• I'm looking for some assistance to help understand lacing patterns wrt spoke tension.

    I am planning a new rear wheel build using an unused rim and hub I have. I have been searching for ways to try and obtain a more equal spoke tension on the drive and non-drive side.

    Some people seem to advocate building with thinner spokes on the NDS eg DT Swiss Competition (2.0/1.8/2.0 mm) on the DS and DT Swiss Competition Race (2.0/1.6/2.0 mm) on the NDS. This I can understand, I think.

    Others suggest a 2-cross pattern on the DS and 3-cross on the NDS, which is similar to some commercial wheels. This however I do not understand. Others seem to be doing something similar but the opposite way round. Clearly one way cannot be correct.

    Would someone be able to either explain this to me, or point me in the direction of some information to explain this?


  • Some people seem to advocate building with thinner spokes on the NDS

    That makes no difference to the tension balance, it just reduces stiffness slightly on the side which has plenty in exchange for a small weight loss.

    Having fewer crossings (limit = 0 i.e. radial) improves the spoke bracing angle. The problem with radial on the drive side is that it has to move a lot before the spoke tension balances the drive torque. If the hub shell has loads of torsional stiffness, that's less of a problem as the NDS spokes take up the slack.

    Radial on the NDS used to be popular with weight weenies, as it shortens the spokes which didn't have to do much torque reaction on rim braked wheels based on old fashioned hubs with skinny barrels. Tension balance was made slightly worse, but not to an intolerable degree.


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