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Half-radial rear wheel question(12 posts)

Half-radial rear wheel questionStampertje
Apr 10, 2002 1:57 AM

(somewhat of a cross-post from the cyclocross board)
I'm thinking of building a half-radial rear for my CX/allround bike. Mostly, because I think it's cool, but partly because of the supposed advantages of such a build:
the non-drive side spokes are closer in length to the (3 cross) drive side, and would have higher tension than 3x; and there would be no "leading" spokes to go slack under hard pedaling. On the other hand, my LBS warned me against the possability of radial spokes ripping through the flange on a hard hit. Does anybody have any experience with half-radial builds? Would 1x or 2x have the same benefits as radial, without the risk?

re: Half-radial rear wheel questionChen2
Apr 10, 2002 5:35 AM
I think this is very subjective because results will vary much depending on the load placed on the wheel, not only the weight of the bike and rider but also how often and how hard you hit bumps in the road. My wife has never had problems whith her Helium wheels, they have radial lacing on the front and non-drive side rear, but she only weighs 105 lbs. I don't think there is much of an advantage to radial lacing, they just look cool, they're certainly not as strong. You can read all about it in Jobst Brandt's book.
Agree that light riders who are not stompers may not....sprockets2
Apr 10, 2002 10:36 AM
damage the wheel much, but I would go further still and say that there are no actual advantages to a radial non-drive for a strong rider. I have heard of hubs failing at the flange-neither Shimano or Campy warrant hubs made this way-and I have seen hubs that fail in the bearings as well. The radial cannot resist the torque that is applied to the wheel by the hub. Although the drive side is the major actor, the nondrive is not a writeoff, and the radial design is a writeoff from the energy transfer standpoint. Don't do it. If you want to fool with something get an "off center rear rim". That is different, but functional.
Thanks for the input.Stampertje
Apr 10, 2002 10:59 AM
Based on reactions I'm dropping the half-radial. I may still go 2x/3x non-drive/drive side - still different (I'm doing this for fun, too), but should be safe enough.

re: Half-radial rear wheel questionJimP
Apr 10, 2002 5:39 AM
I followed that logic a few years ago myself and built up a wheel with a radial non-drive and 3cross drive with a Campy Record hub. The non-drive side flange did start to pull out after only one year. I suppose that a Phil Wood hub or one with more substantial flanges might be a better choice. I have solved the issue with a pair of Nimble Crosswinds that are lighter and much faster than the older wheels.
re: Nimble Crosswinds5ive
Apr 10, 2002 5:45 AM
JimP: Could you tell us about Nimble Crosswinds? I've been interested in how they perform. Do you only run it in the back? How is it in cross-winds? How do they accelerate?
re: Nimble CrosswindsJimP
Apr 10, 2002 8:07 AM
Three years ago I replaced a custom set of Sun M17 rims with Phil Wood hubs laced with 32 DT Bladed spokes 3 cross on the rear and 24 Titanium radial bladed spokes on the front with a pair of Nimble Crosswinds. The rim weight of the Crosswind is comparable to the Sun M17 rim - Light. The overall weight of the Crosswind wheel is lighter than the previous set. The acceleration of the Crosswind wheel feels faster than the previous set. The overall speed is considerably faster since the Crosswind wheel is much more aerodynamic.
Two years ago I bought an Aegis Aro Sveldt with DuraAce hubs, Sun M19 II 32 hole rims, and DT 14g straight spokes. I have compared these wheels with the Crosswinds and the Crosswinds are quicker accelerating and much faster since they do weigh less and are more aero.
Now, for crosswind effects, the Crosswind wheels are a little more sensitive to crosswinds that either of my other wheelsets. I find the Aegis to be a little more sensitive than my C'dale was also. The effect is different when you are riding on the drops, hoods, or on the clip-on bars. The most effect is when I ride on the clip-ons but I have found that most of the problem comes from trying to over-correct for the gust of wind.
The attached pic shows the bike with Conti CompGP 19mm tire on the front and a Conti Sprinter 250 - 21mm tire on the back. This combination feels faster than others and I am too cheap to use a CompGP 21mm on the rear since I seem to need about 3 rear tires a year.
Thanx for the info and the pic! (nm)5ive
Apr 10, 2002 11:04 AM
Hubs are the keymuncher
Apr 10, 2002 5:48 AM
The above highlights the probs. Mavic lace that way on my Elites (and K's I think - don't have anyway), but the spokes are straight-pull on account of the hub design, thus eliminating the flange problem.

You might consider a straight-pull hub design, if there are any out there you can buy "loose"?

I notice my LBS had a lot of MTB wheels laced that way, but with beefy flanges where they are not straight pull.

Just a thought.

Edco straight pull hubsspeedisgood
Apr 10, 2002 7:38 AM
Hey, check this link out:

It's the same hub as the ones in my Zipp from a couple years back. Smooth bearings. Straight pull. Don't know where you can get 'em ( or where to get spokes, but that should be easy. At least you know they exist!
Edco straight pull hubscurlybike
Apr 10, 2002 11:27 AM
Edco is in a financial bind right now. Their products are reall well done though. Seems that they were never distributed very well.
Helium HubsChen2
Apr 10, 2002 8:13 AM
The Hubs on Mavic's Heliums are also straight pull specific except for the drive side. You might be able to pick up some used Helium wheels at a bargain and rebuild the wheels. I don't know who made the hubs but they are good.