Lace pattern/angle for m/c rims n what spokes do I use?

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macribs   1 GW

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Lace pattern/angle for m/c rims n what spokes do I use?

Post by macribs » Mar 19 2015 11:24am

How do I choose what pattern to lace 19" and 18" motorcycle aluminum rims? Both front and rear are 36 spokes.

I guess the rim itself adds strength to the wheel. But the load from carrying a heavy 300 rider means wheel will take a beating hitting potholes and what not at speed > 40mph. What spokes are recommended for heavy duty use? The rear rim might be able to use light motorcycle rims, avoiding washers? Or is it just bull to use motorcycle spokes? I guess for the front wheel I can only use bicycle spokes due to the holes pre drilled in the hub flanges, so what size and type spokes recommended? And what nipples?


I been looking at different lacing patterns here at the forum and it is giving me a headache. :!:
It seems all has there own way of doing it. So what is the pattern I should choose? Those rims will deal with fat hub motor and fat rider. I am guessing the various patterns got something to do with distributing the forces in best manner. But other then that I have no clue.

Here is a raptor build by moonshine. It seems he uses regular mtb hub in the front and also mtb spokes. That might be true for the rear as well.

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Then there is these:

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If you look at the pics there are various angles to the spokes. The bike wheel has almost straight angle. And the rest more and more angle. So what is the right angle and pattern for my rims and spokes?


And can I run these tubeless with m/c tires? I think of 2 reason to go tubeless. 1 is for weight. Dropping the tube might save a few grams, and when tire, spokes and rim are all heavy in weight at least tubeless can subtract some weight. But I think that the best reason is ease of repairs. If you get a flat caused by nails or other hard and sharp object one could just remove object and "plug" the hole. Like we do on cars. Think I even saw a Kit for converting to tubeless a while back.

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Last edited by macribs on Mar 20 2015 8:26am, edited 6 times in total.

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Stevil_Knevil   10 kW

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Re: Lacing pattern for m/c rims and what spokes 2 use?

Post by Stevil_Knevil » Mar 19 2015 1:35pm

Seriously?! Is this some kind of I.Q. test :roll:

You are asking about a rim with 36 holes in it, and wondering if it can be run tubeless..
..NO - and a moto tube weighs ~2 pounds.
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macribs   1 GW

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Re: Lacing pattern for m/c rims and what spokes 2 use?

Post by macribs » Mar 19 2015 2:05pm

Stevil_Knevil wrote:Seriously?! Is this some kind of I.Q. test :roll:

You are asking about a rim with 36 holes in it, and wondering if it can be run tubeless..
..NO - and a moto tube weighs ~2 pounds.
No joke or IQ test. And any weight saving will be where it matters the most - the furthest part from the center/hub of the wheel.So even 2 lbs might help since using those heavier m/c rims. (and those HD tubes are even heavier.....)

Just because you have not done it, or never thought of it, that does not necessarily make it impossible. Various claims of this is posted all over the net. They sealed their rims spoke holes and run tubeless.

I've seen a how to guide/vid for making spoked wheels tubeless. They used the usual rubber strip and some sort of tape I think on top.Or maybe it was sandwiched like tape/rubber/tape can't remember exactly. There where some kind of sealing done at least. ;)
It did hold together and seemed fine in the vid. But I never seen that done IRL so that's why I asked if it is possible to make this work with some degree of durability. Leaving the bike for a week to come back to see 2 flat tires are not an option :)

IIRC the bike on the vid was an adventure type bike, like those BMW's if you like to look it up.

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Re: Lacing pattern/angle for m/c rims+ what spokes 2 use?

Post by Stevil_Knevil » Mar 19 2015 4:10pm

Actually, I have built a DIY tubeless eBike wheel using a tube with the outer part cut off (as the rim liner) and a few ounces of "Stan's No-Flat" sealant squirted into the valve/tire. A little tricky, but works well when you get the tire's bead lined-up just right in the rim's hooks to get some PSI in there. The experiment was totally worthwhile.

