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eRacer
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Not sure of the reason for this configuration.
I sure wouldn't lace radially on the drive side.
Doubt this saves weight or makes a stronger wheel.
Must be for looks like 'android' said.
I weigh 180, and always build my rear wheels 3X, 14Ga DT Swiss Spokes and Brass Nipples.
Makes a strong wheel. Never had a problem with this configuration.
 

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I did my wheels like that for looks. It also helps that half the spokes are radial, for a first time builder. Getting the three cross on the other side to work out was a little bit more confusing.
 

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CurbDestroyer said:
Because you can't radial lace a rear wheel on the drive side. You need pushing and pulling spokes to prevent the hub from twisting.
I've been riding a rear wheel for a year now with the drive-side radial, the non-drive side two-cross. No problems at all. The theory of this lacing pattern escapes me, but someone here will know.
 

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naranjito
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I'm sure the pro wheelbuilders on the forum can answer better than I can, but I think one of the practical reasons for NDS radial is to give a better bracing angle between flange and rim.

On the rear wheel, at least one side needs to have crossed spokes to transfer the torque from the hub to the rim. It doesn't have to be the drive side, so long as the hub body is torsionally stiff enough. Mavic kysriums were (are?) built like this, but mainly because the spokes were a lot thicker than ordinary spokes, and crossing them on the drive side would have left too little room for the cassette, or too steep an angle between DS flange and the rim.

foz
 

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Steaming piles of opinion
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quailman85749 said:
Why are some rear wheels laced radially on the left side and 2 or 3 cross on the right side?
Check in the 'wheels and tires' forum; plenty of information.

There are a lot of fairly arcane arguments for various configurations, each involving certain trade-offs. I'll not repeat all of them here, both because it's already available and because I can't pretend to be an expert.

It sometimes seems that the only true no-go is an all-radial rear wheel. I'm not a fan of radial right side - that's a bunch of stress on the hub, IMO - but there are configurations where it can make sense.

Radial left side is pretty common, and the short version is since that side's tension is relatively low anyway, you may as well get the minor advantages of stiffness and weight that a radial lacing can offer. Again, there are trade-offs and very real arguments about whether that makes it a 'better' wheel or not.
 

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Emphasis on the arcane

danl1 said:
There are a lot of fairly arcane arguments for various configurations,
And that pretty much sums it up. There is no serious reason to radially spoke either side of a rear wheel (or the front, for that matter). It's mostly about creating a "look" and then trying to sell the look with technical mumbo jumbo. Not saying that radial is a dead bad idea, just saying that it really brings nothing to the table except that it makes the wheel easier to clean.
 

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When Trek was directly asked why they were providing these radial-spoked fronts and 2X rears with their FX-series of bikes, their response was: "Because they look cool!"

I guess this presumed to end further discussion or speculation. But many people are a bit more able to explain than a monkey from marketing. Such as they had been trying to convince shoppers that anything other than these wheels on a bike was behind the times and looked uncool. They left out the part that these wheels were cheap to produce and saved them more room for profit. Aside from the other obvious reason: Everybody's doing it.

Give me 3X laced any day. I have an FX 7.5 - with 3X wheels I built. I still haven't yet found a chump who'd want the originals.
 
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