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  1. #1
    In beaurocratic limbo urbanknight's Avatar
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    Spoke count, tough choice

    My goal is to build a fairly light set of wheels for recreational use (lots of climbing where I live). I found a 24h record front hub which I think should be just fine under my 160 lb body with a 2x pattern (also tempted to radial lace that sucker since I sit far back on my bike) and DT Revolution spokes, trying to convince myself I can do the same with the rear, but wondering if I should get 28 spokes and/or 14/15/14 spokes instead. I can build them quite well, just never built anything with less than 28 before (although I trued a Shamal once... what a trip)

    Oh yeah, and these will be using a low profile rim (most likely Velocity Aerohead since they come in 24 and 28) to keep the weight down.

  2. #2
    Senior Member caotropheus's Avatar
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    If you want a set of wheels to last longer, do any spoke patern that is semi-tangencial at the hub. About the wheels, I would go for 24 spokes front, 28 back.

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    In beaurocratic limbo urbanknight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by caotropheus
    If you want a set of wheels to last longer, do any spoke patern that is semi-tangencial at the hub. About the wheels, I would go for 24 spokes front, 28 back.
    Yeah, I remembered that. 2X is almost perfect for 24 spokes, while 28 is about half way between 2X and 3X, which is why I wonder if 28 spokes is really any stronger than 24, since 28 can't be lined up that well?

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    Senior Member juicemouse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by urbanknight
    Yeah, I remembered that. 2X is almost perfect for 24 spokes, while 28 is about half way between 2X and 3X, which is why I wonder if 28 spokes is really any stronger than 24, since 28 can't be lined up that well?
    28-spoked wheels are longer-lived than 24-spoked ones because there are more spokes to absorb impacts. As long as the spokes are fairly tangential at the hub, they don't have to be perfect. Spoke count and rim profile are much more important.
    It is my belief that every person in this world has something to teach, and everything to learn.

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  5. #5
    In beaurocratic limbo urbanknight's Avatar
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    OK makes sense. Now since 3X will actually go PAST tengential, would it better to stick with the 2X pattern? 3X is a tad closer to tangential, but it's actually going past 180 degrees.

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    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    The 2x will be fine then. The only need for it is so that you don't end up with "wind-up" of the spokes under torque from the rear-hub. However, after going through the torque-reduction of the gearing, a human's not gonna be applying a whole lot of torque at the rear hub. The difference in torsional stiffness will be irrelevant between 2x vs. 3x. I've even done radial in the rear many a times without any problems. How about a crow's foot pattern with 2x on the drive side and radial on the left?

  7. #7
    In beaurocratic limbo urbanknight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DannoXYZ
    How about a crow's foot pattern with 2x on the drive side and radial on the left?
    If I was building a racing set, that would be great. Since this is for recreation (I don't race anymore) I'm going to avoid radial since I don't want to worry about much, and if I go down or get something in the spokes, radial can ruin the hub too. But thanks for the suggestions (everyone), now I just gotta wait and find a 28h hub on a budget.

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    Dude, for recreational you want strength not lightweightness, you need to use a 3x lace pattern which is significantly stronger then 2x and would only cost you about 8grms of "extra" weight per wheel! Also for 24 spokes the DT Revolutions "may" not work as well as you would like especially when climbing grades where the front wheel could flex enough to rub the brake pads, instead use thinnest guage DT Competition spoke instead. A 24 spoke wheel is borderline for your weight but could work is you don't go with the lighter spokes and a 2x lace pattern, a 28 spoke wheel would be idea for longer life but you should still use the same 3x lace but could go with the Revolution spokes. But here's the rub, you would save more weight with a 24 spoke wheel using Competition over a 28 spoke wheel using Revolutions but the 28 would last longer.

    Do not use the radial lace since those rims were never designed to use that lace pattern and you will end up with a taco'd rim and maybe a bruised body!

    If you want a long lasting durable bullet proof wheel set your best bet is 32 spokes on the front and 36 on the rear all using 3x lace and the fronts would use Revolutions and the rear Competition; but if your wanting to save some weight yet still have a reasonably strong but slightly lighter wheel set you may want to consider 28 for the front and 32 on the rear with the same lace and spokes described above "IF" your not a real powerful climber.

