DT-SWISS XRC 29″er wheels – Mid Term: by c_g
OK, its a bout 1 ½ months into this review and therefore high time for some ride impressions on there premium wheels by DT-SWISS. So far they have been ridden exclusively on the RADON Black Sin hard tail, but soon will be moving over to a new bike build.

But before I get into the ride characteristics let me drop a few words on tubeless performance and tire mounting. The wheels come out of the box with the separate tape, which sticks extraordinarily well on itself but not too well on the carbon rim. The installation therefore takes a bit caution to keep the tape tight but not overstretch the tape/rim interface – a helping hand may come handy when doing this. Once overlapping, it stays put and has never given me any trouble.14 DT SWISS XRC

As usual I mounted several of my tires on the rims to check for fit –unfortunately the first tires I tired were my „tight-as-can-be“ UST conforming, WTB MOTO TCS 1.9″ers which I mounted with the help of a plastic lever and aired up super easily. I got nervous when at 4.5bar (65psi) the bead still had not settled on the rim’s shoulder and decided the XRC 1250s sure were no UST type of fit. The medium fit CONTINENTAL Mountain King II in 2.2“ size, (tubeless ready Protection version), was mounted very easily, but required a strong blast by the compressor to seal airtight. At 2.5bar (36psi) the beads snapped securely into place and even when rapidly deflated, (by removing the valve’s core), they stayed on nicely. Even when fully deflated it took a bit of force to push off the rim’s shoulders. Very well- The loose fit of the HUTCHINSON Toro 2.2 tubeless ready tire made mounting a snap but was a pain to inflate on the XRC rims with a rather tight fit once the beads were set in place. Meanwhile I have ridden another two SCHWALBE tires on these rims, (Ice Spiker Pro and Hans Dampf), and both worked there like a charm.


 Given these experiences the DT-SWISS SPLINE 1250 XRC are working the middle field when it comes to tire fit – a field that does best with tubeless ready tires such as those from CONTINENTAL, SCHWALBE, ONZA, MAXXIS and VREDESTEIN, but doesn’t do too well with the more extremes like GEAX TNTs or WTB TCS (both as UST conforming are extremely tight). HUTCHINSON’s rather loose fitting tires are no problem to run with tubes, but require much experience and work to get set up tubeless, so while it is no safety issue, they simply don’t do that well on these rims. So far I have run the CONTI MK IIs and the two SCHWALBE tires with pressures ranging from 1,4 to 1,8bars (20 – 26psi) with no issues whatsoever.


But now to how the wheels actually ride: The trail conditions in the recent past hasn’t encouraged me to run any of the superlight XC tires, so my choice of tires (ranging from 740 to 900 g per tire) was rather steered towards control and traction – still the wheel’s super low overall weight and especially the lightweight carbon rims, (about 350g each), have painted a wide grin on my face many a times out on the trail when I was accelerating or panting up a steep incline. There is no better mental boost for a rider than having lightweight wheels on the bike – especially on a 29″er and the DT-SWISS Spline XRC sure play this tune very well.

In the case of the DT-SWISS SPLINE 1250 XRC the weight saved does not translate into inferior control or precision – quite contrasting, I would say they are among the stiffer 29″er wheels I know including some that are considerably heavier. On the trail, when pushing really hard or when crossing roots at an odd angle, the wheel deflection is minimal, (one of the very few complaints I had when running the AC Race wheels on my bike), and doing a simple static push/pull-test of the wheels on the bike encourages my impressions that these wheels are manufactured really well with high and even spoke tension.


Of course the torsional stiffness of the carbon rim doesn’t hurt here either. Still, as we have experienced in a few instances already, they seem to mute trail chatter quite nicely and never feel overly harsh or direct. It has been mentioned in the intro already, but the decent 22.5 mm internal width of the rims is very welcome, too. It has assisted the lower volume CONTI MK IIs in air volume, making them ride more comfortably, gives a nice footprint and provides plenty of support for wide tires such as the SCHWALBE Hans Dampf, which didn’t feel squirmy even when ridden down to 1.4 bar (20psi). Nothing to complain about, so far. The DT-SWISS hubs are running silky smooth and with no noticeable drag – they have seen plenty of mud and water and while this is no long term evaluation so far – there seems to be no negative effect of the elements to be noticed so far.

Apart from the extremely low weight and awesome acceleration the aesthetics is something that also sets these wheels apart from the pack. With their white spokes and bold lettering, they would not go as understated for sure, but I like them and on the occasions someone commented on them so far, it has always been in a positive way. So, while its looks may not be everyone’s piece of cake – they seem to be well liked overall.

So much for my first post on ride impressions on these premium 29″er wheels. Next we will spice up the review a bit by putting them on another (new) testing platform and see how they do when ridden more trail-/all-mountain style.