DT-SWISS´13 Product Presentation- by c_g

And the news keep on coming – this time we are to present the 2013 product news by DT- SWISS and SCHWALBE. Now it is DT-SWISS´s turn. For all those who have already asked where the name DT-SWISS comes from, here is the answer:

• D stands for “Drahtarbeiten“ (German for „wire works”)
• T stands for “Tréfilileries” (French for „wire works“)
• SWISS is … well you know they are SWISS through and through .

The 2-fold “wire work” refers to the complete bilingual (German and French) life in the city of Biel in which DT-SWISS´s origin and headquarters (management, R&D, design and testing) are located. DT-SWISS, whose origins lay in a company called a “United Wire Works (dating back into the 17th century), has become an independent company in 1995 with the production of spokes and over the years has added more and more components (nipples, hubs, rims) until they were able to produce complete wheels all by their own. To our knowledge DT-SWISS currently still is the only company worldwide that develops, manufactures and builds every component of their own wheels. For the 29er market the entry has been somewhat slow with a few rims, then the middle-class wheelset M1800 29 (tested here in 2011) and in 2012 with the currently high-end XM1550 TRICON 29 wheelset (currently under test) and the “race only” XRC 950 T 29 (tubular wheels).

Another pillar of DT-SWISS since 2001 has been suspension technology, initially with their own shock and later on with their own forks (after purchasing the suspension technology and production from British PACE CYCLES). Faithful readers know that we are currently reviewing such a 29″er fork, the XMM 100 29 with the cool Twin-Shot damping technology.

So much for the past, but now to the interesting news for 29″er fans:

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SPLINE wheels:

For 2013 DT-SWISS introduces a brand new family of wheels, which will replace some of the conventionally built wheels in their current line-up – the all new SPLINE series (Staight Pull Line). DT has produced such straight pull hubs and wheels for other companies for some years, but now is offering them for the first time directly under the DT-SWISS label. The wheels are based on specific hubs for straight spokes and tubeless ready rims. All hubs are convertible between RWS quick release (with aluminum levers) and through axles by exchanging the end caps.

For 29″er, there will be 3 categories differing in the quality of the individual components and thus by weight & price.

The top-end XR 1450 SPLINE 29 with a really good 1555 g for the set, will come with the finest balded spokes, welded rim (18 mm inner width and 28 h) and the proven star ratchet engagement. This wheel set is kept in all white and directed at racers reaching for a podium finish. They were also mounted on my bike, during the demo ride … but more on that later.

Next in line is the X 1600 SPLINE 29 wheel set with a respectable weight of 1770 g, but with sleeved rims (28h), butted round spokes and a little simpler hubs (but still with a star ratchet freewheel system). With these specs it should appeal more to performance-oriented all-round / touring bikers.

Last of the bunch is the X 1900 SPLINE 29, with straight (non butted) spokes, a 2-pawl engagement system on the 6-hole hub and simpler pinned rims, which, although slightly increasing in weight (as indicated: 2027 g), is said to excel in durability and is designed to combine high responsiveness with a “very competitive” price.

As with all the other 2013 products no prices were set at the time.

Contrary to my expectations (especially after the victory by Nino Schurter on his 650b SCOTT Scale), there will be only one 650b wheel set for 2013 by DT-SWISS, the M 1700 SPLINE 650b. It will come with a 6-bolt hub, star ratchet engagement and a 19.5 mm wide (inner width), sleeved- rim. The set is said to weigh around 1785 g. The photo shows Florian Vogel’s race bike with a 650b fork and tubular wheels.

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Interesting to custom wheel fans are the 240s & 350 Straight pull hubs, both in quick release and through axle versions (easily convertible). Special straight pull spokes from the Competition-family (butted 2.0 to 1.8 mm) will be available in 2013 as well. Driven by the increasing demand for through axle type hubs in the XC-segment DT-SWISS introduces the top- of-the-line hub 180s Carbon Ceramic for ’13 as through axle version.

The rim range remains unchanged. Top of the line are the XR 400 29 rims (450 g), followed by the X 470 (470 g, formerly called X 430 29) – both directed at Cross-Country racing and lighter riders with their inner width of „only“ 18 mm. Tougher and wider are the XM 490 (500 g, 29 formerly known as X450) and the M 520 (520 g, M480 formerly 29), each with 19.6 mm inner width for tour to all-mountain and more aggressive riders.

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As a (somewhat belated) response to the shocks (with platform damping) by ROCK SHOX and FOX, DT-SWISS presented the X-313 Cross shock. Just like the current M 212 shock, it will have adjustable (low speed) rebound damping but additionally to OPEN and LOCK-OUT option it will come with a third mode called „DRIVE MODE“ (which is a platform damping). Unfortunately we only had a quick spin on a bike equipped with this shock (with a promising first impression), but hope to receive a test-shock in the coming time.

As a world premier, we also got to see the all-new X 313 Carbon Cross Shock, with the same interior, but with carbon Air-Chamber and weight-optimized small parts that will hit the scale at only 145 g (or 165 g with a handlebar remote).

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When it comes to 29″er suspension forks DT-SWISS again read the signs of the time and now will complete the range of the XMM 29″er forks (100 or 120 mm travel) with a top version, by combining the lighter carbon fiber steerer / crown with a 15 mm through axle lower. The weight is specified at 1632 g (100 mm) or 1647 g (120 mm).

Shown as a prototype only (and already ridden by team SWISSPOWER this season) the 650b fork will not go into production for 2013.

Smaller modifications (but by no means less important) are the modified remote lockout lever with which DT responds to criticism on durability and mounting. With a slightly different design it is now less fragile and easier on your bars (by adding small rubber inserts on the inside), but remains to bet he world´s lightest at 11 g (!) and most minimalistic with its width of 6 mm.

During our winter riding of the XMM fork we encountered a poor suspension performance at extremely low temperatures with the XMM fork, so they have worked to resolve this by new upper wiper seals and introducing a special oil (called PANOLIN) for lubrication and damping duties. Since the oil is said to improve the overall feel of the fork – we have asked DT-SWISS to do those modifications on our test fork (along with swapping from the remote lock-out lever to the fork mounted one) – but we will report on that in the next update of our fork review.

Soon, we will report on new products by SCHWALBE and the the demo ride we took with the XR 1450 SPLINE 29″ wheels on a STÖCKLI BERYLL Carbon RC 29″er hardtail.

RIDE ON
c_g