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Havok
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Discussion Starter #1
So I just got the Rims powdercoated and I'd like to lace up the wheels. I've got 32h Hubs and 32h rims. But I'd like to use less spokes. Possibly 16 spokes. This would save 1/2 pound per wheel. Does anyone have a lace pattern?

Or wanna talk me out of it?
 

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For a non-disk front wheel you can also do radial lacing instead of crossed. I wouldn't hesitate to use 16 spokes on a 20" wheel for a kids bike, should hold up fine.

One other interesting lacing pattern that works well for 32 spoke hubs/rims is to lace them with 24 spokes in a crows-foot pattern, each side has 4 clusters of three spokes, two crossed and one radial with every 4th rim/hub hole empty.

Another possibility for the rear is to use all 16 spokes crossed on the drive side, counter-balanced by 8 radial spokes on the non-drive side for a total of 24 spokes. It is probably overkill but builds a fairly strong wheel with the tension fairly equal between both sides since each NDS spoke gets tensioned twice as much as usual for the NDS.
 

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Replacing 32 2.0mm/14g straight gauge spokes with 16 Ti 2.0mm spokes saved a bit over 150g on one wheel alone. It's a pity I don't have any more of those Ti spokes. I picked up a packet of 18 on clearance for $2 a spoke. I would have bought more but that was the last packet available. They were 297mm long so I shortened them.

As GrayJay says, radial lacing for non disk wheels is good too, but you need to make sure that the hub flanges can take the strain. In a 2x or higher wheel, spoke pull across the circumference of the hub flange, when radial laced the pull directly away from the hub. With hubs not meant for radial lacing, this can lead to the flange breaking or the hub stretching and bearings becoming sloppy. Your average kid's bike front hub will probably be of fairly low quality, so exercise a fair degree of caution when doing any lacing pattern that involves a radial component (eg. this includes crows-foot).

Crows-foot is a cool pattern as well, but there are a couple of small gotchas. Firstly, you may need up to 4 different length spokes because for each side you have both a radial (shorter) spoke and the crossed (longer spokes). For a disc wheel, each side will probably require different lengths spokes, so you're faced with ordering 4 lengths. Secondly, there's the radial spoking/hub flange issue.
 

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Havok
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Discussion Starter #6
Wow, thanks for the great responses. Tig, I wanna do exactly what you pictured. What spoke length Calculator do you use?

I figured out that the Rim ERD is 389mm.
Hubs are front and rear disc Shimano M525's

It looks like with a 3 cross pattern if found the Rear NDS would take 187mm and DS 185mm.
The Front would take NDS 185mm and DS 187mm

So how do I convert that to the 16 spoke pattern?
 

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I use the Spocalc spreadsheet. Major advantage is that it allows you to save the parameters for a particular set of wheels for future reference, something you don't get with the online calculators. - Spocalc, by Damon Rinard. A free Excel spoke length calculator.

For each hub you need to measure (or lookup) the width from center to left flange and right flange, and the left and right flange diameters at the spoke holes. Put this data into spocalc with 16 for the total number of spokes and either 1.25 for a 1x pattern or 2.25 for a 2x pattern. Note, 1.25x for 16 spokes gives you about the same spoke angles as 2x for 32 spokes. The fewer spokes you have, the lower the cross number you can get away with. Either 1.25x or 2.25x should work for you, but if the hub flanges are large and the rim ERD small then 1.25x may be the only workable option.

When lacing the wheel, make sure the "paired" spokes start at adjacent holes in a flange and go away from each other (see my close up pics).
 

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Havok
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Discussion Starter #8
This is great. So I got 180.9 179.2 179.8 181.4 for the four lengths. Would I be ok buying a box 180's? Or would you recommend a combination?
 

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You likely could build everything with 180mm length if you are buying a box instead of individual spokes. If any of them are a bit long and stick up above the spoke nipple then you can grind the protruding spoke down with a dremmel. It is more problematic to deal with spokes that are too short when wheelbuilding.
 

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Havok
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Discussion Starter #16
OK I that's perfect Thanks. I did that exact pattern. 16 spokes on a 32hole rim/hub. So I laced them but do I need to put the inner spoke over top of the outside spoke when they cross?
 

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I've updated my article on paired lacing with the step-by-step way I go about it. As for interlacing the spokes, it depends. Take a look down the bottom of the article and there are two example pics of interlaced and non-interlaced. I'd interlace if you can, but it probably doesn't matter unless you need the clearance. If its too hard to interlace then don't.
 

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Havok
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Discussion Starter #18
Wow, thanks so much. I would have been lost without this. This is great. I interlaced a few and the spokes really have to bend around each other so I probably won't interlace them.

This has been so good. Thanks Thanks Thanks.
 

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No worries. That was the first set of paired spoke wheels that I have done. I was staggered by the lack of information on the internet about how to do it. There were only throw-away lines here and there about what to do and most of that was in relation to paired spoke rims and hubs (as opposed to taking a paired spoke approach to reducing spoke numbers using non-paired spoke hubs and rims). I even experimented with a half radial / half 1x 18 spoke build with 36 hole components (thanks to GrayJay for the idea behind this) before deciding on the paired lacing for the final wheelset.
 

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half radial / half 1x 18 lacing probably works best on a rear wheel where there is otherwise more side-to-side imbalance of the spoke tension due to the more severe dish found on rear wheels, this pattern avoids having the radial NDS spokes so loose in comparison to the dished dive side spokes.
I also like the idea of using 36 spoke hubs/rims laced as a 12 spoke kids wheel. I did my 12 spoke as a radial front rim brake wheel but it might also work to 1X the spokes into three pairs per side, I just have not checked to make sure that the spoke/rim angle is not excessively acute. When I did my radial 24" wheel, I lucked out and found that the spokes from a 20" (406mm BSD) 3X wheel were the perfect length for radial lacing with a 24" rim, saved having to order short spokes.
 
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