I've been asked to restore a pair of wheels off a very old Schwinn. Word gets around that I'll attempt stuff like this, and well, you know...
The wheels have steel rims and hubs and galvanized (verzinkt) spokes, which were originally 14/15/14 and about 270mm long with extra long nipples. They are rusted a lot and frozen in their respective nipples, so I've had to cut them out. Now I am finding that it is not easy to buy new 270mm spokes, and am concerned about whether I should restore them with the original verzinkt spokes or just use modern stainless steel...but I digress.
What surprised me was that the 4-cross lacing pattern wasn't "laced". I mean, usually the last spoke crossings are interlaced, so the spokes are sort of twisted around each other. On this bike, they aren't ! They are 4-cross, but never interleaved.
Is this interleaving at the final crossing of the spokes something that was not routinely done on older wheelsets ? Isn't the interleaving an important part of giving the wheel necessary stiffness laterally ? Should I rebuild them identically, or interleave them as I would a normal build ?
Glenn Jordan - Durham, NC