The cold weather and difficult riding conditions in the street have, as usual, inspired some strange ideas and behaviors at HCWHQ.
Consider half-radial spoking:
I decided awhile ago to throw my name in for the Almanzo 100. Well, I sent in my postcard yesterday, and that set off the sudden and urgent need to get my equipment together. Never mind that the race is in May. I need race wheels! For which bike? Who cares! I can figure that out later!
I choose parts for my non-fancy bikes based on a) what's in stock, or better yet, sitting in my used parts bins and b) what is unlikely to sell anytime soon. In this case, I found a Tiagra hub and an Aerohead o/c rim with a missing label. Then I started to go through my salvage spoke pile. Not sure if these spokes are used or new or some of each, but they are an odd mix of lengths, colors, diameters, brands. After some 5 or 10 seconds of searching the spoke pile, the solution became obvious! Straight-gauge DT spokes laced radially on the non-drive side and 14/15g Wheelsmith butted spokes laced 3x on the drive side.
Actually, the credit for bringing this idea into my brain-space comes from a customer who is attending next week's wheelbuilding class and asked about doing his rear wheel with a similar half-radial pattern. Since I've never done it before, I decided this would be my opportunity to give it a shot. What's the worst that could happen? I'll find out when the snow melts!