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Relace from radial to 3-cross on non-radial rated hub?

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Relace from radial to 3-cross on non-radial rated hub?

Old 03-27-10, 01:36 AM
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Relace from radial to 3-cross on non-radial rated hub?

I'm rebuilding some friend's wheels with new rims: Chris King hubs and Mavic 26" rims. The original builder obviously didn't know what (s)he was doing because the spokes in the rear wheel were all 3mm too short and one of them was pulling through the old rim, plus the front wheel was laced radially even though everything that I've read says that these Chris King hubs should not be laced radially (rim brakes, not disc).

I know that it's a bad idea to re-lace a hub in a different way to how it has been laced before, but I'm also not happy radially lacing a hub that is not designed for such lacing. Therefore, which would be better, re-lacing the front wheel to be 3-cross so that it meets the manufacturer's recommendations or keeping it radially laced so that the previously worn hub spoke holes continue to receive the same kind of stress as before? Neither option is ideal, but which one is worse?

As far as I'm aware, these wheels have been used quite a lot, on some serious trails, on a couple of different bikes during their 8-10 years life. Until the spoke started to pull through the rear rim, there hadn't been any problems with them. There is currently no sign of damage to the front hub flange from the radial lacing. So, what do you guys think?

Last edited by Chris_W; 03-27-10 at 03:08 AM.
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Old 03-27-10, 04:22 AM
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IMO relacing hubs with a different pattern is mostly a cosmetic issue, since you'll prolly see some marks and deformation that used to be hidden.

Never had a functional problem with it, but then I'm not a big guy, so YMMV. Although I'd be surprised if it made much difference to the strength of the flanges.

I'd be interested to see a destructive test investigating the question.

As for the radial lacing, if it's being ridden by the same guy and you don't build it up with more tension, why should the hub suddenly fail after eight years?
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