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spoke nipples(7 posts)

spoke nippleskoala
Nov 10, 2001 6:25 AM
I am going to switch my campy 8 to 10 speed and need new wheels. They will be eveyday wheels. Excelsports says go alloy. Colorado cyclist says brass. These are the two places that I am considering getting the group and wheels from. Whats the expected life of each nipple type? If it matters I weigh 170s and they will be OPs 32 butted with chorus hubs. Appreciate any other comments that pertain.
re: spoke nipplesempirebikes
Nov 10, 2001 5:22 PM
If they are everyday wheels go with brass nipples. They are a little heavier but who cares, your not racing them. What sort of price are you getting on them? Maybe I can compete. E-mail me at and check out my website:
FWIW, I've broken alloy nips, but never brasscory
Nov 11, 2001 10:31 AM
I'm a Clydesdale, and last year I let an LBS owner (a good mechanic I trust) talk me into alloy nipples on a new rear wheel. The wheel's properly built, 32 Wheelsmith spokes on a Velocity Deep V rim--but I've snapped three of the nipples, just pulled them apart. Not that many miles, either, because it's on a bike I don't use much.
re: spoke nipplesbikerduder
Nov 11, 2001 6:21 PM
I am doing the same as you, but with Dura-Ace hubs. Check out the DT spokes website at:

I sent an email to to get their advice as well. I weigh 225 and want to build some reliable training wheels. DT sez the OPs or Mavic CPX33s are great rim choices and recommended using brass nipples, at least on the rear, along with a 3X pattern and DT comp 14/15 butted spokes. My wheel builder at the LBS sez that weight difference in alloy vs. brass is really minimal, but durability is the real factor to consider. He regularly sees wheels in the shop with stripped out alloy nipples, usually where the user has tried to tighten with a spoke wrench. My experience has been the same.
my nipples are always firm!Rusty McNasty
Nov 12, 2001 6:06 AM
especially after a cold ride.
Where do you ride?grzy
Nov 12, 2001 1:52 PM
It's worth considering also - around the coast you can expect some corrosion from the salt air. This causes the alloy nipple to sieze - then you get to make your "adjustments" with a pair of cutters. The only two tihings going for alloy nipples is slightly less weight and disco colors.
Nov 12, 2001 4:00 PM
Thanks for the feedback. Looks like I will go for the brass nipples for reliability.