The Why - Rear Wheel Lacing Pattern

August 14, 2017

The best approach to lacing patterns  for road rear wheels is a matter of conjecture, as such I wanted to share why we believe a lively responsive wheel that accelerates better has “2 cross” on both the non-drive and drive side.

As there is plenty of information on types of lacing patterns, I’ll avoid repeating that information and instead focus on the decision path we took.

To settle on a decision, we took a data driven (first principles, finite element analysis) approach initially to compare radially lacing one side of a rear wheel vs 2 crossing both sides, the key results were:

  • Radially lacing the non-drive side saved ~4g when considering the reduction in spoke length.
  • However, doing so yielded a wheel with ~40% less torsional stiffness when compared to 2 crossing both sides.

To be fair, the deflection values calculated are all within safe limits, however, it does ask the question of if the reduction in mass is worth the reduction in torsional stiffness?

We felt it was a “no” and as such the lacing pattern of our road wheels is reflective of that. Our real world testing supports this view with our test riders providing positive impressions of how our wheels respond when accelerating (which is where torsional stiffness is important).

I recognize this is a bit short of numbers, theory, assumptions etc, however this was intentional as this is light reading (and certainly at the opposite spectrum of detail when compared to my typical report writing). Should you wish to find out more, please get in touch.

My next topic will cover our hub selection and the important hub parameters that build into a better wheel.

Ronin Cycling