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lacing pattern for front wheel

Old 10-29-04, 08:39 PM
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lacing pattern for front wheel

Well im building my first wheelset and im having 3 cross in the rear as ive read it is good for first timers, plus i am familiar with the pattern (i took apart a crappy old wheel and relaced it). But do i want 3 cross in the front too? Ive heard something like 2 cross in front and 3 in back. Any comments>? I use the DT swiss calculator and remmeber its first time
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Old 10-29-04, 09:04 PM
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I would go two cross. Its no more difficult to calculate length or to lace. It's not any better than three cross, really, but it will be more unique/custom.You're making them, why not make them special? The spokes being shorter will make the wheel lighter and perhaps stiffer though the difference would be insignificant, I think.
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Old 10-29-04, 09:21 PM
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Assuming this is a road bike, you can do whatever you like for the front: 2-cross or 3-cross. You could do radial if your hub is designed to withstand the increased stress of radial. The stresses on a front wheel are less than a rear and the front does not need to transfer torque to the rim so it's basically an aesthetic choice.
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Old 10-29-04, 10:20 PM
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You did not say how many spokes your rim can handle. The 3 cross is stronger and would be more reliable then the 2 cross, and the weight reduction going from a 3 to a 2 cross is nil-maybe 2 to 4 grms! If you want to lose weight and still maintain wheel strength then go with a lighter thinner spoke then the rear, and lace the wheel 3x. You will loose much more weight using a thinner gauge spoke then attempting a 2x cross with thicker spokes.
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Old 10-29-04, 11:14 PM
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The weight difference is nil. So is the strength difference to my knowledge.
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Old 10-30-04, 12:14 AM
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Applesauce the 3 x is stronger by quite a bit
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Old 10-30-04, 12:27 AM
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Originally Posted by supcom
The stresses on a front wheel are less than a rear and the front does not need to transfer torque to the rim so it's basically an aesthetic choice.
I have heard this for the reason of radial spokes. But is this really true? Think about giving a hard brake on the front wheel. It's a lot more torque than your legs can give to the rear wheel, probably many times more. You can't accelerate your bike the same way you stop your bike. Going from 0 MPH to 20 takes a lot more time than stopping from 20 MPH to 0. And it's the front brake that really works and most people use. Am I wrong on this?

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Old 10-30-04, 01:53 AM
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With the quality of the materials now available, you can probably get away with anything you want. 15 years ago, a radially spoked wheel was flirting with disaster. Now, it is common place and seems to be reliable. Personally I would opt for a 3x w/ double butted spokes. There are wheel guru's out there, Brandt, Bontrager, and some others who argue that Double butted spokes make a stronger wheel and make them lighter. The strength is acheived because of their tendency to flex with the wheel as it flexes under load. Straight gauge spokes tend to resist the flex and will fail befoire the Double butted spokes will.

Good luck with the wheel set. Building wheels is a very satisfying endeavor.
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Old 10-30-04, 01:57 AM
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Originally Posted by CRUM
With the quality of the materials now available, you can probably get away with anything you want. 15 years ago, a radially spoked wheel was flirting with disaster. Now, it is common place and seems to be reliable. Personally I would opt for a 3x w/ double butted spokes. There are wheel guru's out there, Brandt, Bontrager, and some others who argue that Double butted spokes make a stronger wheel and make them lighter. The strength is acheived because of their tendency to flex with the wheel as it flexes under load. Straight gauge spokes tend to resist the flex and will fail befoire the Double butted spokes will.

Good luck with the wheel set. Building wheels is a very satisfying endeavor.
Anything less than 3x scares the crap out of me - then again I'm not exactly small neither.
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Old 10-30-04, 06:42 AM
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Raiyn, I defer to your expertise. Did a 2cross wheel fold up on you while riding? Aren't all wheels pretty weak against a lateral force? I built a 2 cross wheel and bought another one from a friend.They worked fine, I didn't know I was in danger. The front wheel on my Marin Mill valley has 16 spokes 1 cross. I'll admit that is a little scary, but it hasn't needed truing yet after a couple months of messenger use.
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Old 10-30-04, 07:13 AM
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Originally Posted by allgoo19
I have heard this for the reason of radial spokes. But is this really true? Think about giving a hard brake on the front wheel. It's a lot more torque than you legs can give to the rear wheel, probably many times more. You can't accelerate your bike the same way you stop your bike. Going 0 MPH to 20 takes a lot more thime than stopping 20 MPH to 0. And it's the front brake that really works and most people use. Am I wrong on this?
The torque on the rear wheel is applied at the hub and has to travel through the spokes to the rim. Brakeing torque on the front wheel is applied at the rim and travels through the much heavier rim to the contact patch. Pretty much all that the front spokes do is to hold up their end of the bicycle.
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Old 10-30-04, 12:17 PM
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Originally Posted by qmsdc15
Raiyn, I defer to your expertise. Did a 2cross wheel fold up on you while riding? Aren't all wheels pretty weak against a lateral force? I built a 2 cross wheel and bought another one from a friend.They worked fine, I didn't know I was in danger. The front wheel on my Marin Mill valley has 16 spokes 1 cross. I'll admit that is a little scary, but it hasn't needed truing yet after a couple months of messenger use.
Don't give me a swelled head I did have it a bit off and I can admit that. (I was a bit off last night myself) Radial spoked wheels are supposed to be better against lateral loads than cross patterned wheels however I don't trust radial spoked wheels mainly due to the way the loads are distributed. Here's a handy (if slow) animation
The load is better distributed by the crossed pattern. Also in actuallity the "strain" should be shown as the TOP spoke on the radial wheel not the bottom. Spokes work in tension they aren't as strong pushing as they are pulling

To kind of back track a little I personally don't trust radial spoked wheels. The one's that I've tested have always been a bit loosey goosey feeling to me. I'm sure they're fine for people 80 - 100 lbs lighter than I am especially if they come from a company like Mavic etc simply due to the better materials involved these days.

gmsdc15,
You're not in any real danger unless you're a larger person and doing things the wheel isn't designed for.

