It seems to me the relation between bonds and steric energy in the beaded representation is just like "Fish and Bear's paw", one cannot get both at the same time.
Mencius said, "Fish is something I desire (yu); bear's paw [a Chinese delicacy] is also something I desire. If I cannot have both, I will forsake fish and select bear's paw."
To me the beads with large aspect ratio are the fish and the spherical beads are the bear's paw. I will choose spherical beads for the sake of the fullerene's geometry.