removing broken spoke nipples

  • Thread starter Bellsouth Ijit 2.0
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B

Bellsouth Ijit 2.0

Guest
I've inherited a mtb wheelset with half a dozen broken nipples for the rear
and a couple for the front (no broken spokes, just the nipples). Some
nipples (brass) are broken where a spoke wrench would engage and just won't
come off. Any idea how I can get them off the spokes without cutting them?
I've tried pliers, but the broken nipples are frozen to the spokes. TIA.
 
V

Vee

Guest
On Mar 3, 6:20 am, "Bellsouth Ijit 2.0" <[email protected]> wrote:
> I've inherited a mtb wheelset with half a dozen broken nipples for the rear
> and a couple for the front (no broken spokes, just the nipples). Some
> nipples (brass) are broken where a spoke wrench would engage and just won't
> come off. Any idea how I can get them off the spokes without cutting them?
> I've tried pliers, but the broken nipples are frozen to the spokes. TIA.


The nipples are probably alloy, not brass. Alloy nipples will crack
apart if you don't use the right spoke wrench - brass will simply
round off. You may just have to cut the suckers. But first, put some
penetrating fluid on the bad nipples overnight. Then try deflecting
the rim toward the side you are trying to loosen, which will make the
damaged nipples easier to turn. You can deflect the rim by pushing on
it while it's in the truing stand, or by squeezing the two nearest
spokes from the same side of the rim as hard as you can. I suggest a
needle nose vice grips to turn the damaged nipples. Don't get it too
tight, though, or you'll crush them.

If all else fails, loosen the nipples around the damaged one a bit,
then cut out and replace the bad spokes one at a time. Make sure you
use a three sided spoke wrench with the wheel - the most common is
called a "Spokie."

-Vee
 
J

jim beam

Guest
Bellsouth Ijit 2.0 wrote:
> I've inherited a mtb wheelset with half a dozen broken nipples for the rear
> and a couple for the front (no broken spokes, just the nipples). Some
> nipples (brass) are broken where a spoke wrench would engage and just won't
> come off. Any idea how I can get them off the spokes without cutting them?
> I've tried pliers, but the broken nipples are frozen to the spokes. TIA.
>
>

in addition to vee's advice on the 3-sided wrench, try heat. cigarette
lighters work great as it's localized.
 

daveornee

New Member
Sep 18, 2003
2,763
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Bellsouth Ijit 2.0 said:
I've inherited a mtb wheelset with half a dozen broken nipples for the rear
and a couple for the front (no broken spokes, just the nipples). Some
nipples (brass) are broken where a spoke wrench would engage and just won't
come off. Any idea how I can get them off the spokes without cutting them?
I've tried pliers, but the broken nipples are frozen to the spokes. TIA.
From the back side is there evidence of loctite, or corrosion?
Are the slots clean and open (spoke not in the way).
If loctite, you can try a soldering iron (or butane torch) to warm it up and them try a screw driver in the slot. If corrosion, penetrating oil and time will help. As another poster has already mentioned, proper side force will loosen the tension and maybe make it easier to remove.
If all else fails you may need to cut the spoke and replace both it and the nipple. If you cut the spoke it is a good idea to use a side load technique on the rim to reduce spoke tension and still be prepared for a projectile.
 
ah a soldering iron!
check the hubs for wear.
nipple ends on the rim's inside have flat blade screwdriver slots
try pcblaster on that side

there's a tool idea: a toothed reamer to jam into the nipples male end
a nippleout
 
A

A Muzi

Guest
Bellsouth Ijit 2.0 wrote:
> I've inherited a mtb wheelset with half a dozen broken nipples for the rear
> and a couple for the front (no broken spokes, just the nipples). Some
> nipples (brass) are broken where a spoke wrench would engage and just won't
> come off. Any idea how I can get them off the spokes without cutting them?
> I've tried pliers, but the broken nipples are frozen to the spokes. TIA.


Although a 3-sided spoke wrench, heat or a visegrip may help, we just
cut damaged nipples lengthwise with an end cutter. And a light touch.

