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  1. #1
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    replacing aluminum nipples with brass

    Is it possible to replace just the nipples on my wheels without having to replace all the spokes? I have the light bicycle carbon rims and they have been great. Problem is that I have had three nipples break because of the corrosion issues. Thanks
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  2. #2
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    You've had three nipples break and haven't replaced them?

  3. #3
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    Sure If you "de-tune" the spoke tension (lose all the spokes) you can then replace the nipples one by one so you don't need to delace the whole wheel, then just tension the spokes up and you are ready to ride..

  4. #4
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    I replaced them each time they broke. I was just wondering if I could replace all of them since I think this is going to keep happening. I am assuming that I can since I replaced the other two already.
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  5. #5
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    Anti seize and keep the aluminum.

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    replacing aluminum nipples with brass

    Where do you live. I would be very surprised if you broke 3 nipples due to corrosion. The LB Tim's have really just been around for what, maybe a year or two. For nipples to break in that amount of time i think it must be due to a poorly built wheel, not corrosion. I have have wheels that are 15 yo with aluminum nipples with no problems. My guess is that the wheel is either built wrong, the tension is off or the spokes are the wrong length.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKamp View Post
    I have have wheels that are 15 yo with aluminum nipples with no problems. My guess is that the wheel is either built wrong, the tension is off or the spokes are the wrong length.
    ^^^this is spot on.

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    I believe that there is another thread somewhere here in the forums that explained that carbon fiber generates lots of static electricity which can cause galvanic corrosion at the nipple/spoke connection. Sounded plausible to me. Maybe anti-seize would help, I just used it on my first wheel build on Mike T's recommendation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by robc in wi View Post
    I believe that there is another thread somewhere here in the forums that explained that carbon fiber generates lots of static electricity which can cause galvanic corrosion at the nipple/spoke connection. Sounded plausible to me. Maybe anti-seize would help, I just used it on my first wheel build on Mike T's recommendation.
    Quite possible but I really don't think it would be enough to corrode the nipples in 18 months, a much likelier senario would be a poorly built wheel. I have been riding the LB rims with DT Proloc nips for the past year and haven't had or seen any problems. I also have some Dura Ace wheels with aluminum nips and haven't had any problems. I think that if there were any problems Shimano's engineers wouldn't spec them. Now aluminum spokes are definitely not as strong as brass and if a spoke is 2 or 3 mm short it is quite possible to pop the heads off the nipples. I would pull the tire and rimstrip and see if the nipples are short or not, you should see the end of the spoke right around the bottom of the slot on the nip. The LB spoke holes are also drilled to very tight tolerances and the nipples fit very tightly. With 3x or especially 4x wheels will add a lot of stress to the nipples right where it comes out of the rim causing a stress riser right there. How is the wheel laced? Good luck, I hope you figure it out. As far as your origional question, just pull all the tension off the wheels and swap the nipples and then bring the tension back up just like a new build.

  10. #10
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    Before anything else, remove the tire and rim strip and look at the nipples. You should be able to see the spoke head reach the groove bottom of the nipple head.

    replacing aluminum nipples with brass-nipple-thread.jpg

    Too short spokes could cause nipples to break. Brass will be a bit stronger but I'd still advise to use the proper spoke length with them. If you find you have too short spokes, you might as well stick with aluminum nipples once you switch to longer spokes.

  11. #11
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    Re: replacing aluminum nipples with brass

    Carbon with aluminum can cause a good deal of corrosion. Dura ace are not carbon, so that's a poor comparison.

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    replacing aluminum nipples with brass

    I am sorry but the C50's most certainly are carbon so actually it is a great comparison. I can't think of any carbon rim manufacturer that states not to use aluminum nipples. If you have one please post a link.

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    Re: replacing aluminum nipples with brass

    ^
    Yes, yes they are. Well kind of. Mix of alloy and carbon. Doesn't mean the nipples were not coated when applied into the rims.

  14. #14
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    replacing aluminum nipples with brass

    No, actually they aren't. Full carbon sew-ups. Not quite sure why u would be arguing on this. I think the only thing that the nipples are coated in is a little road grime. I could be wrong but they certainly look to be standard anodized nipples. I think that it today's litigious environment there would be copious amounts of warnings, stickers and waivers stating that a catastrophic failure is possible around any carbon/aluminum junction including nipple/spoke/rim interfaces, stem/steerer/bar interfaces and every other carbon interface on the bike. How many people are building enve, zipp, Reynolds and LB rims with brass nipple, my guess would be maybe half a percent at most. To say he is having corrosion problems after a year or two of use is a far reach.

  15. #15
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    Re: replacing aluminum nipples with brass

    Not arguing. The only c50s I've heard of are the carbon alloy mix. Did not know you were talking about tubulars. I'm not a pro on your wheels. Whatever they are, you'd know better than me since you own them.

    I'm not saying the nips are coated. They may have had dielectric grease etc. on the mating surfaces when installed.

    There was a guy on here that had some young envy wheels where the nips corroded very fast.

    There are many articles on corrosion btw alloys and carbon.
    Here is one.
    http://www.boeing.com/commercial/aer...7/corrosn.html
    Last edited by thickfog; 04-22-2013 at 05:53 PM.

  16. #16
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    The corroded internal aluminum nipples in ENVE rims were being used tubeless with Stans sealant, based on what I read in the threads.
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  17. #17
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    replacing aluminum nipples with brass

    I read the ENVE nipple corrosion tread with some skepticism. My bike is now in the shop so my ENVE wheel can be relaced with just released ENVE brass nipples. I live in the Midwest but my bike would occasionally get road brine on it.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKamp View Post
    I am sorry but the C50's most certainly are carbon so actually it is a great comparison. I can't think of any carbon rim manufacturer that states not to use aluminum nipples. If you have one please post a link.
    Enve. Switched to brass from Al due to corrosion.

    They will warranty and rebuild your wheels using brass if you have a corrosion issue.
    My Enve AM's are 8 months old and will go back for a rebuild very soon.

  19. #19
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    replacing aluminum nipples with brass

    Are all the issues with enve? Has anyone had issues with any other carbon rims? Enve uses pillar internAl nipples don't they, Have all the issues been with mountain wheels?

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