36 spoke 4 cross?

I have recently gotten some spokes; they were a tad too long. I heard that four cross would use just a little more length, but not add really to the strength of the wheel. I searched google, and found Sheldon Browns website, but I don’t get some of his instructions for four cross. I have built a few three cross wheels, so I know the basic patterns. I would like to go by a picture, but I can’t find anything:( . Does anybody have a pic, or some simple instructions?

I don’t get what he means by “Different cross numbers: The instructions above are based on a normal cross 3 pattern. If you are using a different cross pattern, substitute the appropriate numbers in the instructions above. With any cross number, only the outermost crossing is “laced” so the spokes go behind one another.” :thinking:

how much longer are the spokes?

ps. nice avatar!


There are two problems with doing a four cross with a 19 inch wheel. One being that just because they are a little bit too long doesn’t mean that they will fit a four cross.

I just did a test on UDC.UK’s spoke calculator and adding an extra cross added 10 mm to the spokes here is the link to their calculator.

The other is that doing a four cross on such a small wheel means that the spokes will be too close together. This will cause them to rub at the elbows, making an already weak point even more weak.

so 3 cross is actually stronger on a 19" wheel?

Yes 3 cross is the best for a 19 inch wheel.

You are right, i’m in the middle:( . But they also said if you have DTs (which I have) that you can get a long alloy nipple, adding some mm. Hopefully this will fit:) !

Thanks for the calculator!


I don’t know where you saw that?

They say “If you use DT spokes and nipples (these nipples are about half as long as normal) add 1 to 1.5mm to the derived spoke length.”

but thats saying that the nipples from DT are smaller than normal, and that you will need spokes that are a mm longer, but you need something that makes your spokes much longer, or much shorter.

It adds length. It requires more length. This is what a want. More length needed means the spokes will fit better.

Heres a thought, but i have no idea what im talking about…

My Local Bike shop has the ability to cut their own spokes. Could you perhaps find a bike shop that can do this and take down all your spokes a little bit so you can do the proper 3 cross pattern? Seems cheaper than buying new spokes, right?

4-cross means that each spoke crosses 4 other spokes on the same side of the wheel before it gets to the rim. For all spoke patterns, each spoke should pass under all the spokes except the last one, and over the last one. That is, in a 4-cross pattern, if you’re lacing an inbound spoke (elbow on the outside of the hub, spoke on the inside), it should pass inside three other spokes, and outside of the fourth, which will be the last one it crosses on the way to the rim.

There will be no noticable difference in performance characteristics of a 4-cross vs. 3-cross wheel.