what's the best nipples to use when rebuilding a hub motor?

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ClintBX   1 kW

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what's the best nipples to use when rebuilding a hub motor?

Post by ClintBX » Sep 28 2019 1:46pm

Hi ESFMs,

I'm rebuilding one of my hub motor wheels. This would be my fourth time building a wheel and my second time building with fresh spokes. (Same wheel but first time, spokes were too long. Had to reorder)

Anyway, now that I have the correct length spokes, it's lacing up nicely (though debatably on slightly short side).

My problem is that my nipples are chipping, rounding and cracking. I've worked with nipples before but I've never dealt with ones so fragile as these. Maybe I got a bad batch or maybe I over tensioned them before truing. Either way, I need to get new nips.

I'm building a1200 watt gearless DD hub wheel. And while I'm a light 65 kgs, my bike is a not so light 25 kgs. I'm guesstimating those weights but that's in the ball park of 90kgs total (that's 200 lbs for those non metric users)

Anyway, what I want to know is, what are the best and most durable nipples to use on a hub motor ebike? Brass or alloy? Are those the only 2 or is there another option out there?

Clinton

markz   100 GW

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Re: what's the best nipples to use when rebuilding a hub motor?

Post by markz » Sep 28 2019 2:11pm

Where did you buy your spokes and nipples from?

Any brand name spokes/nipples are good. Like Sapim, DT Swiss, Wheelsmith.

ClintBX wrote:
Sep 28 2019 1:46pm
.

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MadRhino   100 GW

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Re: what's the best nipples to use when rebuilding a hub motor?

Post by MadRhino » Sep 28 2019 4:40pm

Either you over tensioned them, or you don’t have a proper nipple wrench, maybe both.

The best nipples to lace a motor are the longest that you can find, of any reputable brand. That is because of the spoke angle, that doesn’t let much of the nipple out of the rim.
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johnrobholmes   1.21 GW

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Re: what's the best nipples to use when rebuilding a hub motor?

Post by johnrobholmes » Sep 28 2019 4:46pm

Name brand. The ones from Dan's competition aren't too bad, but they aren't great either. Anything ebay or amazon is bottom of the barrel unless it's a trusted vendor selling name brand. Plenty of fakes from shady vendors though.

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Re: what's the best nipples to use when rebuilding a hub motor?

Post by DogDipstick » Sep 28 2019 4:55pm

You can find a long nipple 12-13-14gauge from "Yojimbos Garage" on eBay cut to length for 40$ shipped. Sapim, brass, long or short.

Or here: http://www.yojimbosgarage.com/blog/?fbc ... Q0hSNq6IGU

https://www.ebay.com/str/yojimbosgarage
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ClintBX   1 kW

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Re: what's the best nipples to use when rebuilding a hub motor?

Post by ClintBX » Sep 29 2019 2:26am

markz wrote:
Sep 28 2019 2:11pm
Where did you buy your spokes and nipples from?

Any brand name spokes/nipples are good. Like Sapim, DT Swiss, Wheelsmith.
I got them from a vendor in AliExpress. I just shot a question to the vendor about the quality of the nipples.

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Re: what's the best nipples to use when rebuilding a hub motor?

Post by ClintBX » Sep 29 2019 2:28am

MadRhino wrote:
Sep 28 2019 4:40pm
Either you over tensioned them, or you don’t have a proper nipple wrench, maybe both.

The best nipples to lace a motor are the longest that you can find, of any reputable brand. That is because of the spoke angle, that doesn’t let much of the nipple out of the rim.
I didn't know that nipples varied in length. Good to know.

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Re: what's the best nipples to use when rebuilding a hub motor?

Post by ClintBX » Sep 29 2019 2:36am

I just got a response from the vendor. He tells me they are copper. I didn't know there were copper nipples. Thoughts?

markz   100 GW

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Re: what's the best nipples to use when rebuilding a hub motor?

