I had a spoke nipple break on my rear wheel, the threaded part broke off right where it enters the wheel.

The nipples appear to be aluminum alloy, which I believe are not as durable as brass nipples.

Since I have to replace the failed nipple anyway, is it likely that others were overly stressed after the first one failed and should I replace more than one (or all of them)? Is there any issue with having some brass nipples and some aluminum?

It's a rear wheel with 32 spoke, 3 cross lacing.

  • 1
    It's a slippery slope. If you're not careful you'll be building a brand new wheel. What is your commitment level to this wheel? Do you commute/race/tour/offroad?
    – WTHarper
    Jun 12, 2013 at 17:07
  • It's a commuter bike - around 100 miles/week. I have a spare wheel on the bike for now, but I'd like to get this one back on the bike at some point. If another nipple breaks down the road I'm not too concerned, but since I have the wheel off the bike anyway and have to do the work to replace this one, if it's likely that other nipples were stressed and might break, I may as well replace them now.
    – Johnny
    Jun 12, 2013 at 17:20

1 Answer 1


I would just replace the single nipple that is broken with a new brass nipple. It sounds like these wheels are not very expensive so I wouldn't want to invest a whole lot more time and money in replacing something that may or may not be a problem in the future.

  • Thanks for the answer, I didn't know if maybe adjoining nipples were likely to fail too from extra stress after the first one failed, but I'll just go ahead and replace that one.
    – Johnny
    Jun 13, 2013 at 3:35
  • @Johnny It's actually more likely that the neighboring spokes are going to be damaged due to stress than the nipples. And they'll hold up just fine. They really only fail due to accumulated stress over a long period of time.
    – jimchristie
    Jun 13, 2013 at 14:12

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