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Anyone used the Sapim polyax locking nipples?

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Anyone used the Sapim polyax locking nipples?

Old 12-31-16, 03:29 PM
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Myosmith
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Anyone used the Sapim polyax locking nipples?

I ran across them on the Pro Wheelbuilder website and am considering them for a wheelset I plan to build over the winter. I like the idea of locking nipples on the NDS as a bit of insurance against the nipples backing off on the low tension spokes on rough roads, but I'm wondering if they will make it more difficult to true the wheel if it needs it months or years later.
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Old 12-31-16, 04:26 PM
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Your post made me curious so I checked Sapim's site. There is no description of how they work. What's the deal?
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Old 12-31-16, 05:44 PM
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Originally Posted by SquidPuppet View Post
Your post made me curious so I checked Sapim's site. There is no description of how they work. What's the deal?
Not sure. Some vague reference to uniform deformation of the threads but no details I could find. That's why I was hoping someone had used them and could fill us in.
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Old 12-31-16, 06:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Myosmith View Post
Not sure. Some vague reference to uniform deformation of the threads but no details I could find. That's why I was hoping someone had used them and could fill us in.
IMO (only my opinion), it's a solution to a problem that doesn't, or shouldn't exist. It may also be a bad trade off for folks like myself who use relatively light DB spokes because it likely increases spoke twist.

Loosening can be avoided or at least minimized by using spokes light enough to elongate at the lower tension of the left side. If all else fails, which it does from time to time, I prefer increasing traction between the nipple and rim rather than the nipple and the spokes.

But, having sharpened my axe here, I don't have any specific comment pro or con regarding the nipples, and wish you success using them.
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Old 12-31-16, 07:10 PM
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Never had a NDS nipple loosen up so I wonder what value this brings. Appear to have a punched constriction that grabs the threads.


Last edited by Moe Zhoost; 01-01-17 at 09:52 AM.
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Old 12-31-16, 07:42 PM
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Well I have some kind of locking nips on my DIY 3 tour Rohloff and SA XL drum hubs, nylock AFAIK. Absolutely fabulous IMO. Nothing to worry about with moving them later. My front wheel was too tight at first and the Rohloff was too loose, but still never budged. No broken spokes in 20,600 miles and zero expectation of such even on 120 lb bike. The spoke does twist but just go over and back them off a hair. IMO they help soften shock waves from bumps. Pretty sure I trued them to a few thou. ALL my other LBS wheels went goofy constantly. So it's surely not miss spent hocus pocus to ME.

I used a screw driver and spoke wrench at the same time for some of the final last turns.

Last edited by GamblerGORD53; 12-31-16 at 07:55 PM.
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Old 12-31-16, 08:03 PM
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I have a friend who is big and races at a high level. He has done all his own bike stuff for decades. We share a lot of bike set up methods but when he told me he drips in a bit of LockTite on his nipples (the wheel's) after a build up, I cringed. But different spoke for different strokes.


I do agree with Francis about adding friction to nipples during the build up (and after, hence my cringe). Andy
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Old 12-31-16, 09:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart View Post
I have a friend who is big and races at a high level. He has done all his own bike stuff for decades. We share a lot of bike set up methods but when he told me he drips in a bit of LockTite on his nipples (the wheel's) after a build up, I cringed. But different spoke for different strokes.


I do agree with Francis about adding friction to nipples during the build up (and after, hence my cringe). Andy
How do you feel about that SpokePrep stuff that Wheelsmith sells? When I built my first set of wheels back in about 1986, I bought a little container of it but I forgot to use it. Then, years later, I found it again and was tempted to use it but I saw that it said "For Professional Use" and that scared me off.

I've heard of people using linseed oil which would, I suppose, provide some thread locking, but if it's better to provide friction between the nipple and the rim, rather than locking the spoke to the nipple, that wouldn't be such a great idea either. How would one enhance friction between nipple and rim?
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Old 12-31-16, 09:48 PM
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Originally Posted by desconhecido View Post
...

I've heard of people using linseed oil which would, I suppose, provide some thread locking, but if it's better to provide friction between the nipple and the rim, rather than locking the spoke to the nipple, that wouldn't be such a great idea either. How would one enhance friction between nipple and rim?
Linseed oil is fine because the bond it makes is very low strength. After trying a variety of preps, including wheelsmith, which I found made spoke twist worst, I've settled on a very thick sticky grease. It lubes very well so twist is at a minimum, but is sticky enough that nipples won't turn if slack.

In any case, spoke tension is supposed to keep nipples from turning, and will on a properly built wheel.

I only use adhesives in extreme cases, usually when servicing wheels with a bad history. When I do, I add a rubber cement between nipple and rim from the hub side, and spin the wheel to drive it out. Again, only the most minimum bond is desired because you want to maintain serviceability later on.
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Old 12-31-16, 10:30 PM
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Originally Posted by desconhecido View Post
How do you feel about that SpokePrep stuff that Wheelsmith sells? When I built my first set of wheels back in about 1986, I bought a little container of it but I forgot to use it. Then, years later, I found it again and was tempted to use it but I saw that it said "For Professional Use" and that scared me off.

