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  1. #1
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    Another spoke count and cross pattern query....

    So Iíve poured over dozens of threads regarding these things, picked up bits and pieces of fact and opinion, and the consensus is that there isnít much of one. LOL Iíve heard always 3x32 period. And always 2x if 28 spokes.

    First off, I wonít be building these wheels myself. Ainít nobody got time for that ( let alone skill or patience or tools). I wish though-sounds like it would be very satisfying.

    Specs- wheels will be light 24 to 26 mm inner light carbon rims on a very weight conscious build 100/120 29er for trail and XC use and the occasional XC race at upper base class. Iím 160# ready to ride and ride ďlightĒ- even though much of my ride time is in/around a limestone quarry, light skin Ralphís and Ronís tubeless work great for me. My current AC race wheels have held up pretty well for several thousand miles over 5 years and still true, though they have some small cracks and a few corroded and cracked nips, and pop and ping a bit when laterally loaded.

    Iím older (with OMS), donít huck (LOL as if) more than 1-2í max, and still a bit of a hack technique wise but fancy myself a fair rock crawler and technical climber. My local trails are quite wooded as well and I flip up sticks into my wheels occasionally.

    Target new wheelset weight around 1450 +\-.... Probably use sapim cx ray or dt race J bend spokes and brass nips, but the weight saving on 28 straight pulls is enticing..... These on DT 350.

    So my my question is what number if spokes and cross pattern should I spec the new wheel build?
    2x28 or 3x32? Donít care about the appearance of the pattern.

    I hear 28 hole hubs limit rim choice (and replacement spoke immediate availability- I'd get spares), but it seems all carbon manufacturers these days offer 28 so itís not that odd I guess. But if I get unlucky with/sour on carbon, maybe light aluminum replacements would be likely be 32s?

    Experience based input and opinion appreciated!



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    Last edited by Noclutch; 02-08-2018 at 05:41 PM.

  2. #2
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    Nevermind. Delete
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclutch View Post
    Iíve heard always 3x32 period. And always 2x if 28 spokes.
    You heard good.

    I wonít be building these wheels myself. Ainít nobody got time for that ( let alone skill or patience or tools). I wish though-sounds like it would be very satisfying.
    Skill? Never in the history of bike wheels has wheelbuilding info been so available. And we all start with our first wheelset. Tools? All you need is a spoke wrench.

    Target new wheelset weight around 1450 +\-.... Probably use sapim cx ray or dt race J bend spokes and brass nips,
    Wooo that's a lot of money innit? Check out what November wheels can do. Or BikeWheelWarehouse if you want to spend 1/3rd of that.

    2x28 or 3x32? Donít care about the appearance of the pattern.
    Appearance? The coffee-shop crowd will only make comments when you're doing zero mph. At 0.25mph no-one can tell what pattern or spoke numbers you have. Neither do they care.
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  4. #4
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    Carbon rims are so laterally stiff that 28 spokes is fine. There is weight savings, but also a little cost and some reduced build time. Yes, your aluminum options are reduced, but carbon gets cheaper every year.

    I always do 3x for 28 hole disc. Even then, the spoke isn't quite tangent to the hub flange. 4x would be too much, but 3x is almost perfect.

  5. #5
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    To make it even more confusing, doesn't Nox Composites do 32 hole, 2-cross?

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  6. #6
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    Another spoke count and cross pattern query....

    Good stuff guys!
    Regarding building and tools, I was more thinking of the necessity of a truing stand and dish gauge (other than my frame). But truly, it comes down to ignorance and fear of a major major eff up, as well a laziness and time constraints. But it does sound like fun for the OCD side of me!

    As for the coffee shoppe? Ain't none of that in my (red)neck of the woods LOL
    Last edited by Noclutch; 02-09-2018 at 07:53 AM.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by savechief View Post
    To make it even more confusing, doesn't Nox Composites do 32 hole, 2-cross?

    Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
    Yes it does. And some online shops offer either X pattern with either hole count, some default to unspecified. LB v CF for example. Grrr.

  8. #8
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    If you build a custom wheel set on prowheelbuilder.com, you'll notice that the "recommended" crossing pattern for 28 holes is three cross

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  9. #9
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    You could always re-use your American Classic hubs and let them dictate the spoke count, 32 I'm guessing.

    28 would be absolutely fine for wheels that have carbon rims to match your needs.

    CX-Rays or Sapim D-Lights are are a good choice. The D-lights will save a bit of cash and are almost as light..

