A radial spoke cannot transfer torque from the hub to the rim.
On a regular front wheel, it’s sort of along for the ride, so radial laced spokes are fine for a front wheel. The exception being with disc brake hubs where you have negative torque going to the hub when you are braking, which is why on our disc brake hub wheels we double cross the front spokes.
On the rear wheel you are putting a lot of torque to the hub and this has to transfer to the rim to get the wheel to spin. By crossing the spokes on both sides of the wheel, we have up to 15% better torque transfer compared to a wheel that has radially laced spokes on the rear wheel. This makes for a better responding wheel that will accelerate faster, especially in sprinting or climbing situations.
We offer multiple spoke counts on all of our wheel sets.
Not everybody has the same demands in a wheel set and to say that one wheel build will work for everybody just isn’t true. A 120 pound female triathlete is going to have much different demands in a wheel compared to a 200 pound masters crit racer who wants to use the wheels for everyday training and racing. So we offer the builds in options that will maximize both durability and performance. Going with the higher spoke count only adds about 40 grams to the weight of the wheels (less than half the weight of an empty water bottle), but will make for stronger, stiffer, and more durable wheels. If you are a larger, more powerful rider, and planning on using the wheels for years to come, you will want that added durability.
We also offer realistic weight limits and recommendations for all our wheels.
We like to build like a custom wheel builder would, and if you are 190 pounds there's not a single custom wheel builder in the country who would recommend a 16/20 spoke count. A lot of times companies will use weight limits almost like a marketing campaign, stating outrageous weight limits for very low spoke counts or even claiming no weight limit at all. We prefer to have the longevity and durability of our wheels be the primary focus, and having happy customers as our marketing campaign.