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  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    apoke nipple rust

    i am not an english speaker nor writer so the spelling can be somehow wrong........
    i replaced my tires and i noticed some water comming out of the rim so i investigated further and i discovered rust on the nipple-spoke interface inside the rim (the outside has no rust)
    i realise now that the spokes aren't stainless, but the problem is the relative cheap wheel so rather then replancing the spokes i'd be better off replancing the wheels........
    now the question: has anyone had any problems of this nature and should i be concerned ?
    it's the rear wheel

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Most nipples are made of aluminium or brass, they can have nasty colours, but no rust.

    The washers on the nipples inside the rim (little rings) usually are made of nickel plated steel. These washers may rust fast if water gets inside the rim and soaks the cotton rim band. (Is that the correct name?) Modern rim band is made of polyesther tape.

    The rusting of the washers is not a big problem as long as you do not need to turn the nipples. In case you want to do some wheel truing, the nipples will not move and even if they do, the rusted washers may break and fall apart.

    Finally these washers will rust to dust and the spokes will become loose. Such a wheel is a safety hazard.

    You will have to rebuild that wheel from scratch; which may be a bad idea if the parts (rim and hub) were poor quality. Or you may prefer to buy (or build) a brand new wheel with good quality parts.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Nessism's Avatar
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    Plated spokes can rust and the rust leaches over to any parts that touch it. I'd say that as long as the nipples turn, you can keep using the wheel - you can use it even if they don't turn but you won't be able to true the wheel. Hit the rust with oil of some sort and keep riding. In your spare time start looking around for some new wheels or plan on rebuilding the old ones with new parts.
    Becareful buying/selling bike parts on-line. I learned the hard way. :(

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  4. #4
    Your mom
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    I'm fixing up a set of wheels with corroded nipples; seized to the spokes. I ended up breaking 5 and am replacing them all.

  5. #5
    Fossil Lurch's Avatar
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    I noticed a similar problem on an 18 year old bike of mine about a year ago after using it at the beach for a couple of weeks. I cleaned the wheels and put a bit of oil on each rusty washer. The wheels are still working fine even after some severe bumps and shocks. The spokes haven't needed adjustment, so that might be a problem in the future.
    When people are free to do as they please, they usually imitate each other.
    - Eric Hoffer

  6. #6
    Junior Member
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    thank's for the answers
    i will rebuild the wheel.......in the spring

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