Of course he could have made a mistake (Dinard) or we could be not understanding what "slack" is in this case.
Seems to me much of this rim stiffness debate is verbal semantics. To definitively state the rim functions independently of the spokes is not valid IMO. The wheel is a dynamic unit.. each component part of a system interdependent of the sum of the components.
The written wheel theory pales in comparison to real world data. I find some very interesting observations on these pages... those citing actual experiences building/testing the wheel/s the reason I came to read along here.
This internet is full of bike wheel 'nonsense'. It's fine to model the workings of a bike wheel on the computer.. but some of the conclusions assumed lack the sweat spent to make these wheels DURABLE & weight efficient in the real world.
Hi WinterRider, everything is good
In kavitator's circumstance NDS spoke tension appears to have been an issue (through sprinting/pedal torque effects) and by increasing DS and NDS spoke tension this increased lateral stiffness when the wheel encountered sprinting/pedal torque effects. Unfortunately the rim could not completely handle the 140kgf DS spoke tension
I believe that Bracing Angle is important to lateral stiffness and better Bracing Angle (like those of the front wheel) allow DS spoke tension to be reduced and better NDS spoke tension. 2x/3x/4x lacings provide better control of sprinting/pedal torque effects, and re the aspect of DS/NDS spoke tension, the 2:1 lacings provide nearly equal DS/NDS spoke tensions with excellent NDS Bracing Angle and as such good Lateral Stiffness. Although 2:1 lacing allows better Lateral Stiffness (through better Bracing Angle and more even DS/NDS Spoke tension), the Rim will provide the real Lateral and Radial Stiffness.
Wheel stiffness. logically, is determined by the Rim, Spokes, Spoke Lacing, and Hub. That is quite a broad statement so what does this actually mean (hope this is correct) ...
1. The Rim will provide the real Lateral and Radial Stiffness (ie a flexy rim will always be flexy regardless of spoke tension)
2. The Hub needs to support good DS/NDS Bracing Angle and Spoke Lacings that help control sprinting/pedal and Disc Brake (if used) torque effects
3. Spokes need to be stiff and strong and able to endure the tension/detension cycle which occurs as a result of torque effects
4. Rim widths and Tyres ... that's another matter