DT Swiss updates its ERC wheel range with new rims and greater stability

New 35 and 45 mm rims are said to offer improved aerodynamics and crosswind stability.

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DT Swiss has unveiled its updated ERC range of road wheels said to combine endurance riding with comfort and versatility. DT Swiss first introduced the ERC endurance-specific offering in 2016 with the 50 mm ERC 1100 Dicut wheelset, focused on improving handling and stability in an aero road wheel. Now DT Swiss has updated and expanded its ERC range with improved crosswind stability, reduced aerodynamic drag, two new rim depths, two spec options, and a total of six new wheel options. 

The new ERC 1100 and ERC 1400 wheelsets are said to offer an improved blend of handling stability and aerodynamics with new 35 mm and 45 mm rim depths for both spec options. Gone are the old 50 mm rims, but it’s not just the depth DT Swiss has changed. Working in collaboration with aerodynamic gurus Swiss Side, DT Swiss redeveloped the rim shape for a lower and more predictably-changing steering moment and smoother stall.

Creating a “VU-Shape” DT Swiss claims to have combined the aero benefits of a V-shaped rim with the stability of a U-shaped rim. The result is a “pointy end of the rim and a more voluminous body”. While the rim depths have shrunk, the new rims’ internal width has grown to 22 mm to suit the trend towards wider tyres. These are optimised for 28 mm wide tyres. As for hook or no hook, DT Swiss is sticking firmly with a hooked setup, pointing to the proven safety “in case of inappropriate usage” and freedom of tyre choice as its reasoning. 

DT Swiss leaned on its experience in wheel and rim development, the collaboration with Swiss Side, and the DT Swiss Aero+ Concept in redeveloping the new wheelset. Specifically, DT Swiss points to its Aero+ Concept for the new wheels’ improved performance claims.

The Aero+ Concept is said to look beyond classic aerodynamic parameters of translational and rotational drag to extend the development focus to comfort, rolling resistance, and riding dynamics, including handling, grip, and weight / aero performance.

As for results, DT Swiss claims the new ERC 1100 45 tests faster than “competing products” and both rim depths “feature a competitively low, evenly changing steering moment without kinks, resulting in predictable handling of the wheel under crosswind conditions.” DT Swiss provided data from its own in-house testing looking at similar competitor wheels, which shows the ERC 35 and 45 rims testing as the lowest two drag values across relevant yaw angles for real-world conditions when tested. 

While both the ERC 1100 and 1400 feature this new rim, the differentiation between spec levels lies in the hubs and spoke options. The top-end ERC 1100 features DT Swiss’ latest-generation thinner and deeper DT Aero Comp II and DT Aerolite II spokes for improved aerodynamics. These aero-optimised spokes are laced to the DT Swiss 180 hubs with the new Ratchet EXP freehub and SINC ceramic bearings. In comparison, the lower-spec 1400 wheelset gets DT’s heavier 240 hub with stainless steel bearings and first-generation DT aero comp spokes. 

A 650b option is available at both spec levels paired to the 35 mm rim.

All told, the result is a range of wheels with seemingly similar high-performance offerings, similar low weights, and reasonably hefty pricetags. The ERC 1100 35 wheelset weighs in at 1,391 g with the 10 mm deeper 45s weighing in 51 g heavier at 1,442 g, priced at US$3,239.80 / AU$3,999 / £2,299.98 / €2,387.80 for both options. 

The lower-priced and slightly heavier ERC 1400 wheelsets tip the scales at 1,468 g for the 35 mm rim and 1,519 g for the 45 mm. That weight increase is offset by a price decrease, the ERC 1400 wheels setting you back US$2,654.80 / AU$3,299 / £1,869.98 / €1,956.80.

I have just taken delivery of an ERC 1100 35 wheelset for an upcoming review. With Irish winter setting in, I should get plenty of blustery days to test that improved stability. 

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