Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Bicycle Mechanics
Reload this Page >

Nipples (The kind on a spoke)

Notices
Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

Nipples (The kind on a spoke)

Old 10-10-17, 02:35 PM
  #1  
MePoocho 
Always Learning
Thread Starter
 
MePoocho's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Palm Bay, Fl.
Posts: 164

Bikes: Very Upgraded Denali 63.5cm

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 86 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Nipples (The kind on a spoke)

Hey Folks,

I'm building new wheels for my road bike. Which I ride for exercise and weight control. I'd love to have one of the sexy carbon fiber $2400 Italian specimens, but it would be waisted on me. Besides if I bought one my wife would leave me and take our dog..... I'd really miss that dog.

Doing my builds I will use middle of the road Shimano hubs and fair rims, but I'll use triple butted spokes. I need the comfort of durability more than less weight. Heck, my ridding gear weighs more than most of the bikes you folks ride.

So, I've found my spokes, rims, and hubs. Now I need advise on 'nipples'. My current wheels have 12mm nipples. What are the pros & cons to going with 14mm? Or what is the difference in them? When should they be used?

If 'FBinNy' or others have some input please pile it on.......

Thanks----
MePoocho is offline  
Old 10-10-17, 02:47 PM
  #2  
FBinNY 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: New Rochelle, NY
Posts: 35,965

Bikes: too many bikes from 1967 10s (5x2)Frejus to a Sumitomo Ti/Chorus aluminum 10s (10x2), plus one non-susp mtn bike I use as my commuter

Mentioned: 124 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4355 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 11 Times in 11 Posts
Longer nipples only benefit high volume producers who want to hide the fact that the spokes are too short and don't reach fully into the heads.

Typically spokes have 10mm of thread, so if the spoke ends 2mm shy of the top of the nipple (ideal target is 1mm shy) the threads would show, and give away the show. Hence the longer nipples which can hide a spoke 4mm shy of the top, or IMO 2-3mm too short.



To be clear, ONLY the head counts, since the nipple's tubular section has lower tensile strength than the spoke. (this also depends on the thickness of the thin section of a butted spoke). Also consider that longer nipples don't have more threads, just a bored out cosmetic "skirt" designed to hide unused threads on the spoke.

Hope that helps.
__________________
FB
Chain-L site

An ounce of diagnosis is worth a pound of cure.

“Never argue with an idiot. He will only bring you down to his level and beat you with experience.”, George Carlin

“One accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions” - Adm Grace Murray Hopper - USN

WARNING, I'm from New York. Thin skinned people should maintain safe distance.
FBinNY is offline  
Old 10-10-17, 07:48 PM
  #3  
maddog34
Senior Member
 
maddog34's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: NW Oregon
Posts: 1,373

Bikes: !981 Trek 930R Custom, Diamondback ascent with SERIOUS updates, and a trek 6700 with updates

Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 552 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
the longer 14mm nipples are for rims that have a thicker cross section at the nipple hole... the extended square portion allows more purchase by the spoke wrench.
maddog34 is offline  
Old 10-10-17, 08:02 PM
  #4  
FBinNY 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: New Rochelle, NY
Posts: 35,965

Bikes: too many bikes from 1967 10s (5x2)Frejus to a Sumitomo Ti/Chorus aluminum 10s (10x2), plus one non-susp mtn bike I use as my commuter

Mentioned: 124 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4355 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 11 Times in 11 Posts
Originally Posted by maddog34 View Post
the longer 14mm nipples are for rims that have a thicker cross section at the nipple hole... the extended square portion allows more purchase by the spoke wrench.
Yes, this is probably the only legitimate reason for longer nipples. BITD when we were using filled tubular rims, and before that when rims were solid wood, nipples had to be longer enough to reach all the way through.

These days, I can't offhand think of any rim with a working thickness greater than 6mm, but if there is one, than a 14 or 16mm nipple would make sense. Even if the rim less than 6mm, some people may opt for longer nipples for cosmetic reasons.

However, regardless of the rim or nipple used, you still want the spoke to reach to the head.
__________________
FB
Chain-L site

An ounce of diagnosis is worth a pound of cure.

“Never argue with an idiot. He will only bring you down to his level and beat you with experience.”, George Carlin

“One accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions” - Adm Grace Murray Hopper - USN

WARNING, I'm from New York. Thin skinned people should maintain safe distance.
FBinNY is offline  
Old 10-10-17, 08:32 PM
  #5  
maddog34
Senior Member
 
maddog34's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: NW Oregon
Posts: 1,373

Bikes: !981 Trek 930R Custom, Diamondback ascent with SERIOUS updates, and a trek 6700 with updates

Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 552 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
Yes, this is probably the only legitimate reason for longer nipples. BITD when we were using filled tubular rims, and before that when rims were solid wood, nipples had to be longer enough to reach all the way through.

