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Thread: Spoke count and ride quality

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    Default Spoke count and ride quality

    Does spoke count affect ride quality? All other things equal, same rims and hubs, does a higher spoke count make a wheel ride smoother? I'm sure it affects stiffness, both lateral and torsional. Lacing pattern has to have some contribution also. For example would a 20 spoke radial front wheel have a different feel than a 28 spoke 3x?
     

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    Spoke count and tension go hand in had lower counts demand higher tension.

    Lacing patterns do have vast effects on ride quality. Radial wheels feel vastly different from crossed wheels no matter how many crosses there are. If you are an aggressive corner er radial is not anything you want. The have far less strength when not in an upright 90deg angle.


    You can not compare the ride of different patterns and spoke counts it is like apples to oranges. Remember as the spoke count goes down much more tension has to be placed on every spoke. Low spoke count wheels can be a nightmare for maintenance in keeping then round and true. You have to give up a bit of precision as the spoke count goes down and the aging progresses.

    Then there are the standards by which arguments can be had with different wheel builders over spoke count. 32 or 36

    36 , 28 , 20 all pull the seam to gather of a rim and make squares and triangles inside the wheel when the spokes are crossed.

    32, 24, 18 make for all triangles ( pie slices when the spoke are crossed)


    Are you currently looking for new wheels is this the reason for the question ?
     

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    I've got some wheels being built for a new bike. I went with 28 spoke 3x front and rear. I went that route because of experiences I've had with different wheels. I've always prefered stronger wheels to lighter. I was just asking because I see so many custom wheels built with 20 spoke radial laced front wheels. I thought maybe I was missing something. Is it just a weight thing then? Crossed spokes can't add that much weight. I know I'm mixing spoke count with pattern, but say both wheels are 24 count, why go radial? The spokes are just a little shorter.
     

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    [QUOTE= The spokes are just a little shorter.[/QUOTE]

    They look cool? Different? Put more stress on the hub flange?
     

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    Radial looks cool yes but there is a sacrifice in overall strength. Vertically they are quite strong and rigid some time too rigid, that can ride like a brick. once to lean them over they show their weakness in the fact that they have no horizontal strength in comparison to crossed spoke wheels. You cheat the with radial laced wheels do do not dive into corners and push through.


    In the ideal wheel you want the hubs, spoke and rim to all work in conjunction with each other. Low tension, super high tension and low spoke counts all upset the over all harmony that there needs to be.
     

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    Thanks,
    That just reinforces what I thought to be true. I really believe that someone’s satisfaction with bike parts depends just as much on their physical size, as it does on their intended use. No place is this more true than with wheels. I’m 6’ 4” and 210 lbs. lightweight “climbing wheels” have never felt good under me. Someone 60 pounds lighter than me could have a completely different opinion about the same set of wheels. I try to pay more attention to the opinions of people more my size when possible.
     

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    Quote Originally Posted by steve575 View Post
    Thanks,
    That just reinforces what I thought to be true. I really believe that someone’s satisfaction with bike parts depends just as much on their physical size, as it does on their intended use. No place is this more true than with wheels. I’m 6’ 4” and 210 lbs. lightweight “climbing wheels” have never felt good under me. Someone 60 pounds lighter than me could have a completely different opinion about the same set of wheels. I try to pay more attention to the opinions of people more my size when possible.

    With out seeing you previous wheels or extensive interview I would put you on noting lighter than 32h 330's 3 cross for a race set of wheels. Once the hubs are broken in and set up right you would hardly notice the difference.
     

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    I have a tandem with two sets of wheels. One set are Phils with 48 spokes and Velocity Dyad rims. The other set are Rolfs with radially laced front wheel and 24 spoked rear wheel. The Rolfs are a little faster but ride more harsh. It is easy to notice the difference in ride. At 2800 miles the Rolfs have been sent back because of the front rim bulging at the seam and two broken spokes on the rear. Hopefully, the warranty will cover them.
     

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