My unusual nipples.......

Nov 9, 2011
Banglen, Thailand and a little bit Reading, UK
....well, first time I've come across them anyways.

I was stripping down an old rear wheel that was given me, and it has brass nipples with hexagonal heads, and I've never seen the likes before. The wheel has a tyre size of 26 x 1-3/8, which Sheldon says was used on older English bikes, but a useless size in the modern age. Also stamped into the steel rims is Puch, perhaps one of the many cross breeds going on at the time. The tube is Raleigh, perhaps original.

The reason for stripping the wheel is for the Sturmey Archer 3-speed hub, which is dated as '74.

Anyways, the steel rims were pretty badly corroded, and so I managed to undo all the nipples with a 5.5mm socket which was a perfect fit (suspect a spoke wrench would have struggled).

So, I'm wondering why these type of nipples are no longer being used, they really are a doddle to undo. I plan to reuse them in another build along with the hub, and expect they'll be real easy to build back up. The nipple threads are standard - tried them on some more modern spokes.

Do we have any nipple experts on here who can enlighten me further?

Here's pics of the nipples (sorry about blurry) and rescued hub: