<<<Thanks to everyone for their suggestions about how to rejuvinate old saddles.
Next question: The archives, on the whole, recommend against 4x wheels. The general feeling is that they have no advantage over 3x wheels. If that is so, why did so many 50' and 60's British bikes use 4x patterns on their 32/40 wheelsets?
I'd like to build an Airlite Large Flange Hub - Fiamme Red Label rim wheelset. Should I expect any problems when I lace old hubs with old rims like these using a 4x pattern?
Amir Avitzur Ramat-Gan, Israel>>>
I'm one of those who swear by 4x or tangential spoking. I've almost always built wheels with 36 hole, low flange, 4x, box section rims and a slightly larger tire to soften the ride and have used one bike now for 27 years that has been my test bench. I've always pumped up tires to exactly the same pressure, 100-105# for the same sized Avocet fasgrips that I've consistently used for at least 15 years now, same basic rims. This was recommended in the 70's for the most supple ride. I've kept that tradition and believe it works.
I once built these wheels up in 3x with the lightest butted spokes I could find, nothing but the best for my RS tourer, because my usual supplier couldn't get 4x lengths as soon as I needed them (like right now!) I could feel every crack in the road, the texture of paving, everything had just a tad more vibration, making my hands go just a bit numb as quickly as using narrower higher pressure tires. I rebuilt those wheels as soon as the 4x spokes came in. Might not make a difference to others but I'll never be convinced otherwise.
I think tangential spoking is the key, not just 4x. The late Tom Bruni told me that 32 spoke holes required 3x to make for tangential spoking, that 4x would be beyond tangential and overlapping below the spoke hole. The only 32 hole wheel I've got is a 32x40 combination on my older Taylor, so I'm no expert as to that. Tom was the one who sold me the 3x spokes for that 36 hole set, also convinced it made no difference over 4x.
Dan Artley in Parkton, MD