Ever wondered what it looks like when you use a spoke key on powder-coated spoke nipples? Well if the powder coating is very poor quality it looks just like this.
I bought these on eBay, they are Newson Sportec “powder coated” nipples. They are garbage. The eBay seller offered to take a return but am I really going to package them up and pay postage back to Taiwan for $17? No I am not and the seller is counting on that. Their solution to the spoke key removing the “powder coating” was to only drive them from the rear. I assume that means these spokes are only for machine building, of course they don’t call that out on eBay.
This post is the extent of what I am prepared to do about that $17 - I hope I am saving someone else some time and money.
Incidentally this was the start of a wheelset for my SOMA Wolverine. The orange spokes would have been a nice match for the frame but anodised will probably look OK too, and the finish won’t fall off as soon as they start being tensioned. Disc brakes, belt drive. Updates to come.