Never crossed my mind that it could also work on a spoked moto wheel :oops:

The advantages of dropping ~4 pounds of tube should be worth the added cost and effort :)
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Re: Lacing pattern/angle for m/c rims+ what spokes 2 use?

Post by macribs » Mar 19 2015 6:28pm

I thought it would be an easy task to find a hub for the front wheel. Decide the number of spoke and go from there. Looking in various webshops I just realized there are endless choices of hubs. Hi lo flanges. Different axle size. Number of bearings. Sealed or not bearings. I just want to get me a hub that works. What to look for? I've said the weight part already. So a durable hub is needed. Fork has 20mm thru axle.

And recommendations for choice of front hub? What works best and why?

When I was a kid living in the middle of nowhere we had one store with bike parts. And they never carried more then one brand of each part. Back then things where easy :lol:

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Re: Lacing pattern/angle for m/c rims+ what spokes 2 use?

Post by LSBW » Mar 19 2015 6:51pm

2 years and 6000 km trouble free in city riding.

16" moto rims with Pirelli's. Details here: http://extronebike.ca/

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Re: Lacing pattern/angle for m/c rims+ what spokes 2 use?

Post by Jackrabbit » Mar 20 2015 7:20am

I'm having some wheels built at the moment. I'm using Excel signature rims (19x1.85) a Cromotor V3 in the rear and an Ethirteen TRS front hub. 10g spokes for the rear and 12g for the front. The rims have been specially drilled to match the hubs and custom spokes ordered.

The wheel builder says getting the spoke angles correct is critical if you want to avoid breakages. I'm fairly sure the lacing patten would need to be taken into account when the holes are drilled. I would try and find someone who specialises in building spoked motorcycle wheels and get them to do yours for you.

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Re: Lace pattern/angle for m/c rims n what spokes do I use?

Post by macribs » Mar 20 2015 8:38am

Using a pro builder will certainly be the best approach, however also the most costly :)
So in order to save some costs I will try to do the job myself.

Can you tell me a little why you choose that particular hub?

Pls posts some pics of your new wheels when ready.

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Re: Lace pattern/angle for m/c rims n what spokes do I use?

Post by gogo » Mar 20 2015 9:00am

What about a used moto wheel that is factory engineered to begin with?
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Re: Lace pattern/angle for m/c rims n what spokes do I use?

Post by macribs » Mar 20 2015 9:09am

gogo wrote:What about a used moto wheel that is factory engineered to begin with?

That leads to all kinds of trouble, believe me I know - just had a thread about that and, well let's just say I will not go that route :) You will basically need also moto fork 3-4 times as heavy as a DH fork, or some insane rebuild of your DH forks bottom end to be able to mount the moto hub. And possible you would have to do custom triple crown as well to get the spacing right. And then you would need that hubmotor laced in the rear wheel anyway, which means you are stuck doing lacing in way or another.

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Re: Lace pattern/angle for m/c rims n what spokes do I use?

Post by Jackrabbit » Mar 20 2015 2:29pm

macribs wrote:
Can you tell me a little why you choose that particular hub?
I chose that hub because it had the largest spoke holes I could find in a MTB hub and was designed for extreme use. It was also on offer at Chain Reaction cycles :) The spoke holes still need to be made a little larger to accept the 12g spokes but there is plenty of material on the hub so I'm not too worried about it.

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Re: Lace pattern/angle for m/c rims n what spokes do I use?

Post by macribs » Mar 20 2015 3:36pm

Jackrabbit wrote:
I chose that hub because it had the largest spoke holes I could find in a MTB hub and was designed for extreme use. It was also on offer at Chain Reaction cycles :) The spoke holes still need to be made a little larger to accept the 12g spokes but there is plenty of material on the hub so I'm not too worried about it.
It seems now it is only available in 32h. Did you go with 32 spokes rim or did they just drill 4 more holes in the flanges?

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Re: Lace pattern/angle for m/c rims n what spokes do I use?

Post by Jackrabbit » Mar 20 2015 3:50pm

Yes, only 32h. You need to get a 32 hole rim which is the main reason I went for the Excel rims, these were the only quality 19x1.85 rims I could find with both 32 and 36h.

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