Salvaged rebuilt wheel, old spline drive review.

I broke all the rules on this one. In my frenzied wheel building, I realized I had a brand new specialized cup and cone front hub that I picked up for $5 at a swap. The hub was very tight and crusty, but a quick repacking and adjustulating and it was fine if not completely smoove. I noted that its 32 holes matched the very same 32 holes on my old MTB super light race rims. The Sun SubIV are very light rims that dent easily and have little or no business under someone of my girth. But a few minutes with a crescent wrench, et voila! no more dents in the rim. I looked in the spoke box and found 32 Tom Ritchey (?) spokes that once mated this rim to another hub. They were close enough!

Now nipples. A quick look around the box of nipples told me I did not have enough 14 gauge brass nipples. I had some aluminum ones, but no interested in using such beasties, but then, rattling around in the corner of my spoke and nipple box I saw a little baggie of Spline Drive spoke nipples that I got interbike in the midnineties as a sample. So I tried them. At least ten years later, sorry fellers. They work pretty well. Normal aluminum nipples round out pretty easily if you are not careful during wheel building, but these have splines instead of flats and a special spoke wrench that results in very positive engagement. The Spline Drive nipples I have are old and do not seem to have the beefed up spoke heads that the new ones have. I am guessing that means that they are prone to snapping off at the head with time. I noticed two other issues with these nipples. The first is that aluminum nipples in an aluminum rim need oil on the nipple head. I did not put enough, so they were a bit slow going. Secondly, the special spline drive tool was a bit small and angular so it was not too comfortable to build with, especially since the nipples were hard to turn. I remember a purple park shop tool maybe? Anyone want to sell me their old one?

I was a bit reluctant to take this to full tension due to the rims age and dentification, so I hope all will be well. I was planning on using this on one of the cruisers so I could have a third studded bike, but then the beater wheel on the mtb started failing so I think it will do duty on the Kelly.

Note too I laced in the special Livestrong hubcleaner, thanks Lance!

I may build up a matching rear wheel with a Bendix red band one speed coasterbrake, the other denty red Sub IV rim so I can have red hub and red rims on a red cruiser. Rimmatcher!

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