Radial Front Wheel build - spokes inside or outside the hub?

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Rob Archer
Posts: 267
Joined: 10 Apr 2007, 8:25pm
Location: King's Lynn, Norfolk

Radial Front Wheel build - spokes inside or outside the hub?

Postby Rob Archer » 11 Feb 2019, 12:23pm

I'm building a front wheel with radial spokes for the first time. 32 spokes on Ambrosio wide-flange hubs, Chrina Ryde rims. Should the spokes be run from the inside of the hub flange, the outside or alternating? To my untutored mind, running them from the outside would result in a laterally stiffer wheel but inside might look neater. What are the benefits (if any) of either?

fastpedaller
Posts: 1813
Joined: 10 Jul 2014, 1:12pm
Location: Norfolk

Re: Radial Front Wheel build - spokes inside or outside the hub?

Postby fastpedaller » 11 Feb 2019, 1:01pm

Radial with the bend on the outside will indeed end up a little stiffer due to more bracing angle, also the bend of the spoke will be supported by the flange, which it won't be with the bend on the inside. I've always built front radials like this (bend on outside)(I'd not build radial rear), and not had any problems, aside from if the wheel takes a large pothole blow a nipple may tend to loosen, with a tangential spoking this is much less likely to happen. To minimise this eventuality the builder can use locktite (or indeed linseed oil) on the threads. Anyone thinking of building radial front must also be aware this is a no-no with disc brakes.

gxaustin
Posts: 426
Joined: 23 Sep 2015, 12:07pm

Re: Radial Front Wheel build - spokes inside or outside the hub?

Postby gxaustin » 11 Feb 2019, 1:35pm

I always build my wheels crossed but I do have 2 radially spoked front wheels which use J spokes and in both cases the bend is inside the flange (one is a Felt and the other a Giant). I have no idea why

Brucey
Posts: 32762
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Radial Front Wheel build - spokes inside or outside the hub?

Postby Brucey » 11 Feb 2019, 1:45pm

most builders would reckon there was no shortage of lateral stiffness with that combination and would build the wheel with 'inside' spokes. However if the spoke was a slightly baggy fit in the hub and you didn't have spoke washers, outside would arguably work better.

cheers
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Bez
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Joined: 10 Feb 2015, 10:41am
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Re: Radial Front Wheel build - spokes inside or outside the hub?

Postby Bez » 11 Feb 2019, 2:24pm

I've always built them with the spokes on the inside. One of the main appeals of radial spoking is the aesthetics, and heads-out looks a million percent better than elbows-out. The structural difference is of no matter in this context IMO (unless you've made a bunch of very silly decisions that make your wheel strength marginal, in which case elbows-out still isn't the right solution).

rogerzilla
Posts: 1305
Joined: 9 Jun 2008, 8:06pm

Re: Radial Front Wheel build - spokes inside or outside the hub?

Postby rogerzilla » 12 Feb 2019, 9:05pm

I've only ever seen them built heads-out, spokes-in. Personally, I don't trust hub flanges enough to build radial wheels, except on Bromptons, where it's necessary because they only used to sell one spoke length to fit ALL wheels (front radial, front x2 with SON-XS, rear x2).