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Could use some help with my Bridgestone 400 wheels...

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Could use some help with my Bridgestone 400 wheels...

Old 01-08-20, 12:48 PM
  #1  
3S1M
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Could use some help with my Bridgestone 400 wheels...

OK, so first problem. Trying to sort of restomod a Bridgestone 400 from the 80's apparently.

The first and easiest question is how do you know what size nipples to buy and where is a good place to buy a bunch? I see them on Amazon but not sure what to get. When I use my 3 in 1 park tool the size of the nipples are the #2 .

When trying to true them I found out that practically half the nipples are stripped out on both rims. I got discouraged and thought, dang, I'm gonna need new rims. But then I'm like, wait, maybe I can just change the nipples out. I'm somewhat of a newb at all this so I'm learning. But then I thought, dang, that'll be like building a wheel from scratch... I went on da youtube and looked up vids on how to do that and it's less intimidating now. I guess if start with a thread showing on every spoke then I have a starting point of how much to start tightening down. I don't have the spoke tension tool though. But I could probably borrow one from a shop once I get it close......

Anyways...... I'm still debating on what to do but I don't really have the money to convert to 700 rims or even necessarily buy new cheaper 27 x 1-1/4" rims. So I thought maybe I can salvage them and learn something by buying all new nipples.

There is also a bigger problem of trying to fit a gear pack, or whatever the proper term is and have the rim be centered. I bought a trek pack of 6 gears but it seems like it might be too big..... The rim is really far over to one side and I'm not sure I can dish it that much to get it centered..... That's a second problems that I'm not sure I want to tackle and I can get pics up about that later. But I'm more concerned first if I can salvage rims with stripped out nipples by replacing the nipples with the proper ones.

They seem like decent rims otherwise. Araya or something like that. I can get pics up of the stampings on them.

Thanks guys. Looking forward to learning.

Oh, BTW, I'm excited I got a truing stand given to me. God is good!!! I would imagine that would help me do a proper job..... I trued my BMX rims the best I could yesterday. Although it's a cheap one and not an easy job to try and get the hop out of it. I think where they do the welds makes em kind... challenging.





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Old 01-08-20, 02:18 PM
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Bill Kapaun
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If you have a caliper, measure your spoke diameter.
14 ga=2.0mm
15 ga=1.8mm
Caution- Both sizes have the same thread pitch, so if you use a 14ga nipple on a 15 ga spoke, it'll screw on and then strip.

I would also wire brush the spoke threads well.

You can download a calibration manual from PARK for your TS-2.
When I got mine, it wasn't centered properly.
A few minutes and I got it dead on.
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Old 01-09-20, 09:09 AM
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My first "good" bike was a 1985 Bridgestone 400 and, yes it had 27" (ISO 630) Araya rims, laced to Sansin hubs, 36H, 4X with 14 ga (2.0 mm) no-name plated spokes. The rear hub was 126mm OLD and, of course, threaded for a freewheel.

My rear wheel began breaking spokes after about 8500 miles and after the third broken spoke I replaced both wheels so their durability wasn't that good. I recommend that if you are trying to keep the rims, replace all of the spokes, not just the nipples.

BTW, these are the only wheels I've ever had a break a spoke in over 200,000 miles since but all of the subsequent wheels had Wheelsmith or DT spokes.
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Old 01-09-20, 09:42 AM
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Ugh, sounds expensive to replace all the spokes......
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Old 01-09-20, 09:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Bill Kapaun View Post
If you have a caliper, measure your spoke diameter.
14 ga=2.0mm
15 ga=1.8mm
Caution- Both sizes have the same thread pitch, so if you use a 14ga nipple on a 15 ga spoke, it'll screw on and then strip.

I would also wire brush the spoke threads well.

You can download a calibration manual from PARK for your TS-2.
When I got mine, it wasn't centered properly.
A few minutes and I got it dead on.
I bought some old school calipers at a rummage sale this summer. They don't have a gauge on it, digital or analog. Just the hash marks on the twist handle. I'm not really sure how to read them correctly. LOL. Ugh. I guess here is my chance to learn. I can probably youtube it... Actually I might know someone at church that can show me. I jus thought about it. I think they are in inches.... I'll have to look.

Yeah, I think my TS-2 is a hair uncentered. I wasn't sure if I could fix that or not. Thanks for the tip!!! It's close and I trued a few rims yesterday on it but it seemed like the right side was a bit further away with the rim in there either way. So I figured it was the tool.

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Old 01-09-20, 10:56 AM
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Originally Posted by 3S1M View Post
Ugh, sounds expensive to replace all the spokes......
Perhaps, but if you don't replace them now, I expect you will have to do so in the not-too-distant future and that means rebuilding the wheel twice. Your choice.
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Old 01-09-20, 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by 3S1M View Post
I bought some old school calipers at a rummage sale this summer. They don't have a gauge on it, digital or analog. Just the hash marks on the twist handle. I'm not really sure how to read them correctly. LOL. Ugh. I guess here is my chance to learn. I can probably youtube it... Actually I might know someone at church that can show me. I jus thought about it. I think they are in inches.... I'll have to look.
You have vernier calipers. Here's an article on how to read them. This article is on how to read them as well. It's a little clearer on the reading the scale.

If the scale is in inches, just multiply by 25.4 to get mm, 2.54 to get centimeters and 0.254 to get meters.
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Old 01-09-20, 03:06 PM
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Thank you!!!!
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Old 01-10-20, 01:20 PM
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OP indicates the calipers have a twist handle. I used calipers like that a long time ago in shop class when we were taught to use the metal lathe. Have not seen them since.
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Old 01-10-20, 01:40 PM
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They were cheap. I'll get picks up later. I've seen people us them though. I think they can work if you know what you're doing. LOL.
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