly anymore. Ill give all the nipples a couple turns, then off they go with a screw driver. Toss the old rim, grab the drive side key spoke and lace them in.

    Or tape them and do it that way. I'm really just trying to emphasize how doable the job is, at home, for nearly anyone.

    The critical parts for excellent wheels is to stress relieve them, and build to even tension.

  11. #11
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    How many cracks and how bad? A buddy of mine was in a bind and needed a temporary fix on his scraper that was cracked at three spoke holes. We drilled the outer wall, and epoxied in washers against the inner wall. We used 2mm longer nipples and you couldn't tell the difference. We were hoping it would get him through a week or two so he could order up a new one, but I think its been 9 months and probably close to a thousand miles, and theyre still going strong.

    I'm not necessarily suggestion you do this if you're planning, and capable, of re-lacing your own wheel. I only mean to say that it wound up working better than anyone expected. Obviously your mileage may vary.

    Also, for what its worth, talk to WTB and see about a crash replacement. I think they quoted me something like $70 or so to replace the cracked rim, though we never wound up ordering it. WAY cheaper than buying the same rim at retail.

  12. #12
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    I think your plan is sound and will be a great learning experience. Go for it. Besides what others have mentioned, I'd recommend you touchup the spoke threads with some spoke prep after you've removed the old rim. This will add a lot of longevity to your wheel and the spokes won't loosen over time.

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