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Radial spoke vs spiral

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Radial spoke vs spiral

Old 12-27-17, 03:59 PM
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THorner
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Radial spoke vs spiral

This might be a sort of esoteric question, but I'm really curious to know if using a 'spiral' lacing pattern is sacrificing strength/rigidity vs a standard radial pattern. Normally, when I lace a front wheel, I cross spokes, but I happen to have a front hub with straight pull format, which doesn't lend itself to crossed spoking. I'm skeptical of radial wheels generally, but this is a front wheel that I won't be too hard on. The reason for my question is that I'm thinking of lacing this hub to a rim of a slightly different ERD and out of pure stinginess, I want to reuse the decent spokes that I already have. This would require me to compensate the length a little by angling the spokes to an adjacent hole. I think the effect looks kind of cool, but appears to my eye as though it wouldn't be as strong or stiff as straight radial. Anyone have some engineering perspective on this? Is the angle sacrificing anything? I'm wondering if I should just buy some correct length spokes.
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Old 12-27-17, 04:03 PM
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I don't know what you mean by "spiral". If the spokes aren't radial they have to be in opposing pairs. The minimum way to offset the spokes is a one cross wheel.

Crossed spokes are less rigid than radial, but make the wheel tougher - able to absorb more shock. I've built 1x front wheels for that reason.
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Old 12-27-17, 04:16 PM
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Ask around the bike shops. One of them may have a spoke cutter.
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Old 12-27-17, 04:32 PM
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If one side of the hub is pulling one direction,

& the other pulling the opposite direction,

It sounds like a short-lived experiment.
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Old 12-27-17, 05:08 PM
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It’s entirely possible to build a tangential laced wheel w/o crosses.
You’ll have all spokes on one side leaning clockwise and all on the other side leaning counter-clockwise.
You can even use the same spoke calculations as for a regular crossed pattern.
It will expose the hub shell to a twisting force, so don’t do 3x on hubs with narrow hub shells/spindles.
I’ve got a pic somewhere of a hub that twisted during final tensioning on such a build.
For 1x and/or hubs with wide shells it’s no problem.
On a rim brake front wheel there are no particular concerns for use.
But I wouldn’t want to use one for a torque-carrying hub.
One whole side going floppy simultaneously from torque is an experience I’ll happily leave to others...
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Old 12-27-17, 09:55 PM
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I built a lot of wheels. Hundreds. But all alloy. I am not certain, but of the opinion the rim material - and profile matters.

A thinner "weaker" rim might work better with more crosses.

For a fewer spoked wheel a 2X is more significant an angel than a 3X on a higher spoked wheel.
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Old 12-28-17, 05:46 AM
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Originally Posted by dabac View Post
It’s entirely possible to build a tangential laced wheel w/o crosses.
You’ll have all spokes on one side leaning clockwise and all on the other side leaning counter-clockwise.
You can even use the same spoke calculations as for a regular crossed pattern.
It will expose the hub shell to a twisting force, so don’t do 3x on hubs with narrow hub shells/spindles.
I’ve got a pic somewhere of a hub that twisted during final tensioning on such a build.
For 1x and/or hubs with wide shells it’s no problem.
On a rim brake front wheel there are no particular concerns for use.
But I wouldn’t want to use one for a torque-carrying hub.
One whole side going floppy simultaneously from torque is an experience I’ll happily leave to others...
All true. An engineering student who worked in a bike shop with me in the 1970s used to amuse himself by building his front wheels with a one-side-clockwise/other-side-counterclockwise no-cross spoking pattern.

