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Tinker Tailor
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I have noticed different wheel lacing on a few of my wheelsets. I have all disc wheels some Mavic some not. The question is about the trail spokes vs. lead spokes. Does it matter where the trail and lead spokes are on the flange of the hub? All are 2x pattern and some have the trail spokes inside flange and some have them outside flange. I read somewhere the drive side should be outside trail,but not sure. I had Jenson build a set recently and it came drive side outside lead? Contradictory to what I read. How about some input. Thanx.
 

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A wheelist
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5,991 Posts
Shig's right; it's really a non issue. I've built them both ways and the sky didn't fall. But I prefer the final cross of the drive side rear and the caliper side front (on a disc braked bike) to pull away from the rear derailer and the front caliper respectively.
 

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Every wheel builder has their own style, and their own reasons. Some don't even have a reason other than "that is how I've always done it"

I was told two good reasons as to why you should have the trailing spokes (ie, the pulling) one the inside. But this does apply to the rear wheel drive side only. The reverse applies for disc brake non-drive sides.
When you accelerate, the drive side trailing spokes will straighten. If they are on the inside, they will cross on the outside, and them straightening will pull the spokes towards the inside of the wheel. If they are on the outside, they will cross on the inside, and will pull the spokes out of the wheel. Neither of these scenarios are bad per se, but if your rear derailleur is set up poorly, then the 1mm difference could be the difference between a derailleur in the spokes of not. The other reason is also related to whether the gears are set up correctly. If the chain goes too close to the wheel, and drops between the cluster and the spokes (ie, your gears were set up very badly), which spokes are on the outside makes a big difference. If this happens, and you put the power on, what happens will depend on which way the spokes are. If they are trailing inside, pulling the chain will push the chain outside, but if the trailing spokes are on the inside, the chain will dig into the spokes, putting some serious gouging into the spokes and weakening or snapping them.

When I was taught how to build a wheel, I was told those reasons, and for consistancy, I always built them like that. But, then along came disc brakes. Because the forces involved with braking are much stronger than with acceleration, I switched it around for disc wheels (you want the spokes pulled towards the centre of the wheel under braking).

Ringer X said:
I have noticed different wheel lacing on a few of my wheelsets. I have all disc wheels some Mavic some not. The question is about the trail spokes vs. lead spokes. Does it matter where the trail and lead spokes are on the flange of the hub? All are 2x pattern and some have the trail spokes inside flange and some have them outside flange. I read somewhere the drive side should be outside trail,but not sure. I had Jenson build a set recently and it came drive side outside lead? Contradictory to what I read. How about some input. Thanx.
 

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Tinker Tailor
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50 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks fellas....

I am now able to sleep at night knowing my wheelsets are they way they are supposed to be. I hear others complain of poorly built wheels, what constitutes poor wheel builds? You guys know wheels,so enlighten me as to common characteristics of a poor build. I am in the market for a hope/mavic 8 series and would like to know who builds the best for the money. Any input and shopping advise is appreciated.Thanks.
 

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Ringer X said:
I am now able to sleep at night knowing my wheelsets are they way they are supposed to be. I hear others complain of poorly built wheels, what constitutes poor wheel builds? You guys know wheels,so enlighten me as to common characteristics of a poor build. I am in the market for a hope/mavic 8 series and would like to know who builds the best for the money. Any input and shopping advise is appreciated.Thanks.
A poor build is generally one with not enough spoke tension, uneven spoke tension and or not properly stress relieved. I'd say ask around to other riders in your area to find a good builder locally.

Some of my friends have bought great wheels from Mike Garcia at Odds and Endos

Mike
 

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Before you buy any wheel, pick it up and ping each spoke. Go around the wheel, and each one should make the same note. Try playing a few tunes on different wheels, and you will soon hear what a good wheel sounds like. I can't define the right note for you, sorry. Remember that the spokes on the driveside of a rear wheel are shorter than the other side, so have high tension (and therefore a higher note). Same applies for front disc wheels.

Good luck, and ask experienced riders in your area about a good wheel builder. Word tends to get around pretty quick.

Ringer X said:
I am now able to sleep at night knowing my wheelsets are they way they are supposed to be. I hear others complain of poorly built wheels, what constitutes poor wheel builds? You guys know wheels,so enlighten me as to common characteristics of a poor build. I am in the market for a hope/mavic 8 series and would like to know who builds the best for the money. Any input and shopping advise is appreciated.Thanks.
 

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I lace my rear wheels so the drive side spokes radiate forwards.

I don't do this for derailleur clearance issues, I do it for those rare occurances where the chain drops between cluster and spokes. Laced up this way pedalling will make the chain ride up and out. Laced the other way causes the chain to pull in tighter (should it derail), damages the spokes and makes it a b-arch to get out.
 
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