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PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 8:32 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jun 25, 2009 5:29 am
Posts: 186
Looks like I might be able to get a really good price on some quality carbon rims, but they are drilled for internal nipples. Have people been able to safely enlarge internally-sized spoke holes to accommodate external nipples? Could they be drilled out with a hand drill?

How would you think about this (or actually do it) and what are the risks? Would love to hear from people who have done it successfully!


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 9:48 pm 
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in the industry

Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2009 12:31 pm
Posts: 41
On a scale of 1-10 for bad ideas, I put this one around an 11.

The spoke hole drilling machines are very high tech and precise machines. I have gotten in rims where one of the spoke holes isn't quite at the right angle and the spoke will not sit in the hole flush. The process of building the wheel and turning the nipple on a poorly drilled hole will almost always crack the rim. . . and then you are out a rim.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 10:46 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jun 25, 2009 5:29 am
Posts: 186
Exactly the kind of feedback I needed to hear. Thanks, Coach!


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 2:13 pm 
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Joined: Tue Apr 18, 2006 3:03 am
Posts: 2333
Location: Islip, NY
Yeah, bad idea.

I've built up Zipp rims that had the spokes hole just slightly off from perfect and the spoke holes would crack. They had a problem with this years back. It was almost a 4:1 send back ratio until they fixed it. That's a company with the right equipment!

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 6:22 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jun 25, 2009 5:29 am
Posts: 186
Ok, got it. Now the question is if I want to build a set of tubulars with internal nipples. This would be my first foray into carbon, and everything else I've done has been w/conventional nipples. If it was for clincher rims I'd be more likely to try, but I'm thinking about what it would mean if I had a tire glued on a wheel that might need a tweak along the way....


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