  10. #10
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    Rim materials have come a long way in the last thirty years. Aluminum has gotten much stronger and stiffer thanks to aerospace. Just about any aluminum rim is going to be adequately strong regardless of spoke count. 28 hole rims limit your hub choices to some degree. They probably don't save a ton of weight but I don't think they give up much in the way of performance either. I have 3x28 hole 29 wheels on both of my bikes currently. A set of DT Swiss XM481's laced to Hope pro 4 hubs and a set of Nextie AM35's laced to DT Swiss 350 straight pulls. Both wheels perform fine the Nexties are noticeably stiffer then the 481's. I weigh 235lbs geared and ride unforgiving rocky terrain. The 481's have been on three bikes and laced to two different sets of hubs. Just keep in mind the lower you go in weight the less durable the wheel will be to a point. The weight of the rims should be considered more than the weight of the hubs as the hubs don't create as much rotating mass as the rims do. As far as getting into the weight territory you're talking about I'm with Miket that will not be a cheap set to build.
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  11. #11
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    Thanks Changingleaf- my AC hubs arenít boost (new frame/fork is) so Iíll be leaving them on that bike. Yea the Cx rays are kinda ridiculous price.
    Rngspnr- yes Iím looking at rims in the 320 min to 380g max range ( and my tires are usually 540-560g) to keep the rotating down, but figuring Iíll take one for the team for brass out there.
    Leaning straight pull 28h 350s as of this morning. LOL


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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by changingleaf View Post
    CX-Rays or Sapim D-Lights are are a good choice. The D-lights will save a bit of cash and are almost as light..
    And then there is Sapim CX-Sprint - mine look the same as my CX-Rays and only the vernier caliper and gram-counting scale can tell the difference. They're the poor-man's CX-Ray.

    Sapim CX-Sprint
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclutch View Post
    Regarding building and tools, I was more thinking of the necessity of a truing stand and dish gauge (other than my frame).
    Seeing as I managed without truing stand (other than my frame & fork) and a dish gauge for almost 50 years for my home wheelbuilding, with zero wheel failures, I'm livin' proof that it works.
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  14. #14
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    CX sprint look good but not $2.40 good when their derivative Race is only $1.00. Does it really take 2.4x the effort to squash the middle section? I wish there were more bladed spokes in the 5.5g range.

    I got a batch of CN 424 in recently and am very impressed by the increase in finish and thread quality over the 2013 production. They were $1.25 shipped on a certain bay.

    I wish going to a thicker spoke would help avoid damage by sticks and such. But I've never had a spoke not get bent by a stick in the spokes, so I just buy what spoke I want with some spares and not worry about it.

  15. #15
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    28* rims are getting to be common. I'd still opt for 32 lighter spokes than 28 heavier ones, especially if sticks getting in there are a concern.

  16. #16
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    Another spoke count and cross pattern query....

    Speaking of spokes, my (5 year old) AC races spokes actually have some rust! WTH? Hopefully the brands Iím considering are more corrosion resistant. Never broke one tough. But a few splitting nips.

    Good point about sticks and 32s. Almost as annoying as sticks sucked up in my rdr!


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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclutch View Post
    Iíve heard always 3x32 period. And always 2x if 28 spokes.
    3x is standard for 32 spokes. 2x or 3x works for 28 spokes. 3x would be theoretically stronger, but in the real world, we're talking hairs.

    The important thing is if you have too many crosses for your spoke count, you will cross over spoke heads at the hub. That will only happen if you do a 3x on a 24 spoke.

    Personally, I would stick with 3x and 32 spokes. You will have a stronger, stiffer wheel. The weight savings with 4 fewer spokes on each wheel is minuscule.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    3x is standard for 32 spokes. 2x or 3x works for 28 spokes. 3x would be theoretically stronger, but in the real world, we're talking hairs.

    The important thing is if you have too many crosses for your spoke count, you will cross over spoke heads at the hub. That will only happen if you do a 3x on a 24 spoke.

    Personally, I would stick with 3x and 32 spokes. You will have a stronger, stiffer wheel. The weight savings with 4 fewer spokes on each wheel is minuscule.
    I often make the same argument for 36 spokes 3x.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zowie View Post
    I often make the same argument for 36 spokes 3x.
    Probably overkill unless you are over 200lbs. Nothing wrong with 36 3x though. Not too long ago, all hybrid and touring bikes had 36 3x wheels.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    Probably overkill unless you are over 200lbs. Nothing wrong with 36 3x though. Not too long ago, all hybrid and touring bikes had 36 3x wheels.
    To be fair, they only have 32 spokes now because nobody rides them.

    Also, as much as that seems to be the rule of thumb, I don't know many people who don't trash a 32H rear at least every other year, even relatively light riders.

    Assuming you're not stringing up carbon, it might make more sense than you think.

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