One side note that I should mention: never use a used hub to build a radial laced wheel the notches left behind by the previous pattern can act as stress risers.
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Old 10-30-04, 03:12 PM
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Originally Posted by qmsdc15
The weight difference is nil. So is the strength difference to my knowledge.
I go a step further. Radially laced wheels are heavier actually(some bike models sell in both types, so you can compare their weight), and probably weaker. Were cross laced wheels were so weak laterally that they had to be changed? It is hard to believe. So, what's the real benefit of radial spoked wheels? I have come to believe it's visually different and attractive to the buyers. Can anyone give me a better explanation?
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Old 10-30-04, 03:30 PM
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Radially spoked wheels have fewer spokes going around, and have sizes/shapes that should mean that, over all, they should give less drag.
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Old 10-30-04, 04:03 PM
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Originally Posted by CdCf
Radially spoked wheels have fewer spokes going around
???

I can lace the same 32-hole hub and rim with either 32 (shorter) radial spokes or 32 (longer) crossed spokes.

Radial spokes are hard on hub flanges because they pull direcly outward, where the flange is thinnest and weakest. Crossed spokes pull at an angle, and 4X spokes on a high-flange hub pull almost tangentially, which any hub can handle readily.

I lace all of my wheels 3X and use either 32- or 36-spoke hubs and rims.
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Old 10-30-04, 04:18 PM
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We're talking about different things.
I'm talking about the basic kind of wheel Raiyn has in his illustration.
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Old 10-30-04, 04:25 PM
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Originally Posted by CdCf
Radially spoked wheels have fewer spokes going around, and have sizes/shapes that should mean that, over all, they should give less drag.
I'm not fully convinced that a low spoke count wheel is truly all that much more Aero. Besides the average Joe really isn't going to notice an appreciable difference in drag.
Originally Posted by John E

Radial spokes are hard on hub flanges because they pull direcly outward, where the flange is thinnest and weakest. Crossed spokes pull at an angle, and 4X spokes on a high-flange hub pull almost tangentially, which any hub can handle readily.

I lace all of my wheels 3X and use either 32- or 36-spoke hubs and rims.
I agree.
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Old 10-30-04, 05:32 PM
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Of sorry, yea information well 32 spokes, i have disc brakes front and rear so yea i guess that means im not much of a roadie. WEll actually 50% of what i do is road travel (school and back and job) but after thats its on the trail
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Old 10-30-04, 05:33 PM
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The fewer the spokes, the lower the total drag, provided the remaining spokes are engineered with drag reduction in mind.

A circular cross section has a drag coefficient at least an order of magnitude greater than an "aerodynamic" cross section of the same size.

In addition to that, the fewer spokes you have, the greater their cross-sectional area, which translates to higher Reynolds numbers, which lowers friction coefficients and improves pressure recovery behind the spokes.

Fewer spokes will also mean a lower wetted spoke surface area, again reducing drag.

I haven't attempted to calculate the difference, but it could very well be significant for a pro racer. The higher the speed, and the greater the wheel diameter, the greater the effect.

The most aerodynamic spoking would probably be the lowest number of thick, radial spokes possible, with elliptical-ish (longitudinally symmetrical) cross sections. Elliptical-ish since they're effectively operating part of the time going "backwards".
Three or four "blades" would probably work best.

What is structurally sound is another matter...
However, since the power to overcome rolling friction increases linearly with speed as opposed to power to overcome air resistance, which increases with speed cubed, a greater weight penalty from a stronger structure can be acceptable if top speed is the main objective. But then acceleration and climbing will be slower...

It's all a trade-off.
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Old 10-30-04, 05:34 PM
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WEll i kind of want to hvae a unique looking wheel, but i dont know if i can do this on my first try. Ive seen some rpetty neat looking wheels out there, 3 cross is boring looking.
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Old 10-30-04, 05:35 PM
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Originally Posted by phantomcow2
Of sorry, yea information well 32 spokes, i have disc brakes front and rear so yea i guess that means im not much of a roadie. WEll actually 50% of what i do is road travel (school and back and job) but after thats its on the trail
Originally Posted by phantomcow2
WEll i kind of want to hvae a unique looking wheel, but i dont know if i can do this on my first try. Ive seen some rpetty neat looking wheels out there, 3 cross is boring looking.
Whoa whoa whoa!
You didn't say diddly about having disc brakes. You HAVE to lace that wheel 3x no ifs ands or butts about it that HAS to be laced 3x
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Old 10-30-04, 05:36 PM
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lol i thought that information might cuase a change. So i cant have any of those cool unique looking patterns? I saw a crows foot wheel what about that
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Old 10-30-04, 05:39 PM
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Originally Posted by phantomcow2
lol i thought that information might cuase a change. So i cant have any of those cool unique looking patterns? I saw a crows foot wheel what about that
There's no real reason to do crow's foot it only complicates what is already a somewhat involved process. Stick with 3x ESPECIALLY for your FIRST wheel.
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Old 10-30-04, 05:49 PM
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well, alright. I will eventually get around to building another, I suppose i will take the advice everybody has given me in the past. stick with the 3 cross. thankyou all.
PS.
Do i need to use spoke prep?
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Old 10-30-04, 05:50 PM
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Originally Posted by phantomcow2
PS.
Do i need to use spoke prep?
Yes.
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