A question about spokes and wheel building.

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  • A question about spokes and wheel building.
  • Help me out please good people of STW – I’m searching for a wheel upgrade and am continually coming up against the same issue:
    Nearly all modern hubs are designed so that spokes are located in them alternately either closer to or further from the ends of the hub before going out to the rim. But just about every wheel you look at has the spokes wrapping round each other on the way – ie a spoke that starts nearer the centre of the hub is bent round a spoke that starts nearer the outside; and if you look down the length of the spokes they’re all distorted round each other.
    This goes against the wheel building literature that I’ve read that says you should never do this – spokes are designed to pull in straight lines and making them bend round something introduces a focal point for stress and failure. This makes a lot of sense to me, but is contradicted by just about every wheel I see.
    So which is right??? Do I keep searching for unimpeded spoke threading, or am I discounting perfectly good wheels unnecessarily?
    Thanks!!

    Premier Icon tthew
    Subscriber

    Nearly all modern hubs are designed so that spokes are located in them alternately either closer to or further from the ends of the hub before going out to the rim.

    You lost me here. On all my wheels the spokes only differ in distance from the ‘hub end’ due to the side of the flange they sit.

    dovebiker
    Member

    You can build a wheel spoked radially which is fine for a rim-braked front wheel provided the rim is stiff enough, but not suitable for rear or disc brakes because crossed-over spokes are a lot stiffer laterally / spread the stresses more. FWIW spokes almost never break where they cross-over, but at the head or nipple. You’re probably worrying about something that isn’t really a problem.

    scotroutes
    Member

    This is really going to boil your noodle…

    fids
    Member

    In 35 years of riding, racing and building wheels, I’ve personally never had a spoke fail at the contact point with another spoke. They generally break at the j bend in the hub flange or the nipple due to uneven tension or severe impact.

    Premier Icon cynic-al
    Subscriber

    OP you are overthinking this.

    Most wheels are laced and dished and work fine. If they didn’t no one would buy them and no on would sell them.

    Premier Icon simondbarnes
    Subscriber

    or am I discounting perfectly good wheels unnecessarily?

    This x 1000

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