I am in the process of a build. This will be the first time I have built wheels, but I am very mechanically inclined. I am ~200 lbs., and I commute ~20 miles per day. One of the biggest problems I have had on my beater, as well as my mountain bike, is spoke breakage. I have broken spokes on a weekly basis for months, and caused the rear wheel on my mountain bike to fail and require rebuilding. My commute is bad. Seriously. Potholes like crazy, bad pavement, you name it. I have purchased "The Bicycle Wheel" by Jobst Brandt, and have read it cover to cover. I have also purchased a pair of Mavic A317 disc rims, 36 hole. The hub that I will be using on the front wheel is the Shimano Deore LX HB-M585, 36 Hole Disc hub. The rear hub will be a Shimano Alfine internal hub, 36 Hole Disc.
Question 1) The Brandt book says that a cross 4 pattern is strongest for a 36 hole wheel, but I typically see cross three as the most common. Can anyone give me a thumbs up or down on the cross 4? I want to build them as strong as possible, no holds barred, I care not about fashion. No concerns about weight, I need bulletproof. I plan to build both of the wheels to these specs.
Question 2) After consulting all of the online spoke length calculators, I cannot find one that has the relevant information for either of these hubs (I didn't expect to find the Alfine, it is not really on the US market yet). Has anyone built up wheels using these specs (or similar), and could they point me in the right direction as far as spoke length is concerned? I need to place an order, and need to get it right the first time.
I know this isn't the "mechanic's" forum, but I figure the commuters on here know a little bit about strong, reliable setups that will last until the end of the Earth...