I'm building up a set of lightish, but strong wheels for all mountain duties (Mavic XM719 Rims, 36 spokes and Hope Bulb hubs). I'm thinking of swapping to alloy nipples to save a little weight, is this a bad move on an all mountain wheelset or can I expect reasonable longevity?
For a 32 hole wheel, you'll save about 20g by using alloy nipples over brass but they are muchmore annoying to build with and tend to seize so can make truing difficult later. If the wheel is built well there shouldn't really be any durability issues though.
alloy=poop brass=good. they might be lighter but they sure are softer. and if your wanting a strong tight all mountain wheel stick to brass. i have see too many alloy ones sheer to ever trust them. they seem to corrode more after time too. so go brass.