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I've just laced up a new DT Swiss R470 rim and noticed that one of the nipples next to the rim joint isn't protruding as much from the rim as the others.

I looked in from the outside and noticed that there's a big lump of what looks like glue surrounding the nipple seat. There's excess metal on the side of the spoke hole facing the rim joint, and this glue substance seems to be attached to it. Presumably this is where the sleeve joint has been drilled through?

Is this normal? Can I somehow remove it, or should I return the rim? As is, it's interfering with the wheel build by increasing the ERD at that point on the rim.

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  • I’m pretty sure my DT Swiss RR411 rims didn’t have this glue/plastic. But I don’t know if it’s a problem or even feature in yours.
    – Michael
    Jan 17 at 17:19
  • @Michael I bought two of these rims, and the other one also has this glue at the joint, but it's nowhere near the nipple. Jan 17 at 17:57
  • Interesting. Maybe they put glue on the joint to make it stronger or prevent creaking or something? It’s a sleeve joint after all (not a weld joint).
    – Michael
    Jan 17 at 18:23

1 Answer 1

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Having the sleeve extend enough to make the seam-adjacent spokes run through it is common. Yes it changes the spoke math there, but only enough to matter if the length chosen was super borderline anyway. Basically don't worry about that.

Here it appears the nipple is sitting on a glob of epoxy. That is odd and presuming it appears to be there by mistake (irregular application/edges, not on the other one) you should probably just clear it away. Yes it's probably a defect on some level but it's also fairly common for a wheelbuilder to have some rim QC steps foisted upon them, so you're in a bit of a gray area, and the hassle of warrantying it is probably worse than the hassle of dealing with it. It would not surprise me at all if once you put the spokes under tension, the force from that broke up the glue under the nipple all by itself. You could also try lightly drilling it (using good control so as to not get into the metal), a swivel deburring tool, or poking at it to see if it chips off. Some builders manually deburr and drill teeny chamfers into every spoke hole of their non-eyeleted rims (which also helps minimize breakage of aluminum nipples by getting rid of any raw edges in that spot), which might help provide some context if taking a drill or other metalworking tool to your new rim feels wrong.

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  • I tried drilling the epoxy away (using a regular twist bit on my drill), but unfortunately I wasn't quite careful enough and ended up going into the metal slightly. On the plus side, the nipple seems to sit quite well now, but have I compromised the rim's strength? See photo: i.imgur.com/OJpSrDl.jpg Jan 19 at 15:44
  • @WillVousden oops. is the cut only into the sleeve or is it into the rim extrusion itself? If it's only the sleeve I would consider that a non-issue. If it's the rim, yes that could be bad. Jan 19 at 16:24

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