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Eurobike 2010: New mid-range wheel models from DT Swiss

By:
James Huang
Published:
September 16, 2010, 9:29 BST,
Updated:
September 16, 2010, 8:30 BST
The new X 1800 wheels are similar to the X 1600 trail bike model but with a conventional two-pawl freehub system.

The new X 1800 wheels are similar to the X 1600 trail bike model but with a conventional two-pawl freehub system.

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Changes to DT Swiss's expansive road and mountain wheel collection are mostly concentrated on the higher-value mid-range for 2011, where consumers will see the most benefit and are more likely to actually afford to make a purchase.

First and foremost are less expensive versions of the innovative Tricon wheels for both road and mountain. The new R 1700 Tricon and M 1700 Tricon wheels share similar rims and 'open crow's foot' spoking to the flagship models but forego the stress-reducing multi-piece hub shells in favor of simpler one-piece bodies and slightly chunkier axle setups. Additional cost savings measures include straight bladed spokes instead of butted ones.

The solid outer rim wall again lends easy tubeless compatibility and DT Swiss's hyper-durable star ratchet system carries over, too, but weights have gone up 100-150g depending on model and fitment style – and speaking of axle fitments, the top-end XM 1550 Tricon is now available in a Lefty-compatible version.

Cross-country riders will have lower-cost versions of the XR 1450 wheels, too, including the X 1600, X 1800, and X 1900, all with 24mm-wide alloy rims designed for 26x1.5-2.25" tires. Double-butted stainless steel spokes are used on the 1600 and 1800 models but only the former gets the lighter and more durable star ratchet system; the others get a conventional two-pawl setup.

Big changes come with the new FR 2050 freeride wheels, which shed a substantial 200g or so from its predecessor for a more nimble feel, and there's also a pre-built 29" mountain wheel in the M 1800 29er.

The DT Swiss suspension range has also undergone a massive overhaul for 2011, including three new damping systems and a new air spring architecture.

The top-end Twin Shot damper features externally adjustable low-speed compression and rebound damping, internally adjustable high-speed damping, and a three-position lockout dial (open, closed, or lowered) that can also be retrofitted with a bar-mounted remote. Meanwhile, the second-tier Single Shot system moves the low-speed compression adjuster inside and goes with a simple on-off lockout system.

Finally, there's an update to DT Swiss's Launch Control damper, which is aimed at long-travel enduro machines and continues to use a unique bump-activated lockdown system for fast gate starts or when starting to descend after a long climb.

All of the DT Swiss fork range will include the updated ABS Auto Balancing Spring system. Similar to RockShox's Solo Air, ABS will use a single valve to charge both positive and negative chambers, yielding a supposedly supple and linear stroke with fewer parts and less maintenance than a two-valve system.

Sitting at the top of range is the cross-country race-oriented XRC 100 with 100mm of travel, 28.6mm aluminum stanchions, and carbon fiber lower legs with 9mm quick-release dropouts. The 'Race' edition adds a carbon crown and steerer, too, bringing the claimed weight down to just 1,170g.

The more trail-friendly XRM offers 100mm of travel as well but steps up to stiffer 32mm stanchions, DT Swiss's novel Torsion Box hollow-arch magnesium lowers, and optional 15mm thru-axle dropouts. A tapered 1 1/8"-to-1 1/2" steerer will be available, too. Claimed weight ranges from 1,550g to 1,665g depending on configuration.


The DT Swiss XRC 100 weighs as little as 1,170g when matched with the full carbon crown and steerer option.

Need more travel? The XMM forks share the same features as the XRM but with 120mm or 140mm of travel and claimed weights between 1,650g and 1,765g. Alternatively, the XMC subs in a lighter weight carbon lower leg assembly, which brings the weight down to just 1,570g.

Finally, there are the 150mm-travel EXM (magnesium legs) and EXC (carbon legs), offered exclusively with Launch Control II dampers. The EXM will be offered in both 9mm quick-release or 15mm thru-axle versions while the EXC will be quick-release only. Claimed weights for the two forks are 1,675-1,770g and 1,575g, respectively.

Prefer no travel at all? DT Swiss has added the fully rigid XRR fork to the lineup for 2011 with carbon legs, crown, and steerer plus magnesium open dropouts. Claimed weight for the 26" version is a paltry 585g while the 29" version adds just 10g.

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