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Aluminum rim problem - advice?

Old 12-10-23, 09:00 AM
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Aluminum rim problem - advice?

I have a 26" mountain bike wheel with lots of miles and some issues. Unfortunately, I can't find a replacement wheel that fits, so I'm working with what I have.

I am trying to get the rim straighter. Last night I replaced all the nipples with new, well greased brass nipples so I would have a better chance of truing the wheel without rounding off a nipple every five minutes.

Everything is true and great and correctly tensioned, except for one spoke. At that spot, the nipple has reamed itself into 1mm deep into the outside of the rim.

Advice? This is not a high-performance wheel. I understand that installing a new rim would solve the problem. Are there other alternatives like special nipples or washers that would get some more miles out of this rim?
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Old 12-10-23, 11:15 AM
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Did the nipple pull through the rim?
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Old 12-10-23, 11:28 AM
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You almost answered your own question.

A simple solution is a thin SS or brass washer under the nipple. I believe #8 is right, but don't rely on that. Bring a nipple to the hardware store and buy the smallest that fits.
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Old 12-10-23, 11:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Mr. 66
Did the nipple pull through the rim?
No.
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Old 12-10-23, 02:32 PM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY
You almost answered your own question.

A simple solution is a thin SS or brass washer under the nipple. I believe #8 is right, but don't rely on that. Bring a nipple to the hardware store and buy the smallest that fits.
Thanks for the answer. Based on the tone of your response, it sound like you have done this successfully before so that gives me confidence that the solution really is that easy.
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Old 12-10-23, 02:35 PM
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Originally Posted by ScottCommutes
Are there other alternatives like special nipples or washers that would get some more miles out of this rim?
Yes, DT Swiss and Wheelmaster ( and probably others ) make nipple washers, and in fact, some DT Swiss rims require their use.

https://www.dtswiss.com/en/wheels/wh...phr-technology

You will need to investigate with some care, to make sure that the washer(s) you install seat appropriately in the rim. For example, DT Swiss makes their washers specifically to fit their rims, and that doesn't necessarily mean they will fit yours.
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Old 12-10-23, 02:58 PM
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Use a thin washer. Hammer a thick one if needed.
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Old 12-10-23, 03:05 PM
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BITD many light rims didn't have affixed eyelets. They required washers, and not anything special.

Builders kept stocks of commercial SS or brass washers. All that mattered is that they were small and flexible enough to fit and confirm to the curve, if any, of the rim.

For super light rims, we sometimes used leather pads under the washers to act as sort of shock absorbers, though I haven't seen those in 50 years or so.
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Old 12-10-23, 06:13 PM
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So I got the tiny brass washer - very easy at Home Depot. That should fix it.

I'm honestly kind of surprised that more bikes aren't built with washers to begin with to prevent this sort of problem. Is it possible that a nipple with a washer will loosen more quickly than a similar nipple without a washer?
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Old 12-10-23, 06:48 PM
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Originally Posted by ScottCommutes
So I got the tiny brass washer - very easy at Home Depot. That should fix it.

I'm honestly kind of surprised that more bikes aren't built with washers to begin with to prevent this sort of problem. Is it possible that a nipple with a washer will loosen more quickly than a similar nipple without a washer?
Generally modern rims are thick enough at the holes to work fine without washers.

Otherwise, many rims have permanently attached washers, aka "eyelets".

The logic is very simple ---- labor time/cost. It's far less costly to attach eyelets at a rim factory, than have a human fumble trying to fit them while lacing the wheel.
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Old 12-18-23, 11:13 PM
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It's a great day. I had been riding my wife's bike while mine sat with no rear wheel. However, today on the way to work, I rode her bike through some flooded streets and am now quite certain (based on the noise) that I will need to regrease her bottom bracket before I keep riding it. So rather than mess with her BB and have zero running bikes until I sort that out, tonight I fixed my wheel. I probably put in six of those brass washers for good measure on spokes that were hard to turn. Thanks for the advice.
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