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

Nipple replacement question

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.

Nipple replacement question

Old 08-19-22, 10:04 PM
  #1  
pgee70
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2022
Posts: 1
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Nipple replacement question

Hi
I am a home bike mechanic and i have build a few wheels already.
I have a perfectly good wheel-set i want to replace the nipples on for aesthetic reasons - the wheel is almost brand new.
i have a wheel building stand with dial gauges, a digital tension gauge, a good spoke spanner and a nipple driver.

my question is if i want to replace the nipples, should I:
  1. measure the tension of a spoke using the digital spoke tension gauge, take out the old nipple and re-tighten the new nipple to that tension and repeat for the whole wheel.
  2. measure the tension on the spokes by strumming the spoke using an frequency counter on my phone, and re-tighten the new nipple to that tension, or
  3. un-tension all spokes, then replace each nipple and basically rebuild the wheel to the required tension.
  4. forget it, it is a waste of time and you will only f**k it up
Method 4 is no fun, methods 1 or 2 seem conceptually easier, but will method 3, provider a better wheel?

I am interested in what experienced wheel builders say on this?
pgee70 is offline  
Old 08-20-22, 12:41 AM
  #2  
jccaclimber
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: SFBay
Posts: 2,306

Bikes: n, I would like n+1

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 120 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 123 Times in 99 Posts
If itís true, round, and uniformly tensioned before you start then if itís true after each nipple is replaced then you should be good to go. Watch out for spoke twist.
jccaclimber is offline  
Old 08-20-22, 08:28 AM
  #3  
DiabloScott
It's MY mountain
 
DiabloScott's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Mt.Diablo
Posts: 9,665

Bikes: Klein, Merckx, Trek

Mentioned: 67 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3680 Post(s)
Liked 2,098 Times in 1,133 Posts
3.

If your wheel is true and evenly tensioned, then yeah it's good to go - but if you don't start from a state of zero tension and then layer it on, the chances of buggering something up is pretty high and will be frustrating.
DiabloScott is offline  
Likes For DiabloScott:
Old 08-20-22, 08:46 AM
  #4  
cyccommute 
Mad bike riding scientist
 
cyccommute's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 25,719

Bikes: Some silver ones, a red one, a black and orange one, and a few titanium ones

Mentioned: 138 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5157 Post(s)
Liked 2,702 Times in 1,598 Posts
I agree with DiabloScott. There are too many variables in wheel building for you to detension and replace spokes nipples one at a time. Best to detension the whole wheel, replace the spoke nipples, and then retension the whole wheel.
__________________
Stuart Black
Gold Fever Three days of dirt in Colorado
Pokin' around the Poconos A cold ride around Lake Erie
Dinosaurs in Colorado A mountain bike guide to the Purgatory Canyon dinosaur trackway
Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
cyccommute is offline  
Likes For cyccommute:
Old 08-20-22, 08:54 AM
  #5  
Dean51 
Senior Member
 
Dean51's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Olympic Peninsula, WA
Posts: 595

Bikes: '82 Ron Cooper, '84 Allez, '86 Tommasini Racing, '86? Klein Quantum, '87 Ciocc Designer 84, '95 Trek 5500, '98 Litespeed Classic, '98 S-Works Mtb

Mentioned: 33 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 208 Post(s)
Liked 202 Times in 91 Posts
I too would go with approach #3. Aside for your current objective, I use this approach anytime I'm working on a wheel that is seriously outta-whack. Better results in less time.

Dean
__________________
Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die
Dean51 is offline  
Old 08-21-22, 07:13 PM
  #6  
wheelreason
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 794
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 146 Post(s)
Liked 50 Times in 32 Posts
Is 5 a 3 with buggering it all up? That...
Make sure to detention the spokes evenly, I'd go 1/2 to 1 turn at a time, once they have no or little tension left, start changing out for the vanity nipples.
wheelreason is offline  
Old 08-22-22, 07:10 AM
  #7  
pdlamb
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: northern Deep South
Posts: 7,921

Bikes: Fuji Touring, Novara Randonee

Mentioned: 33 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2094 Post(s)
Liked 1,341 Times in 850 Posts
I'd stick with #4. You'll only see the nipples when you're not riding.

If you need or want to replace the nipples anyway, I'd start with #1 and plan on proceeding to #3. It's easier to finish truing a wheel that's close to "done" and checking individual spoke's tension, one at a time, will get you nearly there.
pdlamb is offline  
Old 08-22-22, 08:34 AM
  #8  
cyccommute 
Mad bike riding scientist
 
cyccommute's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 25,719

Bikes: Some silver ones, a red one, a black and orange one, and a few titanium ones

Mentioned: 138 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5157 Post(s)
Liked 2,702 Times in 1,598 Posts
Originally Posted by wheelreason View Post
Is 5 a 3 with buggering it all up? That...
Make sure to detention the spokes evenly, I'd go 1/2 to 1 turn at a time, once they have no or little tension left, start changing out for the vanity nipples.
Thereís no need to detention evenly. Layering tension when adding tension is needed to avoid various problems. However just releasing tension isnít going to cause any issues with later retensioning.
__________________
Stuart Black
Gold Fever Three days of dirt in Colorado
Pokin' around the Poconos A cold ride around Lake Erie
Dinosaurs in Colorado A mountain bike guide to the Purgatory Canyon dinosaur trackway
Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
cyccommute is offline  
Old 08-22-22, 12:25 PM
  #9  
wheelreason
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 794
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 146 Post(s)
Liked 50 Times in 32 Posts
Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
Thereís no need to detention evenly.
Thank you, the whole shop got a chuckle there.
wheelreason is offline  
Old 08-22-22, 05:09 PM
  #10  
cyccommute 
Mad bike riding scientist
 
cyccommute's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 25,719

Bikes: Some silver ones, a red one, a black and orange one, and a few titanium ones

Mentioned: 138 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5157 Post(s)
Liked 2,702 Times in 1,598 Posts
Originally Posted by wheelreason View Post
Thank you, the whole shop got a chuckle there.
Okay. But I donít get the joke. Why would you need to detention in layers? The wheel wonít care because you are going to tension in layers after the spoke nipples are exchanged.
__________________
Stuart Black
Gold Fever Three days of dirt in Colorado
Pokin' around the Poconos A cold ride around Lake Erie
Dinosaurs in Colorado A mountain bike guide to the Purgatory Canyon dinosaur trackway
Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
cyccommute is offline  
Old 08-22-22, 05:58 PM
  #11  
79pmooney
A Roadie Forever
 
79pmooney's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 11,027

Bikes: (2) ti TiCycles, 2007 w/ triple and 2011 fixed, 1979 Peter Mooney, ~1983 Trek 420 now fixed and ~1973 Raleigh Carlton Competition gravel grinder

Mentioned: 115 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3713 Post(s)
Liked 2,549 Times in 1,668 Posts
I'd back off the tension, replace the nipples, tighten till the threads disappear and true and tighten from there, working to minimize spoke tension differences. In other words, exactly like I was building from scratch.
79pmooney is offline  
Likes For 79pmooney:

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 © 2022 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.