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I've only built one wheel that's even close to this sparse (24h radial), and I'm glad I used brass nipples on it. Seems like this few spokes laced radial is pretty unforgiving and requires a fair amount of tension. Should I just use brass nipples and suck up the extra 20g?

For what it's worth, there's no question about the DS rear, and maybe the NDS too, neither of which will be radial.
 

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SDizzle said:
I've only built one wheel that's even close to this sparse (24h radial), and I'm glad I used brass nipples on it. Seems like this few spokes laced radial is pretty unforgiving and requires a fair amount of tension. Should I just use brass nipples and suck up the extra 20g?

For what it's worth, there's no question about the DS rear, and maybe the NDS too, neither of which will be radial.
it is possible to build a 20 or 24h wheel with alloy nipples, even on the drive side. use a spoke key that grabs all 4 sides of the nipple, like this one:

http://oddsandendos.safeshopper.com/20/91.htm?389

it's definitely possible, but I make no judgment on whether it's wise or not.
 

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weiwentg said:
it is possible to build a 20 or 24h wheel with alloy nipples, even on the drive side. use a spoke key that grabs all 4 sides of the nipple, like this one:

http://oddsandendos.safeshopper.com/20/91.htm?389

it's definitely possible, but I make no judgment on whether it's wise or not.
Having built 20 and 24 spoke wheels with alum. nipples, I agree that it is possible. However, given the higher tensions involved, it does make it more difficult to do with damaging the nipples, and increases the chance of nipple failure in the future. It can potentially make future wheel maintenance more difficult, as alum. nipples are more prone to seizing.

Alum. nipples only weigh 2/3 of a gram less than brass, so for the potential 13 grams weight savings, in my oppinion it is not worth the effort to use alum. nipples with 20 spoke wheels.
 

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Mark McM said:
Having built 20 and 24 spoke wheels with alum. nipples, I agree that it is possible. However, given the higher tensions involved, it does make it more difficult to do with damaging the nipples, and increases the chance of nipple failure in the future. It can potentially make future wheel maintenance more difficult, as alum. nipples are more prone to seizing.

Alum. nipples only weigh 2/3 of a gram less than brass, so for the potential 13 grams weight savings, in my oppinion it is not worth the effort to use alum. nipples with 20 spoke wheels.
using a spoke wrench like the spokey is a lot easier on the nipples. imo, if you're going to be building a 20-spoke wheel, you're probably enough of a weenie that you'll want to use alloy nips.

or, you could pay a competent wheelbuilder to build the wheel for you. make sure they lube the nipples properly - I've had alloy nips sieze myself. not pretty.
 
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