There are 3 commonly used lacing patterns that we offer with our wheel sets, these are 3 cross, 2 cross and radial, these are illustrated above in order left to right. For 3 cross the spoke crosses over twice then under once, for two cross over then under. Radial as the name implies radiate straight out to the rim. The effect of the crossing is to distribute the load and transmit torsion around the wheel. The pattern is chosen depending on the usage. 

Wheels are loaded in 3 ways, by the weight of the bike and rider and the terrain impact, by the driving force applied through rear wheel, and by disc brakes. Rim brakes apply braking force directly to the wheel edge of the wheel so the transmitted torsion is limited to the drive wheel. So for a driving or disc braking wheel the spoke will either pull or push load. As this occurs spokes will stretch or shorten slightly depending if they are being pushed or pulled. The crossing pattern delivers spring effect absorbing the torsion and transmitting the force either to the wheel rim to push the bike forwards or slowing the rider and bike under braking. The so what is that for road bike usage with rim brakes all three spoke combinations could be used, for mountain bikes 3 cross is most often used. 


Is often used for road front wheels, though some hub manufacturers will not guarantee their hubs for this configuration due to the high outward pull stresses on the hub, it can be used on the non-drive side for rear wheels, it is not suitable for any disc wheel configurations or any applications where higher stresses are likely to be experienced (e.g cobbles, off road, heavier riders etc). It is less strong than tangential.


The spoke leaves the hub at a tangent; the stresses on the hub as a result are in the direction of pull and shared better in the hub material therefore creating a stronger assembly. The crossing of the spokes also has the effect of building in more resilience into the assembly, so a stronger wheel.

2 Cross

Often used for road rim applications where spoke counts are lower and the loadings are low to medium or for smaller rim/larger hub applications (e.g. Brompton rims or Rohloff hubs). 

3 Cross

This is a tried and tested standard that is most often used for both road and mountain bike wheels, it is strong and resilient. It can be used for disc and drive applications.

Spoke Count

Another key consideration is the number of spokes that are used. Rims and hubs come in a wide variety from 16 through to 36+. The application and weight of the rider are key drivers here. If you are 85Kg and you have a set of wheels with 32 holes back and front, then if you reduce the count to 18 you are taking the same stress on half the number of spokes, double the load per spoke, rim and hub hole. When considering your application we will ask questions about the usage to ensure that the set-up is right for you. The most common configuration is 32 hole, it's proven and it works.