I've heard of people using linseed oil which would, I suppose, provide some thread locking, but if it's better to provide friction between the nipple and the rim, rather than locking the spoke to the nipple, that wouldn't be such a great idea either. How would one enhance friction between nipple and rim?

As a LBS guy I need to be seen as "right" by customers. So long ago I started to use Spoke Prep. It doesn't replace good wheel building skills though. It does lend a bit of credibility to some customers.


I've built hundreds (many hundreds) of wheels and don't have an issue with regular spoke loosening (we all have had a few). Just the same at some point my not working for racer ego heads and my Var Preciray stand didn't do the impressive job any more so into thread preps we went.


Spoke Prep can get thick and goopy. One can apply so thick a layer that even initial nipple threading on is hampered. I take the flange's worth of spokes and a well mixed (not too thick) jar lid of SP then dip the spoke ends onto the lid's inner surface. Only a MM or so gets coated with SP. Then I roll about the bunch of spoke so the SP works it's way down the threads. This layer is fairly thin, the thread tops show through. 5 minutes of drying and the spokes are ready. On the builds up I apply Triflow to the initially threaded on nipples and their head seats.


I've used this method for a few decades and it's not about any one aspect but the consistency of the total. Andy.
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Old 12-31-16, 10:55 PM
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OP could call Richard at ProWheelBuilder and ask about the product. If ProWheelBuilder sells then then Im sure Richard has used them.

(470) 253-0929

If ProWheelBuilder sells then then Im sure Richard has used them. He is very direct and straightforward, should be able to provide use cases.


-Tim-
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Old 01-01-17, 05:08 AM
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@Myosmith, While I certainly don't have the wheel building experience that some of the previous respond'rs do, I really try to minimize spoke wind-up and I'm afraid these locking nipples would give me a fit.

I suppose that there is an application where a locking nipple is desired, I just haven't met that reason. If you decide to try the locking nipples please let us know how it went.

Brad
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Old 01-01-17, 08:07 AM
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I was an avid wheel builder back in the '70s when 320-360 gram rims made of untempered aluminum were common and breaking 2 to 5 wheels
annually was routine. Rims were cheap at $6-10 and spokes $8-12/100 for DB stainless or $6 for US made Union. Biggest problem was spoke
windup and with those noodly rims I had to 'bounce' my weight on the rim circumference in order to let the spokes unwind (pop-ping sounds)
and approach the final tension step wise. Current era rims at 430-480 grams of a tougher alloy are a lot easier to true but spoke windup is
still there. Flattened spokes at least can be gripped to minimize windup. Only had a problem with loosening spokes once, unfortunately during
a race with a silly lite wheel.
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Old 01-01-17, 10:37 AM
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sch- We share some similar history. I rode Mavic Chanpion de Monde for a few years and Super Champion Mediel De Oros too (both about 260/270gm). Gosh they were nice climbing wheels. Luckily I was only about 125lbs back then and knew how to "ride light".


WRT spoke wind up there are a couple of tricks I use. The first is to use minimal spoke prep. I don't offen use really thin gage spokes (14/16 are my go to choice) and I try to avoid AL nipples if at all possible. I will track the spoke twist during my working it's nipple and over wind the nipple then reverse the nipple's rotation a bit to relax the spoke. I sometimes use an anti twist tool (a third hand modified). I sometimes attach a flag to a spoke to track it's twist. Andy.
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Old 01-01-17, 11:11 AM
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This is the concept. Very simple tech. Just a small dimple pressed into female thread creating extra friction. As long as spoke threads are harder that nipple threads as in stainless spokes into brass or aluminum nipples, theoretically, no thread damage and reusable. I agree totally unnecessary on wheel building.

Edit: I do like the Polyax nipples though

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Old 01-02-17, 02:06 PM
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I have used them on only one wheel set.

In my experience with them they do not make the wheels problematic in any way to true on original build or later. The locking feature is very light so you don't even feel it with the spoke wrench. Whether or not the wheels are any better or worse by using them is anyone's guess.

Like many others on the forum I have tried spoke prep, linseed oil, grease, tri-flow, DT Squorx w compound etc. Have built wheels using all of these and have obtained good results with all of them. Only reason I tried the self locking nipples was to see how they responded to the build. Never know unless you try.

Once you build enough wheels you will find what you like and what works for you.

Good luck and happy wheel building.
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Old 01-13-17, 11:03 AM
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My last wheelset (my road wheels) I used park bike grease, I have a tub of it.

2000+ miles and they are still true and tensioned.

Build wheels to proper tension and lubricate the spokes/nipples, de-stress during build, and they will stay true!

Just my opinion, though...
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Old 01-13-17, 02:01 PM
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I agree with most people. This might be useful if your wheel building skill is insufficient or if you have a very special case wheel or rider. I can't see it being useful for an ordinary wheel. The nipples on my lightweight wheels don't tend to unscrew.
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