spoke patterns

Hey everyone, I have a few questions about spoke patterns. What would be stronger for a trials uni, 4 cross or radial. The more crosses a wheel has the stronger it is supposed to be when pedaling hard in a low gear (like unicycling), but radial is supposed to be stronger side to side. My logic tells me this would be stronger for drops. Is this true, or am I wrong? My last question is how do you make a 4 cross wheel?(I have instructions on how to build a three cross) Any responses would be appreciated. Thanks!

Radial lacing would be terrible for a unicycle wheel, as radially-laced spokes absorb energy while transmitting torque.

There is probably not a big strength difference between four-cross and three-cross; for small wheels, four-cross is probably preferred.

I think the number of crossings has to be considered along with wheel size. I once asked for a 4-cross wheel to be laced up for me and the pattern came out very funny looking, because of the proportions of rim to flange to # of spokes. In the case of that wheel (I can’t remember the size), 4-cross was too many and it should have been 3.

Notice you will never see radial spokes on the drive wheel of any bicycle. That’s because every time you apply drive (or braking) torque, the spokes all move and the axle actually rotates a little bit. This wears out the spokes very quickly. Though the wheel is very stiff laterally, it’s very weak in the direction of drive. Spokes will tend to break in chain reactions. If one goes, more will follow quickly! This is based on experiences with older models of unicycles that used to come with radial spokes.

Re: spoke patterns

Another reason to avoid radial spokes is that they pull straight out
on the hub’s flange, stressing the thinnest, weakest part of the hub.
If you look at the newfangled radially spoked road bike front wheels,
you’ll see super beefy flanges to hold the spokes.

Crossed spokes pull somewhat against each other, reducing tension in
the flange and distributing it through more material.


If you are planning to build a trials wheel with a Torker DX hub you will need 170mm spokes to do a four cross patern which I recomend. I got directions from searching google for 48 spoke wheel building instructions and found a site from the UK called G Sport. The instructions were easy to follow and it was the first wheel I had ever built and it turned out great. I had to make a spoke wrench that would fit between the spokes because mine was too wide, which I made by bending a thick washer at 90 degrees and them making a slot to fit the spoke nipples with my dremel tool. The instructions were for a 48 spoke 20" BMX wheel and the pictures made the instructions easy to follow. In the instructions he has you lace the spokes under the third cross and then over the fourth which pulles the spokes in closer to the hub. I did this and it looks cool, it is suposed to protect the spokes from damage when doing grinds. I tried to put the link in a post before and it didn’t work I will try again but it may not work. Good luck. Dan

G Sport

It still doesn’t work so if anybody could tell me what I might be doing wrong. Help me out. Thanks, Dan.

Just go to www.gsport

That didn’t work either. Try this. http://www.gsportbmx.co.uk/ Then go to the wheel building guide.