EB14: DT Swiss Updates, Narrows Suspension Lineup & Expands Wheel Options for Road & MTB
The 2015 DT Swiss suspension gets revamped, bringing their shock tech up to speed with modern features and simplifying the fork offerings to just two models offering five different travel options depending on wheel size. Inside, the damping circuits also get a reboot to improve their range of performance and make them a bit more plush. Turns out those new graphics we spotted on the pro bikes were more than just cosmetic changes!
Meanwhile, the mountain bike wheels get a new premium DH/Freeride wheel and a three-modle Spline Two group that has impressive features for the price. And there’s more new benefits across the range. For road, almost everything’s now tubeless ready, and the alloy wheels are starting to get wider…
Their suspension fork line has been reduced to just two models with a simpler naming scheme – the numbers and letters are gone. Simply called OPM or their One Piece Magnesium lowers. The base level, which should not be confused to mean entry level, is about $800 regardless of wheel size or travel. It uses what used to be called Single Shot, but is now just O.L. for Open / Lock. The compression settings are all set from the factory, but it gets an external rebound knob on the top with a silver lockout switch
The higher end OPM O.D.L. (Open / Drive / Lock) model adds an intermediate compression damping setting between open and locked. The Open mode has the low speed compression damping wide open but with an external adjustment knob that’ll take it from full open to reasonably firm. From there, it switches to Drive mode, which has a fixed, slightly firmer low speed damping to create a bit of a platform.
For the O.D.L., the rebound knob moves to the bottom.
On all of their forks, they changed the seals, bushings and oil to make them a bit smoother and more plush, more sensitive to the small stuff so they’ll appeal to a wider audience. They’ve also adjusted the spring curve to reduce brake dive. That was done by reducing air volume a bit and giving it a dual rate coil negative spring that gets firmer about 60% of the way through the travel. The other benefit is that the fork will have a more consistent feel for a wider range of rider weights out of the box. At the moment, they do not offer air volume spacers to fine tune it.
They’re all 32mm stanchions, so DT’s forks may not be the hot new choice for Enduro, but the changes do make them a little less XC specific and a bit more trail ready. We get the sense they’re working on a few things, though.
Fans of DT Swiss will notice the Twin Shot models are gone. They say it was a complex system that wasn’t getting used as much as they had hoped, and it added weight and cost. So it’s gone.
Nino Schurter’s XCO-winning bike from Meribel was on hand and showed off a custom cover for the cable groove on the lockout, keeping dirt or mud from gunking in up.
The rear shocks carry over their existing damping system, but they changed the air system to SAB (Smooth Auto Balancing). Basically it’s a check valve that connects the positive and negative air chamber like what’s found on Fox and Rockshox models to equalize air pressure between the two chambers.
Before, they had a valve that would balance them at bottom out, which meant the ride could be harsh until you had a hard hit or two. Now, the check valve is at the starting point, so anytime it tops out, it’s balanced. Like when you’re pumping it up, which means it’s balanced before you even sit on the bike.
For now, the shocks keep the numerical naming scheme, so the base level is the M212, but it gets the O.L. settings plus external rebound adjust. The X313 gets the O.D.L. compression settings knob but without the external blue dial’s fine tuning adjustments found on the fork.
Only the carbon bodied shock keeps the old air system because they haven’t been able to resign the canister to add the check valve. They could, but sales volume on that model is pretty low. And since it’s only really used by racers, making it super plush isn’t a top priority.
2015 DT SWISS WHEELS
Before we talk specific models, all new mountain bike wheels will be either 27.5″ or 29er. Older models will keep the 26″ options for now, but future development will only be on the larger sizes going forward. They keep spare parts on hand for five years minimum for older items so warranty stock is available.
The FR 1950 (above) has been seen here and there as the FR Gravity, but they had to change name due to trademark concerns.
It’s based on the Spline wheels design with a super short sidewall.
A few mentions of the “G” word had to be stickered over.
XR and FR series wheels will come with both standard and XD Freehub bodies. They, and all of the wheels from entry level on up, will also come with 15mm and 12×142 axle ends if appropriate but will come with QR end caps, too. They’ll even come with tubeless rim tape and valve stems on all MTB wheels.
The new Spline Two X1700 series brings their Spline design down to a lower price point of under €500 (~$800). Despite the low price, they look high end with polished and clear coated hubs and water slide decals.
Compared to the Spline One series, there’s about a 150g weight gain per wheelset average thanks to a sleeved rim and 350 hub internals. For comparison, the One series gets 240 hub internals and welded rim.
Three models will be offered, the Cross, Mountain and Enduro. Click image to enlarge for details and claimed weights. They start shipping this fall.
Road wheels get an expanded range of disc brake options. Starting at around $500, all are compatible with QR and thru axles. All of their road wheels are Tubeless Ready (All!!! Even the carbon rims!!!), and they’ll ship with rim tape and valve stems.
They’ve even widened the base level alloy rims to 22mm (18mm internal), up a full 3mm over last year’s models.
The other, higher end road wheels will all grow wider as they’re redeveloped over the coming year
Cape Epic will do the Snow Epic in January, where DT plans to officially launch the fat bike wheelset we found on the Canyon. Word is it’s the lightest production fat bike wheelset in the world. At first, all the parts will only come as a complete wheelset, but look for the fat bike hubs to come separately at a later date.