3 Leading 3 Trailing Wheel
Note the spoke pattern on this front wheel.
It is built in a three leading, three trailing pattern. Really just decorative, but it is unique and beautiful without really losing any of the strength of a 3 cross wheel. On each flange, three consecutive spokes are laced forward (leading), followed by three laced back (trailing), and so on.
The only potential loss of strength from a traditional 3 cross wheel is in the fact that the spokes do not actually cross over one another. However, the directional lacing of the spokes makes the wheel far stronger than radial lacing, and very nearly as strong as a traditional 3x wheel. I have gotten testimony from another wheelbuilder that this pattern has lasted him over 10 years on a front wheel, and presented no problems.
I have one of these wheels built, hanging up at Lugs, if you want to take a look. Just ask Ron or Carene about it. A matching rear wheel can be built for it within a day or so, if you were interested in the set. Also, any 36 hole front hub and rim can be built in this spoke pattern. It is inadvisable to build rear wheels this way, though I would consider lacing a wheel with the drive side a standard 3 cross, and 3 leading, 3 trailing on the non-drive side. The set would be around $190.
I’m not the first to invent this spoke pattern. Its pretty well established as far as unconventional spoke patterns go, perhaps in part because it is reliable. I am having fun with it though!