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Strange Spoke Pattern
#775876 06/07/19 10:26 pm
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I have been working in a great motorcycle museum since I retired three years ago and I just noticed a facinating characteristic on our 1938 Rudge 500. The spokes are not centered on the rims. On the front wheel, the left side spokes run from the hub to the center of the rim. The right side spokes run from the hub to the outer edge on the right side of the rim. On the rear wheel, the pattern is reversed, with no spokes attached to the outer section of the right side of the rim. I looked online at images of other Rudge bikes from the same time frame and they all have the same pattern. Can anyone explain the idea behind this arrangement?

Thanks,

Doc


Doc

Mostly Triumphs with a few BSA's a Norton, and two BMW's

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Re: Strange Spoke Pattern
Doc_dup1 #775887 06/08/19 12:48 am
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Both Rudge and Enfields have been supplying hubs and spoked wheels to 1st the bicycle industry and then the motorcycle industry for a very long time,
so they have quite some experience with this. Far more than any other makers ?

Enfields used rims with 3 spokes set to one side of the centre of the rim, and then one spoke to the other side,
on their cush-drive hubs etc.

It has been quoted that this spoke arrangement gives a less flexible wheel, compared to something with all the nipples down the centre of the rim.

It has also been quoted that when motorcycle wheels changed from spoked type to cast type, this gained racing motorcycles an average of 2 to 5 seconds
per lap advantage, on most circuits. And more, on longer circuit. So more rigid wheels has some known solid benefits.
??

Re: Strange Spoke Pattern
Doc_dup1 #775889 06/08/19 2:16 am
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Well the nipples are definitely not all in the center and your theory could be correct. From what I have seen so far, Rudge seems to be the only make using this pattern.

Doc


Doc

Mostly Triumphs with a few BSA's a Norton, and two BMW's

Re: Strange Spoke Pattern
Doc_dup1 #775896 06/08/19 3:38 am
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Perhaps this is a subtle message about how powerful their 4 valve motors were ?!!
(or no-one else can use their rims...)

Its odd when you think about it, there are all sorts of lacing patterns and spoke types for motorcycle wheels,
you'd think that one particular type would have risen to the top.
Now some rims take tubeless tyres, so the spokes are all on the outboard edge of the rim even.
And have you seen how many spokes some of these custom bikes can cram onto a wheel...

Re: Strange Spoke Pattern
Doc_dup1 #775935 06/08/19 5:34 pm
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The Rudge emblem, a spoked wheel with a hand super-imposed over it, should tell us something.

Rudge continued making wheels long after they quit building motorcycles.
They made spoked wheels for sports cars, and the famous Rudge "knock-off" wheels for race cars, into the late 1950's.

I believe they knew well what they were doing when they built the wheels for their motorcycles.

Re: Strange Spoke Pattern
Doc_dup1 #775946 06/08/19 7:46 pm
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I read somewhere (who knows where) that Rudge brakes were thought by their makers to be so powerful the special spoking pattern was necessary to handle the stresses induced by hard braking. I have always had a casual fascination with wheel building and it is obvious many theories exist as to how best handle the stresses and minimize the weight.


Laurence Luce
Re: Strange Spoke Pattern
Doc_dup1 #776081 06/10/19 10:47 pm
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For what it's worth, the shorter spokes that go to the wheel center are on the brake side.

Doc


Doc

Mostly Triumphs with a few BSA's a Norton, and two BMW's

Re: Strange Spoke Pattern
Doc_dup1 #776100 06/11/19 6:16 am
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.
Off center , staggered-hole rim-patterns ... add lateral bracing.

These are less necessary to a motorcycle ..that can lean its tires into its turns .
But would be more necessary for sidecar work or 4 wheel car work
Where a wire wheel sees more lateral loading any time the vehicle turns at speed .

Without efficient lateral bracing a spoked wheel can "taco"
I think
Staggered off center rim patterns were more common in the early days
Of motoring
Where simple radial bicycle spoke patterns were evolving to handle more speed .
Acceleration and braking torque ... and side loading

This early Rudge wheel (from a Rolls Royce ) seems overly complicated ... but probably reflects
The Material capabilities of its day [Linked Image]
Notice the cross-lacing on the inside hub ... to handle rotational torque
And the more simple radial lacing on the ouside of the hub for sideway forces .



Re: Strange Spoke Pattern
Doc_dup1 #776243 06/12/19 3:47 pm
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Thanks for the information, the wheels just add to the great looks of the 1938 Rudge. . It's time for Rudge ride for sure.

Doc


Doc

Mostly Triumphs with a few BSA's a Norton, and two BMW's

Re: Strange Spoke Pattern
Doc_dup1 #776260 06/12/19 6:47 pm
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Yes Rudge made some beautiful bikes
Is this the same spoke pattern ?
This bike looks like the front-brake has dual-cables
( so back-brake foot-pedal would have assisted front brake action ?)
[Linked Image]

Re: Strange Spoke Pattern
Doc_dup1 #776268 06/12/19 10:56 pm
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I had the dual braking on my 37 Ulster and couldn't get used to the idea and took it off. Of course, at the age of 17 I had only had experience with Bantams, ES2 and a variety of borrowed rides. Both my Ulsters still exist, one ridden weekly and the other in it's final stages of restoration. The last one might have been finished but the current owner realized after painting that the frame needed a little attention as his is the one that I crashed......promises me I'll get a ride when it's finished. Can't wait. I think the front brake was 8 inches and the rear almost 8 and they worked well.

Cheers, Wilf


"It's about the ride..."

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