Spoke  nipple information

The majority of spoke nipples we supply are from Sapim the link button below takes you to their website to explain the types and features of Sapim nipples.

 What is a spoke nipple?

The spoke nipple is screwed onto a spoke at the rim of a wheel.

 Nipples are threaded on the inside just like any typical nut and bolt combination. Turning the nipple using the appropriate tool increases or decreases the spoke tension.

 Nipples fit through holes in the rim, so it is important to check the size of the rim holes. The common bicycle size rim hole and matching nipple is 4mm. Some rim holes and nipples can be 5mm or even 6mm on ebikes or cargo bikes.


Nipples must match the spoke size, so a 12g nipple will not fit a 13g spoke and vice versa.  

 Many different types of nipples are available, including internal nipples that sit entirely within the rim and can only be adjusted by removing the tyre. 


Spoke nipple size

How do I know the nipple size / spoke length and the effect it may have?

Some thoughts in this short video below from Bill Mould.

Measuring nipples






Spoke nipple measurement

G refers to the nipple body diameter size which must fit the rim hole. 
(eg 4mm, 5mm, 6mm)
Z refers to the spoke key size (eg 3.42mm A/F)
D refers to the overall nipple length (eg 12mm, 14mm, 16mm)



Using a Vernier caliper to measure the square part of the  spoke nipple. (Dim Z)  as 3.42mm


Measuring required to find the correct spoke key needed.



Spoke nipples

14g spokes are often fitted with silver brass 12mm long nipples which are a common size. Longer nipples are used on thicker or deeper rims.

Some nipples are available with a thread lock incorporated


12g & 13g spokes are supplied with 14mm or 16mm long nipples. 

Brass spoke Nipples

Brass nipples are durable and offer high strength under extreme tension and in corrosive environments. Brass nipples are available in silver and black finish.

 Available in 12 / 14 / 16mm lengths.

12g, 13g, 14g nipples available in a selection of diameters to suit wheel rim requirements.


Alloy spoke Nipples

Aluminium nipples are ultra-light and offer optimal weight reduction for minimal cost.

We offer Sapim in a variety of colours also , DT Swiss aluminium nipples which  are available in silver finish.


You could save 22grams on a 32 spoke wheel using 14g alloy nipples in comparison to using 14g brass nipples like for like.