Re-spoking a rolf paired spoke wheel onto a shimano hub.. Possible/safe..?


New Member
I have a 20" lightweight rolf wheel (kinetix pro for dahon), it has an american classic free hub, which is strangely noisy when clicking free. Anyway, shimano capreo hubs have a cassette with 9 and 10 tooth sprockets for higher gearing. I've built a racer but the highest gear is not nearly high enough at 11t on a 20"wheel. I might pick up a 60t chain ring. Anyway my question is, ..
The American classic hub is 75mm in diameter but the shimano is 55.there are 8 spokes hooked to each side of the hub. The shimano hub is 32h so 16 holes on each side This means I could use half the holes for the paired spoke of the rolf wheel. This means that the spokes would be around 6mm further apart than when on the original hub, and it also means they'll be about 10mm closer to the axle.

This means the spokes will be basically the same length, but rotated towards the centre of the wheel slightly. (less than 1degree i think)

I would love to hear from any engineering minded wheel person whether this will work or be unstable somehow. I've added a photo of the current wheel and a hub with the new formation of holes that I would use half of to spoke in the same way as the original. Any advice most welcome! Would be a shame to be whizzing along and for the wheel to disintegrate.. Thanks


Last edited:
Loch side.
Good luck with that. Just don't.
There are several reasons for this.

1) The Rolf paired spoked design was super stupid and not based on any sound engineering principles at all. It was based purely on novelty. The two closely-spaced spoke holes on the rim is a weak point. If there aren't already any cracks there, there soon will be. Then you'll be back to square one, looking for a replacement rim where there is none to be had, since spare parts are not available for those wheels.
2) You'll have to replace the spokes since there is only an extremely slim chance that the existing spokes will be the right length for the new hub and new arrangement.
3) You better be bloody good at geometry and measurement to calculate the spoke length required for the proposed Frankenwheel. Just 1mm difference makes the spokes unusable.

Just get a new rim with sensible equal drilling and go from there.


New Member
Thanks for your reply yellow saddle. Not attempting this would certainly be easier . By my measurements the spoke lengths would be almost identical. I have learned that these rolf style wheels divide opinion somewhat. The bike I'm messing with is ten years old and had been bashed around pretty hard and the wheels are still strong and true, maybe the design works better on small wheels I'm going for light weight and I think they're pretty so that was my reasoning to keep them(and also trying not to spend any money so would rather work with what I have) but I will hold off on thinking it would work and try other ways to go faster first.
Top Bottom