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Nipple washers?

Old 06-26-20, 06:08 PM
  #1  
Road Fan
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Nipple washers?

Question to the accomplished wheelbuilders:

What nipple washers or spoke washers do you prefer for road wheels?
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Old 06-27-20, 08:28 AM
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Never Used them and have had no problems.
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Old 06-27-20, 10:12 AM
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I'm not an accomplished wheel builder but since your question has been posted while w/o any useful reply, I'll make a suggestion. Clarify the situation you have that you think warrants the use of washers. A more specific question may get a response from someone with actual knowledge.
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Old 06-27-20, 10:28 AM
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I don't think nipple washers are rocket science. I'd just take my nipple to an Ace Hardware and find a SS washer that fits the nipple. One that will bend slightly to better fit the rim but not too much would be ideal.
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Old 06-27-20, 10:32 AM
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Originally Posted by davidad View Post
Never Used them and have had no problems.
There are rims without reinforcing around the nipple holes that will crack without the washers, guaranteed, especially some older rims fro the '70s. Mavic Open Sports are probably marginal. I build them from myself without but I am 150 pounds and generally kind to wheels. Velocity Aeros have lots of material there and can go no washer without issue.

Ben
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Old 06-27-20, 11:19 AM
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My thoughts here are to get rims, if we are talking aluminum rims, with double eyelets, then washers not needed. Just another little bit to drop on floor and be lost forever.
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Old 06-27-20, 11:49 AM
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Sorry, too many jokes !

I cant be trusted in this thread.

Bye

Barry
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Old 06-27-20, 12:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Barry2 View Post
Sorry, too many jokes !

I cant be trusted in this thread.

Bye

Barry
I for one was sorely disappointed when I clicked on this thread.
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Old 06-28-20, 10:15 AM
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
There are rims without reinforcing around the nipple holes that will crack without the washers, guaranteed, especially some older rims fro the '70s. Mavic Open Sports are probably marginal. I build them from myself without but I am 150 pounds and generally kind to wheels. Velocity Aeros have lots of material there and can go no washer without issue.

Ben
I replaced the Open Pro with an Open Sport and haven't had problems. I have built wheels for some friends with the Sport and they have held up. One rider was about 250 lbs.
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Old 06-28-20, 12:29 PM
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I only fitted nipple washers (aluminum washers made for backing up Pop Rivets) when I built my Winter bikes wheels with
All Weather Sports (Fairbanks AK) Snow Cat rims, seeing them single wall & kind of thin (though wide) for my studded tire wheels..

here is an image I found where they did not..

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Old 06-28-20, 12:34 PM
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Define "road wheels" , mate..

Mean any wheels of non mountain bikes?

People have used little brass washers on the head end of spokes with steel flange hubs, since spoke J bends,
are now assuming aluminum hubs , with thicker flanges so the brass washer compensates for the thinner steel hub flanges..





..

Last edited by fietsbob; 06-28-20 at 12:39 PM.
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Old 06-29-20, 02:44 AM
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I've only used them on the rear wheel of a commuter bike with H+Son Archetype rims. Not exactly necessary but it helped to tighten up the wheel, I used Sapim HM nipple washers.
I ordered a set of Bofix nipple washers for a tandem wheel... but they don't fit through the hole. Not that a Ryde Andra 40 will really need them.
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Old 06-29-20, 06:08 AM
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Here's some info in a recent C&V thread. Spoke washers?
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Old 06-29-20, 02:25 PM
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
Here's some info in a recent C&V thread. Spoke washers?

This thread title is better...
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Old 01-07-21, 11:51 PM
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
Here's some info in a recent C&V thread. Spoke washers?
Not the same thing. Nipple washers help to reinforce the rim and offer a smooth surface for the spoke to turn on. Spoke washers typically refer to the washers that are at the hub for thin flanges, basically it tightens up the fit of the bend so there's less stress there and the spokes last longer.

OP, I'd go with these
https://www.wheelfanatyk.com/store/oval-rim-washer/
Personally I've never needed them, if the rim has eyelets they're meant to do the job and these won't help, they'll only work if the rim is smooth on the inside. I've only been building since 97 or 98, during that time only carbon rims ever seemed to have a recommendation for them and even then it was only a few and none of which I ever needed to build. Although there may be some rims that recommend them, I've yet to see a modern rim that does. Spoke prep the spokes and lube the nipples and the wheel will go together nicely. If I ran into a rim that required these I think I'd buy something different.
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Old 01-08-21, 07:49 AM
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
I don't think nipple washers are rocket science. I'd just take my nipple to an Ace Hardware and find a SS washer that fits the nipple. One that will bend slightly to better fit the rim but not too much would be ideal.
That is an idea but don't think you want to do that. I bought a bag of nipple washers and they are heavily shaped, far from flat. They are also relatively inexpensive, probably cheaper than washers at ACE, so no real reason to try and make something work.

I used them on a wheel build, really no other reason than an impulse buy. they are a pain to use, pretty much guaranteed to drop one or two down into the rim.
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Old 01-08-21, 10:01 AM
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I thought this would be a job opening announcement.
Whats interesting is that you can use a phrase like this in these forums but the use of most four letter words are automatically redacted.

Dan
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Old 01-08-21, 11:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Pop N Wood View Post
That is an idea but don't think you want to do that. I bought a bag of nipple washers and they are heavily shaped, far from flat. They are also relatively inexpensive, probably cheaper than washers at ACE, so no real reason to try and make something work.

I used them on a wheel build, really no other reason than an impulse buy. they are a pain to use, pretty much guaranteed to drop one or two down into the rim.
I use a nipple starter made from a spoke and a nipple threaded on backwards. If you then drop the washer on the nipple you are going to start and insert it near the bottom of the wheel, ie going up into the rim, they aren't going to fall. (I haven't done this. My last washered rim was perhaps in the '80s and I've only been using spokes as starters 20 years or so. but I don't see why it would be very hard. I usually start the nipples horizontally as is seems easiest to manipulate both the spoke and nipple that way. Rotating the wheel down 45 degrees shouldn't be much harder.

As far as the bend - I don't bend the washer, the spoke does. (Hence picking thinner washers which are also lighter.) If it doesn't fit the rim perfectly,,what's going to happen? Dig some gouges inside that you will never see? So what. The only person who will ever know that is whoever cuts up the dead rim to look (after the wheel has died from other causes. All wheels die - eventually.)

If you have access to real nipple washers, great. But the washers don't have to be the real thing. They just have to be there and work. (And yes, you can do far better than Ace for price. Ace has the advantage of good choices and organization (at least out here) so bringing the nipple (and perhaps rim) and trying the fit is easy.
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