  9. #9
    In beaurocratic limbo urbanknight's Avatar
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    Thanks for that insight. Don't worry about the radial, because I won't bother since it's for recreation. I'm assuming it's not fit for radial lacing because it's a shallow V with no eyelets. I had huge success radial lacing a Velocity Deep V 28, A Sun Mistral box tubular 32, and a Mavic 280 36. But anyway, as for the rear, I don't see how 3X will be better than 2X since they are both close to tangential. Actually, that's why 32 is so much stronger than 28, because 3X is almost perfectly tengential on it. Hmmm, maybe I should just stick with 32 in the rear and get lighter spokes? If 8 grams is all I gain by going 3X, I'll do it only if it really is stronger.

    But yes, I am not that strong of a climber (and I wasn't even back when I weighed 120) and there are TONS of hills where I live. Of course, I chose a steel frame for comfort and longevity, so there's no way I'm getting a sub 20 lb bike anyway. Oh, and I will probably keep my 32h 3X wheels as backups for a while just in case.

  10. #10
    Senior Member juicemouse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by freako
    Dude, for recreational you want strength not lightweightness, you need to use a 3x lace pattern which is significantly stronger then 2x and would only cost you about 8grms of "extra" weight per wheel!
    3-cross is usually stronger torsionally than 2-cross for 32-spoke wheels!! For different numbers of spokes, the number of crosses required to get the spokes tangent to the hub will go up and down. For 24-spoke and 28-spoke wheels, the ideal number of crosses is almost always 2. If you try to use a 3-cross pattern on these low-spoke-count wheels, the spokes will cross over the spoke heads at the hub, significantly weakening the system. urbanknight understands this.

    In addition, lower cross patterns (with radial being the "ultimate") will actually be slightly stronger laterally than higher cross patterns. Higher cross patterns (closer to tangent at the hub) add torsional strength to the wheel, but this is only useful to resist pedaling forces when climbing in a low gear (if there are no hub-mounted brakes). These differences in lateral and torsional strength are not dramatic, especially on a front wheel.


    Quote Originally Posted by freako
    Do not use the radial lace since those rims were never designed to use that lace pattern and you will end up with a taco'd rim and maybe a bruised body!
    Not sure where you heard that, but it's baloney. The angle of the spokes at the rim hardly changes at all as a result of different spoke patterns. I've never heard of a rim where it was recommended that it should not be radially laced. Some hubs can't take radial lacing (because the angle of the spokes at the hub does change dramatically as a result of different spoke patterns) so maybe that's what you were thinking about.
    It is my belief that every person in this world has something to teach, and everything to learn.

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  11. #11
    Senior Member juicemouse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by urbanknight
    [snipped] Actually, that's why 32 is so much stronger than 28, because 3X is almost perfectly tengential on it. [snipped]
    Again, 32-spoke wheels are generally more durable than 28-spoke wheels only because of the higher number of spokes. A more-tangential spoke pattern does add some torsional strength to the wheel, but it doesn't make much of a difference unless a hub-mounted brake is being used. Certainly the huge difference you claim "perfectly tangential" spoke patterns make is bogus. Spoke count, rim profile/design, and build quality are paramount.
    It is my belief that every person in this world has something to teach, and everything to learn.

    In memory of Jim Price (aka. sydney) ...

  12. #12
    In beaurocratic limbo urbanknight's Avatar
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    Makes sense. So as long as you're close to tangential, there's little or no difference to absolutely tangential. I think I've made the decision to go with a 28h 2X then. I'm not a heavy person.

  13. #13
    Senior Member juicemouse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by urbanknight
    Makes sense. So as long as you're close to tangential, there's little or no difference to absolutely tangential.
    Exactly.

    Quote Originally Posted by urbanknight
    I think I've made the decision to go with a 28h 2X then. I'm not a heavy person.
    That doesn't sound like a bad choice for a performance-oriented wheel.

    Oh, one other thing I forgot is that rims which place the spokes off to the non-driveside (some manufacturers call it OCR) are effective in adding durability to a rear wheel's structure. I highly recommend them.
    It is my belief that every person in this world has something to teach, and everything to learn.

    In memory of Jim Price (aka. sydney) ...

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