DT SWISS XMC 1200 SPLINE 30
As long as I have been riding bikes I’ve always heard people say that the best upgrade you can make to your bike is the wheels. And of course that will depend on the bike you’re riding and how suitable it is for what you do but I can’t think of many instances where that doesn’t hold true, especially as the demands we put on our bikes continues to grow. The development of mountain biking has progressed so much in the past 10 years, and the bikes and components we use have kept up and even allowed the progress in many instances. DT Swiss are a well-known spoke, hub, rim and therefore wheel manufacturer based in Switzerland. With a manufacturing heritage of well over a century, you would be hard-pressed to find a workshop without a range of DT Swiss spoke boxes for custom builds and repairs. The Swiss perfectionists are known for their design, and with products like their range of spokes, the star ratchet system, the 240 hub and even their wheel strength testing system developed with the UCI, they are an industry leader in wheels and wheel components. And a mountain bike wheel like the XMC 1200 Spline 30 epitomises their ability to design and manufacture a wheel for modern mountain biking. But what is modern mountain biking and what should a wheel for that have? Here at AMB we figure that means a wheel that can descend fast thanks to a strong rim which aids precise handling. They shouldn’t deflect easily, should be light enough to climb, have replaceable parts, be easily serviceable, easy to set up tubeless and adaptable for Shimano cassette bodies or SRAM XD drivers. And according to the tests Ben Morrison ran for us last issue, they really should have a 30mm inner width to offer the best stability for a higher volume trail or all-mountain tyre.
These DT Swiss wheels came out of the box taped and ready to go, with valves, spoke tools, a manual, a freehub body and two nifty wheel bags. I fitted a Maxxis Minnion DHF 2.5” WT on the front and a 2.30” Aggressor on the back, they inflated easily with some sealant and a track pump. It’s worth noting that a Maxxis 2.3” tyre only just has the edge knobs inline with the sidewall, and it’s the same with a 2.3” Minnion too. The WT (or wide trail) tyres are more suited to rims with a wider internal width, and we’ve heard from DT Swiss that some of their supported athletes on Continental tyres tend to ride 30mm internal, while those on Maxxis tend to ride 25mm internal. Out of the box the wheels had a SRAM XD driver that I swapped for the included Shimano freehub body. The hubs are the Spline model – the lightest mountain bike hub DT Swiss make – which is essentially DT Swiss 240s internals with an upgraded 36t ratchet on a hub shell designed for straight-pull spokes. This wheel set is in 110x15mm and 148x12mm Boost spacing with 29”hoops, but non-Boost models and 27.5” models are also available. It’s worth noting the DT Swiss have centrelock disc fitting on these wheels, but adaptors come in the box. Just like a cassette, do them up to the recommended torque for worry-free use. For reference, the wheels claimed weight of 1547g would be about right. These were just under 1600g with tubeless tape.
THE SUM OF ITS PARTS
The XMC 1200 rim sits at 36mm wide, with a 30mm internal width. This really lets a tyre of 2.3” - 2.6” width fill out while still offering the right sidewall stiffness. The internal rim width is the same as the Syncros wheels I tested on a Scott Genius in a previous issue, the wheels are just a whole lot