So I have a wheelset that I really like, only problem is the first time I rode the wheels a nipple came off the spoke when I launched off a speed bump going downhill. For a long time it was silent (the nipple must have been stuck in some stan's or something) but recently its come loose and rattles all over the place when braking. I am pretty sure this is going to drive me crazy.

Looking for strategies that people have found successful for getting a nipple out in this situation. I figure if worst comes to worst I can take the tire off, remove the valve core and put a dab of rubber cement in the rim that will hopefully catch the nipple. But I'd like to fish it out if I can.

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    my advice... remove your seat post, pour a handful of loose ball bearings into the seat tube, and replace the post. Then, put some baseball cards in your spokes. You won't hear the nipple any more. Otherwise, you'll have to remove the tire and rim strip and fish that sucker out. Kind of a pain since you're running tubeless, so my vote's for the bearings and cards. Commented Mar 12, 2013 at 22:00
  • I have the same problem with a broken presta valve :( Commented Mar 13, 2013 at 1:47

5 Answers 5


If you take the rim tape off you should be able to shake it out through one of the holes that you insert the nipples through. I've dropped a few inside rims and never had a problem getting them out this way.

  • I drop nipples into the rim all the time when I'm building up wheels and I've always been able to shake them out.
    – WTHarper
    Commented Mar 10, 2013 at 0:17
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    Yeah, lost a nipple inside a rim once, when doing a field repair of a broken spoke. Luckily it didn't quite get away and was able to recover it, in spite of less than ideal working conditions. (I've since learned to thread the nipple backwards onto the spoke and use the spoke to insert it -- vs just trying to drop it in place -- then hold in place until the spoke is secured.) Commented Mar 10, 2013 at 2:43
  • Figured this would work too. I'll give it a shot next time I take the tires off (they're set up tubeless so it is kind of a chore). Its not as loud when I'm on the bike the bike as it is when the bike's in the stand so I think I can live with it for a while. Maybe I'll get lucky and it will get stuck again.
    – AlexCuse
    Commented Mar 10, 2013 at 20:00

use a vaccum!!! works like a charm

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    Welcome to Bicycles. When you have enough rep such a post could be made as a comment.
    – andy256
    Commented Sep 11, 2014 at 0:15
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    Can you give us a few more details about how you would use a vacuum to solve the stated problem?
    – Gary.Ray
    Commented Sep 11, 2014 at 2:03
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    If you do use a vacuum for this try putting some stocking or other fine mesh over the end of the tube. It will still catch the nipple but you might find it hard to retrieve if it goes into a vac bag or even just gets mixed up with the other dust.
    – user1914
    Commented Jul 4, 2015 at 10:36
  • Or clean out the vacuum beforehand. Most people use vacuums with canisters rather than bags now.
    – Batman
    Commented Jul 19, 2017 at 3:35

I take an Allen wrench, wrap a little tape around it and insert it into the inner valve stem hole and wedge it in there with enough tape to keep it still, but not inserting it all the way through the outside hole. Then when the broken nipple piece comes bouncing by inide the rim, it hits the bottom of the wrench which stops it's latteral motion and tends to drop down the outer valve stem hole.


If a nipple came off, what happened to the loose spoke? Have you been riding with one spoke missing?

If that is the case, then you have to get that fixed some time, and for that you will have to remove the tire ans the rim strip, getting access to the holes through which the nipples are installed in the first place. You then replace the nipple with a new one as you install the replacement spoke. (If it came of there is a huge possibility either the spoke or nipple threads where damaged in the incident).

If you got the spoke replaced already, then the nipple must have been removed at the time, if not, well, the only doable thing would be precisely remove the tire and rimstrip just to take the nipple out.

Simply consider that the nipple's head is bigger than any hole in the outside wall of the rim (the one that is visible even with the tire installed) , except for the valve hole, so there is no way of taking it out without removing at least the valve, (and there is not a single technique known to me to remove a valve that does not need removing also the tire), so I would save the mental exercise and just take the tire off.

  • I think you are unfamiliar with the construction of the typical double-walled rim. Commented Jun 6, 2015 at 11:11
  • @DanielRHicks: I'm familiar with double wall rims. I edited my response hoping to clarify my thought.
    – Jahaziel
    Commented Jun 7, 2015 at 1:41

Put the wheel in a truing stand and spin it slowly, it will come out on it's own.

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