These days, I can't offhand think of any rim with a working thickness greater than 6mm, but if there is one, than a 14 or 16mm nipple would make sense. Even if the rim less than 6mm, some people may opt for longer nipples for cosmetic reasons.

However, regardless of the rim or nipple used, you still want the spoke to reach to the head.
built three that needed the 14mm nips just this season. all three were downhill MTB rims.
maddog34 is offline  
Old 10-10-17, 08:42 PM
  #6  
Dan Burkhart 
Senior member
 
Dan Burkhart's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Oakville Ontario
Posts: 7,459
Mentioned: 21 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 624 Post(s)
Liked 113 Times in 79 Posts
Originally Posted by maddog34 View Post
the longer 14mm nipples are for rims that have a thicker cross section at the nipple hole... the extended square portion allows more purchase by the spoke wrench.
Sometimes, it's just about aesthetics. I build a lot of deep section carbon fiber rims, and the longer nipples just look nicer. With the thicker rim bed, 12mm nipples usually still allow full purchase with the wrench, but not much to spare.

Last edited by Dan Burkhart; 10-10-17 at 08:45 PM.
Dan Burkhart is offline  
Old 10-10-17, 09:00 PM
  #7  
FBinNY 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: New Rochelle, NY
Posts: 35,965

Bikes: too many bikes from 1967 10s (5x2)Frejus to a Sumitomo Ti/Chorus aluminum 10s (10x2), plus one non-susp mtn bike I use as my commuter

Mentioned: 124 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4355 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 11 Times in 11 Posts
Originally Posted by Dan Burkhart View Post
Sometimes, it's just about aesthetics. I build a lot of deep section carbon fiber rims, and the longer nipples just look nicer. With the thicker rim bed, 12mm nipples usually still allow full purchase with the wrench, but not much to spare.
Yes, whether necessity or cosmetics thick rims can call for longer nipples. However, I gather the OP would have figured that out for himself, or would have said why he was asking if that were the issue.

So, I suspect he has conventionally thick rims, and is asking because it's a discretionary choice.
__________________
FB
Chain-L site

An ounce of diagnosis is worth a pound of cure.

“Never argue with an idiot. He will only bring you down to his level and beat you with experience.”, George Carlin

“One accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions” - Adm Grace Murray Hopper - USN

WARNING, I'm from New York. Thin skinned people should maintain safe distance.
FBinNY is offline  
Old 10-11-17, 11:25 AM
  #8  
davidad
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 6,077
Mentioned: 14 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 401 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 36 Times in 34 Posts
The rim manufacturer will recommend the proper nipple length.
davidad is offline  
Old 10-11-17, 02:22 PM
  #9  
MePoocho 
Always Learning
Thread Starter
 
MePoocho's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Palm Bay, Fl.
Posts: 164

Bikes: Very Upgraded Denali 63.5cm

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 86 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Excellent and informative explanations. If my understanding is somewhat correct I read that correct spoke length allowing proper depth in the nipple is the target.

So, a road bike with good modern rims, correct spoke length, and finished nipple depth of 1mm (+/-) to the spoke end and 'x' / 'y' runout is good, and the wheel is 'Dished' correctly I'm good?

Whew, is that all that there is to it???? Man, I'm on it!!!

Thanks to all....!
MePoocho is offline  
Old 10-13-17, 11:50 AM
  #10  
Drew Eckhardt 
Senior Member
 
Drew Eckhardt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Mountain View, CA USA and Golden, CO USA
Posts: 5,958

Bikes: 97 Litespeed, 50-39-30x13-26 10 cogs, Campagnolo Ultrashift, retroreflective rims on SON28/PowerTap hubs

Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 377 Post(s)
Liked 102 Times in 77 Posts
Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post

To be clear, ONLY the head counts, since the nipple's tubular section has lower tensile strength than the spoke. (this also depends on the thickness of the thin section of a butted spoke). Also consider that longer nipples don't have more threads, just a bored out cosmetic "skirt" designed to hide unused threads on the spoke.

Hope that helps.
Longer DT nipples have (or had) more threads, even alloy ones which fail when used as spoke extenders.

This is stupid because it makes spokes bottom sooner.

As you say, the spoke must make it through the rim bed so it loads the nipple in compression which might allow spokes to end ~1mm below the slot.

