I feel a bit silly asking this since I'm about 95% sure this is safe, but I just want to double check.

I have a 2010 Specialized Tricross (carbon fork, cantilever rim brakes). The stock front wheel has Alexrims ACE-19 rims and no-name hubs.

I've replaced the rear wheel with a Shimano WH‑RS100, and I'm just starting on replacing the front wheel. However, when I put the two side by side, I noticed for the first time that the stock front wheel has a crossed spoke pattern, while the WH‑RS100 front is a radial (non-crossed) pattern.

I know crossed spokes are important for rear wheels and any wheels with disc brakes due to the hub vs rim torque differentials. I think the radial spokes are OK for front rim brake wheels since the only torque application is at the rim by the brakes.

Is there anything I'm missing? I was thrown off by the stock wheel being cross-patterned. Obviously I should have noticed this before now but I did not. Why would they have put a cross-pattern front wheel on a bike with rim brakes?

For reference, the stock wheel is on the left and replacement wheel on the right below.

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1 Answer 1


Criggie does correctly point out this question a subset of what is answered in the link he provided.

The short answer to your specific question (which you basically answered for yourself) is yes, it is safe to run a properly built and tensioned, radially laced front wheel on a rim brake-equipped bike.

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