aluminum nipples-
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  1. #1
    mtbr member
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    Jul 2004

    aluminum nipples

    what's your experience w/ aluminum nipple life span? i've had 2 in rear recently fail at the head, breaking away leaving just the body screwed intact. never seen that w/ brass, not one. i built these wheels a few years ago for a friend & they held up for him riding the same trails w/ pretty much the same style, weighing about 15 or so more. so, i'm attributing it to the inevitable, being AL, not brass.
    i'll be rebuilding w/ brass
    breezy shade

  2. #2
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    Apr 2012
    Spokes are almost certainly too short.

  3. #3
    This place needs an enema
    Reputation: mikesee's Avatar
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    Aug 2003
    Quote Originally Posted by wschruba View Post
    Spokes are almost certainly too short.

    It does sound like this is the case from the description given.

  4. #4
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    Jul 2004
    thanks for the responses.

    just got back in from oiling the chain & noticed another broken spoke, all 3 on the brake side, leading & trailing. that give you any other clues?
    breezy shade

  5. #5
    Hitching a ride
    Reputation: Schulze's Avatar
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    Feb 2007
    Never had a problem with them. I grease them pretty well though.

  6. #6
    Elitest thrill junkie
    Reputation: Jayem's Avatar
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    Jul 2005
    Iíve had issues on and off with corrosion and I expect at least a couple seasons out of them, but strength doesnít seem to be an issue (hard DH, gaps, drops). Spoke length is critical though and weak aluminum rims that require you to increase tension to straighten can easily over stress aluminum nipples. With the proliferation of carbon rims and to a lesser extent, stiffer aluminum rims, this has significantly diminished, but it still happens some.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  7. #7
    damned rocks...
    Reputation: Aglo's Avatar
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    Dec 2014
    Do the nipple have signs of corrosion including the heads, or are they just breaking clean are the head?

  8. #8
    Wanna ride bikes?
    Reputation: *OneSpeed*'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Aluminum nipples? Not on my bike.
    Rigid SS 29er
    SS 29+
    Fat Lefty
    SS cyclocross
    Full Sus 29er (Yuck)

    Stop asking how much it weighs and just go ride it.

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Lone Rager's Avatar
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    Dec 2013
    I've seen many broken aluminum nipples. I've been running them for as far back as I can remember, at least 20 years, and haven't broken any. I've broken spokes though.
    Do the math.

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    I just pulled apart a 650B wheel with 28 spokes. It had 6 broken nipples. I will rebuild it with brass. The problem with aluminum is the stronger the alloy the more it corrodes. Theoretically 7075 T6 is as strong as brass but once it corrodes it is weaker. Aluminum oxide it 10 times as big as aluminum so the nipple can freeze in place and you will need to cut off the spoke. So use brass for training and leave aluminum for a race.
    "Dish is illogical." Spoke of Vulcan.

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