--
Andrew Muzi
www.yellowjersey.org
Open every day since 1 April, 1971
 
B

Bellsouth Ijit 2.0

Guest
"Vee" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]
> On Mar 3, 6:20 am, "Bellsouth Ijit 2.0" <[email protected]> wrote:
>> I've inherited a mtb wheelset with half a dozen broken nipples for the
>> rear
>> and a couple for the front (no broken spokes, just the nipples). Some
>> nipples (brass) are broken where a spoke wrench would engage and just
>> won't
>> come off. Any idea how I can get them off the spokes without cutting
>> them?
>> I've tried pliers, but the broken nipples are frozen to the spokes. TIA.

>
> The nipples are probably alloy, not brass. Alloy nipples will crack
> apart if you don't use the right spoke wrench - brass will simply
> round off. You may just have to cut the suckers. But first, put some
> penetrating fluid on the bad nipples overnight. Then try deflecting
> the rim toward the side you are trying to loosen, which will make the
> damaged nipples easier to turn. You can deflect the rim by pushing on
> it while it's in the truing stand, or by squeezing the two nearest
> spokes from the same side of the rim as hard as you can. I suggest a
> needle nose vice grips to turn the damaged nipples. Don't get it too
> tight, though, or you'll crush them.
>
> If all else fails, loosen the nipples around the damaged one a bit,
> then cut out and replace the bad spokes one at a time. Make sure you
> use a three sided spoke wrench with the wheel - the most common is
> called a "Spokie."
>
> -Vee
>


Thanks. I think you are right. There was so much road crud on the wheels,
I couldn't really tell whether they are brass or alu. After I washed them,
they look like alloy jobbies. The nips are broken at the ends where you use
a flat screw driver to initially turn them. They cracked there (so that you
can't use a screw driver any more to turn them) and looked like they pulled
right out of the rim eyelets. Sheesh.
 
Vee Powell writes:

>> I've inherited a MTB wheels with half a dozen broken nipples for
>> the rear and a couple for the front (no broken spokes, just the
>> nipples). Some nipples (brass) are broken where a spoke wrench
>> would engage and just won't come off. Any idea how I can get them
>> off the spokes without cutting them? I've tried pliers, but the
>> broken nipples are frozen to the spokes.


> The nipples are probably alloy, not brass. Alloy nipples will crack
> apart if you don't use the right spoke wrench - brass will simply
> round off.


You may mean aluminum (brass is an alloy).

> You may just have to cut the suckers. But first, put some
> penetrating fluid on the bad nipples overnight. Then try deflecting
> the rim toward the side you are trying to loosen, which will make
> the damaged nipples easier to turn. You can deflect the rim by
> pushing on it while it's in the truing stand, or by squeezing the
> two nearest spokes from the same side of the rim as hard as you can.
> I suggest a needle nose vice grips to turn the damaged nipples.
> Don't get it too tight, though, or you'll crush them.


Penetrating fluid is 10W motor oil and that is good enough. I assume
the spokes were a bit long, otherwise a well fitting flat blade
screwdriver could be used to unscrew the nipples... once the junction
has been lubricated.

> If all else fails, loosen the nipples around the damaged one a bit,
> then cut out and replace the bad spokes one at a time. Make sure
> you use a three sided spoke wrench with the wheel - the most common
> is called a "Spokie."


Three sided doesn't do it. Four sided is what does what you want, but
there is no need for that because a two sided spoke wrench and brass
spoke nipples can tighten any spoke to failure. Rounded spoke nipples
are a symptom of friction with rims that were not oiled before
adjusting spoke tension. Wrap-around spoke wrenches are a pain in the
neck because engaging them on spoke nipples is tedious while a slotted
wrench slip on effortlessly. You don't need no steenkin' socket
wrenches to tighten spokes!

The whole three and four sided spoke wrench syndrome befell us from
mechanics who didn't understand an oil can... didn't want to get their
hands dirty or some such fetish. Make sure there is a drop of oil on
each spoke nipple at the rim hole.

