Australian Mountain Bike - - Tested - WORDS AND PHO­TOS : MIKE BLEWITT

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 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

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.