Review: DT Swiss Spline One Wheelset

26er 27.5 29er Pro Reviews Wheels

The new DT Swiss Spline One wheel follows in the design footsteps of their upscale Tricon brethren, and offers high performance and technology in a value-added package. The tubeless ready aluminum rims use 28 straight pull Competition spokes in 3 cross pattern, come in 26″, 27.5″ and 29″ sizes and are offered in three models. The cross country XR 1501 has a 20mm inner width, the general-purpose XM 1501 has a 22.5mm (tested here), and the enduro EX 1501 has a 25mm. Currently, the EX 1501 doesn’t come in a 29″ model, but that may change. They come with 15mm TA front and 12x142mm TA rear, and include 5mm QR end caps and a set of RWSs, and are priced from $1070-$1140.

Specs

XR – 24mm outer/20mm inner width, 26″ 1410g, 27.5″ 1470g, 29″ 1520g
XM – 27mm outer/22.5mm inner width, 26″ 1545g, 27.5″ 1595g, 29″ 1680g
EX – 30mm outer/25mm inner width, 26″ 1660g, 27.5″ 1730g

Features

The new rim extrusion has a lower sidewall height, which saves weight, locks the tire in place, quickens installs and decreases burping and air loss. The welded rim is shot peened and anodized for strength and durability, and the rim joint is nearly seamless. The waterslide decals are baked in an oven for increased durability and to prevent peeling, and the decals include the spoke’s length for the wheel if replacement is ever required. The rims come with thick and durable tubeless tape, to prevent tearing during tire installation.

They developed the Squorx nipple (Square-Torx) for the Spline, and the funky Torx head allows for greater control of the tension and evenness being applied to the spoke during the build, which facilitate a better overall quality wheel. The shoulder of the head is rounded, and it sits in a concave steel washer, which then floats in the bottom of the rim. This synergistic design is called the Pro Head Reinforcement System (PHR), and it acts like a ball and socket, and gives a better ride, more even spoke tension, increased durability, and spreads out the load and decreases stress riser issues at the threads. The bottom of the Squorx nipple still has the normal spoke wrench interface, so adjustments can be made without having to remove the tubeless tape. The PHR and the Squorx are both pretty interesting and thought-provoking designs, and should make for a better, stronger and more durable wheel.

The optimized two piece forged hub design, uses a more robust build on the brake side and a thinner and lighter one on the other, and the sections are then bonded together for a solid and strong entity. The hub surfaces are scored prior to bonding, press fit together, and then bonded with high-strength adhesive. The hubs use their excellent 240 internals, and the rear uses their 36-tooth star ratchet system with 10 degrees of engagement, and has options for XD or normal body (swappable). The hub’s modular design allows easy changes to different axle standards by using tool-free end cap swaps, and quick maintenance of the internals using little to no tools.

Continue reading for Impressions, Bottom Line and full photo gallery.

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About the author: Brian Mullin

Brian has been part of the Mtbr team since 2007, where he has become an integral member of the review and test staff, specializing in technical articles. He likes to push the limits in all the sports he obsesses in, whether it's mountain biking, whitewater kayaking, extreme skiing, or sport climbing. He takes those same strengths and a good dose of insanity to his reviewing and writing on mountain biking products, creating technical, in-depth and hyperbolic articles. Whenever he's not on the bike, he might be found watching MotoGP racing, otherwise look for him out on extremely technical singletrack.


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  • ginsu says:

    They should have some type of mechanical interlock between the two hub halves. When they say ‘bonded’ that is a pretty obscure phrase, they could simply have glued the two halves together which doesn’t seem very reliable to me. Of course, they could also do some kind of friction weld which would be better, but it kinda leaves the reader wondering.

    • Brian Mullin says:

      I’ll check with DT Swiss, but I assume they used high strength epoxy, which they use to hold airplane parts together. Doubt it was a friction weld like a truck rim would use, not nearly the same weight or torque interactions.

    • Brian Mullin says:

      I heard back from DT Swiss: The hub surfaces are scored prior to bonding, press fit together, and then bonded with high-strength adhesive. And even if both pieces are left unbonded, the flanges wouldn’t twist, since the tension and lacing pattern of the spokes and overall integrity of the wheels holds everything in place.

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