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Hi,

I haven't seen one of these before, this is a Wheelsmith alloy nipple on a db spoke (XT hub, Mavic 517 rim 3x):

The nipple head popped off while I was tensioning the wheel. Never had that happen before, the only nipples I've broken were on a wheel that a minivan drove over during a 24h race (the wheel was inside my tent, but that's another story!). I was just re-lacing a new rim on the wheel for a $ challenged friend, and I've never had trouble re-using spokes, although I usually use brass nipples. There is evidence of red spoke prep on the threads, and if you look at the break, it looks like there is spoke prep on part of the break surface - which leads me to think that the nipple was already cracked when the original wheel was built. Any thoughts? Don't re-use alloy nipples? Replace all the nipples?

FYI: the original spoke tension was not very high, which is probably why the 517 rim was still in one piece - both old and new rim show the 'crazing' or micro-cracks around the eyelets that this series of Mavic rims always had. I usually avoid these rims, but the owner is a weight weinie and wanted them - she's light and not hard on equipment, so I'm not too concerned.

Any advice/illumination would be appriciated.

Cheers,

Tom
 

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Do It Yourself
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5,720 Posts
As you say, it may have already been damaged. Anything is possible. I probably wouldn't reuse alloy nipples for a rebuild though. It's not really worth the time and effort.
 
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