Being faced with a wheel with these devilish things, I'm wondering how people keep them from twisting when tweaking the nipples. I've been using a pair of Vice Grips, but that's clumsy and seems a bit crude for such exotic items.

Anyone got a better idea?

Note: These are Easton spokes which are round, with the nipples in the rim (not "backwards" like some fancy rims). The stub end is very slightly flattened, but there's no practical way to reach that end when the spokes are in place on the hub.

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Aside: I'll note that the Easton hub I've been working on is the devil incarnate. To do any adjustment of the drive-side spokes one must first (per the manufacturer and my experience) de-tension the non-drive-side spokes 3-4 turns, then re-tension after the drive side is fixed. Otherwise the drive-side nipples round over.

  • If you mean flat spokes, there are tools (like the ones that come with new Mavic wheels) that are meant to hold them while adjusting nipple tension.
    – Carel
    Sep 24, 2016 at 19:39
  • @Carel - If they were flat it wouldn't be a problem. Sep 25, 2016 at 0:12
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    I don't bother. Spoke windup is just part of life, and when I'm at the final "a bit more, a bit less" stage I back off each spoke to unwind it after each adjustment. But I agree that could get tedious if I was doing more than a few spokes... more practice will fix that problem :)
    – Móż
    Sep 25, 2016 at 21:42
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    @Móż - They're straight spokes. No hook on the end to keep them from twisting. If you tighten the nipple without somehow holding the spoke from turning then it just keeps turning and turning and turning. Sep 25, 2016 at 22:42
  • Ah, I missed that. Then yes, pliers or vice grips or something. Sucks to be you :( Sounds like really bad design. Superglue the spoke heads? You can dissolve the glue if you need to get the spoke out later.
    – Móż
    Sep 26, 2016 at 0:01

2 Answers 2


A Twist Resist will let you hold the spoke and resist the twisting. They're designed for holing spokes to prevent windup and spinning on straight pulls.

The internet says you can use a cable holder in a pinch, or even some smooth jawed pliers.

I'd be tempted to try thread lock on the hub end as a quick and dirty solution.

  • Yeah, that tool looks like it would work OK. But the price is beyond what I want to pay. I think I'll look for a small pair of Vice Grips. Sep 25, 2016 at 18:30
  • Yeah, steep. Even the Park BT-2 cable holder is $50.
    – alex
    Sep 26, 2016 at 3:24

I tried dipping a spare pair of small vice grips in plastidip today. It was workable, but the product is too soft to exert much force on the spoke. Also the covering tears instead of resisting the force of a turning spoke.

Perhaps if I baked it or did several dips, or left it a couple more days it would have cured harder.

  • 1
    I would be tempted to try epoxy on an old pair of pliers you don't care about anymore. You'll probably never get it off, but it will harden very hard and I think would do the job here w/o tearing up the spokes.
    – SSilk
    Mar 24, 2017 at 18:46
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    Heat shrink tubing works well as needle nose pliers liners.
    – gschenk
    Mar 24, 2017 at 21:03

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