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  1. #1
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    Wheel build: broken nipple start over?

    I was @ the final stages of slight adjustments, to true a new front wheel build, when a nipple head sheared off when backing it off a 1/4 turn (disc side). Rim is a DT Swiss XM 481 factory washers & DT Swiss Pro Head brass nipples. I used a DT Swiss tensiometer to set the disc side tension to 125kgf. Never did the tension seem excessive or any binding occur. Two issues that may contribute - I lubed the spoke threads but not the nipple surface. I also did a lot of adjusting to get the dish correct. I would have just figured the 1 nipple was a fluke but another just sheare a head off. So replace all the nipples and start over? Lack of lube or too much adjustment? I will add those DT washers are a pain. Thanks.

    Edit: spoke length appears fine @ full tension the spoke is even with the outside of the nipple slot.
    Last edited by mechsc1; 1 Week Ago at 05:30 PM.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by mechsc1 View Post
    I was @ the final stages of slight adjustments, to true a new front wheel build, when a nipple head sheared off when backing it off a 1/4 turn (disc side). Rim is a DT Swiss XM 481 factory washers & DT Swiss Pro Head brass nipples. I used a DT Swiss tensiometer to set the disc side tension to 125kgf. Never did the tension seem excessive or any binding occur. Two issues that may contribute - I lubed the spoke threads but not the nipple surface. I also did a lot of adjusting to get the dish correct. I would have just figured the 1 nipple was a fluke but another just sheare a head off. So replace all the nipples and start over? Lack of lube or too much adjustment? I will add those DT washers are a pain. Thanks.



    If it were mine I'd replace them all. I don't tension that high either. 100/110 KGF for those keeping track.
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  3. #3
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    OK, don't use my tension meter hardly anymore, know what good tension feels like, might use it if I'm doubting evenness of tension, but 125 does sound maybe a bit high, but not out of this world to cause your issue. I've never had a nipple share off when building a wheel, ever, might slightly round one a bit if not paying attention (also rare), but never broke one. Is that rim directionally drilled maybe and you laced the spokes in the wrong way??
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  4. #4
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    I've built 100's of wheels. I've never had a nipple sheer off. I've twisted/stripped plenty, but never broke one. It may have been due to not lubing the nipple/washer interface. https://dycteyr72g97f.cloudfront.net...WEB_ZZ_001.pdf

  5. #5
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    Whenever I've built with brass, I've been surprised at the friction above 100kgf. It's like brass starts off smoother than aluminum but at higher tensions gets worse. Near 120kgf the amount of force required to turn them gets scary. It's the main reason I use aluminum.

  6. #6
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    That's weird, I've built a lot of wheels with higher tension than that with both brass and aluminum and have never broken or damaged a nipple during the build. I was thinking the same as LyNx that the rim is directionally drilled and possibly laced wrong.

    I do think it's important to lube the nipple where it contacts the rim but I can't believe not doing so would cause that. I'd probably take it apart and start over.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by scooterman View Post
    I've built 100's of wheels. I've never had a nipple sheer off. I've twisted/stripped plenty, but never broke one. It may have been due to not lubing the nipple/washer interface. https://dycteyr72g97f.cloudfront.net...WEB_ZZ_001.pdf
    Thanks for the bulletin. Will use lube.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schulze View Post
    Whenever I've built with brass, I've been surprised at the friction above 100kgf. It's like brass starts off smoother than aluminum but at higher tensions gets worse. Near 120kgf the amount of force required to turn them gets scary. It's the main reason I use aluminum.
    Never felt high resistance - no creaking or excessive wind up.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by LyNx View Post
    OK, don't use my tension meter hardly anymore, know what good tension feels like, might use it if I'm doubting evenness of tension, but 125 does sound maybe a bit high, but not out of this world to cause your issue. I've never had a nipple share off when building a wheel, ever, might slightly round one a bit if not paying attention (also rare), but never broke one. Is that rim directionally drilled maybe and you laced the spokes in the wrong way??
    Non directional rim, properly laced.

  10. #10
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    Yeah, that is ultra-strange to break a brass nipple during a build.
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  11. #11
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    I will replace the nipples but I am going to use Squorx Pro Head nipples. DT Swiss supplies these w/ the rims but the are silver alloy. I went with non squorx Pro Head black brass that are listed as compatible with PBR washers.

    At this point all I can figure is the lack of lube and excessive fiddling weakened the nipple and it sheared. I will add the shape of the PBR washer does not give 100% surface contact from the nipple like a standard washer due to its shape. The Squorx has a larger head and should take more un-even loads (guessing here).
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Wheel build: broken nipple start over?-4yp7ozpvqe2dvi3o2ivzdq.jpg  

    Wheel build: broken nipple start over?-5snkjfmgt7qz9u%25y-sh8pa.jpg  


  12. #12
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    Because this is a front wheel you don't need to go so high with tension to get the other side high enough not to unwind under load. There isn't enough dish needed. So go 110.

  13. #13
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    Squorx needs 2ish mm longer spokes than standard 12mm nipples.

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    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot View Post
    Squorx needs 2ish mm longer spokes than standard 12mm nipples.
    I read an article that mentioned 2mm but the DT Swiss Spoke Calc. gives a 1mm difference. On the DS my spokes were just passing the top of the nipple so I believe I should be ok. I compared the Standard Pro Head to the Squorx Pro Head and the only difference is extra threads up top - they both start threading in the same dimension.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Wheel build: broken nipple start over?-ae9iiq2esoifb-fsqly6yg.jpg  


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    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot View Post
    Squorx needs 2ish mm longer spokes than standard 12mm nipples.
    Wrong. They can accommodate longer spokes because the internal threading is longer, but the threads start in the same place as a flat head nipple. There is no design feature that makes them NEED longer spokes.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by mechsc1 View Post
    Never felt high resistance - no creaking or excessive wind up.
    So probably just a fluke.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schulze View Post
    So probably just a fluke.
    The more I look @ the PBR washers I notice the nipple cannot seat fully due to its shape. I feel the nipple split @ the slot on the side where most load was placed. I feel the Squorx will take an un-even load better because the head has more material.

  18. #18
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    Yeah, 1 might be a fluke but 2 indicates some sort of problem.
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