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combination colors for wheels(3 posts)

combination colors for wheelssilroadbike
Sep 18, 2002 7:15 PM
I am trying to build my bike and I am overwhelmed by the amount of parts to choose from. I can't seem to think straight for awhile so I am wondering what the "in" thing is for rims on wheels. Is is black hub and black spokes and should the nipples be black with brass or black with aluminum? Is it a matter of color for either brass or aluminum or is one better than the other?

Well, for the definitive answer...Spunout
Sep 19, 2002 3:56 AM
Black is stealthier. If you are jumping a peleton, you'll have better luck getting a gap with black nipples.

I hear from some friends who are good climbers that red spoke nipples definitely spin up the hills easier.

TT specialists employ silver nipples, for all of the obvious reasons.

Get the wheels that work for you, talk to your wheelbuilder, invest in functionality and quality first.
Whatever worksMike Prince
Sep 19, 2002 7:03 AM
Seems like in boutique wheels (K's, Neutrons, etc) the current trend is to go all black, or offer blue or red (hubs and rims) as options. If you're going the handbuilt route, your component group may or may not dictate whether or not you are a slave to fashion. King/Hugi/others are available in color, but if you go Shimano or Campy for the hubs you can have any color hub you want as long as it's silver.

For a non-boutique (i.e. handbuilt) wheel, my advice is that you should stick with high-quality silver spokes and brass nipples, which are plated silver - don't think I've ever seen color choices in brass nips, only alloy. Pick the right rim for your weight/riding style and if it has color choices then great (I guess). Definetely go function over style here. If you search the archives you will find a recent debate over brass vs. alloy nipples which should help you decide what to do.

Short answer to your question is that the "in" thing for wheels has always been the same - get the best combination of weight, strength and maintainability for the money you have budgeted. IMO how it looks is a secondary consideration.