Understanding Wheel Strength

UNDERSTANDING WHEEL STRENGTH

While most people mistakenly count spokes, a wheel’s strength is actually determined by its geometry—best shown through a comparison of three rear wheels.

A traditional wheel is crippled by narrow right-side spoke bracing angles. Extra spokes are needed to oppose the stress allowed by a barely-adequate 17mm of lateral offset.

With Shimano’s innovative cross-over lacing, the right lateral spoke offset increases from 17 to 27mm. This seemingly small change allows spoke count to be halved—16 spokes can safely and reliably replace 32.

By increasing the right lateral offset to 43mm, Santana’s 160mm frame spacing permits an optimized version of cross-over lacing. Significantly, the right and left bracing angles are balanced—allowing spokes on both sides of the wheel to shoulder an equal share of the load. Thanks to the subtle optimizations allowed by 160mm spacing, Shimano’s tandem wheel empowers 16 spokes to do the work of 40.

SEE ALSO

Tandem Hubs
Tandem Rims
Wheelsmith™ Spokes
Benefits of 160mm Spacing
Shimano Sweet-16
Emergency Rim Included