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Best spokes and nipples at beach

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Best spokes and nipples at beach

Old 10-30-19, 10:54 AM
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flatrockmobile
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Best spokes and nipples at beach

What is recommended as the most durable spokes and nipples for aluminium rims in the moist salty air at a Florida beach? Almost every bike around here has considerable corrosion in this area causing broken spokes.
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Old 10-31-19, 04:09 PM
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Wish* I could give usable input.

All I could imagine having would be painted alloy rims, with chrome plated brass nipples, and stainless steel spokes. That's common on better coaster brake cruisers, I believe.

Last edited by FiftySix; 10-31-19 at 05:31 PM. Reason: *typo fixin'
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Old 11-01-19, 09:49 AM
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Quick update: The spokes I thought I broke are fine. The nipples broke at the rim from corrosion. I went to the LBS, bought a few nipples, and asked them what to use. They said only stainless spokes and nickel plated brass nipples will survive, which is what I have, along with lots of clear water after riding. I cleaned off as much as I could of the white crystalline crud with Liquid Wrench and a nylon brush. Followed that up with a coating on each nipple of CorrosionX HD that I picked up at West Marine. We'll see if this works long term.

"CorrosionX Heavy Duty forms a dripless, dynamic, non-hardening, self-healing film that stubbornly resists erosion by splash or spray - including complete submersion in saltwater. It will slowly penetrate existing rust and corrosion, remove moisture and stop electrolysis. And then it seals moisture out. Unlike wax coatings, it will not dry out, stiffen or crack under stress. It will remain for hours on outdrives, even while underway!"
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Old 11-10-19, 07:28 AM
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".....nipples at the beach"
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Old 11-10-19, 10:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Speedway2 View Post
".....nipples at the beach"
I figured that was coming...just didn't know when. lol
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Old 11-24-19, 02:55 AM
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I like polished stainless steel spokes, as for what kind of nipples on the beach I’m not picky.

Last edited by tim24k; 11-24-19 at 02:58 AM.
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Old 11-24-19, 03:53 AM
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Can you tell if the nipples have rusted?

I believe there are 3 types of nipples commonly available.

Galvanized Steel nipples are used on some of the lowest quality bikes, I think.
Chrome plated Brass are common for mid to upper quality bikes.
Aluminum nipples have a lot of controversy. Some brands have gone to oversized aluminum nipples.

I've hunted for Stainless nipples, but they just don't seem to be available.

There are some titanium nipples, but they tend to be overpriced, and hard to source.
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Old 11-24-19, 03:56 AM
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Oh, I suppose one should note that for sailors, brass is the worst possible material for fasteners, at least for those directly exposed to saltwater, such as screws holding a wooden boat together.

The salt leaches the zinc out of the copper, and one is left with a corroded copper sponge.
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Old 11-24-19, 11:47 PM
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Mine are nickel plated brass and ss spokes. It appears that all the corrosion is from the nipple holes being drilled after anodizing leaving raw aluminum to corrode around the nipples. If it gets bad enough it can cause the nipple head to pop off if you hit a bump just right.
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Old 11-25-19, 12:02 AM
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One of the things about nipple heads is that the spokes are supposed to extend through the nipple head. I usually like the spokes to end up all the way flush with the top of the screwdriver notch.

Too short of a spoke risks breaking nipples.
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Old 11-25-19, 12:14 AM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
One of the things about nipple heads is that the spokes are supposed to extend through the nipple head. I usually like the spokes to end up all the way flush with the top of the screwdriver notch.

Too short of a spoke risks breaking nipples.
Thanks for the tip. I'll check them for that.

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Old 11-26-19, 10:16 AM
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I, too, ride often on the beach and routinely break rear spoke nipples. I keep a spare rear wheel with a coaster brake and sprocket installed to use while the other wheel is at the LBS for repairs.
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Old 11-28-19, 08:47 PM
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I am not familiar with this. Is the nipple breaking or is the rim corroding around the nipple hole? If it is the later, then either a rim with eyelets or using washers under the nipple may help.

If it is the nipple itself, then i wonder if aluminum nipples may be an improvement. I have never used them because I'm not that worried about weight but this may be a different matter. My thinking is that an aluminum nipple touching an aluminum rim may be better than chrome, or nickel plated brass on an aluminum rim. If you do decide to try the aluminium nipples, the one that I would get are spline and need a special spoke wrench. And then you will have the spokes galvanicaly connected to the nipples after enough exposure. But, if that solves the problem...
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