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Views on tied & soldered.(4 posts)

Views on tied & soldered.MilesofSmiles
Dec 8, 2001 9:25 AM
What are advantages/disadvantages of tied and soldered wheelsets?
can anyone enlighten me as to spoke guage recommendations for specific uses, lacing patterns etc...
Thanks in advance!
Miles
nothing, really.jw25
Dec 8, 2001 1:50 PM
Tied and soldered is/was supposed to result in a stiffer wheel, but tests by Jobst Brandt and others have shown no difference in wheel stiffness for tied & soldered vs. "normal" wheels.
If you worry about breaking spokes, tying prevents a spoke end from flailing about and causing damage, but with the quality of stainless spokes these days, that's a much rarer occurence than 20 years ago.
One possible drawback is that acid-core solder can corrode stainless steel, so use rosin-core or rinse very well.
Sadly, most of the more interesting patterns (crow's foot, snowflake, 3 leading/3 trailing) are the same way - no real advantage, with some having disadvantages. Try www.sheldonbrown.com for more info on these patterns, and links to other sites.
As far as spoke gauge goes, I prefer to use 14 ga. throughout, since most hubs are drilled for them, and using a 15 ga. spoke can cause increased movement at the spoke head, which leads to fatigue and breakage, and also leaves a larger indentation in the flange, which could increase the risk of hub failure. It's probably slight, but the weight increase is well worth it.
I'm pretty light, so race wheels (mountain and road) get built with 14/17 ga. Revolutions, or the Wheelsmith or Sapim equivalent. All 3 make good spokes, so which to use is really up to you. If the flange spacing in the rear is asymmetrical, I'll step up to 14/15 ga. on the drive side, or else decrease the non-drive crossing by one or 2. The more even you can get spoke tension throughout the wheel, the longer that wheel will last, since the forces are more evenly shared between spokes. It seems to work, since I have a set of MTB wheels that saw 5 years of racing and training, and the only spoke problems were caused by my foot during a bad crash. They used 15/16's, but hey, it was my first build, and I'm redoing them with 14/17's.
As far as lacing patterns goes, I feel that front wheels can do whatever, since they only brake. Radial should be fine, as long as the hub's rated for it. If not, 1 or 2 cross doesn't add very much weight at all, and spreads the forces through a larger cross-section of flange. Doesn't look as good, though...
Rear wheels need some crosses, though. At the very least, the drive side should be 2 or 3 cross. You can do radial non-drive, but since radial lacing won't transmit torque, I prefer to do at least one cross on the left side. Longevity and all that. My standard is 3x drive, 2x non-drive.
I could go on and on here, but the bottom line is, 3x is pretty much a standard, and for good reason. It works. Some minor tweaking can add life to a wheel, but don't go changing patterns to drop weight, since there's very little difference. Lace them right, lace them tight, and they'll run until the brake track's paper-thin.
great post, well said! nmgtx
Dec 8, 2001 1:59 PM
nm
re: Views on tied & soldered.CT1
Dec 9, 2001 11:06 AM
I also saw a post a few months back describing how to tie spokes with regular sewing thread. The trick was to "seal" the wrapping with clear acrylic nail polish. The process sounded a lot simpler and just as "effective" as the soldering technique. MUCH easier to remove also. I haven't tried this so don't blame me if it doesn't "work".

YMMV
JohnG