spokedriver materials - screwdriver, bar tape, aluminum tube and scissors

Easier nipple-driver hack

I went to make this again for an Instructable, and realized there’s an easier way, if you have cloth handlebar tape. I wanted a smaller screwdriver, and chose this little wooden-handled gem I found on a bike ride. The tip was a little mangled, so I cleaned it up with a file. I didn’t take pictures of that part – I just did it.

Basically, you wrap the screwdriver with about 30mm of handlebar tape, depending on the thickness of the shaft, and slip the aluminum tube over it. Friction, rather than adhesive, keeps the tube situated.

Everything you need to make your nipple driver: screwdriver, bar tape, aluminum tube and scissors.

spokedriver materials - screwdriver, bar tape, aluminum tube and scissors

Snip the tape at an angle. It makes it easier to slide the tube over.

snip the tape at an angle - ~30mm worth

I snipped my first one square, and angled it later.

wrap the tape tightly around the screwdriver shaftSlide the tube onto the wrapped shaft (is it just me, or is it getting warm in here?).

Tube slipped over tape-wrapped shaft. Ready for use. And there you go – ready to hold your spoke nipple steady as you insert it into a deep-section rim to mate up to a spoke.

huh. I grew up to have my dad's hands.

You can easily remove the tube and tape and throw them in a drawer until you need them again. If you build wheels regularly, you might keep one permanently modified.


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UI/UX Designer, bike nerd, artist.

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