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Tech Opinion from a spoke/wheel expert.


Speeding Up
Aug 31, 2013
I have been told (in Japanese) that laced spokes (I think that's the correct term? The spokes are twisted together) are a bad idea or even dangerous on the back wheel of a bicycle, especially with disk brakes. I couldn't quite grasp the technical reasons, but I'm sure the guy was correct, maybe someone can explain it in English?


Sincerely A Dick
Nov 14, 2011
You mean like this?


I had a MTB with wheels I built similar for fun. I jumped it, raced it, crashed it and never had a problem.
Does that mean it is just as strong as my 3 cross patterns now (or weaker)? Nope. What it means it was strong enough for a 99kg mountain biker to beat on it without issue.
I think they were XT hubs laced to Mavic 217s - double walled w/ reinforced eyelets (26" MTB wheels). Never a crack near an eyelet either.

My experience - the only drawback was using longer spokes thus increasing weight.
It has been a long time, but i seem to remember the wheels actually being super stiff.


Maximum Pace
Jan 30, 2007
Wow, 90s flashback! This lacing pattern (usually called "snowflake") was popular in the MTB world before disc brakes were common.
It fell out of favour as there are no advantages (except if you like the look) and the long spokes with twists tended to go out of true when the torque of a disc brake or drive from the rear is applied. Spokes only work in tension, so anything other than a straight load path from hub to rim is worse. It's also hard to get enough tension in the spokes with this pattern.


Speeding Up
Aug 31, 2013
Yeah, that's the kind of spokes. When I came to Japan five months ago I needed to get a bike quickly to get me through my winter commuting, so I bought a kind of touring bike from a second hand bike shop called リーサイクリ, or something like that. It has laced spokes, one of which broke on the way to work on Thursday while riding on a completely flat road, I only weigh 75kg. They mechanic at my local bike shop told me today that whoever sold me that bike was a complete numpty and didn't know anything about bikes(probably with the added implication that whoever bought such a bike was also a numpty!)


Maximum Pace
May 25, 2009
Nothing wrong with that spoke config, I like some of the others here rode/raced Mtb back in the day and that was before full suspension bikes.

I think the issue here is that it's a second hand bike and you have no real ability to gauge how old the setup is and if it was maintained - that wheel could have been sat in a garage since the 90's cleaned off and sold.

As for disc brakes, doesn't look like a disc hub at all - were you planning of having the same config built in to a modern wheel?
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