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I think stainless steel rimes are the best because they are stronger then aluminum.


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As @Batman said in a comment, the main thing is to get the spoke count right. So count how many spokes each wheel has (they could be different). Next, measure the width of the rim. You'll need to take the tires off first. And look at the tires to see what dimensions they say they are. Next, you'll need to make some tentative decisions. I recommend keeping ...


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You have a brand new wheelset which is within 0.05mm of true yet has wide variation in spoke tension. Because the wheel is true it probably means that when the wheel was built attention was not paid to balancing the spoke tensions. That is a sign of low quality wheel building. Tension among all spokes should be +/- 5%. Or course on the rear wheel the DS ...


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I would guess that the etymology is by analogy – the closest existing hardware to a spoke nipple was/is a pipe nipple so that when wheel makers started looking for a name for the little thing with the threads that tensions the spokes someone thought that they looked a bit like tiny pipe nipples and the name stuck.


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The spoke most likely to "pop" would be one of the other two in the triplet as they have to take more of the strain (making up for the loose one). If your wheel is still true, just tighten the nipple of the loose spoke until it sounds the same as the others. Do it gradually while checking this is not affecting the wheel trueness.


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I once had this happen before by combining inexpensive saddle bags combined with a inexpensive rack. The bags were not stiff enough for things like groceries and the rack provided no support to keep the saddle bags from twisting. With the heavy weight the bags simply twist into the spokes while riding. I now use higher quality expedition style panniers ...


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I remember Robert Wright’s wheelbuilding guide thinking about a rope over your shoulder pulling a load is easier than facing the load and pulling with your hands. Ie: the hub flange becomes the shoulder and provides another contact point to better direct drive force to the wheel. Big Jim



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