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Old 02-02-12, 07:24 PM   #1
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WW C&V D? Nisi tubulars sans eyelets or... fill in the blank?

some of you may be following my Colnago Super build found here: http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...ead?highlight=


i'm nearing completion with only the wheelset holding me up at this point.

my original intention was to build up the wheels using Campagnolo Record low flange hubs, DT stainless spokes and these Nisi Moncalieri 700c tubular rims (purchased over a year ago on a whim):




as you can see they are without eyelets.


the same rims adorn many fine bicycles (stolen pics from my favorite bike porn website http://www.speedbicycles.ch/start.php):

1976 Bianchi Specialissima



1974 Colnago Super Eddy Merckx




1975 DeRosa Pista (not Nisis, but non-eyelet Martanos)




based on the research i've done (BF, google, etc.), it is clear that a rim with eyelets is superior to a similar rim without. although is seems to be a subject, like many others, where there is no right or wrong answer, only an understanding of what to expect from one option or the other.

i guess this is where the question of my intentions lie... how badly do i want to build a period correct (at least in appearance) bike? in all actuality this tubular wheelset will probably see infrequent use compared to the clincher wheelset i plan on riding the bike with (Campagnolo high flange hubs to modern polished clinchers).


what kind of "issues" should i expect from the Nisi rims i want to use? any?

are non-eyeleted rims that much more difficult to true and tension?

in your opinion, am i wasting my time and money building these up?


the Nisis look and are supposedly NOS with some shop wear, so they have no mileage and would theoretically be as good as new from mid 1970's standards. i would expect to get many many miles of use out of them.
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Old 02-02-12, 07:53 PM   #2
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I used to tour on a bike with Nisi tubular rims without eyelets. They lasted many thousands of miles, though they did eventually develop cracks radiating from the spoke holes.
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Old 02-02-12, 08:05 PM   #3
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Most high-end, eyeletless C&V tubular rims that I've seen built up had spoke nipple washers installed during the build. I'd suggest doing so.

-Kurt
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Old 02-02-12, 08:07 PM   #4
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In the real world when these bikes were really used as bikes, rims without eyelets would usually crack around the spoke holes eventually. But with that said the same mileage Fiamme would have enough flat spots and sidewall dings to be ready for the trash heap too.

All the old lightweight tubular rims have issues under hard use. But most people are not riding their classics enough, or hard enough for it to matter much these days. I would run those Nisi's, I have a pair on my '77 Bianchi.
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Old 02-02-12, 08:08 PM   #5
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Nisis were common on Colnagos. As a wheel builder back in the day, I did not like building them, the special washers (look like countersink trim washers with a fill on the back side) needed time to seat. They had more short period wobble than other brands. They did make a 200 gram rim that was what one used for a Pursuit.

I have some on my current bikes, they hold their true fine, but a Martano can be made more perfect. Probably due to the machined sides. Mavic are also good, and Super Champions were also acceptable.

For Italian of the period, its Nisi or Martano.

A decade later, Ambrosio or FIR.

For a mod rim, Ambrosio Nemesis.
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Old 02-02-12, 08:09 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by cudak888 View Post
Most high-end, eyeletless C&V tubular rims that I've seen built up had spoke nipple washers installed during the build. I'd suggest doing so.

-Kurt
Yes, that is manditory, not an option. The Nisi's had some nice enlongated oval shape washers.
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Old 02-02-12, 08:49 PM   #7
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Most high-end, eyeletless C&V tubular rims that I've seen built up had spoke nipple washers installed during the build. I'd suggest doing so.

-Kurt
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Originally Posted by Otis View Post
Yes, that is manditory, not an option. The Nisi's had some nice enlongated oval shape washers.
washers huh? i did not know of such a thing. are these still available? who might sell them?
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Old 02-02-12, 09:46 PM   #8
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washers huh? i did not know of such a thing. are these still available? who might sell them?
Nisi used a special washer that was shaped to the rim. I would try The Bike Stand

info.tbs@verizon.net

Or maybe ask on the CR list, some of the other old-time wheelbuilders may have a stash.
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Old 02-02-12, 10:40 PM   #9
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Washers, round and oval, are available from many wheelbuilder supply places. United Bicycle Supply has them, though they are wholesale only. You should definitely use washers.

The original washers on Nisi's high-end rims around 1970 were cupped with a leather-like material inside that cushioned the nipple head. I've not seen them available anywhere since then.

Unless you weigh a lot and plan to put a load of miles on the rims, you shouldn't have problems with them cracking any time soon.
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Old 02-03-12, 12:47 AM   #10
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ok, how about these 3 options currently on feebay?




VeloFuze small oval nipple washers



VeloFuze round nipple washers



vintage oval nipple washers


which would you recommend? would any of the above work?

based on what Otis said, i'm thinking the "vintage" ones are probably the ticket but they are the most expensive and coming from an international seller (only concern being time to receive them). also, they look just like Sapim washers.

i will probably go with the "small oval" washers if you guys concur... but if the "vintage" washers would work better, i can be patient too
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Old 02-03-12, 08:47 AM   #11
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Round - that's what I've found in old tubulars before.