Paired with their spokes, the DT
12mm nipple allows that -1 mm below the slot, and +2.5mm above it until the spoke bottoms
14mm nipple allows -1mm to +0.5mm
16mm nipple bottoms 1.5mm below the slot

Last edited by Drew Eckhardt; 10-14-17 at 05:20 PM.
Drew Eckhardt is online now  
Old 10-13-17, 11:57 AM
  #11  
FBinNY 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: New Rochelle, NY
Posts: 35,965

Bikes: too many bikes from 1967 10s (5x2)Frejus to a Sumitomo Ti/Chorus aluminum 10s (10x2), plus one non-susp mtn bike I use as my commuter

Mentioned: 124 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4355 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 11 Times in 11 Posts
Originally Posted by Drew Eckhardt View Post

Paired with their sokes, the DT
12mm nipple allows that -1 mm below the slot, and +2.5mm above it until the spoke bottoms
14mm nipple allows -1mm to +0.5mm
16mm nipple bottoms 1.5mm below the slot
Thanks for the info. I'm a fanatic about nipple/spoke pairings that allow maximum overrun. Years ago I had a large supply of Italian nipples which allowed 4mm overrun. Also, the older DT nipples made on screw machines (recognized by the tool marks on the wrench flats) had slightly larger diameter heads and allowed 3mm or so overrun.
__________________
FB
Chain-L site

An ounce of diagnosis is worth a pound of cure.

“Never argue with an idiot. He will only bring you down to his level and beat you with experience.”, George Carlin

“One accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions” - Adm Grace Murray Hopper - USN

WARNING, I'm from New York. Thin skinned people should maintain safe distance.
FBinNY is offline  
Old 10-13-17, 11:59 AM
  #12  
Drew Eckhardt 
Senior Member
 
Drew Eckhardt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Mountain View, CA USA and Golden, CO USA
Posts: 5,958

Bikes: 97 Litespeed, 50-39-30x13-26 10 cogs, Campagnolo Ultrashift, retroreflective rims on SON28/PowerTap hubs

Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 377 Post(s)
Liked 102 Times in 77 Posts
Originally Posted by MePoocho View Post
Excellent and informative explanations. If my understanding is somewhat correct I read that correct spoke length allowing proper depth in the nipple is the target.

So, a road bike with good modern rims, correct spoke length, and finished nipple depth of 1mm (+/-) to the spoke end and 'x' / 'y' runout is good, and the wheel is 'Dished' correctly I'm good?
You also need to stress relieve so the spokes don't break at their elbows, form the elbows to the hubs, and correct spoke lines at the rim if the nipples can't pivot enough in their sockets.

There are also some details in spoke length selection:

With spokes coming in 2mm increments, needing to get within ~1mm of the nipple slot, and spokes bottoming ~ 1.5mm (DT spoke + nipple) above the nipple top you use judgement, selecting spokes which will either hit the slot bottom or slot top.

Don't "always round down" on length, because if your spoke calculator was aiming for the slot you might not make it through the rim,

Don't trust online measurements of ERD because you don't know how they measured, or how much the extruder dies had worn making thicker rim spoke beds. Measure the pair of rims you'll be lacing.

You also need to account for stretch at full tension. I figure about 1mm for 1.5mm spokes drive side/front, 0.5mm NDS rear; and 0.5mm DS/front on 1.8mm spokes with NDS not interesting.

Use diameter at the center section of butted spoke, which is the only part long enough to stretch appreciably.

Last edited by Drew Eckhardt; 10-13-17 at 12:05 PM.
Drew Eckhardt is online now  
Old 10-14-17, 05:15 AM
  #13  
Dan Burkhart 
Senior member
 
Dan Burkhart's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Oakville Ontario
Posts: 7,459
Mentioned: 21 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 624 Post(s)
Liked 113 Times in 79 Posts
Originally Posted by Drew Eckhardt View Post
Longer DT nipples have (or had) more threads, even alloy ones which fail when used as spoke extenders.

This is stupid because it makes spokes bottom sooner.

As you say, the spoke must make it through the rim bed so it loads the nipple in compression which might allow spokes to end ~1mm below the slot.

Paired with their sokes, the DT
12mm nipple allows that -1 mm below the slot, and +2.5mm above it until the spoke bottoms
14mm nipple allows -1mm to +0.5mm
16mm nipple bottoms 1.5mm below the slot
This is true. I modified my Morizumi spoke machine to apply a longer thread for longer nipples.
However, Ric Hjertberg, always ready to stand what we thought was true on its head says that maybe forcing nipples past thread engagement ain't so bad an idea.
Nipple threads - Wheel Fanatyk

Last edited by Dan Burkhart; 10-14-17 at 05:50 PM.
Dan Burkhart is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
SquidPuppet
Bicycle Mechanics
7
11-12-14 08:26 AM
gbg
Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg)
1
08-28-10 01:11 PM
chico1st
Bicycle Mechanics
3
02-18-10 09:14 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.