If you break a spoke the corresponding detensioning of the paired "snowflake" spoke will be enough to give you a nice flat spot in your rim should you have hit something at the same time...................
Andy (building wheels since 1988)
Have you experienced this yourself? I've found in my experience that your comment is not true (pardon the expression).
1) I've found that if a snowflake spoke breaks, yes it does put the wheel further out of tension than if a spoke on a regular 3-cross wheel had broken but you must remember that even on a conventionally spoked, 3-cross wheel that the spokes that cross still do tension 'each other'
so if one breaks it stil affects 2 spokes.
2) I've found that if you use good quality, stainless, double-butted spokes and follow the correct lacing process, snowflakes dont' break spokes.
3) I've found that snowflakes are more resistant to snapping spokes in the event of a stick enterng the wheel from the side while rotating. The 'buddy system' strengthens the wheel in these type of impacts
4) I'm not trying to promote snowflakes as the 'way of the future'. They're quirky and tricky to build but they're fun and they look cool! Glass half full, Man! Not glass half empty!
If anyone's interested, I have just written up a step-by-step snowflake wheel building instruction with images here => http://www.retrobike.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?t=94277
. Sorry, it's a bit 'wordy'.
* '89 Nishiki Alien 17/19"
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