Jobst Brandt
 
J

jim beam

Guest
[email protected] wrote:
> Vee Powell writes:
>
>>> I've inherited a MTB wheels with half a dozen broken nipples for
>>> the rear and a couple for the front (no broken spokes, just the
>>> nipples). Some nipples (brass) are broken where a spoke wrench
>>> would engage and just won't come off. Any idea how I can get them
>>> off the spokes without cutting them? I've tried pliers, but the
>>> broken nipples are frozen to the spokes.

>
>> The nipples are probably alloy, not brass. Alloy nipples will crack
>> apart if you don't use the right spoke wrench - brass will simply
>> round off.

>
> You may mean aluminum (brass is an alloy).
>
>> You may just have to cut the suckers. But first, put some
>> penetrating fluid on the bad nipples overnight. Then try deflecting
>> the rim toward the side you are trying to loosen, which will make
>> the damaged nipples easier to turn. You can deflect the rim by
>> pushing on it while it's in the truing stand, or by squeezing the
>> two nearest spokes from the same side of the rim as hard as you can.
>> I suggest a needle nose vice grips to turn the damaged nipples.
>> Don't get it too tight, though, or you'll crush them.

>
> Penetrating fluid is 10W motor oil and that is good enough. I assume
> the spokes were a bit long, otherwise a well fitting flat blade
> screwdriver could be used to unscrew the nipples... once the junction
> has been lubricated.
>
>> If all else fails, loosen the nipples around the damaged one a bit,
>> then cut out and replace the bad spokes one at a time. Make sure
>> you use a three sided spoke wrench with the wheel - the most common
>> is called a "Spokie."

>
> Three sided doesn't do it. Four sided is what does what you want, but
> there is no need for that because a two sided spoke wrench and brass
> spoke nipples can tighten any spoke to failure. Rounded spoke nipples
> are a symptom of friction with rims that were not oiled before
> adjusting spoke tension. Wrap-around spoke wrenches are a pain in the
> neck because engaging them on spoke nipples is tedious while a slotted
> wrench slip on effortlessly. You don't need no steenkin' socket
> wrenches to tighten spokes!
>
> The whole three and four sided spoke wrench syndrome befell us from
> mechanics who didn't understand an oil can... didn't want to get their
> hands dirty or some such fetish. Make sure there is a drop of oil on
> each spoke nipple at the rim hole.
>
> Jobst Brandt


oil won't loosen loctite jobst. heat will.
 
A

A Muzi

Guest
>> Vee Powell writes:
>>>> I've inherited a MTB wheels with half a dozen broken nipples for
>>>> the rear and a couple for the front (no broken spokes, just the
>>>> nipples). Some nipples (brass) are broken where a spoke wrench
>>>> would engage and just won't come off. Any idea how I can get them
>>>> off the spokes without cutting them? I've tried pliers, but the
>>>> broken nipples are frozen to the spokes.
>>> The nipples are probably alloy, not brass. Alloy nipples will crack
>>> apart if you don't use the right spoke wrench - brass will simply
>>> round off.


> [email protected] wrote:
>> You may mean aluminum (brass is an alloy).


>> Vee Powell writes:
>>> You may just have to cut the suckers. But first, put some
>>> penetrating fluid on the bad nipples overnight. Then try deflecting
>>> the rim toward the side you are trying to loosen, which will make
>>> the damaged nipples easier to turn. You can deflect the rim by
>>> pushing on it while it's in the truing stand, or by squeezing the
>>> two nearest spokes from the same side of the rim as hard as you can.
>>> I suggest a needle nose vice grips to turn the damaged nipples.
>>> Don't get it too tight, though, or you'll crush them.


> [email protected] wrote:
>> Penetrating fluid is 10W motor oil and that is good enough. I assume
>> the spokes were a bit long, otherwise a well fitting flat blade
>> screwdriver could be used to unscrew the nipples... once the junction
>> has been lubricated.
>>
>>> If all else fails, loosen the nipples around the damaged one a bit,
>>> then cut out and replace the bad spokes one at a time. Make sure
>>> you use a three sided spoke wrench with the wheel - the most common
>>> is called a "Spokie."

