Reusing Spokes/Nipples


Retro Guru
One reason for not using old spokes and nipples is it exacerbates spoke twist as the threads are not so clean in either. But, it really depends how they look.

If they go on ok and you give the threads a light oil (along with the eyelet all should be good). Only other problem is knowing how they have been treated before!

If you hearing metallic pings and you ride a new pair of wheels down the road, its probably due to the spokes not being relived during the build. Spoke twist builds up as you tighten them and if not oiled/ relieved enough the heads " ping" as the weight on the wheel temporally reduces the tightness if the spoke in the hole.

If youve done you build should not happen.


Retro Newbie
I built several wheels for myself, most of them because of defective hubs. So i keep the rim an the spokes belonging to it. I like working on wheels so time is not an issue for me, I do that for fun...
I've never bought new spokes or nipples.
Knowing the material behaviour of steel prior to failure, I don't see a reason for not reusing the spokes, if they are not obviously damaged.
Also i do not fear a broken spoke, so far that didn't happen.


Retro Guru
I loosen a number of spokes, hold the old and new rims together and move the spokes over one at a time. Then you just need to tension in the normal way. Easy peasy. I've done it loads of times for myself and mates and never had a problem. Of course with disc brake wheels you're not wearing the rims out like in the good old days so I've only done it recently for a damaged rim.


Retrobike Rider
Don't mind reusing and come in handy for wheel fixes for people.

They're just grubby, can be bent (rear drive side chain drop) and a but harder to work with, but as a DIYer time isn't money.
I do tend to buy new, but then it a new wheel, not a swap.

Rims, that choice, if you want the rim, do it. It not a problem, unless you have knock, dents etc and the brake surface wear can be off putting when making true. So it's just a bit harder.

I never snip spokes unless I have too, i always release tension slowly.
I've seen many retro hubs (looking at you hope) go boom from the sudden tension change and pull.

Shimano are tough as nails, so they're fine for a rapid snip if your lazy ;-)
Reuse, Recycle.

It safer than hurtling down a rocky decent at 25+ mph on a 30 year old bike with 30 year old part and 30years of mostly unknown history and 30year old flimsy magnesium fork.
Yeat we still do it.
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Senior Retro Guru
I never snip spokes unless I have too, it wi release the sion slowly.
I've seen many retro hubs (looking at you hope) go boom from the sudden tension change and pull.

I positively shat myself when I cut a rear DS Zircal spoke on a Crossmax.


MacRetro Rider
With cost of spokes these days you could justify the purchase of a spoke rolling machine, one of the hand powered cyclo models. Re roll each spoke and clean threads before reuse and all good.