Post by markz » Sep 29 2019 4:01am

An unknown, unverifiable vendor on Aliexpress/Alibaba/ebay is not really the best way to go. Best to choose a known vendor with a verifiable history from other users (on Endless Sphere) on those websites and other websites.

ClintBX wrote:
Sep 29 2019 2:26am
.

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johnrobholmes   1.21 GW

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Re: what's the best nipples to use when rebuilding a hub motor?

Post by johnrobholmes » Sep 29 2019 7:28am

ClintBX wrote:
Sep 29 2019 2:36am
I just got a response from the vendor. He tells me they are copper. I didn't know there were copper nipples. Thoughts?
Sounds like a vendor that is just flipping parts. They would be brass. There are many grades of brass though. Cheap nipples will be cheap materials.

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Re: what's the best nipples to use when rebuilding a hub motor?

Post by Hummina Shadeeba » Sep 29 2019 11:04am

I've heard of either brass or aluminum. Aluminum are weak.

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Re: what's the best nipples to use when rebuilding a hub motor?

Post by 999zip999 » Sep 29 2019 3:24pm

I brought 38 spaim 13/14 spokes and nipples 60.00usd shipped.

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MadRhino   100 GW

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Re: what's the best nipples to use when rebuilding a hub motor?

Post by MadRhino » Sep 29 2019 3:25pm

ClintBX wrote:
Sep 29 2019 2:28am
MadRhino wrote:
Sep 28 2019 4:40pm
Either you over tensioned them, or you don’t have a proper nipple wrench, maybe both.

The best nipples to lace a motor are the longest that you can find, of any reputable brand. That is because of the spoke angle, that doesn’t let much of the nipple out of the rim.
I didn't know that nipples varied in length. Good to know.
They are coming in a large variety of size and length, but most manufacturers offer a limited choice thus you need to know many of them to shop a specific nipple.

Eg. You can find motorcycle size nipples drilled for 14ga bicycle spokes. You can find nipples made of brass, alu, steel, titanium... The color that you like.
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ClintBX   1 kW

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Re: what's the best nipples to use when rebuilding a hub motor?

Post by ClintBX » Oct 01 2019 4:04am

johnrobholmes wrote:
Sep 29 2019 7:28am
ClintBX wrote:
Sep 29 2019 2:36am
I just got a response from the vendor. He tells me they are copper. I didn't know there were copper nipples. Thoughts?
Sounds like a vendor that is just flipping parts. They would be brass. There are many grades of brass though. Cheap nipples will be cheap materials.
Some vendors don't know what they're selling as well as they should. I queried if he meant brass and confirmed that he did. Technically he wasn't wrong when he said copper. Brass is just a copper/zinc alloy.

I also asked about the brand. His response, and I quote, "Sorry, it's just China nipples." Had to laugh when I read that.

ClintBX   1 kW

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Re: what's the best nipples to use when rebuilding a hub motor?

Post by ClintBX » Oct 01 2019 4:37am

Anyway, I decided to swap out the few damaged nipples with some spares and back off the tension from each spoke by 2 full turns and go from there. I've tensioned and trued to near perfection and haven't had any more issues with rounding or splitting spokes.

I suspect that my initial tensioning was too excessive. I think my mistake was to follow the advice of bringing each nipple to revealing just 1-2 lines of thread as a baseline. But as I mentioned earlier, spokes were on the slightly short side. There was no flop at all post lacing and I didn't have to bend a single spoke when getting them through the eyelet.

I also brought them all straight to baseline thread in one go instead of doing it gradually over several rounds.

Now, I have them pretty tight but I'm questioning if I should give them one last tensioning by another 1/8-1/4 turn. I'm mostly going by spoke plucking comparison with my other wheels. But this rim has a different profile. I don't know if that factors much. I'm lacing an Alex rim DM24 26"and it has a flat inner face. Which is different to the power wheel rims I'm used to with the curved inner face (which requires shorter spokes).

I also wipped out my tension meter to compare and sure enough, this new wheel has a smidge less tension than my other wheels.

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