>>
>> Three sided doesn't do it. Four sided is what does what you want, but
>> there is no need for that because a two sided spoke wrench and brass
>> spoke nipples can tighten any spoke to failure. Rounded spoke nipples
>> are a symptom of friction with rims that were not oiled before
>> adjusting spoke tension. Wrap-around spoke wrenches are a pain in the
>> neck because engaging them on spoke nipples is tedious while a slotted
>> wrench slip on effortlessly. You don't need no steenkin' socket
>> wrenches to tighten spokes!
>>
>> The whole three and four sided spoke wrench syndrome befell us from
>> mechanics who didn't understand an oil can... didn't want to get their
>> hands dirty or some such fetish. Make sure there is a drop of oil on
>> each spoke nipple at the rim hole.


jim beam wrote:
> oil won't loosen loctite jobst. heat will.


Jim, you're the guy commonly chastising others about reading
comprehension.

Review that exchange again. If you ignore that it's from Jobst, you'll
understand his point and concur.

--
Andrew Muzi
www.yellowjersey.org
Open every day since 1 April, 1971
 
B

Ben C

Guest
On 2007-03-03, A Muzi <[email protected]> wrote:
>>> Vee Powell writes:

[...]
>>>> You may just have to cut the suckers. But first, put some
>>>> penetrating fluid on the bad nipples overnight. Then try deflecting
>>>> the rim toward the side you are trying to loosen, which will make
>>>> the damaged nipples easier to turn. You can deflect the rim by
>>>> pushing on it while it's in the truing stand, or by squeezing the
>>>> two nearest spokes from the same side of the rim as hard as you can.
>>>> I suggest a needle nose vice grips to turn the damaged nipples.
>>>> Don't get it too tight, though, or you'll crush them.

>
>> jobst.[email protected] wrote:

[...]
>>> Three sided doesn't do it. Four sided is what does what you want, but
>>> there is no need for that because a two sided spoke wrench and brass
>>> spoke nipples can tighten any spoke to failure. Rounded spoke nipples
>>> are a symptom of friction with rims that were not oiled before
>>> adjusting spoke tension. Wrap-around spoke wrenches are a pain in the
>>> neck because engaging them on spoke nipples is tedious while a slotted
>>> wrench slip on effortlessly. You don't need no steenkin' socket
>>> wrenches to tighten spokes!
>>>
>>> The whole three and four sided spoke wrench syndrome befell us from
>>> mechanics who didn't understand an oil can... didn't want to get their
>>> hands dirty or some such fetish. Make sure there is a drop of oil on
>>> each spoke nipple at the rim hole.

>
> jim beam wrote:
>> oil won't loosen loctite jobst. heat will.

>
> Jim, you're the guy commonly chastising others about reading
> comprehension.
>
> Review that exchange again. If you ignore that it's from Jobst, you'll
> understand his point and concur.


I'm a bit confused whether we're now talking about building a new wheel,
for which oil and a two-sided wrench should be fine, or trying to get
the seized nipples loose on one that was built years ago, perhaps with
loctite, and which might also have suffered corrosion.
 
Ben C? writes:

>>>>> You may just have to cut the suckers. But first, put some
>>>>> penetrating fluid on the bad nipples overnight. Then try
>>>>> deflecting the rim toward the side you are trying to loosen,
>>>>> which will make the damaged nipples easier to turn. You can
>>>>> deflect the rim by pushing on it while it's in the truing stand,
>>>>> or by squeezing the two nearest spokes from the same side of the
>>>>> rim as hard as you can. I suggest a needle nose vice grips to
>>>>> turn the damaged nipples. Don't get it too tight, though, or
>>>>> you'll crush them.


>>>> Three sided doesn't do it. Four sided is what does what you
>>>> want, but there is no need for that because a two sided spoke
>>>> wrench and brass spoke nipples can tighten any spoke to failure.
>>>> Rounded spoke nipples are a symptom of friction with rims that
>>>> were not oiled before adjusting spoke tension. Wrap-around spoke
>>>> wrenches are a pain in the neck because engaging them on spoke
>>>> nipples is tedious while a slotted wrench slip on effortlessly.
>>>> You don't need no steenkin' socket wrenches to tighten spokes!


