First Ride: DT Swiss Spline 1 wheels

DT Swiss releases budget-minded wheel options for cross-country, trail, and all-mountain riding

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MONTEREY, Calif. (VN) — DT Swiss has launched a three-tiered wheelset range, offering something for almost any off-road rider in a dialed, detail-oriented package that hits a reasonable price point between $1,060-$1,140.

The Spline 1 range is comprised of the XR, XM, and the EX models, covering the gamut of cross-country, trail, and all-mountain applications, respectively. The XR’s inner rim width is 20 millimeters, while its larger siblings, the XM and EX, sport widths of 22.5mm and 25mm.

The Devil is in the Details

The wheelsets’ subdued outward appearance belies many small, important details. All three options share the same robust and lightweight 240 hubs, 3-cross, 28-spoke lacing, and other small but notable innovations.

The rims have short sidewalls, a deep center groove, and a seamless welded rim, which combine to make for an easy tubeless setup. The XR and XM wheelsets are available in all three major sizes — 26-inch, 27.5-inch, and 29-inch, while the EX is available in both 26-inch and 29-inch. The Spline 1 hubs have modular axle options, allowing riders to choose between a variety of axle sizes and an optional SRAM XD driver body for those running XX1 components.

On the trail

Aboard Pivot Mach 429c and Mach 5.7 carbon bikes, we were well-equipped to find the limits of the Spline 1 wheels. We found the high spoke tension and wider rims to contribute to the bikes’ already precise handling. As usual, the reliable DT Swiss hub internals ran smoothly and engaged quickly.

The new Spline 1 wheel system is all about options, and in the ever-diversifying mountain bike world, most riders could find what they need. With all three rim sizes offered and a hub design that is reliable and convertible to most axle designs, the Spline 1 wheels could be the go-to wheelset for a variety of enduro and endurance racers alike.

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