SOC13: DT Swiss Spline 1 Reinvents Their Top End Alloy Mountain Bike Wheels
DT Swiss’ new Spline 1 wheel series is designed to be the one wheel you’ll need from now to the future. They’re the new top of the line alloy wheel offering, sitting directly beneath the carbon rim wheels. Like all of their wheels, they’re hand built, all in Colorado for the US aftermarket.
There are three models, for XC through Enduro/Freeride, with rim widths increasing as you get more aggressive.
The XR (XC Race) has 24mm external/20.5mm internal widths, the XM (All Mountain) has 26mm external/22.5mm internal widths and the EX (Enduro) has 30mm external/25mm internal widths. The internal width is measured from the tips of the bead hook, and the internal sidewall height is pretty short, which not only saves weight but should make tire install easier.
Roll in for all the tech details and weights…
The rims for the entire range got lighter and wider. The rims are fully welded and smoothed, like before. What’s new is that they do away with the reinforcing steel eyelets in the rim. To do this, they created a new nipple called Squorx, which has the a Torx shape on the top for rapid wheel building (using a drill) and standard square shape on the bottom for external truing. The Squorx nipple rests on a concave stainless steel washer, which lets the nipple float freely to prevent binding and creaking. The combo saved a bit of weight over eyelets.
More weight was saved by thinning the rim extrusion at sidewalls and rim bed, and the shape was given a more triangular shape compared to their squarer original shape. The shape maintained the strength and stiffness while saving weight.
The hubs use a new two piece alloy shell that’s forged, them machined on the insides and at the spoke beds. The two piece design lets them do more delicate internal machining with less waste compared to machine from a solid block of aluminum, and it results in a lighter overall piece. Internals are the same as the 240’s, which have a turned down section between the bearing seats to save more weight compared to the 350’s.
The design also goes to a straight pull spoke placement, which makes it more durable, and it switches (thankfully) to 6-bolt rotor mounts.
They’ll all use 2.0/1.8/2.0 double butted Competition spokes.
They also get a new tubeless tape to go with the shallower rim bed. Their old tubeless kit was quite involved, requiring double sided tape to adhere a thick stretchy band. Now, thankfully, they’ve moved to a tape system that looks a bit thicker than Stan’s tape, and they say its super resistant to accidental puncture by a tire lever. All wheels will come pre-taped for OEM placement. Aftermarket will come raw and include enough tape to double wrap each rim and include valve stems and core removal tools. They also include RWS skewers.
The wheels will also come with end caps for 9QR / 15 thru front and QR / 142×12, and you can covert it to work with 135×10 thru bolts and 135×12, too. And they can be ordered directly with XX1 or standard free hub bodies.
They’ll also come with the upgraded 36t ratchet pawls.
Wheels will be available in all three wheel sizes, save for the EX, which will only be in 26″ and 27.5″ for now. And all will retail for $1,100 in any iteration. Pretty good for a high end wheelset, and the weights aren’t bad either:
XR: 26″ (1410g), 27.5″ (1470g), 29″ (1520g)
XM: 26″ (1545g), 27.5″ (1595g), 29″ (1680g)
EX: 26″ (1660g), 27.5″ (1730g)
They’re shipping now to distributors, look for retail presence in a couple months. And they’ll get OEM placement on Pivot and others, and Pivot will be spec’ing custom models built on 350’s for mid level bikes, too.