Wheels are one of the most important parts of a bike as they define its riding characteristics — put low quality wheels in a perfect bike and it will be compromised. DT Swiss realizes this and because they deliver a lot of wheels as OEM spec, they cannot afford to lose control over the production process at any point. This is why all rims, spokes, hubs and nipples are manufactured at DT Swiss owned and controlled plants.
Let’s talk about the production of rims — since it’s not a good idea to make rims of pure aluminum, an alloy is made: in molten state, a mix of other ingredients is added so the lightweight characteristics of the metal are guaranteed while stiffness and strength are added. The alloy is put in cylinder-shaped blocks and cooled down.
The extruder is fed with these alloy cylinders and it spits out a straight rim profile on the other side. Straight in its raw state, this endless rim profile is bent into a helix shape. like a coil spring, the material is now in the right diameter (there are different curves for each wheel size).
Sliced at the exact size, the full length rim profile now slowly takes the shape of a rim for a single wheel. At each step detailed quality control takes place. To make the C shape of the rim a fully round one, DT Swiss use a proprietary welding process.