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Old 01-01-06, 01:03 AM   #1
bike nerd
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Interlacing 3 cross spokes ?

YO !

I'm wondering y'all's opinion about the necessity of interlacing the spokes on a 3-cross [front mtb] wheel. By interlacing I mean that in the outermost intersection, head-in and head-out spokes are usually crossed so that they make contact and a slight bend.

I have heard that this relieves the load on an extremely stressed spoke by transferring some stress to the intersecting spoke (especially in a tied and soldered wheel) and adds lateral stiffness. But I think you could also argue that not interlacing them gives a straighter line from flange to rim for more consistent tension.

The wheel in question:

Paul fhub 32h
Wheelsmith 2.0/1.7/2.0 DB spokes
DT brass nipples
DT XR4.1 rims
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Old 01-01-06, 01:52 AM   #2
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Nah! That is the way they are designed to work. The loading of the wheel distributes the load across all spokes and the tension of the 2 spokes happen differentially. Look where they meet the road when one is tight the other is loose relatively speaking. I build my 3X wheels both road and mtb with pretty high tension. Check out Gerd Schranner's book on wheel building or Sheldon Browns's website at A valuable resource.
I tied and soldered my wheels in the old days when the rims and spokes weren't as good as they are today and they need all the help that they could get. Because spokes broke with great regularity it was nice to have the junction of the solder joint keep the wheel straight until I could replace the spoke and retrue the wheel...especially when racing. The quality of the spokes today has vastly improved. I have a set of wheels that are pushing 5 Kmi and haven't broken a spoke and only had to true the wheels once at 3K after riding a long ways on an ugly washboard road. I would tie and solder a wheel only to have a conversation piece. I have a 1964 Bianchi Track bike with Campy high flange hubs and Fiamme Red Label rims (new spokes) that are done for restorative purposes.
Good luck. Your parts list is impressive.
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