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A wheelist
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This is a can of worms that gets debated about once monthly. I go with the Sheldon approach too, for his reason and for one other - the trailing, or pulling spokes, which see the most tension and strain (from acceleration) are on the inside of the flange so if the chain ever derails over the top of the cassette then the leading spokes (forward radiating; lesser strain) take the trauma.

It's true that it's not terribly important as wheels are built both ways and many of us have built wheels both ways. The wheels I got from Zen Cyclery recently were laced with the pullers' heads in. And Roland had his reasons, even if he is wrong. :D
 

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A wheelist
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11,324 Posts
sanrensho said:
There are theoretical arguments for lacing pull spokes heads out, but many wheels have been built with pull spokes heads in, and in practice, it doesn't make a meaningful difference.
I would go default pull spokes heads out, but only for theoretical reasons and knowing that it may not make a practical difference.
Here's the reasoning that's good enough for me. This is the wheel off a mountain bike that I mechanic for a lady racer. I'm the only one who adjusts the rear derailer and before and after this spoke-gouging incident I can't push that derailer, with thumb on the lower knuckle (which exerts far more pressure than a cable) to make the chain derail over the top of the cassette. Of course in mountain bike races there's far more crashing & banging going on and sticks being flipped up, than on road wheels to make the chain derail over the top.

So you can see the resulting spoke trauma. I'll take this on non-pulling spokes over pulling spokes any day.
 

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A wheelist
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11,324 Posts
sanrensho said:
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In the case of the pictured wheel, though, isn't the end result the same? I assume that you replaced the chewed up spokes instead of leaving them as is. Do you feel that the spokes would have failed during the remainder of the race in which this happened, had they been pull spokes?
I've seen spokes like this many times and I've yet to see one break due to this trauma but that might not be true if it happened to a puller. I just don't know as I've never seen chawed pullers on my wheels. No I didn't replace them (for the above reason); I'll do it at the end of the season.
 
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