Changing the spokes in the wheel, bought 265mm spokes instead of 264mm and they are too loose.

Now i have two options:

  1. Have spokes stick out of the spoke nipples 1-2mm into the rim which is withing spec, however i don't like this option.

  2. Use 2mm thick washers for the spoke nipples to space them away from the rim thus spokes will not come stick out into the rim.

Is option two with washers acceptable or better i find a proper size spokes?

enter image description here

Unlike this diagram my rims don't have recess for the spoke nipples, so its going to be 2mm above the inner wall of the rim

This is picture of my rim with 1mm spacer, if i add one more spacer spoke nipple will be even higher.

enter image description here

  • use brass washers! You can nip off the excess spoke if there is any with an angle grider (or a file if you want to use up loads of time) once the wheelbuild is finished
    – Noise
    Commented Sep 30, 2022 at 19:16

1 Answer 1


This is a problem I have had when building wheels for a Moped; the measurements I took to do the spoke calculations were wrong or the rim was an oval shape. Anyway, I ended up in the same situation as you.

If the rim is single wall, you can use brass washers to raise the position of the nipple. They deform to the rim shape nicely and are a good choice. One for each nipple is ideal, the best wheels are probably made using nipple washers. If any spoke remains poking out of the top of the nipple, there's enough access on a single wall rim to nip it off with an angle grinder.

A double wall rim needs a washer that is not any wider than the head of the nipple. Sapim call these type of washers HM Nipple Washers. If you have a bit of spoke poking out of the top of the nipple in a double wall rim, it's not ideal, but it usually can't contact the inner tube so usually doesn't cause a problem. There are alternative spoking patterns that can use up some length, but it's a gamble if it will work out nicely. Maybe it's better to buy another pack of spokes if you aren't happy with the result. Hope this helps.

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