>>>> The whole three and four sided spoke wrench syndrome befell us
>>>> from mechanics who didn't understand an oil can... didn't want to
>>>> get their hands dirty or some such fetish. Make sure there is a
>>>> drop of oil on each spoke nipple at the rim hole.


>>> oil won't loosen loctite jobst. heat will.


> I'm a bit confused whether we're now talking about building a new
> wheel, for which oil and a two-sided wrench should be fine, or
> trying to get the seized nipples loose on one that was built years
> ago, perhaps with Loctite, and which might also have suffered
> corrosion.


There are two things going on here. One is removing the cracked
nipples and the other, what sort of spoke wrench should be used (for
removal and rebuild).

Whether the wheel was built with Loctite was not said, but to build a
wheel with it is a bad move. You've got to ask why spokes are
tensioned more than just enough to true the wheel in the first place.
That is done so spokes will not slacken in use. We have come to a
point where wheels have so few spokes, for silly reasons, that these
wheels can barely be made tight enough to not slacken and allow their
spoke nipples to unscrew.

Build good wheels and don't use adhesives.

Jobst Brandt
 
the slot (s) wrenchs used here wore out leaving rounded nipples
whereas the spokey has not worn out
linseed is vastly superior to motor oil
check the hubs for wear
o check the hubs for wear
hey!
 
B

Ben C

Guest
On 2007-03-03, [email protected] <[email protected]> wrote:
> Ben C? writes:

[...]
>> I'm a bit confused whether we're now talking about building a new
>> wheel, for which oil and a two-sided wrench should be fine, or
>> trying to get the seized nipples loose on one that was built years
>> ago, perhaps with Loctite, and which might also have suffered
>> corrosion.

>
> There are two things going on here. One is removing the cracked
> nipples and the other, what sort of spoke wrench should be used (for
> removal and rebuild).
>
> Whether the wheel was built with Loctite was not said, but to build a
> wheel with it is a bad move. You've got to ask why spokes are
> tensioned more than just enough to true the wheel in the first place.
> That is done so spokes will not slacken in use. We have come to a
> point where wheels have so few spokes, for silly reasons, that these
> wheels can barely be made tight enough to not slacken and allow their
> spoke nipples to unscrew.
>
> Build good wheels and don't use adhesives.


Thank you, I'll try. I use a bit of linseed oil which goes sticky but I
don't think will require heating with a blowtorch to get it off in the
future.

I don't know about low spoke counts, and my own wheels are all 32 or 36
holes, but I have had cracked rims around the spoke holes on a
drive-side rear with rather tight spokes. The rim didn't have eyelets
and certainly not sockets. Whatever the reasons are for this design of
rim, it is very plausible that lower spoke tensions will increase the
fatigue life of such rims around the spoke holes.

At these lower tensions some kind of threadlock might help, since it
seems that for some rims the tension range between spoke-loosening and
rim-fatigue is a bit narrow for comfort.
 
Datakoll? writes:

> the slot (s) wrenchs used here wore out leaving rounded nipples
> whereas the spokey has not worn out


That means you are using a poor spoke wrench. I use hardened tool
steel spoke wrenches that haven't shown any wear in all the wheels
I've built and repaired.

> linseed is vastly superior to motor oil


In what way?

> check the hubs for wear o check the hubs for wear hey!


What means this?

Jobst Brandt
 
Ben C? writes:

>>> I'm a bit confused whether we're now talking about building a new
>>> wheel, for which oil and a two-sided wrench should be fine, or
>>> trying to get the seized nipples loose on one that was built years
>>> ago, perhaps with Loctite, and which might also have suffered
>>> corrosion.


>> There are two things going on here. One is removing the cracked
>> nipples and the other, what sort of spoke wrench should be used
>> (for removal and rebuild).


>> Whether the wheel was built with Loctite was not said, but to build
>> a wheel with it is a bad move. You've got to ask why spokes are
>> tensioned more than just enough to true the wheel in the first
>> place. That is done so spokes will not slacken in use. We have
>> come to a point where wheels have so few spokes, for silly reasons,
>> that these wheels can barely be made tight enough to not slacken
>> and allow their spoke nipples to unscrew.


>> Build good wheels and don't use adhesives.


