Viewing 10 posts - 1 through 10 (of 10 total)
  • Wheelbuilding – reusing spokes.
  • submarined

    I built my first set of wheels as an experiment about 6 months ago with cheap rims (DT 350/WTB i25) and they’ve gone great.

    I’ve now got some new rims to go on them that are wider and lighter but have the same ERD, so I want to rebuild the wheels with these rims but retain the spokes. (but new nipples)

    Do I need to ensure the same spokes go in the same places in order for all of the bends/pre stressed bits to stay in the right place? If so, how the hell do I do this? I’ve read about laying one wheel on top of another and ‘just transferring over’ but that seems like it’d be a lot harder than people make it sound!

    Any advice appreciated.

    Premier Icon simondbarnes

    Just swap the spokes one at a time. No need to re-lace.



    You achieve it by taping the rims together. Requires no thought just work round one spoke at a time.

    I’d reuse the nipples unkess you’ve chewed tem to buggery.


    If they’re in good condition, yes they can be reused.

    Rim transplant is easier. Slacken off all the tension first do the nipples are just holding it together. Tape the two rims together paying attention to the valve hole, and any offset.

    However, if the new rim has heavily angled nipple beds that don’t line up with the existing spokes, you’ll have to relace anyway to accommodate that.


    Agree, I have done that a few times and taped rims together and used same spokes and nipples.  Probably didn’t save that much time.  Even re-used some alloy nipples when rebuilding a wheel last week.

    Premier Icon benpinnick

    Ive tried it every which way but I would say that the best is to strip it down and rebuild. That way you can Clean and service the hub & get the spokes properly clean, importantly the threads. Replace any chewed up spokes and despite the fact they’re a little banana shaped you’ll find it no harder than building with new. just keep an eye on the damage from the spoke orientation the first time round, unless you messed up the lacing you’ll want to redo to cover the damage.

    Ive reused nipples but for the cost of brass I would go new every time if I can.

    Premier Icon cynic-al

    No benefit in stripping and cleaning etc IME

    It’s not surgery.


    Clean rim/nipples, de tension, tape new rim to old, lace over 1 spoke at a time then re tension/true.

    I use new nipples.


    +1 for rebuilt using same spokes and brass nipples- original build with DT Competition was 2008 and I rebuilt in 2015.  That wheel is still going strong (but probably will be retired in favour of 29″ soon).  In fact I committed the sin of relacing from scratch, with spokes into different holes.


    OK, cheers guys, I think I’ll try the ‘taping together’ method and see how I go. Just wasn’t sure there was enough slack in the spokes to do this. Will give it a shot!

Viewing 10 posts - 1 through 10 (of 10 total)

The topic ‘Wheelbuilding – reusing spokes.’ is closed to new replies.