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Radial lacing question(9 posts)

Radial lacing questionjoe1265
Oct 17, 2003 5:56 PM
After building several sets of wheels on my own I'm feeling pretty good. Each one has been a straightforward 3x. Now I want to build a really light set with some Matrix ISO rims, Dura-Ace 28h hubs and 15/16/15 spokes.
1)Will it be a problem radial lacing the front wheel and non-drive side of the back wheel. Are there any problems radial lacing 28h Dura-Ace hubs? The owners manual doesn't recommend it.
2) Are the double butted 15/16/15 spokes okay or would straight guage 15 be better?
3) The rims do not have eyelets, will this be a problem when radial laced?

Thanks for your input.
re: Radial lacing questionJuanmoretime
Oct 18, 2003 4:02 AM
It all depends on several factors, what do you weigh? I've done what your interested in doing although I would use either 14- 15 double butts, for a 170 lbs + person or DT Revevolutions for a lighter person. The flanges on the hubs are drilled for a 14 gauge spoke and the slightly small size will create a smaller stress point on the flange, not a good thing. Good luck.
What are you trying to accomplish?Spoke Wrench
Oct 18, 2003 5:42 AM
Spokes have plenty of tensile strength. The issue with 16 and 17 gauge spokes is that they tend to wind up while you are tensioning them and take longer and more care to build. I agree with the other poster regarding the tighter fit in the hub holes. If you break a spoke, that's where it is most likely to happen so 14 gauge elbows are better.

The issue with radial spoking Shimano hubs is the possibility of breaking out the flanges at the spoke holes. Never-the-less, lots of people have built up Shimano hubs this way and been happy with them. Just be aware that you are accepting that risk when you do it.
re: Radial lacing questionhudsonite
Oct 18, 2003 5:28 PM
Without knowing your weight it is hard to make educated comments.


Radial lacing, as the other people have mentioned, is not recommended by Shimano on DA hubs. There are other hubs that are available that could support this type of spoking pattern.

If you want light and strong spokes, consider going to Sampim CX-RAY. Very strong and very light. Used by lots of pros, including LA and many others. These are the spokes used on the Zipp factory wheels in low spoke configs. They are also used on many other high-end wheels with low spoke counts. There are two downsides with these spokes, price ($2.50 per spoke) and US availability. Check out You will be able to get US contacts from them.

Many rims do not have eyelets. I would be concerned about spoke tension pulling a spoke through, but then I am paranoid about these types of things. Check with Mavic to see if there are limits on spoke tension and rider weight.

Don't do it... not with that rimrussw19
Oct 18, 2003 7:34 PM
I worked at a Trek dealer for 6 years while they went thru all the different versions (ISO, ISO II, ISO III) of that rim. It has no spoke eyelets and a very common failure is to have spokes pull thru the rim. That rim was very problematic with that failure. Now when you add Shimano hubs into the mix, you are asking for failure. I am not saying that 100% of the time, this will fail, but the numbers are high enough that I will tell you not to do it.

If you want to build a nice light radial wheel, do it with a much stronger rim and a different hub. I would tell you to get a hub built to handle radial lacing. The American Classic for example. They built it with more material around the flanges outside of the spoke holes specifically so you can use radial lacing. If you really want to use the Shimano hub, lace it 1 cross. The difference will only add about 20 grams to your complete wheel, but it won't void the hubs warranty and will actually make for a stiffer wheel. Use 1 cross and then use Revolutions to bring the weight back down. It will also allow your wheel to have more give before it comes untrue. You will have a much stronger wheel and the butted spokes allow for compression in the wheel (sorry, forget the real term for this, but it allows the spoke to compress or stretch more than a straight gauge spoke) and being 1 cross is still stiffer lateraly.

Next, get a better rim. That rim is obsolete and was problematic in it's day. Get a Velocity Aerohead if you want a lower profile aero type rim, or a Velocity Deep V if you want a deeper aero profile. Another really nice rim on the market (other than the standard Mavic Open Pro) is the IRD Cadence. All of the above can be found for under $50 each.

By the way, to back what I said about radial lacing, see Chris King's webpage. They have a page on there about radial lacing in particular, and why they don't recommend it. (Unless your hub is specifically designed for it.)

Don't do it... not with that rimMasterTi
Oct 18, 2003 8:30 PM
Tell us about one cross. Both heads on the outside, or alternating inside and outside? Any problems with one cross on the non-cluster side and 3 cross on the cluster side? What about 2 cross on both cluster and non-cluster sides?
re: Radial lacing questionMShaw
Oct 20, 2003 10:24 AM
I have a D/A/Ritchey Aero front wheel that is 32 hole radially laced with 14/15ga spokes. Its OK for rolling along, but sprinting on it is another story... Way flexy side to side... If I had to do it again, I'd build it 3x.

I laced up a pair of Am Classic/CXP30 wheels when those rims first came out. I did a 24/24 build with Ti bladed spokes (I worked at a shop, so it wasn't quite as bad as it could've been...) I did the front radial, and the rear 2x/radial. Every time I went around a corner (I forget which way, its been 8 years...) I could feel the wheel flexing more one way than the other. I sold that pair, built up another pair 2x both sides in the rear and didn't have the problem any more...

I don't know if it was the spokes, my weight, or a combination of all of the above.

So, I'd say that if you're going to race/train fast on these wheels you're better off going either 1x or 2x on the lacing on the front and 2x both sides in the rear. Flex = bad.

That help?

re: Radial lacing questionjoe1265
Oct 20, 2003 1:09 PM
Thanks for all the advice. The more I think about the rims I have and DA hubs, I'm going with the 2x or 3x lacing. What do you save with radial anyway? 60g or so?

Thanks again.
Don't save much...DaveLobster
Oct 20, 2003 1:53 PM
I don't think it is even near 60 grams.

Considering a typical wheel like an Open Pro on DA hub, the spoke length is 296mm 3x and 284mm radial. That's a difference of 4%. So if 32 of the 296mm spokes weighed 200grams (typical 14/15db spokes), you are saving maybe 8g on the front wheel. Since you can only half radial the rear, let's figure another 4g there. A whopping savings of 12g per pair. And the lighter spokes you start with, the less you save.

So maybe there are advantages to radial lacing, but weight savings sure isn't one of them.