> Thank you, I'll try. I use a bit of linseed oil which goes sticky
> but I don't think will require heating with a blowtorch to get it
> off in the future.


> I don't know about low spoke counts, and my own wheels are all 32 or
> 36 holes, but I have had cracked rims around the spoke holes on a
> drive-side rear with rather tight spokes. The rim didn't have
> eyelets and certainly not sockets. Whatever the reasons are for this
> design of rim, it is very plausible that lower spoke tensions will
> increase the fatigue life of such rims around the spoke holes.


You seem to be an apologist for the rim business. Fortunately I have
a stash of MA-2 rims that don't crack and allow as high a tension as
needed for the life of the wheel. I use motor oil.

> At these lower tensions some kind of thread lock might help, since
> it seems that for some rims the tension range between
> spoke-loosening and rim-fatigue is a bit narrow for comfort.


As I said, spoke prep was introduced by Wheelsmith to cover for
loosely machine built wheels. That was about 30 years ago. It was a
bad idea then and still is.

Jobst Brandt
 
B

Ben C

Guest
On 2007-03-03, [email protected] <[email protected]> wrote:
> Ben C? writes:

[...]
>> I don't know about low spoke counts, and my own wheels are all 32 or
>> 36 holes, but I have had cracked rims around the spoke holes on a
>> drive-side rear with rather tight spokes. The rim didn't have
>> eyelets and certainly not sockets. Whatever the reasons are for this
>> design of rim, it is very plausible that lower spoke tensions will
>> increase the fatigue life of such rims around the spoke holes.

>
> You seem to be an apologist for the rim business. Fortunately I have
> a stash of MA-2 rims that don't crack and allow as high a tension as
> needed for the life of the wheel. I use motor oil.


I'm getting quite envious of your stash. I wondered if more recent Mavic
rims might be lighter, and if there was therefore some tradeoff going on
(you'd think leaving the sockets off would be lighter for one thing),
but I have looked up the weights, and the MA-2 is 420g compared to 425g
for the Open Pro. If the MA-2 is also stronger, it's not clear what
progress has been made.
 
Ben C? writes:

>>> I don't know about low spoke counts, and my own wheels are all 32
>>> or 36 holes, but I have had cracked rims around the spoke holes on
>>> a drive-side rear with rather tight spokes. The rim didn't have
>>> eyelets and certainly not sockets. Whatever the reasons are for
>>> this design of rim, it is very plausible that lower spoke tensions
>>> will increase the fatigue life of such rims around the spoke
>>> holes.


>> You seem to be an apologist for the rim business. Fortunately I
>> have a stash of MA-2 rims that don't crack and allow as high a
>> tension as needed for the life of the wheel. I use motor oil.


> I'm getting quite envious of your stash. I wondered if more recent
> Mavic rims might be lighter, and if there was therefore some
> trade-off going on (you'd think leaving the sockets off would be
> lighter for one thing), but I have looked up the weights, and the
> MA-2 is 420g compared to 425g for the Open Pro. If the MA-2 is also
> stronger, it's not clear what progress has been made.


They are building expensive junk. As they were ceasing production on
the MA-2 they brought out a palette of rims that were hard anodized
and cost 50% more. Then they discontinued all the old rims and
offered only rims that were more than double the price.

What do you care if the crappy rims weight a gram or two less? For
that matter, much of the cost is promotion and coming up with fancy
names. Cracking rims was not a problem in the days of yore, when I
was writing about it and describing how to build strong wheels.

Jobst Brandt
 
J

John Thompson

Guest
On 2007-03-03, Bellsouth Ijit 2.0 <[email protected]> wrote:

> I've inherited a mtb wheelset with half a dozen broken nipples for the rear
> and a couple for the front (no broken spokes, just the nipples). Some
> nipples (brass) are broken where a spoke wrench would engage and just won't
> come off. Any idea how I can get them off the spokes without cutting them?
> I've tried pliers, but the broken nipples are frozen to the spokes. TIA.


Take the tire and rim strip off. Most nipples have a slot for a
screwdriver on the bottom; some even have hex heads.

--

John ([email protected])