On the other hand, a Campy rep once mentioned that they occasionally had to turn down warranty claims for hubs that had been twisted as a result of incorrect spoking. "Campy hubs don't come out of the box with oval oil holes," he said.
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Old 12-28-17, 08:30 AM
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Just do it right and be done with it. Straight pull spokes can be crossed if the hub is set up for that. If the hub is set up for the straight pull spokes to be radial, then that is what you have to do. Don't screw around. If you have to buy new spokes, so buy new spokes.
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Old 12-29-17, 12:31 PM
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Thanks for all the feedback. I probably should have been clearer in saying that this front hub I'm considering is intended for straight pull radial spoking, and that what I mean by 'spiral lacing' is to lace each side at roughly a 20deg tangent, uncrossed. I've seen it done enough times to feel like it might not be a disaster. It's usually on BMX or street freestyle single speeds, which often put aesthetics above sound function, though. Obviously you'd never want to do this to a drive wheel, but for a front wheel, it might not be much worse than radial. I didn't feel like the angle of tangent I'm considering would be a detriment to the hub flange, and I was sort of curious to see how the spiral lacing would perform. I think the main stress would be from converting and redistributing the vertical forces around the circumference of the rim, which would seem intuitively to work ok. Ultimately though, I think a straight pull radial hub is the wrong thing to try this on, so I'm just going to do what I know to be optimal.
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Old 12-29-17, 03:18 PM
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Originally Posted by THorner View Post
Thanks for all the feedback. I probably should have been clearer in saying that this front hub I'm considering is intended for straight pull radial spoking, and that what I mean by 'spiral lacing' is to lace each side at roughly a 20deg tangent, uncrossed. I've seen it done enough times to feel like it might not be a disaster. It's usually on BMX or street freestyle single speeds, which often put aesthetics above sound function, though. Obviously you'd never want to do this to a drive wheel, but for a front wheel, it might not be much worse than radial. I didn't feel like the angle of tangent I'm considering would be a detriment to the hub flange, and I was sort of curious to see how the spiral lacing would perform. I think the main stress would be from converting and redistributing the vertical forces around the circumference of the rim, which would seem intuitively to work ok. Ultimately though, I think a straight pull radial hub is the wrong thing to try this on, so I'm just going to do what I know to be optimal.
I still have no idea what you are describing. Do the spokes cross?
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Old 12-29-17, 03:42 PM
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What I refer to as spiral lacing is an uncrossed pattern laced at opposing tangents for each flange. I'll try to attach an example:
Attached Images
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spiral lacing.jpg (32.6 KB, 104 views)
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Old 12-30-17, 10:17 AM
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Go to DAN'S COMP - Bmx Bikes, Bmx Parts, Bmx Clothing, Bmx Shoes and Bmx Accessories!, find their phone number and call them, and have brand new Sapim spokes of the proper length delivered in a few days for <$20.
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Old 12-30-17, 10:31 AM
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The only issue with spiral patterns on front wheels, is that they impose a torque between the flanges which want to twist in opposite directions. Some hubs can take it, some can't.
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Old 12-30-17, 03:54 PM
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I've heard of twisted Dura Ace hubs doing something like this.
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Old 12-30-17, 04:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Kontact View Post
I've heard of twisted Dura Ace hubs doing something like this.
Yes, this is what I was referring to.

It's relatively easy to twist the barrel (section of the shell holding the flanges apart) on hubs where it's in the 15-20mm range. Many others, mostly of the machined from billet type with barrels in the 30mm range can take this build OK.
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Old 12-30-17, 04:43 PM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
Yes, this is what I was referring to.

It's relatively easy to twist the barrel (section of the shell holding the flanges apart) on hubs where it's in the 15-20mm range. Many others, mostly of the machined from billet type with barrels in the 30mm range can take this build OK.
I think it is going to depend on the spiral angle and the number of spokes. 36 spokes at normal tension is an enormous amount of torque compared to 24 spokes.
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Old 12-30-17, 05:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Kontact View Post
I think it is going to depend on the spiral angle and the number of spokes. 36 spokes at normal tension is an enormous amount of torque compared to 24 spokes.
Plus, with every bump, each side will try to untwist in opposite directions.

Such a lacing pattern may be aesthetically pleasing, but wouldn't be my choice.

The vintage hubs had a relatively small diameter center barrel sections, and would be a poor choice. More modern ones may have a larger diameter center section, but may also use thinner walls. There are a few offroad hubs with enormous barrels, and perhaps would be OK, but there would be no benefit of such lacing.

Radial front seems to be increasingly popular (with rim brake front wheels), and makes some sense with the hub hanging directly below the rim.
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Old 12-30-17, 07:14 PM
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Bumps shouldn't affect the wheel as a whole, just the section that is right around the impact.
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Old 01-01-18, 05:56 AM
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Originally Posted by rpenmanparker View Post
Just do it right and be done with it. Straight pull spokes can be crossed if the hub is set up for that. If the hub is set up for the straight pull spokes to be radial, then that is what you have to do. Don't screw around. If you have to buy new spokes, so buy new spokes.
Just take one dip and end it!
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