Re: [CR]Vintage wheel spoking patterns

(Example: Framebuilding:Tubing:Falck)

From: "Greg Groth" <>
To: <>
References: <>
Subject: Re: [CR]Vintage wheel spoking patterns
Date: Sat, 8 Dec 2001 20:43:48 -0600

I asked a similar question a while back on I was under the assumption that tying and soldering had been used to add lateral strength to non-interleaved wheels, and was replaced with interleaving that made tying and soldering unnecessary (this is how tying and soldering was explained to me back in the bike shop days). Needless to say I was quickly straightened out by other posters including Jobst. FWIW, after working on hundreds upon hundreds of Schwinns, I have never run across a bike with interleaved spokes on a bike coming from their Chicago factory.(Paramounts are another story, as we never really had many of them come in, so I cannot comment on those). I'm guessing the question would really be more along the lines of "If I have a classic bike, do I hurt the value by correcting poor assembly methods, or should I restore it to exactly what it was when it rolled off the line?". In practice, if I ride it, I interleave the wheels, as if I decide to keep it for show, I can always undo it - replacing a rim down the road may be another story. My experience beyond Schwinns is somewhat limited, by I am guessing that the practice of not interleaving the wheels was abandoned by most bicycle manufacturers long before Schwinn. Perhaps this had something to do with wheel building machinery not being up to the task of interleaving? (I don't know how mechanized the process of wheel building is) Out of curiosity, which model are you working on?

Greg Groth
Chicago, Il.

----- Original Message -----

> From:
> Date: Sat, 8 Dec 2001 12:55:50 EST
> To:
> Subject: [CR]Vintage wheel spoking patterns
> 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