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Is It Really Necessary For Crossed Spokes To Make Contact Or Rub With Each Other?

If a spoke is not making contact or touching each other at the crossing points, it is not a big problem, but for genuine purposes, tensioning and stretching between the spokes have many advantages as compared to no contact at crossing points, wheels also rotate accurately in both situations (contact and non-contact crossing points of spokes) well and good, but if you are an experienced rider and you avoid wheel and spoke sudden problems and issues on the trails, and you want to stay your wheel true for a long time, then it is necessary for the spokes to make contact at every crossing points so that two spokes would rub and attach with each other at this region.

In-wheel lacing pattern when spokes cross at two points and in the third crossing region of the spokes, these would make contact with the previous spokes, this article describes totally about the third crossing region of spokes.

Which Pattern Is Stronger Cross Vs Non-Cross Spokes?

Cross Spoke wheels are better and stronger as compared to the non-contacted spokes which are not touching at their crossing points and simply pass from above or under the next spokes within the wheel. The total number of spokes within the wheel is not responsible for the stiffness and long lifespan of the wheel, but better wheel building and re-dishing are responsible for the durability of the wheel. it means those wheels which have 36 rim holes if these are not touching at their crossing points then it is not strong as compared to 32 hole rim with crossing X spoke pattern and touching of spokes.



Advantage Of Bump Absorber:

When the wheel rotates on aggressive and hard terrains two spokes at their crossing points would continuously disperse and spread vibrations, bumps, and drops of the rocky trails, which continuously arise from the tire and spread within the wheel in the form of these crossing points, if two spokes are touched then it would be a big advantage, but if these are not touched at crossing points, bike wheel will lack this advantage.

Transfer Load And Stress On Other Spokes:

Weight of the rider and the other stuff which is loaded on your bike including extra useless accessories within your bike parts, all of this is directly stressed and shifted on both rims of your bike, but if two spokes are not attached and not rubbing at their crossing points, then many times it happens all the stress comes on a few counted spokes wether on drive side spokes or non-drive spokes, it is not a normal condition, continuously stressing of the load causes bending of spokes and breaking of spoke nipples, it is the reason these kinds of major problems arise in your bike wheel if two spokes are not contacted and rubbing with each other at cross points.

Wheel Tensioning Issues:

Spokes become loose if these are not rubbing and not contacting at crossed points and the loosened spokes make the wheel out of true, you have to re-dish your bike wheel for creating tension which is easily checked by a tension meter.

Crossing points of spokes would also transfer a large amount of tension to all the other spokes of the wheels, due to which tensioning and stretching are maintained between all the spokes of the rim.

Location Of Spokes Remains In The Centerline Of The Rim:

When spokes are rubbing at their crossing points it means the wheel is tightly tensioned and all the spokes are stretched, due to which the spokes do not vibrate and change their angles on every rotation of the wheel, it does not allow both ends of the spoke heads to move freely and cause friction with the flange hub holes and the spoke nipples, it has a big advantage especially for rim brakes because the wheel does not cause wobbling and remains in the center line, brake and brake pads are not rubbed with the stretched and tensioned spoke wheels.

The derailleur moves and vibrates continuously and the loose tension spokes would also start vibrating from left to right due to which there are risks of crashing of bike derailer with the loose spokes of the wheel.

Bending Of Spokes:

When spokes would not make contact with each other at their crossing points, then the load of the rider and the bumps and shocks of the trails would continuously pass within the loose spokes and it will not tolerate the stress, as a result, it starts bending and deforming after few rides.

Loose Spokes Cause Unscrewing Of Threads of Spoke Nipples:

Loose spokes cause vibration because tension is not spreading and distributing to all the spokes of the rim at crossing X points, as a result on every rotation of the wheel vibrations will continuously lose the spoke nipples and they start unscrewing from rim holes, as a result, these nipples will fall or stuck within the hollow space of the rim.

Why Non-Crossed Spokes Are Bad For Wheel:

Those wheels contain straight spokes from rim hole to hub flange hole without making a cross X point between them, these types of wheels are not long-lasting because it is a must for the spokes of wheels to make an angle within the rim by crossing to make spokes and wheel stiffer and harder.

Wheels that do not have crossing points of spokes have many risks, spokes will distract their position from their holes and move to the left and right side within the hole, and as a result, never install spokes in a straight position. it is necessary to make 90 degrees of angle between the spokes and their installation point of flange holes for better performance of the wheel.

Mobility In Spokes:

The crossing point of the spokes stretches the spokes and makes an exact angle to create tension due to which all the spokes of the rim become immobile and they do not move here and there, it is also a reason for making contact between two spokes in the third cross pattern.

Makes Room For Spoke Cards:

If wheel lacing does not involve crossing points then there would be no room for attaching spoke cards between them, but if spokes are strongly held at cross points then it makes room for spoke cards to attach within the crossing X regions of these spokes.

Is It Easier In Wheel Lacing To Make Cross Points Between two Spokes?

When re-dishing a new wheel, making cross X points between spokes is time-consuming and also needs a high-level skilled person for this job, and also it is hard as compared to the non-contacted spokes within the wheel.

Spokes Are More Stretched At The Central X Region:

When two spokes cross and rub with each other at their meeting points, then these would create a large number of friction between them, due to which many times when you are offroading on hard and aggressive terrains, this crossing point of spokes would start bending and absorbing much more stress than the other regions of the spokes, even the spoke nipple and rim hole ends of spokes does not have a larger amount of stress, due to which spokes would break from their central crossing points.

Crossing Of Spokes Cause Popping Of Spoke Ends At Hub Flange Holes:

When the third spoke is crossed over or under the previous laced spokes, then the crossing point of two spokes would also be bent due to the thickness of their spokes, when two thick diameter spokes make contact or rub with each other then the central bending region of the spoke continuously pushes itself with the force towards the other opposite direction due to which the head end of the spoke which is mounted within the hub hole continuously force itself towards the outer direction from the drivetrain, for the third lacing of spokes many mechanics or riders would install the washers for j bend spokes to increase the durability of the heads at flange holes.

Crossing Points Make Washing And Bleeding Of Spokes Harder:

Crossing X points also need washing and servicing regularly, when you wash your bike, water penetrates deeply within the holes, and rubbing with a rag cloth within these points is also a little harder and difficult due to the strong relationship and strong contact between the two spokes, and also at the time of lubing and bleeding you have to pull both of the crossing regions of spoke apart to reduce friction.

Drive And Non-Drive Side OF Wheel Lacing( Cross And Non-Cross Pattern):

Wheels have two sides for lacing of spokes drive and non-drive side. you can lace the wheel by crossing two spokes on any side of the wheel. the rear wheel contains a cassette which is attached to the wheel, this driving side of the wheel needs a crossing of spokes for creating tension and the other non-drive side is not necessary to cross the final 3rd spokes from the previous spokes.

For those wheels which have installed disc brakes, it is necessary to lace the wheel on that side that contains calipers of brakes, so that the caliper side of brakes does not cause rubbing with the loose non-cross spokes.