Wheelbuilding tool - Nipple Starter

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
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runner999
Posts: 326
Joined: Wed Jan 03, 2007 12:01 am
Location: Bay State

by runner999

I've been building wheels for myself and friends lately. I struggled with getting the nipple in deep rims without losing them inside the rim and getting a fairly accurate amount of initial turns for each nipple during the lacing process. I created a very simple tool that I'd like to share with you that can cost under $15 USD depending on how fancy a driver handle you select. It cut my wheel build time in half, but times may vary on experience.

Parts needed:
1. 1.5mm Hex driver with replacable tip. Can be purchased at your local hobby shop that sells RC Cars and Planes etc. or from towerhobbies.com" or Horizonhobby.com . I repurposed one I had laying around from my other past time.

2. One round straight gauge spoke

3. One spare nipple

Steps below:
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Set the initial spoke depth by how many threads showing on the tool spoke with the tool's nipple, thread the wheelbuild's nipple on the exposed thread of the tool and thread wheelbuild's nipple on the spoke on the wheel till it stops. Continue lacing the rest of the spokes. Once the wheel is completely laced you can begin truing and tensioning the spokes.

TIP In order to prevent the nipple on the tool from moving in a desired position/depth. I purposely damaged the threads on the spoke near where the threads stop at the non-threaded potion of the spoke. This effectively held the tool's nipple in a desired position. Do NOT damage the treads where the nipple for the wheel build will thread.
Image

:beerchug:

by Weenie


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WMW
in the industry
Posts: 855
Joined: Sun Jul 29, 2012 2:59 pm
Location: Ruidoso, NM

by WMW

That's similar to the Alchemy tool. I use a bent spoke with some cable housing over it for grip, and bent into a nice shape. Same idea as yours but easy to make with stuff you already have around.
formerly rruff...

eric
Posts: 2196
Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2003 9:47 pm
Location: Santa Cruz, California, USA
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by eric

I made one with an old spoke as well. I used Loctite on the nipple so it would stay in place.
I like the handle though!

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Timebandit415
Posts: 147
Joined: Sat Oct 23, 2010 10:07 pm
Location: San Mateo, California
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by Timebandit415

Awesome! thanks for sharing!

thisisatest
Shop Owner
Posts: 1980
Joined: Sat Jun 13, 2009 4:02 am
Location: NoVA/DC

by thisisatest

i just use a sharpened spoke. i hit the end of the spoke with a hammer to flatten it some, creating a friction fit in the nipple.

wojchiech
Posts: 459
Joined: Thu Feb 24, 2011 6:33 pm
Location: bay area, california

by wojchiech

I use one of these, snipped off the swab part:

Image

:lol:

costs a fraction of a cent. Works, which is good enough for me. Doesn't hinder the quality of my wheels at all.

bm0p700f
in the industry
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Location: Glermsford, Suffolk U.K
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by bm0p700f

I just screw the nipple omto an old spoke (by one thread or so and pop it into the rim and hold the nipple and remove the placement spoke insert nipple driver and thread onto spoke. Just as easy which is why I have not boght a tool.

vala
Posts: 15
Joined: Wed Feb 06, 2013 11:57 pm

by vala

bm0p700f wrote:I just screw the nipple omto an old spoke (by one thread or so and pop it into the rim and hold the nipple and remove the placement spoke insert nipple driver and thread onto spoke. Just as easy which is why I have not boght a tool.


+1.
Exactly how I did mine yesterday when lacing up me new wheels.

by Weenie


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MajorMantra
Posts: 293
Joined: Mon Nov 02, 2009 8:38 pm

by MajorMantra

I use a large matchstick, with the end slightly whittled down. Works great.

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