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Lacing advice?

I've recently come into possession of a fixcraft 48h rear hub and a matching NoBs rim (thanks Henry!) and am about to them tie together. Being a rather inexperienced wheelbuilder, I was curious to know if there is a preferred lacing pattern for polo wheels.
Any other wheelbuilding advice welcome too.

Start by making the first things go the one way and then make the other set of things go the other way. Then flip the wheel around and make the first set of the second side go the same way as the first set of the first side did, and then make the last set of shits go the same way as the second set of the first side until there are no empty holes.

Hope this helps.


Stick to 3 cross pattern


If your not a fat fuck and dont need the extra strength you could mix it up by doing radial on the non drive side and 3 cross on drive side. The drive side is the side that gets fully torqued.

If you don't have a truing stand you can stick a fork upside down in a piece of wood, use runner bands to hold pencils to the blades to use as guides. Just flip the wheel over every once and awhile to make sure it's properly dished. Go to a shop and borrow their tension meter to get your tension somewhere between 110kgf and 130kgf. Might wana double check with velocityusa on that spec though.

Also x2 for Sheldon Brown

My fat-fuckness and argumentative nature aside, this advise is questionable, except for the Sheldon Brown part.

You're already going through the effort of building a wheel and 2x/3x on one side, so why wouldn't you go that way on both... especially for polo? Why wouldn't you go for extra strength, especially at no extra cost?

If you've never build a wheel before, find a truing stand after you've gone finger tight, don't rely on a fork and a chopstick for a lasting result, especially if you're not mechanically inclined. After you've built a couple wheels you can do rubber bands and shit, but for your first time, learn it with a stand... especially since getting your "round" is one of the harder things to do and doing that with a pencil isn't easy.

But, again, x2 for SB.

Well, radial & 3x would give you a good balance of strength, and stopping balls.

But, I still wouldn't recommend it, if you care that much about stopping balls, then get covers.

Well, unless you're a lefty, right?

Radial lacing be as heavy as 3x, for most polo bikes the weight savings are inconsequential, but it is lighter nonetheless. Also radial lacing is way easier to do, and easier to true (in my experience).

And yea, the pencil method is a bitch none of my wheels are fully round for this reason :(. Bike shops in Boston never want share their truing stands with me.

Stick to 3x,
this lacing pattern puts the intersection of the crossing spokes the farthest distance away from the hub, I think.
I have tried 4x and 5x, and I only build 3x wheels now. I would never run radial on a polo bike though, you lose so much lateral strength. Radial is fine for a wheel that isn't going to take an impact from the side.

Also the proper tension of your spokes is determined by what kind of spokes you are using.

3x. Front and rear.
and take them to a shop. Lacing 48's is a bitch, and so is riding wheels with the hops you're inevitably going to put in them on your first go lacing a set up.

agile for my size.

screw 'em. you gotta learn somehow. build it how you want to build it. but i would say that a truing stand is key, as getting everything radially true before going for lateral is crucial. first wheels i built up were 2 48h 4x wheels for polo. 4x is probably overkill for someone my size (145lb) I'm getting the same set up you have, except a front, and I'm going for 3x this time around.


shotgun your bike!

3x lacing. Also check out a couple books, The Art of Wheelbuilding by Gerd Schraner OR (my preference) Zinn and the Art of Road Bike Maintenance. I learned fairly quickly how to build solid wheels.


I've heard good things about the inverted mutant (i.e. 5 toed) crow's foot...

block ALL the shots

  • spoke flower.jpg

shotgun your bike!

Don't know about inverted mutant crow's foot, but myself and others have had good success with the offset crow's foot. This makes it a 3x with one radial running right through where a ball could squeeze through. Trials with 36h and 48h have been ran for the past 4+ months with no issues. No ball through the 48h yet. Only ball through 36h broke through a spoke. I was skeptical at first but now am completely sold on the pattern.

Can you throw up a photo of this? I'm intrigued.

Does it not lead to all the lateral impact being on the 8 (or 6) crossing points on each side? I guess the two diagonal spokes have another cross (2 supporting points), but the radial one has no other support apart from the intersection with the 2 spokes right by the hub.

In which order are you lacing the spokes (as in where does the radial cross the other two, between them, under them, or over them).

I looked at it 18 months ago, when I was building up my last bike, but decided against it, for the strength of 3 cross.

Which one of these two is it? Or something entirely different?

  • Screen Shot 2013-09-05 at 22.50.11.png
  • Screen Shot 2013-09-05 at 22.50.40.png


That looks really good, I might try that. Is it strong on side impacts though?

John, I've laced my rear wheel with a standard crow's foot (I had never heard of the shifted one) and it's been going strong all season. I haven't had any issue or ball going through.

when you busted that spoke, what happened to its neighbor, the one that twisted around the now broken spoke? did it hold any sort of tension?

I personally can't answer that question as it wasn't my wheel. Maybe the owner will see this and chime in.

And to John: I tension these about as often as i tension my old 48 4x setup. No noticeable difference in side impact strength (with NoBS rims, mind you)

I've never deemed weight to be a huge issue for polo except when it comes to tires/rims and mallets, but hey what do i know...
Is 48h really the limit? What about a 52h? Or 60h? Too ridiculous?

Stay on target!

i've never seen more than 48 except for chopper bikes but that doesn't mean they aren't possible or don't exist. you'd need a pretty massive flange to get any more than 48 holes in it

There's aparently a fixed hub out there that's something ridiculous like 6" flanges or something like that. This is mere conjecture since it's second hand info. Seems possible, though. Even manufacture something custom. It would definately come out alot heavier! Haha!

Stay on target!

I think JB in Winnipeg has 64 spoke wheels or something along those lines. He bought them from some guy off the internet. As I recall he almost always has a broken spoke or 5 under his wheel covers.

Our boy Eric played on these for a while. He loved them. They were so freakin heavy though. Something like ~120 spoke.

  • 556243_373191442743082_290686325_n.jpg

lol no mallet polo

3cross. Dt champion 2.0 brass nipples

any more crosses or weird lacing, balls will fly through or put higher stresses on contact points of spokes.

any less, the lateral strength of wheels drops and your tostata becomes a taco when we ride you into the boards hehehe

http://www.gsportbmx.co.uk/custom/wheel_build/wheels.html this is the best instructions i could find for lacing 4x 48h. helped me build my first set of wheels, and so far they are good and true

3x with 48 spokes is the same angle as 2x with 36.

You will break fewer nipples and have an overall more durable wheel with 4x for 48-spoked wheels. Even fewer if using butted spokes, which will allow for greater wheel elasticity; key for a durable and long-lasting set of wheels with less wheel component breakage.

Don't forget the Spokeprep, linseed oil, or grease on your nips!

/ / / B A D V I B E S / / /

Hmm, 4x, really? I had heard from someone that anything over 3x is plain overkill. Seems more so on a 48h rim. What are your thoughts?
I'm relatively new to wheel building but when i was lacing my polo wheels (48h 26" to Phil and DT hubs) I was getting too extreme of angles. Having issues with crossing on the hub flange. Went to 3x instead of 4x and have had no problems, barely have to true also.

shotgun your bike!