How come unicycle wheels don't have this minimal spokes design?

You have got to see this MTB’s wheels:

Once you zoom in you’ll notice a total of 12 spokes pairs.

Is anyone of the uni manufactures willing to pick up the gauntlet? :slight_smile:

It would be a strength issue. 100% of your weight + the ratio of G forces applied to a rim while you rip a corner, or do a quick side hop would toast the rim pretty quickly. It would also need a lot of maintenance.

Lets say hypothetically you built wheel with that pattern, only used it for road use, you would always be truing it, and babying it.

Theres just no substitute for a nice strong rim that runs for hundreds of miles worry free.

What do you think the advantage would be? I’m struggling to see one even in that bicycle application (it’s not a TT bike where less spokes helps with the aero). What do you think is wrong with traditional unicycle (and bicycle) wheels?

And more practically, you would need a hub to go with those spokes. A unicycle hub. The wheels look cool. Does TopHat know from experience/reading about the high maintenance or is he just guessing? In their day, the original Semcycle unicycles had radial spokes. They looked really cool, and according to Sem, if you kept them trued they were very reliable and made for a laterally very stiff wheel. Unfortunately in the direction of drive they were a lot less rigid, and if you didn’t keep up with your truing you could have a cascade of broken spokes.

Honestly, I’m suprised they’d put that spoke design on a mountain bike even. Just doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me. I’m all for saving weight, and I realize weight in the wheel is rotational, but spokes don’t weigh that much, and I think you’d be better cutting weight in the tire/tube or yourself. Or just deal with it, and get some stronger legs…

is that 12 poke pairs, or just 12 spokes? It would seem silly to have spokes paired like that.

As you decrease the number of spokes you need to increase the strength of the rim, generally not helping much in terms of getting a lighter wheel.

It looks like 12 spoke pairs. They are made by Crank Brothers: and

From what I’ve read about them, they are strong (because of how they are mounted to the rim and hub) and lighter than most of their competition. I’ve seen models for XC & AM.

The fewer spokes isn’t a problem because of their patented design, and bikes are usually moving at a much higher speed than unis, spreading the stress over more of the wheel. (Unless you, eg, use the XC for AM)

@ John Foss, i do not know from experience, and i am not ambitious enough to research it. Just makes sense to me. I read all the debates on here on the 36 spoke vs the 48 spoke rims as well. I would not personally, and when i purchased my very expensive bicycles did not purchase rims of the 12 spoke or minimal spoke style. I am not saying they don’t have advantages, but i tend to be hard on my equipment, bunny hopping speed bumps on my road bike for instance, so i purchased a sturdier cycle cross bike. So i tend to like the tried tested and true methods of sporting goods.

I would be curious to see someone build a unicycle rim like the 12 spoke design posted.

36 / 3 = 12
So there are a lot of hubs that would allow the number of spokes.
And if you want to be even cooler; then disobey United States Patent 6679561

Looking at the number of unicyclists that use 32 spokes in stead of 36 I would say it’s not worth the risk of investment of manufacturer. And what’s the point?

That would be an interesting spike pattern :sunglasses: and some odd spoke lengths.

T.H. - I believe Crank Brothers has a patent on their rim design, but several others use a ~ hub.

48 spokes is the way to go! :wink:

I’m not some skinny, spring chicken any more and I would never trust 24 spokes to carry my weight on anything off-road.

Hugs his QU-Ax

No; the pairs could be all the same length as 36x cross 3, only differently located (and less in number).

But what are we trying to accomplish with it?
If it’s just to look odd, then it will do.
But to improving a unicycle wheel it’s not exactly what I had in mind.

What about my 230 pound body with a sidways force

At the price they are, they have quite a lot of competition, and I’d suggest quite a bit of the competition is lighter. Certainly not at all exceptional for a carbon rim. My wheels which cost about half as much (hand built the conventional way) are lighter.

You appear to have swallowed the marketing whole. The only way they get around the issue of having fewer spokes is by adding extra material to the rim. The second part is a complete load of rubbish - both because bikes aren’t always travelling fast, and that high stress points often happen at low speeds and also because the speed makes no difference to how the stress is spread over the wheel (force isn’t a time dependent thing).

Im surprised no one has mentioned anything about rim width. I would love to ride a modern mountain bike rim. But the width is lacking in great amounts.

I think if a company made a carbon rim that was around the 42-47mm width size it would be amazing. The unicycle would be a lot more responsive with a stiffer rim. Also the bling factor would be sickkk

I should have said fewer spokes is less of a prob.

I think the bling look is a big part of their selling point. They do look REALLY cool. One just has to ask themselves if the $ is worth it. Me w/ my budget? No F-ing way.