Though the oval ones may spread the load on a greater surface, they might be a pain to slide through a dual-wall rim.

-Kurt
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Old 02-03-12, 10:09 AM   #12
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I like the oval washers, though they are a little more fussy to fit through the holes, as cudak888 pointed out. I can't see any advantage in using vintage washers.
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Old 02-03-12, 10:21 AM   #13
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Not quite the same but I used Sepim oval washers with a pair of eyelet-less 50s Constrictor Asp clincher rims and they are fine. No double walls to thread them through, however.
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Old 02-03-12, 10:35 AM   #14
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Hey Shnibop. Did you already pull the trigger on those? If not, I may have you covered. I have a NOS set of NISI rims just like yours, complete in wrapper with washers. I just measured them. 10 mm OD. Round shape. I also picked up, before I bought these rims, while thinking of restoring the old ones that came on my Frejus, some stainless washers. 9.5 mm OD. Same bore as the originals, which look like plain steel, galvanized maybe. I bought the stainless ones at a marine supply house. Very high quality stuff. I can even "dome" them for you if you like as I have a dapping block and dies. In other words, I'm washer rich. I even have brass ones if you would like. If you need either, just let me know. Six bucks for either, shipped.
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Old 02-03-12, 10:42 AM   #15
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This kind of bugs me. Fifty? Which means you have to buy two sets, and you'll have a bunch left over. Like the characters who sell fifty spokes.
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Old 02-03-12, 10:48 AM   #16
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This kind of bugs me. Fifty? Which means you have to buy two sets, and you'll have a bunch left over. Like the characters who sell fifty spokes.
What? Most of your wheelsets aren't 24h front/rear? Pfft. I thought you were cool.

I recently laced up a period correct wheelset for my '73 World Voyageur using Araya 27" non-eyeleted, single wall rims. I should have used washers. Do I unlace them and install washers? Tough call.
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Old 02-03-12, 11:05 AM   #17
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I'm looking forward to seeing the completed bike!

Which rims are you using for the modern polished clincher set?
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Old 02-03-12, 11:09 AM   #18
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What? Most of your wheelsets aren't 24h front/rear? Pfft. I thought you were cool.

I recently laced up a period correct wheelset for my '73 World Voyageur using Araya 27" non-eyeleted rims. I should have used washers. Do I unlace them and install washers? Tough call.
Ooo. That's kind of scary Colonel. I don't know, did they ever NOT use washers? There can't be much rim holding the spoke heads.
Lemme know if you need some washers.
I'm not even sure I'd know how to lace up a 24 hole hub.
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Old 02-03-12, 11:15 AM   #19
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Ooo. That's kind of scary Colonel. I don't know, did they ever NOT use washers?
Oh yeah. I've seen plenty.
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Old 02-03-12, 11:16 AM   #20
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The original washers on Nisi's high-end rims around 1970 were cupped with a leather-like material inside that cushioned the nipple head. I've not seen them available anywhere since then.
I kept the originals when I disassembled my Frejus wheels, Aixaix. I was thinking of re-using them but, man ...are they funky. Look like brass, maybe nickel plated originally, shaped like a domed finishing washer, with some sort of Italian magic fiber insert.
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Old 02-03-12, 11:25 AM   #21
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I just went and read your thread on the Colnago, Schnibop. I had admired the pics of that frame, and the nice paint job, but missed the "digital picture fee" thing. You can have these washers, if you need them for six bucks. 100% of the proceeds will go to the purchase and shipping of a stink bomb which I plan to send to those fellows down in San Diego.
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Old 02-03-12, 11:48 AM   #22
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The 'vintage oval nipple washers' look just like the Sapims I've got. I can send you 72 or them for free, if you want, shnibob. I have 228 of them left over from the Constrictor Asps...
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Old 02-03-12, 01:27 PM   #23
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Rootboy, Dawes-man: you guys are so generous, you will both be receiving PM's from me soon, just need to decide which route I want to go.

I appreciate everyone's input, I guess I'll be able to use these rims afterall. I'd all but written them off completely.
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Old 02-03-12, 08:02 PM   #24
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I kept the originals when I disassembled my Frejus wheels, Aixaix. I was thinking of re-using them but, man ...are they funky. Look like brass, maybe nickel plated originally, shaped like a domed finishing washer, with some sort of Italian magic fiber insert.
I thought about it too. Wound up tossing them. The leathery-fibery inserts were hard as rocks & I was afraid they'd crack up and fall out, leaving a spoke with no tension. I have built up Nisi rims a number of times with the Sapim oval washers and haven't had any problems. However, I don't ride nearly as much or as hard as I did when they (and I) were new.
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Old 02-03-12, 08:12 PM   #25
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I thought about it too. Wound up tossing them. The leathery-fibery inserts were hard as rocks & I was afraid they'd crack up and fall out, leaving a spoke with no tension. I have built up Nisi rims a number of times with the Sapim oval washers and haven't had any problems. However, I don't ride nearly as much or as hard as I did when they (and I) were new.
Good point. I hadn't thought of the crumbling washer possibility. But then, I bought some stainless washers. But then... I bought some NOS Nisi rims that came with washers. And so on and so forth. My M.O. is all over the place.
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