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How to Deal With Rounded/Stripped Spoke Nipples

Spoke nipples would sometimes get stuck with the head of spokes, it happens just due to rust and corrosion and the threads of the spoke nipples and spoke ends would damage, when you are truing a bike wheel and you want to replace the nipples with a new one then these would not unscrew properly, there are special tools for these spoke nipples which are used for screwing and unscrewing of spoke nipples, but it is not possible to apply any types of tools for unscrewing and unthreading of spoke nipples from the spokes. there are special types of spoke drivers which are known as screwdrivers, which are used for unscrewing the spoke nipples, limited force is applied on the head of the spoke nipples, and never applying too much force will break the nipple of the thread areas of the spokes.

When buying a new spoke driver, make sure the head of the driver should be flat same as that of the head of the spoke nipples. before using the spoke driver wet the nipples by lubing and bleeding, WD-40 spray, and other PB Blaster spray are used to wet the top end of the nipples and also around the eyelets. pliers and vise grips are used for unscrewing the spoke nipples but sometimes these also would not work, then you have to cut the spoke with the help of cutters, in this way you have to buy another spoke and spoke nipple but also your wheel needs re-dishing and re-lacing because cutting off a spoke would cause un-tensioning of the wheel.

Corrosion penetrates deeply within the spoke nipples and edges of the eyelets, it happens in winter seasons and those areas where the ocean and sea are near and you are riding your bike above the water floats, if you are also living in these areas, then it is must tui lube or bleed the spoke nipples on the inward edges of the eyelets, it is so much important even after every ride lube the nipples thoroughly with the recommended lubes.

Method Of Removing Rounded And Stripped Spoke Nipples:

First of all, you have to deflate the bike tire and all the internal air, remove the tire from the rim, and after that check the truing of the wheel on the truing stand. stripped spoke nipples are uninstalled from the internal head of the spoke nipple because it is not possible to uninstall spoke nipples from the outside direction. many categories and brands of bike rims have wider eyelets and you can easily use pliers for unscrewing the nipples, but there are few categories of bikes that have small eyelets holes and there is not enough space for penetrating the spoke pliers within the holes to reach the internal head of the spoke nipples.

Pliers would also ruin and destroy the edges of the eyelets on the rim, so you have to make your own small flat-headed tip of steel material, buy a 1-inch steel tip with a round-headed shape, and then cut the center line of the tip with the help of a steel cutter or Dremel machine, now you can judge the size of the flat tip by noticing the size of the inner head of the spoke nipples, use the teeth of the pliers for gripping the other end of the steel tip.

Now, this small sized hand made steel tool tip is narrower and would easily be inserted within the eyelet of the rim from the interior section, insert the tool within the above wall of the double-walled rim, and you will notice the head of the steep tip would have exactly fitted on the inner head of the spoke nipple, rotate the steel tip in the counterclockwise direction for unscrewing of the spoke nipples. continue to rotate the steel tip in the exact rotating direction but make sure never to apply a larger rotating torque force on spoke nipples, because10 to 15 Nm force is much greater for spoke nipples and you will break or strip your spoke nipple. and when you will notice that the spoke nipples are unscrewing then after that you can also use compatible flat screwdrivers for unmounting the spoke nipples from the spokes.

By using this method you can easily uninstall rounded and stripped spoke nipples from the double-walled rims. after unmounting the spoke nipples clean and lube them thoroughly and again use the exact method for installing the spoke nipples within the rim.


 Lowering Wheel Tensioning For Removing Stripped Spoke Nipples:

When you have decided for removing of stripped and round spoke nipples then it is a must to lower the tensioning of the wheel, which will allow the spoke driver and flat steel tip to fit more accurately within the flat head of the spoke nipple, and the nipple is easily unscrewed from the lower tensioned spokes of the wheel.

Lubricating Of The Spoke Nipples:

before insetting the spoke nipples within the eyelets of the rims, it is a must to bleed all the spoke nipples and small screws of the spoke nipples within the spokes, old used wheels have dirt and dust accumulated within the nipple and spoke threads which require proper servicing, cleaning, and washing of the threads of the spoke and spoke nipples.

Spoke Key:

It is the most recommended key for unscrewing the small outside screw of the spoke nipples because spoke drivers or screwdrivers are used in the early stages of wheel building when wheels are built and installed in the beginning then these drivers are used but if the spoke nipples are stuck then the spoke key would help much more in unscrewing of the spoke nipples and spoke drivers would fail when the spoke nipples were broken or stripped within the eyelets of the rims.